How to Plan a Wedding in 6 Months and Stay Sane

Jun 23, 2023 | Elopements, Wedding Advice

6 Month Wedding Checklist: Plan A Wedding In 6 Months Or Less

You Can Absolutely Plan a Wedding In This Short Timeframe!

Did you just call your Mom frantically, sobbing, because you don’t know how to plan a wedding in 6 months? Keep reading because I’m going to show you how to plan a wedding in 6 months!

I’ve been a wedding photographer for well over a decade, so I’ve seen how planning a wedding can be stressful in the best of times. But if you’re in a time crunch and don’t have over a year to plan a wedding, then I’ve created a checklist just for you!

Planning a wedding can be an overwhelming process, especially if you only have six months to do it. But fear not! It is entirely possible to plan the perfect last-minute wedding in just six months, and here’s how:

Plan A Wedding In 6 Months Or Less With This 6 Month Wedding Checklist

First off, take a deep breath. Wedding planning isn’t for the weak, but I know you’ve got this! Let’s jump right into the timeline and checklist!

6 Months Before Your Wedding

Consider Hiring A Wedding Planner

If planning isn’t your thing, then consider saving yourself some stress by hiring a wedding planner! There are upsides to hiring a planner:

  • They know the best wedding vendors and can often help negotiate pricing
  • They’ll take care of the wedding day timeline
  • Planners know all the details you might forget or miss

Super cute engagement session on South Congress, Austin

Pick A Wedding Date

Naturally, picking a wedding date is the most important aspect of planning a wedding. Now, since you’re planning a wedding in 6 months, you will need to do this ASAP.

I’m about to discuss the budget, but if you’re looking to possibly save money, consider a wedding date during the week.

Decide on the type of wedding you want to have

There are a few options for the type of wedding people can have. You could have a huge wedding of 200+ guests or a micro-wedding of thirty. Hell, you can even elope with just you and your partner!

There’s no right or wrong way to plan a wedding, so don’t fret!

Set your budget

One of the most vital parts of the planning process is to set up a budget.

Setting a strict budget from the outset is essential when planning a last-minute wedding. After all, what good is having a beautiful wedding if it costs you your future?

Consider what’s most important to you and allocate your budget accordingly.

It’s Time To Pick A Venue

When figuring out how to plan a wedding in 6 months, your first stop is finding a wedding venue. Choosing the right venue is key when planning a last-minute wedding.

You need to find something that not only fits with your vision but can accommodate the guest list in such a short timeframe.

On the same note, you’ll want to decide if your reception venue will be the same one as the ceremony venue. Not every wedding venue offers the amenities you might be looking for.

For example, if you’re planning an outdoor wedding, make sure to factor in additional costs for things like tents or portable toilets.

Start Searching For Wedding Vendors

Okay, now the real journey begins!

It can be tricky with a short timeframe to plan a wedding and as a result, you may not be able to get your top-choice venue and caterer when planning a last-minute wedding.

But that doesn’t mean you have to compromise on quality!

Take the time to research your options and find vendors who will help make your special day perfect.

The wedding industry, as a whole, is ready and willing to accommodate planning a wedding in almost any timeframe, so take a breath and start sending emails.

Some tips to planning a last-minute wedding

5 Months Before Your Wedding

Alright, so far you’ve set up the wedding date, picked a wedding venue, and set the budget. Now it’s time to start focusing on the details.

Make A Guest List

It’s time to make a guest list!

Making your guest list when planning a last-minute wedding on such a short timeline can be tricky. After all, some people’s lives need a good amount of time to plan things in the future. Be ready to possibly be told no.

To make sure your list is manageable, plan to invite only people who will genuinely enjoy attending the event.

Also, ensure they aren’t going to cause drama! People enjoy taking weddings personally, and you want to protect your peace, trust me.

Invite Your Wedding Party Members

No planning process is complete without having a wedding party (if you want one, that is). For some, a bridal party doesn’t feel necessary and that’s valid.

But if you’ve dreamed of having a wedding party, then now is the time to ask them! Wedding party members can help plan a bridal shower, bachelorette party, bachelor party, and even the engagement party!

Basically, they help you party!

We love this wedding photo on south congress in Austin


4 Months Before Your Wedding

Plan An Engagement Shoot

Of course, I’m going to recommend you plan an engagement shoot! It’s not only necessary getting to know your photographer, but it’s also great to use them for your save the dates and wedding website!

Order Invitations Or Set Up Your Wedding Website

Give yourself enough time to get all the wedding invitations sent out by sending a simple save-the-date card. This will give people plenty of time to plan for the event, and it’s a nice way to let them know you’re getting married soon.

However, if you want to help save trees, then you can invest in a wedding website. You can find wedding website options on Zola and The Knot!

The benefits of a wedding website are:

  • Allowing RSVPs to be logged easily. No need to pay for wedding invitations and stamps!
  • You can offer the starting time of the wedding ceremony and reception
  • Give any required details of the wedding day, including the dress code
  • If this is a destination wedding, then you can help people find a place to stay or activities to enjoy around the area

Get your wedding rings

Because sizing jewelry can take time, I recommend making sure your wedding rings are ready to go around Month Four. Especially the engagement ring—some jewelers need weeks to resize, so give yourself plenty of time.

Sometimes, people forget to work this into the wedding budget, so don’t forget to do this!

Choose Your Wedding Attire

You not only need to figure out what you’re going to wear, you need to pick out bridesmaid dresses and/or suits for the groomsmen.

If you plan on wearing a wedding dress, please know that less than six months before your wedding will most likely not enable you to have customizations from tailors. It really depends, but be prepared to purchase your dress off the rack.

3 Months Before Your Wedding

Okay, you’re halfway there! It might feel like the timeline is closing in too fast, but here’s how you’re going to stay chill and focused:

Plan your Honeymoon

Alright, after researching the perfect wedding vendors and figuring out who to invite, you can focus on something fun with your partner: the honeymoon!

Even if you don’t immediately leave after the wedding weekend, it’s good to have something to look forward to after the possible post-wedding blues.

Do a Hair and Makeup Trial

If you’re hiring a hair and makeup artist, you’ll definitely want to invest in a makeup trial. This is a great time to spend time getting to know them and give feedback to perfect your wedding day look!

Create A Wedding Registry

This may or may not be your cup of tea, but if you find yourself looking for some things to spruce up your everyday life, then you might want to start a wedding registry!

Since everyone does them digitally now, you can offer the option to give wedding gifts to your guests via your wedding website. Some may want to purchase gifts, while others may just want to donate money. I recommend offering the option for both.

2 Months Before The Wedding

Oh man, it’s almost here! It’s starting to reach the point of nailing down the final details!

Create Your Wedding Day Timeline

Either your wedding photographer or wedding planner can help with this, but if you prefer to do all of the wedding planning details yourself, then it’s time to create the wedding day timeline!

Start with the time of the wedding ceremony and build the activities around that.

Confirm Vendors

Since you hired your vendors a few months back, now is the time to confirm with the wedding vendors to make sure you’re on the same page. The wedding day will only go smoothly if the vendors know about the Who, Where, and When.

Make sure to do a tasting with your caterers to finalize the wedding reception menu, as well. You won’t need to give a final headcount until a couple of weeks before, though.

Book Hotel Room Blocks For Your Wedding Guests

If you have a good amount of out-of-town wedding guests, then reserving a room block at a nearby hotel (or close to your reception venue) will help keep things easier for everyone!


1 Month Before The Wedding

Alright, we’re finally at the real time crunch. Whether or not you’ve reached the full wedding day vision you wanted, the big day is on the way. So what to do next…

Send a Wedding and Rehearsal Timeline

After confirming with vendors, it’s time to send them the timeline. Make sure to contact the wedding venue to see if they have load-in and load-out times. Most venues won’t let anyone stay past an hour of the reception end time.

If you’re planning on one, this is also the time to finalize the rehearsal and rehearsal dinner for your immediate family and wedding party (or anyone you want to invite).

Finalize The Guest List And Any Other Last-Minute Details

All of the RSVPs should have come in by now—and if they haven’t, oh well. But for those that decide to come, make sure you reconfirm the wedding location with them, and make sure everyone is on the same page for any unique facets to the day.

Buy Gifts for Your Wedding Party

This isn’t required, but it’s a common practice to buy the wedding party gifts.

Plan The Bachelor And/Or Bachelorette Party

If you’re looking for one last blowout, then bachelorette parties and bachelor parties are where it’s at! However, I don’t recommend doing this the night before—hangovers and exhaustion make the wedding day significantly harder!

Two Weeks Before The Wedding

Send Final Headcount to the Caterer and Venue

Alright, it’s time to send those head counts on over! This is also a great time to work on the seating chart, since you know who’s coming!

Order Your Marriage License

Arguably the most, most, MOST important aspect to the wedding day, you need to make sure you procure a marriage license! In Texas, you can actually do this thirty days in advance. There’s just a three-day waiting period, so don’t do this last minute.

Pick Up The Wedding Dress

If you haven’t already done so, you need to make sure your wedding dress is ready to go and hanging in your closet!

Delegate Tasks To Family and Friends

If you’ve only got six months to plan your wedding, you don’t have time to get bogged down in the details. Take the time to think about what kind of favors or decorations you might want and then delegate those tasks to family and friends.


Week of the Wedding

Yay! It’s here! So close you can almost taste the wedding cake. You’re almost at the end of this wedding checklist. Now for the final details to make sure all your ducks are in a row!

The Groom Picks Up The Suit/Tux

Try to do this at least seven days prior, and CHECK EVERYTHING. Don’t find out on the day that the shirt is too small or buttons are missing! You’d be surprised how many suit-wearers find out their wedding attire doesn’t fit mere hours before the ceremony.

Sit Back And Take A Breath

You made it! Time to revel in all of the hard work the wedding planning process took.

Write Your Own Vows

While this isn’t for everyone, if you are planning to say your own vows, then write them. And then transfer them to actual paper! It looks a bit tacky for people to hold up their phones during the wedding ceremony.

Wrapping Up

Planning a last-minute wedding can be stressful, but it’s absolutely possible! With six months of planning ahead of you, the key is to stay organized and efficient so you can bring your vision to life without breaking the bank or letting anything slip through the cracks.

Focus on what matters most – celebrating your love with your nearest and dearest – and you’ll be sure to have a magical day!

Now that you know how to plan a last-minute wedding with just six months of preparation, take some time for yourself to enjoy the process.

Find creative ways to make special memories before the big day arrives, like having an intimate engagement photo session or arranging a fun engagement party for your closest family and friends.

This is the time to enjoy yourself! So don’t get wrapped up in the drama!

No matter how much time you have to plan, a wedding is always an incredible event that shouldn’t be procrastinated.

With the right planning tools and proper mindset, you can create memories of a lifetime that will last forever. So go forth and plan your dream wedding in six months or less! Good luck!


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