Katie Reeve, Celebrant > Planning  > How To Plan A Quick Wedding

How To Plan A Quick Wedding

Wedding planning can be intense and tough, especially when you are pressed for time! If you and your partner have suddenly decided to give your true love story a happy ending, but don’t know where to start, don’t panic as you are in expert hands.

Planning a last-minute wedding party does not have to be as stressful as it may initially seem. With organisation, clear focus and determination, you can arrange a wow-factor ceremony. I have created this article to help you take matters into your own hands and plan a wedding party within a limited time frame.

Wedding Planning Checklist

Whether you have 8 months or 8 weeks until your wedding date, this step-by-step guide will help to alleviate pre-wedding tension, and will leave you pleasantly surprised with how doable a quick wedding can be.

1. Pick A Date And A Theme
Before you do anything, you must create a date. This will give you a deadline to work towards and provide your guests with a date to save.

You should additionally select a theme to structure your wedding around. Whether you wish to have a bush wedding or a glamorous Hollywood-style party, the choice is yours to be as adventurous and creative as you wish.

2. Create A Guest List
It is important to invite your closest friends and family on your wedding day. This will provide you with a rough number of people that will need to be accommodated (i.e. seating, transport, hotel rooms, etc.). Your guest list will also factor into budgeting, as you can estimate how much it will cost to entertain and feed everyone.

3. Decide Upon A Reasonable And Realistic Budget
It is easy to go overboard when planning a wedding party. Establishing a budget ahead of time will ensure that you have a good idea of how much you should be spending. A budget will additionally help you determine an effective way of distributing money so that you don’t overspend on a specific thing (such as your wedding dress or cake).

4. Choose A Wedding Venue
Deciding upon a ceremony location is a big decision. You should choose somewhere that fits with your theme, and that perfectly reflects you and your partner. Be sure to prioritise this step as many venues get booked up fast.


Useful Note: If you are planning a destination wedding, you should make venue arrangements at least 12 weeks before your chosen ceremony date.

5. Request Your Marriage Licence
As you get closer to your special day, it is crucial that you order your marriage licence from the registry of births, deaths and marriages. You must do this within 14 days of your ceremony taking place to ensure it arrives in time.

6. Send Out Wedding Invitations
Once you have a date, venue and a solid idea of who you wish to invite, you can begin creating invitations. With such a short timeline, it is best to get this step done as soon as possible so that your guests can book time off work, arrange for childcare and so forth.

Creating a wedding website instead of physical invitations is an effective way of saving money and sharing information. This will enable your guests to rsvp with ease and allow you to upload any last-minute information that you want your friends and family to know.

7. Book Your Vendors
Hire professionals so that you don’t have to worry about managing everything on your wedding day. I have created this brief list to help you understand what sort of vendors you should be scouting for your special day:

  • An Officiator: If you are looking to have a modern ceremony, free from any religious beliefs, you should seek a marriage celebrant, such as myself. I offer a variety of bespoke services suited to lots of unique wedding ceremonies.
  • You may discover my All The Bells & Whistles package for a minimal fuss, easy-going wedding. Or perhaps, if you and your partner tend to keep things more private, you would enjoy my Legals Only package.
  • A Wedding Photographer: Having a wedding photographer will ensure that all your precious memories from your wedding party are preserved. Provide your photographer with a list containing what sort of photos you want taken on your big day so you don’t miss anything out.
  • A Cake Baker: Before you settle on a cake baker, be sure to do some cake tastings with your partner so that you choose a flavour and design that you both like.
  • A Master of Ceremonies (MC): Finding a humorous and entertaining MC can turn your wedding into an unforgettable party. Check out my site to find out about my Master of Ceremonies services.

8. Organise An Engagement Shoot
If it is within your budget, you and your partner should arrange an engagement shoot to celebrate the day you said yes! Your engagement photos will also look wonderful around your venue and on your wedding website.

9. Find Your Dream Wedding Dress


Your wedding dress will be the center of attention on your wedding day. It is always important to settle on a gown that resembles your unique style, so that you feel confident and comfortable on your wedding day.

10. Buy Bridesmaid Dresses
Shopping for bridesmaid dresses can be tricky (especially if your entourage is picky), but it is also an opportunity for you to bond with your dearest friends. When you do take your best girls out to find their dresses, make sure you don’t leave anyone out.

11. Arrange A Hair And Makeup Trial
Deciding upon a makeup look before your ceremony is important, especially if you have a particular taste. This will also allow your making artist and hair stylist to get to know your style, and your unique look so that they get it right on the day of your wedding.

12. Make A Wedding Planning Timeline
Creating a timeline that maps out who should do what, and when, on your big day will ensure that your vendors, bridal party, best men and parents are on board with the plans.

If you have the available time, your wedding timeline can be trialed during a wedding dress rehearsal/rehearsal dinner. This will allow you to revise any areas within your timeline that don’t work, so that the actual occasion runs 100% smoothly.

13. Schedule Your Hen/Buck Party
If you and your other half have available time, you should definitely get the celebrations going early, by going out to boogie with your friends.Your best friend, the head bridesmaid/best man, should be the one who arranges the hen/buck party, so make sure you give them a suitable date to arrange everything.

14. Prepare For Your Big Day
Once you have ticked off all the steps detailed above, the last thing left to prepare yourself. Pack an emergency bag for the big day, filled with all your necessities so that you don’t misplace anything important. 

If you haven’t already, may also choose to begin working on your dinner speech, or maybe do some last-minute adjustments to your vows.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Is A Marriage License?

A marriage licence is a legal document issued by the registry of births, deaths and marriages that authorises you to get married. Be sure to file for a marriage licence within 14 days of your wedding day, as they can take some time to be finalised.

What’s The Fastest You Can Plan A Wedding?

A successful wedding can be planned within 2 to 4 months, so long as you and your partner work together to create a clear and well-organised plan. It may be worth hiring a professional wedding planner if you are feeling too overwhelmed and uncertain.

What Is The Average Cost Of A Wedding?

In Australia, the average cost of a wedding is around $36,000. There are many creative ways that you and your partner can keep costs down. For instance, creating your own decorations, renting a dress and suit, and so forth.