P and I have committed to a wedding date at the end of December which means we only have 3 months to plan everything! Yep, you read that right. Half the “minimum” recommended time to plan a wedding, which is more than enough for a small ceremony or elopement but is kind of pushing it for the big, “dream” wedding which is what we’re having. Needless to say, things are pretty crazy over here but I wanted to take some time to share some of the craziness with my readers in case any of you might also be planning to get married and have a big wedding in a short amount of time. So hopefully this is helpful 🙂
I feel like a lot of couples especially in the military choose to elope and have a big wedding later because it’s easiest or appears to work out best. I definitely felt the same way! But I encourage you to fully explore the options, especially with your parents, to see if you can have your dream wedding the first time around. I get that an elopement is what lots of people prefer over a big wedding, but make sure you’re staying true to yourself and your dreams even in the face of the military and the time restrictions imposed by it. True, you might realize you do just want a big wedding and can’t have it right now, but you could also discover that you could have your dream wedding (with a lot of quick planning, of course) like P and I did. So, if eloping is your style then go for it! But if a big wedding is your style, go for it as well, or at least explore the possibility! I thought it was insane to try to plan a wedding in 3 months but already most of the “hard” stuff is done… and we haven’t even been engaged a full month yet!
Choosing the Date
This is probably the hardest part of planning a wedding (or even elopement!) when your man is in the military. My advice is if your SO is still in school and you feel ready to take the next step, take advantage of their holiday stand down and choose a date that you know they’ll be able to come home on leave! P and I knew we were ready to get married awhile ago and when we found out he would more or less for sure get Christmas stand down, it was almost too easy to choose our date. Granted something could still happen, but its about as secure as you can get with the military. So, take advantage of “guaranteed” leave if you can and feel you are ready to get married.
Choosing Your Dress
This one was even more stressful than the date for me, but I did find my dress and learn some helpful things in the process!
- I would personally recommend to not order your dress online if at all possible. I fell in love with a dress from one of those discount wedding dress sites but decided against it. I know this type of site does work out well for a lot of people, but with a 3 month timeline I decided that I’d be too anxious over the dress situation unless I tried it on before buying it. This way I don’t have to worry about a dress coming in a month and not fitting/looking right and then get all stressed out over finding a new dress that could be available in time. So, I went to David’s Bridal.
- Be aware that the dress you fall in love with might not be the dress you’re able to have. For all of the dresses I tried on, had I decided on a different color or size in the dress I would not have been able to get it until the beginning of December… which is nowhere near soon enough. Luckily the dress I fell in love with will be here in a couple weeks and then we can proceed with alterations! But it’s a good thing to be aware of, and it wasn’t something I fully realized until I was told “oh, we need to check to see if we can get this dress in time for you.” In the future, I would recommend going to the store on a weekday when they have fewer appointments scheduled and can help you more directly and I would stay firm on needed a dress by a certain date, about a month before your wedding. I would probably even ask to not try on any dress that wouldn’t be available in your size and color in time to avoid disappointment… had I known how long some of the turnaround times would be to even just get the dress in stores, I definitely would have requested this of my consultant.
I hope this helps some future brides out there! Please let me know if you have any other questions about choosing a date or a dress on a short timeline and I’ll answer you as soon as possible 🙂 Next up will be choosing a venue and photographer!