With the excitement of releasing new dates for 2024, some of you may be seriously tempted with the prospect of saying I do sooner rather than later but you may well be wondering if you can actually pull it off?
There’s something very exciting about embracing spontaneity, and getting married in a few months, right? We think last minute weddings are so romantic and although the planning process can feel like a gigantic mountain to climb for some, it really doesn’t need to be a stressful experience and we want you to enjoy this journey. You may think that the perfect wedding takes months or even years to plan, however there is no reason why you can’t get married at short notice and still have the most incredible wedding celebration. Spontaneous celebrations can be just as meaningful and memorable as those planned years in advance and believe it or not, getting married in a shorter time frame can in fact ease stress levels. Quick decision making and focused determination all adds to the excitement which will result in a beautiful celebration that truly reflects the love between two people.
So, if you’re feeling like a last minute date could indeed be for you, read on for a quick fire checklist of our top 10 planning tips.
1. Wedding Day Priorities
The first step is to sit down with your partner and get your priorities aligned. You need to agree on the three most essential pieces of the planning puzzle as this will determine how everything else will fall into place; the style of wedding you want, the number of guests you want to invite and the size of the budget. Some compromises may be necessary along the way, but keeping an open mind and focusing on what matters to you will help ensure that your wedding is everything that you dreamed of.
2. Set Your Budget – and stick to it!
Your wedding budget will be the driving factor for many of your wedding-related decisions, so this should be one of the first things you tackle. Don’t forget to regularly do a reality check and factor in contributions from family. Also keep a close eye on unexpected costs or urges that inevitably arise. The important thing is to have a budget to work from, as without one you’ll soon find yourselves overspending.
3. Wedding Venue & Wedding Date
Choosing your wedding venue is arguably one of the most important decisions you’ll make during the whole planning process and it will most likely be top of your to-do list. Consider the points mentioned above; your budget, guest list and style and do your research. Do you want a beautifully Chapel ceremony or perhaps you love the idea of an outdoor wedding surrounded by breathtaking views. Are you looking for rustic romance or timeless elegance? The choice is yours at Cluny and we nothing more than helping you put your personal stamp on your big day.
Wedding dates at Cluny do book up well in advance, however as we limit the number of weddings that we host every year, we do have dates still available for you in 2024, which is why you are probably reading this now! Get in touch and we can let you know what dates are still available (these do still include prime Summer dates as well as September & October) so if you have your heart set on a beautiful Summer or Autumnal wedding next year, get in touch with us as soon as possible to avoid disappointment as available dates are very limited.
Once your venue and date is confirmed, you can really start to imagine your wedding day and everything will soon start falling into place. Plus, by grabbing one of our last 2024 dates, you have already hurtled past two of your most important checkpoints!!
4. Think About Your Guest list
This is an important one for 2 reasons! Firstly, you need to think about your guestlist so you can figure out your budget, remember, the more guests you have the more you will need to allocate for the catering. So, sit down and make a preliminary list whilst thinking about the size and style of wedding you’re hoping for, as well as that all-important budget. Secondly, when it comes to planning a short notice wedding, the make or break question is; can your guests make it? So, the first step would be to check with your nearest and dearest who you couldn’t possibly get married without, to ask if they can make the date. Remember, it’s a very special occasion and everyone loves a wedding, so hopefully people would be happy to move things around to make it work for you!
5. Give Notice – Register Your Wedding
This is vital so don’t forget this one! If you don’t have a marriage license, your wedding won’t be legal so make sure you get in touch with your local registry office to inform them of your intention to marry. This is required by law and your marriage notice forms should be submitted to the registrar of the district in which the marriage is to take place within a three-month period prior to the date of the marriage and NO LATER than 29 days before that date. Just get in touch with your local registry office and they will be able to help and advise you on everything.
6. Post Out Save The Dates
One way to make sure all of your guests can make your day is to send out save the dates as soon as you confirm your wedding date. Invites generally go out a few months before the big day but if you are working with a shorter timescale, do it as soon as you secure your date.
7. Consider Your Style
When planning a short notice wedding, it’s very easy to become overwhelmed with wedding inspiration or fixated with all of the little tiny details. Instead focus your ideas around your style, a colour palette and the atmosphere you want to create.
You may already know if you want your wedding to be traditional or bohemian, small and intimate, or all about the party! From this starting point, and once you have an aesthetic in mind it's easier to make decisions, and everything will look much more cohesive.
Don’t forget to involve your significant other in this step! Your wedding should represent both of you, together as a couple, AND be sure to put your full trust in your wedding suppliers too. They are the professionals and giving them artistic license to create something that suits you and your ideas will not only give them flexibility, it will also take a huge amount of stress away from you!
8. Book Your Key Suppliers
Take your time to focus on booking in your main suppliers. These will be the vendors who will have the biggest impact on your day, like the caterer, florist, photographer, band etc.
After this it's about prioritising what is most important to you. It is always worth reaching out to your venue and asking for their recommendations. Life is made much easier for all parties when you book suppliers that you know you can trust and that know the venue well too.
Top tip! Don’t forget to purchase wedding insurance. If 2020 taught us anything it’s that you never know what is around the corner and it’s best to cover for any eventuality.
If we can give one vital piece of advice on how to successfully plan a wedding at short notice, the key to it all is delegation! Your closest family and friends will be delighted to help with the planning, and it can save you valuable time. They can help with practical things like organising and booking appointments for hair & makeup trials, dress/suit shopping, bridesmaids/groomsmen’s outfits. Arranging a last minute wedding can be daunting and overwhelming if you let it so it’s important to ask for help when you need it.
10. Enjoy the Whirlwind and don’t lose sight of the most important thing!
Planning a last minute wedding really doesn’t need to be a stressful affair. If you have a great team of wedding suppliers and a top wedding venue, you will absolutely be in safe hands. Trust their knowledge, experience and advice and keep in regular contact with them. And finally, don’t get so swept up in the whirlwind that you forget about whole reason you are actually getting married. Making sure that you remember to make time for yourselves both individually and as a couple, away from the wedding planning, is super important. So enjoy the process, trust your suppliers, take time out and everything will fall into place beautifully!
If this bit of last minute wedding planning advice has helped and you’re now teetering on the edge of saying ‘I do’ in 2024, get in touch with us now to secure one of our last available dates for next year, email@example.com. This is a very rare opportunity so be quick. As one of Aberdeenshire’s most popular wedding venues our dates tend to book up very quickly so don’t miss out on your chance to have your dream wedding at Cluny Castle. We will be more than happy to help you through the whole process and can put you in touch with the best wedding suppliers we know. Together, we will collectively create your dream wedding.