Planning a Wedding in Less than 12 Months

Posted on 21st September 2023

So, you’ve got less than 12 months to plan a wedding? That thought can feel pretty daunting right?

It doesn’t need to. It doesn’t need to be stressful, and you don’t need to worry about what you’ve let yourself in for. Because planning a wedding in less than 12 months is definitely achievable.

And with our help, you’ll hopefully find it easy and enjoyable too.

Sure, the average time for couples planning their wedding is around 14 months, but much of that planning can be easily condensed.

COVID has brought big changes for everyone too, but there’s still no reason why you can’t plan your dream wedding in less than 12 months and tie the knot before the end of the year. It’s all about being organised and prepared.

Get organised quickly

Whatever the timescales for your wedding, the sooner you get organised and get your plans sorted, the better.

There’s always a lot to sort out initially – everything from finding your venue and choosing your caterers, to ordering you perfect wedding dress and booking key suppliers.

When there’s less than 12 months to your wedding, you might have to work through a lot of tasks quickly. The closer you are to the big day, the more you’ll have to do right away.

Make a checklist now

It’s your best friend for planning and organisation – alongside your budget. That should be the first item on your to-do list.

Less than 12 months

  • Set your budget
  • Draft your guest list to get an idea of numbers
  • Arrange wedding venue viewings and get one booked
  • Book your catering alongside your wedding venue
  • Book your ceremony officiant and organise your wedding license
  • Try on some wedding dresses
  • Make sure you investigate wedding insurance

Less than 10 months

  • Book your photographer
  • Organise your theme
  • Start planning your honeymoon
  • Order your wedding dress
  • Send Save the Dates
  • Book hotels/accommodation

Less than 8 months

  • Book florist, musicians, DJ, venue dresser and any other key suppliers
  • Taste cakes and book your favourite
  • Organise hair and make up
  • Start shopping for groom's attire

Less than 6 months

  • Buy bridesmaid dresses
  • Sort groomsmen attire
  • Send wedding invites
  • Arrange transportation

However many months you have until your wedding, try and cross off all the tasks on your checklist up to that point. You’ll then be on track with every other couple – whether they’ve been planning for three years or nine months.

If you’re really last minute – our ultimate guide to planning your perfect last-minute wedding can help.

Be flexible about dates

When you have less than 12 months to plan your wedding, you’ll need to be flexible about the date. Your dream mid-summer Saturday is probably going to have been booked months ago.

Consider Mid-week dates if you’ve got your eyes set on a very popular venue or plan for a wonderful winter wedding when there might be more availability for weekend dates.

Be open to unusual venue choices

With less than a year to find your ideal wedding venue and get everything booked, it’s also useful to think about some different, unusual wedding venue options.

Your first choice may be booked up years in advance, so be open to something a little different, a little more unusual.

Instead of the big hotels and country clubs, think about other options, like converted barns, open fields or big functional rooms – anywhere you can put your own stamp on. Or how about a magical ceremony under the night sky – complete with twinkling stars?

You could even get married waterside with views of Chichester Harbour at Tournerbury

But – remember you’re short on time. The more you have to organise, the more stress you’ll put on yourselves.

Be willing to change suppliers

Along with the best wedding venues, the most sought-after suppliers get booked up months – even years – in advance. If you have your eyes set on a specific photographer, florist, musician or DJ, then you’ll have to act fast to secure a booking.

You might need to change your preferred supplier to bring everything together for your big day. Your venue, and the wedding date you secure, will always be most important, so you’ll need to find suppliers who can work around that date.

Don’t forget to ask your chosen wedding venue either; they might have a list of all their Favourite suppliers to help you arrange your big day.

Get your caterers sorted earlier

Caterers will also book up fast, so the sooner you can organise the food for your wedding breakfast and reception, the better.

With less than 12 months to go, arranging your own external caterers might be one logistical challenge you’d like to avoid.

Choosing a wedding venue that has preferred catering suppliers – like the Tournerbury Woods Estate – can kill two birds with one stone. You’ll have your wedding venue sorted and your catering covered too – safe in the knowledge that your caterers have the availability you need and can work seamlessly with your venue to arrange everything. It’s one less thing to worry about!

Check and double check your orders

If you’ve fallen in love with that made-to-order wedding dress, or your suppliers are custom designing and building centrepieces or other venue decorations, then make sure your double check those timescales.

Less than 12 months to your big day means time is shorter than you think for ordering made-to-measure wedding attire and other deliveries. Plus – if anything is coming from overseas, you could be subject to shipping delays.

So give yourself plenty of time when it comes to wedding dresses and anything else you order. Ideally, you want a 3-month cushion to make sure everything is here in good time for your big day.

Embrace the time with a mesmerising theme

Finally, don’t worry that you have less than 12 months to your wedding day. Embrace it.Because you’re on shorter timescales and will be limited with some choices, it just means less to think about and more opportunity to embrace the options you have.

So if you’ve managed to grab a last-minute mid week summer date, for example, then you’ve got the brilliant chance to have mesmerising,  summer themed wedding. If you’ve only got two or three months to the big day, just think about what theme is quick and easy to bring to life, and don’t be afraid to a be a little different.

You could choose a theme that matches the time of year, as there should be plenty of decorations around to dress your venue. You could, for example, create a beach-themed wedding.

Let yourself be guided by your date, your venue, and your suppliers, and they’ll help you create an incredible wedding, no matter how long you have to plan – whether it’s less than 12 months or less than 6.

And if you are looking to start planning and need a stunning wedding venue for next year Get in touch about Tournerbury Woods Estate late availability dates.

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