Expert Advice on Planning a Last-Minute Wedding

Most couples take between 8 and 18 months to plan their wedding, but not you. You’ve decided to get married sooner rather than later by planning a last minute wedding – you crazy kids!

But seriously, you can plan a wedding in three months or less. Whether it’s your choice to keep the planning timeline on the shorter side, or life has made the decision for you, don’t panic. I’ve got you covered with my 90-day Wedding Planning checklist that is perfect for planning a last-minute wedding.

But before we dive into the checklist, I want to encourage you to adopt a positive last minute wedding planning mindset from the outset. What do I mean by this? Three things:

Keep your expectations in check when planning a last-minute wedding


Whilst a good wedding planner can move mountains for their couples, there are some things that can’t be achieved in 90 days. In demand photographers book out up to 18 months in advance. Certain bridal designers will need at least five months to design and create a dress. Saturday dates at popular venues will be near impossible to get. 

None of this means you need to abandon your desire to get married in less time or that you can’t build a great vendor team. But you will need to be flexible and think creatively to have the wedding you want when you want it.

Be decisive – don’t dwell on decisions


When you have a long lead time before your wedding you can afford to take your time and weigh up the pros and cons of choosing one venue or vendor over another. You don’t have this luxury when planning a wedding in three months or less. But this can be a good thing. Too much choice leads to overwhelm for many couples. This won’t be you. You’ll need to make your choices quickly and decisively so you can move onto the next task on your wedding planning checklist.

Get help from a professional wedding planner


Wedding planning help is useful for every couple but even more so if you’re planning a last-minute wedding. Unless you both have unlimited amounts of time available, you’re going to need some help – there’s just too much to do for just the two of you. And I recommend hiring a professional wedding planner like me rather than asking a friend or family member, simply because a professional knows what has to be done. 

A professional wedding planner has industry connections that could make all the difference to you getting the wedding you want, regardless of how long you have to plan it. Having a wedding planner also leaves the two of you free to focus on the jobs that only you can do – attending fittings, meeting with your officiant, organising your honeymoon and more.

With a positive planning mindset in place plus some help from a Wedding Planner you’re ready to get started and this is where my 90-day Wedding Planning Checklist comes in. 

But please keep in mind this checklist is an overview of the tasks you will need to do when planning a last-minute wedding. Your plan should be tailored to suit your vision, priorities, and budget – all things I help my couples with and take into consideration when planning their wedding whether we have 12+ months or less.

Your 90-day Wedding Planning Checklist:

3 Months Before Your Wedding

  • Book your wedding planner
  • Organise the legalities
  • Determine your budget
  • Create a dedicated email address for wedding planning and choose a way to say organised with your appointments (Google Workspace is perfect for this)
  • Set the date
  • Finalise your guest list and collect guest addresses/email addresses (no draft guest list for you – you need your final guest list now!)
  • Book your venue
  • Send out ‘Save the Dates’ (email or text is advisable)
  • Book your officiant
  • Choose your wedding party
  • Go wedding dress/wedding attire shopping
  • Book accommodation for the wedding party and out of town guests if required

2 Months Before Your Wedding

  • Choose your vendors: Photographer/Videographer, Florist, Baker, DJ/Band, Stylist, Furniture/Décor Rentals, Marquee, Lighting & AV, Caterer, Signage
  • Order and send out your invitations 
  • Set up your wedding website
  • Start planning your honeymoon
  • Choose wedding attire for your wedding party
  • Book wedding day transport/guest transport
  • Choose and buy rings
  • Book hair and makeup for the day (also book in for trials if required)
  • Start taking extra care of yourself – eat well and book in for beauty treatments

1 Month Before Your Wedding

  • Finalise wedding day attire – have final fittings and ensure you have your lingerie, shoes and accessories
  • Organise on-the-day help and draw up a list of tasks (this is only necessary if you do not have a Wedding Planner or On the Day Coordinator) 
  • Start your ‘On the Day’ Timeline (your Wedding Planner or On the Day Coordinator will do this for you)
  • Finalise any DIY craft projects
  • Follow up on RSVPs so you have your final numbers ready for the venue and caterers, etc.

1-2 Weeks Before Your Wedding

  • Confirm all details with your wedding vendors and venue
  • Distribute your timeline (or have your On the Day Coordinator do this)
  • Make final payments
  • Have your wedding rehearsal
  • Pack all of your personal décor for the wedding and deliver to the venue
  • Pack for the wedding night and honeymoon
  • Ensure your wedding party have copies of the runsheet and that they know where to be at what time
  • Get plenty of rest so you can enjoy the day to its fullest (another good reason to get help with your planning and on-the-day coordination)
  • Get your hair cut and coloured
  • Finalise details of pack down and bump out post reception

With careful planning, decisiveness and some help you can plan your wedding in any amount of time, even at the last minute. For expert help in planning your own last-minute wedding why not organise a chat with me.

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