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How to Plan a Wedding 12 Months (or Less!)

Planning a wedding in under a year?

Yes, you can!

Planning a wedding in less than a year isn’t only possible; it’s a great idea! Think about it: while your friends and family have to wait two years for their wedding day, yours is right around the corner. And so is your honeymoon!

I booked my own wedding venue in May and was married the following September. Yup. Just four short months later. So when I tell you it can be done, I’m speaking from my experience as a bride and a wedding venue owner and manager. Read on for tips and tricks on how to plan a wedding in less than 12 months.


How Long Does It Take To Plan a Wedding?

Ultimately, planning your wedding will take as long as you allow yourself. If your ideal venue’s first open date isn’t for 18 months, your wedding planning will take 18 months. Having a longer engagement might mean less stress over making choices, but it can also mean you go back and forth on your choices too much if you’re not careful.

Most wedding planning checklists allow roughly 12 months until the big day, so planning a wedding in less than a year is totally doable and usually the norm. You just have to get started a little sooner and be flexible with your choices.

While there are some engagements that last years before the big day, most couples walk down the aisle anywhere from 12-18 months after popping the question. No two weddings (or couples) are alike, so there really is no “perfect” amount of time.

Some couples might want to speed things up because they just can’t wait to be husband and wife. Others may need to work around military deployments, school, or other scheduling issues. A tight deadline is daunting, but it can also be just the thing you need to move your wedding planning along.

Whatever your reasons, trust me when I say that you can plan a gorgeous wedding in just a few months. You just need to know a few tricks of the trade.


groom in military uniform with bride on wraparound porch at Kendall Point

How To Plan a Wedding In 6 Months

Yikes! Do people really do that?

Yes, all the time! What’s more, they plan beautiful weddings in less than six months that their guests talk about for years to come.

The first thing to remember is that you don’t have all the time in the world. So you need to act fast. Get as much done as early as possible so you have some wiggle room if you need it.

If you only have six months before the big day, go into it knowing that some of your vendors might already be booked. Don’t spend too much time lamenting and move on. There are lots of professional wedding vendors around who will help bring your vision to life. 

When planning a wedding in under six months, get advice from your wedding venue on what vendors to use. Many have a preferred vendor list full of vetted, experienced companies that they’ve worked with many times before and who they trust. 

The shorter your engagement, the more imperative it is that you stick to a planning checklist. Book your most important vendors—wedding planner, caterer, florist, entertainment, photographer—as soon as you can. 

A wedding planner is crucial for a short engagement because they’re the most experienced when it comes to working on a deadline.

Planning a wedding in under six months might also mean you forgo a few items. For example, go with digital save the date cards or even digital invitations. 

Finally, keep “forever” in mind. It’s so easy to get bogged down with the details that you forget to keep your wedding in perspective.

Remember, this isn’t just a party; you’re marrying the love of your life! How awesome is that? Whatever happens, as long as the two of you are together, that’s all that matters. 


Tips For Planning a Wedding…Quickly!

Whether you’re planning a wedding in 12 months or six (or even two!), you’ll want to maximize the time you have. Following these tips (and booking vendors in the right order) will help you get more done in less time.

1. Book Your Venue First

Booking your wedding venue isn’t just about having an address to put on your invitations. This simple step creates a domino effect that makes a lot of wedding planning decisions easy.

Schedule venue tours to make sure you find the right one (venues that offer a virtual tour are a plus!), and once you have a venue, you now have a wedding date (something your other vendors will ask for), a list of preferred vendors, a dress code, and more.

Another reason to get this done first thing? Wedding venues book up fast! In fact, you might be able to narrow down your venue options right off the bat based on your preferred wedding date alone.

Plus, your venue will have a big say in your décor needs. Maybe the venue you choose has such stunning natural scenery that you can save money on flowers.

bride and groom on outdoor swing at Kendall Point

2. Be Flexible

As we always say here at Kendall Point, “Don’t fall in love with the date, fall in love with the venue.”

By this, we mean, “Don’t be afraid to get married on a Friday or Sunday!”

Saturdays are always the first to book up. It’s not uncommon for couples to have to wait upwards of a year to get a Saturday wedding at their chosen venue. If you’re open to an alternate day, you can get in much quicker and save some money while you’re at it.

Because of this, Friday weddings are growing in popularity and we are HERE for it! Not only will your guests be able to get an extra day off work, but they have the entire weekend to party with you.

But it doesn’t stop there. If you’re having a smaller wedding, think about getting married on a Monday or Tuesday even. Prices will be even lower and venues and vendors have more availability. 

3. Hire a Wedding Planner

Trust us. A professional who plans weddings for a living is worth their weight in gold.

While a day-of coordinator can help you stick to the timeline, they won’t be able to streamline the wedding planning process. A wedding planner’s help is invaluable when you’re planning a wedding in 12 months, and they only become more useful the less time you have.

Ask your venue which wedding planners they’ve worked with in the past and use that to start your search, and be sure to ask if a venue coordinator is included in your package as well. Someone who’s familiar with the venue’s rules, layout, and contracts will be able to hit the ground running!

4. Book Vendors Fast

The less time you have until the big day, the less availability there will be for other wedding vendors (i.e. florist, photographer, DJs, etc.). Fortunately, your wedding venue can help here, too!

Ask for a list of preferred vendors that you can use to jumpstart your search. The vendors list can include everything from caterers to wedding dresses, so you can get a lot done in one fell swoop.

We suggest booking wedding vendors in the following order:

  • Venue
  • Planner
  • Photographer
  • DJ/Band
  • Videographer
  • Hair and Makeup Artist
  • Catering & Bar Service
  • Florist
  • Cake
  • Everything else!

wedding gown and neutral bridesmaids dresses hanging on wall hooks

5. Simplify

With unlimited time—and inexhaustible budget—anyone could plan the wedding of their dreams. But if you’re planning a wedding in a short amount of time, take a deep breath and make sure your head isn’t in the clouds.

Start off by identifying what’s the most important to you. Perhaps it’s the photos you’ll spend the rest of your lives looking at. Maybe it’s the hair and makeup. Perhaps you’ve got your heart set on having a beer burro. The choice is yours!

Now, identify those things that are nice to have but not exactly a priority. That’s your “don’t sweat it” list!

Focus on what’s important to you and simplify everything else to fit your budget.



Planning a wedding in 12 months or less doesn’t have to be a mad dash to the finish line.

Kendall Point has helped hundreds of couples have their best day ever, even with just a few months of prep work. When you choose our San Antonio wedding venue for your big day, you’re not just benefitting from our amazing scenery and gorgeous ballroom. You have access to our full network of wedding professionals throughout the area.

Ready to book your tour? There’s no time like the present!


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