No, you can’t! Allowing for adequate time to plan a wedding is one of the top three mistakes brides make. The reason is that most see only the “big picture,” their dress, walking down an aisle, their first dance and pictures. They don’t realize there are a million little details that go with a wedding ceremony and reception, and I believe this is why many get stressed out and overwhelmed as the wedding gets closer and they realize they don’t have time or energy to get it all done. That is when the “bridezilla” comes out.
Considering the fact that most brides today are working full-time jobs and many couples are paying for the nuptials themselves, a couple should allow more time to plan, save money, and prepare for the big day. The general rule is the bigger the event, the more time needed to prepare. Generally speaking, a year to a year-and-a-half is enough time to plan a proper wedding. Six months is the absolute minimum.
Personally, my husband and I had a six-month engagement and—looking back—I wish I had allowed for more time. My thinking was “I am in my mid-30’s. I have thought about this my whole life. I know what I want. I just have to book it.” In a sense, that was true. But, trying to find a store that had unity candles in stock the week before the wedding while trying to corral my bridemaids into putting reception favors together while working at a busy news station gave me a reality check. I know of what I speak.
This seems to have been more common in the past couple of years where brides have inquired about wedding planning and catering only weeks before the big event. The reason appears to be that they weren’t sure of their finances and were waiting on money to book. While that is understandable, a better solution would have been to either set a date farther down the road or budgeted for a much smaller wedding.
I have seen panic brides more than once since we started Dareing Events. The last one came to me in a state of panic. The wedding was two weeks away. They had only gotten engaged a month before. The couple were planning to marry the next year, but decided to move up the wedding date. They had just rented the facility but had no caterer. All caterers were already booked for that weekend. Those who weren’t wanted a lot of money to cover the costs of this last-minute decision. We were this bride’s last hope for a decent affordable wedding.
The bride’s hand shook as she wrote out the check. She was scared. I knew we probably weren’t her first choice of a caterer, but a friend had recommended us and what was she supposed to do? No bride should ever be put in that position of fear. Adequate time allows for getting what you want.
Needless to say, the wedding and reception were beautiful. Everyone loved the food and we worked very hard to make sure guests were taken care of. The bride was extremely pleased. Her mother called us a “Godsend.” Still, the stress could have been avoided in the first place.
The truth is that most caterers and venues have spring booked by the end of October. Weekends around Easter and Memorial Day are booked early on every year. Photographers—really good ones—stay booked up to two years in advance.