How to Plan a Wedding in 6 Months or Less

Written by Katrina Otter
I blinked and we’re already halfway through the year! But would you believe me if I told you that there’s still time to plan a wedding (from scratch) and get married in 2023?!

Since the last time I graced these pages (as Resident Wedding Planner for Coco Wedding Venues… Hi!), we’ve finally emerged out of the longest winter EVER, British flowers have started blooming in abundance, it’s officially summer, and wedding season is in full swing, bringing with it all the excitement and joyfulness that we come to expect and experience between the months of April and October!

But let’s get back to the topic at hand. I often get asked whether weddings can be planned with a shorter lead time, and the simple and honest answer is yes – OF COURSE they can! And whilst the average couple takes 12+ months to plan a wedding (hence why so many guides start with this timeframe in mind), with a solid foundation, decisive decision-making, and effective time management in place, I’ve seen (and been a part of) weddings planned in as little as six weeks (although the phrase ‘fly by the seat of your pants’ springs to mind with the latter!).

And in this instance, whilst you might not have the luxury of time, sometimes this can be a blessing, right?

So with this in mind, here are my top tips on how to plan a wedding in six months or less…


Whether you’re planning a wedding in six weeks, six months, 12 months, or more, the key ingredient to planning any wedding is starting from a point where a solid foundation is in place. This is even more pertinent when you’re planning on a tighter schedule.

You see, there’s a very real temptation with shorter lead times to panic = cue scatter gun approaching the to-do list, booking the first suppliers that are available without considering what it is that you really want or need, going over budget… you get the drift!

So first things first: STOP, take some time out together as a couple and:

  • Create a budget
  • Discuss your thoughts, ideas, and vision for your wedding
  • Identify your priorities

And now you can begin!


Creating a detailed timeline is crucial when planning a wedding in a shorter time-frame as it will keep you on track, allow you to spread the admin/workload on a month-by-month basis, AND ensure that nothing gets forgotten or overlooked in haste.

Break down any tasks into manageable segments and assign deadlines and responsibilities to each. Once your ducks are in a row, remember to keep referring back – whilst having a clear roadmap is all well and good, it has to serve you well, which means you need to be across and on top of every last detail. Committing wholeheartedly to this step will help keep you organised and ensure that everything is completed on time.


With a solid foundation and detailed timeline in place, next up are your key suppliers, starting with your venue and date (you can find lots of helpful advice and top tips here on the Coco Wedding Venues blog covering this very topic!).

Once that’s done and ticked off the to-do list, notify your guests (with an electronic save the date) and start to research, prioritise, and book those suppliers that are essential to having and hosting a wedding i.e., a caterer and photographer… and don’t forget about the legalities regarding your marriage too (you’d be surprised how often this is overlooked, especially with shorter lead times).

You’ll also need to be aware that some items that would usually fall later on in the planning process might need to jump to the top of the priority list due to lead and ordering times i.e., attire.


This is a difficult one, BUT you’re going to have to master the art of decisiveness if you want to plan your wedding in time!

Do your research, try to limit your options (ideally no more than three in each supplier category), refer back to your solid foundation (budget, thoughts/idea/vision and priorities), and then MAKE A DECISION and move on to the next!

You don’t have the luxury of procrastination or second guessing so once a decision is made tick it off the list and move decisively on!


One of the downsides of a shorter lead time is that a lot of suppliers will already be fully booked. This is where you’ll need to revert back to your list of priorities and be willing to be flexible and make compromises along the way.

If a venue doesn’t have any weekend dates available, what about a midweek wedding?  And if a supplier that you had your heart set on is already booked, why not ask them who they’d recommend? They may be able to point you in the direction of a supplier that does have availability and/or a similar style/service/product offering.


Take advantage of digital tools and wedding planning apps to streamline the process.

There are a whole host of guest list management, budget tracking, and online platforms (i.e. digital invitations and wedding websites) which will speed up and simplify the planning process, allowing you to stay organised, as well as saving you time and effort. At this point, forget receiving pretty individual RSVPs through the post which you’ll need to manually input onto a spreadsheet; you don’t have time for this!


Planning a wedding can be overwhelming, and if there’s too much to do and/or you don’t have enough time, then delegate, ask for help, and seek out some professional support and guidance if your budget allows.

Wedding planners offer a range of support services to suit, from full planning to styling and design, wedding day management, to hourly ad-hoc advice. Depending on their area of expertise, they can take on as little or as much of the wedding organisation as you need but you can guarantee that having a professional planner in your corner during the run-up to your wedding (and especially on the day itself) will ensure the smooth organisation and execution of a such a high-stakes occasion.

If you are just starting out on your wedding planning journey and would appreciate some expert (honest) advice from some of our industry’s most talented and experienced wedding planners, let me refer you back to a feature I curated with some of my brilliant peers, Wedding Planning Tips – A Q&A With Wedding Planners.


Whilst we’re on the subject of support, remember to liaise with your suppliers and ask for their advice, input, and guidance if needed. They’re (hopefully!) experts in their field and have likely got a whole host of beautiful weddings already under their belt, so don’t underestimate their knowledge and skills.

For example, it might be that your caterer can provide guidance on tableware and linen, and your photographer will be able to help with timings and the flow of the day. So, if you’re not 100% sure about something, it’s always worth asking, right?


It’s incredibly easy to be swept up in the planning that ensues and to fall behind on any paperwork but organisation is vital to keeping everything on track when you’re faced with decisions, lists, deadlines, and everyday life.

As the day approaches, there will still be a lot of moving pieces that need to be organised to ensure that everything runs smoothly. You’ll need to start paying balance invoices, collating information for suppliers, confirming guests and dietaries… and so much more, which is why it’s essential that you don’t forget to stay on top of your admin, budget, and to-do list throughout.

You may not be surprised to hear that I LOVE a list so my final tip for planning a wedding in six months or less is to draft a ‘day-of’ checklist a few weeks ahead of time and keep it meticulously up to date. This can simply be a document that shows what you need to pack/bring to your venue and who is responsible for bringing each item or a more detailed schedule complete with timings, contact details etc.

If you were unsure about taking the leap on an short notice wedding date I hope this feature has given you the confidence you need to go for it! I can’t pretend to sugarcoat the months ahead BUT, it is absolutely possible and I have every confidence that with some very careful planning it will be a huge success… GOOD LUCK!

If you need any additional help or if you have any questions regarding the above, I’d love to hear from you. You can get in touch via my website, or drop me a DM via Instagram.

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