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How to plan a wedding in just 6 months

Having a long, drawn out engagement isn’t every bride’s idea of heaven. Why not do it sooner? Highgate House shares its top tips to plan a short notice wedding.

Photography: Andy Doherty

Did you get a proposal over the figgy pudding this year or indeed, did you pop the question? If so, you might just wanna get on with it for a lovely summer wedding.  Highgate House love hosting nuptials, they’ve been doing it for 50 years and you can see why the elegant 17th century country house, full of English charm is up there as one of Northamptonshire’s top wedding venues. We spoke to them about organising the whole shebang in less than six months. And it sounds pretty doable…

Six Months

As with any wedding, the first thing to do is think about your budget and what you can afford in the time you have to save. Also make a list of everyone you’d like to invite, so you know how far your budget needs to stretch. For brides who want a tailor-made dress, you should decide now as designers will need this time to make it for you.

Quick win: Go to wedding dress sales, wedding fairs and ask for last season’s sample designs in wedding boutiques. If you can find a dress design you like that has already been made, you’ll just need to get it tailored to fit.

Five Months

Prepare to be flexible with your date when it comes to looking for a venue, especially as you’re getting married at short notice. Your venue provides the backdrop to all your photos and future memories, so prioritise choosing the perfect venue above all else. Ask the venue about late availability offers – you may save yourself some money. Once the venue is confirmed, send out invitations straight away. If you haven’t got time to create a wedding gift list, why not ask for money towards your honeymoon or vouchers from your favourite department store.

Quick win: Choose a venue that can also organise the catering and has accommodation options for guests – you’ll save yourselves lots of time and headaches.

Photography: Lee Glasgow

Four Months

It’s time to book all the suppliers for your wedding day if you haven’t already. Prioritise finding a photographer, videographer and band or DJ (*editor’s note, sort this the minute you know you’re getting hitched). Given the short notice, your first choice of supplier may be booked up for your wedding date so take this into account. Send enquiries to a few photographers, videographers and musicians in one go to save time. If catering is already taken care of by your venue, all you’ll need to do is choose your menus and leave the rest to them.

Quick win: There are a lot of directories specifically for wedding photographers or wedding bands and ask your venue for recommendations too.

Photography: Click Click Flash

Three Months

Choose dresses for your bridesmaids and suits for your groomsmen. This is also the time to chase up any missing RSVPs for the wedding, as you’ll need to start confirming numbers with everyone soon.

Quick win: Send out your invitations online using a service such as Paperless Post – this will help you keep track of RSVPs. If anyone hasn’t yet replied, you can send a reminder at the click of a button.

Two Months

You may already have a theme in mind by this point, so you can start collecting items to decorate your venue. Think centrepieces, personal signs, lighting, stationery, table plan and any outdoor decorations. Choosing a colour or a style such as ‘vintage’ or ‘rustic’ is more than enough to get the creative juices flowing. Choose and order your flowers at this stage too.

Quick win: Find wedding décor ideas on websites such as Pinterest or on Instagram and source quirky finishing touches from auction websites such as eBay. Check out Highgate House’s Instagram and Pinterest.

Photography: Paul Mockford

One Month

Hopefully you will have most things done by now. Confirm bookings with suppliers and pay them, have hen and stag parties and enjoy some relaxation time in the lead up to your big day!

Quick win: Create a handy spreadsheet with names, phone numbers and a payment schedule for your suppliers to make this final stage quick and painless.

A long engagement doesn’t have to mean a better wedding. With some careful planning, your dream day is attainable within six months! 

Photography: Paul Mockford

Interested in tying the knot at Highgate house? Give them a buzz!

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