Make Your Wedding Regal in No Time Flat

By Meredith Jenkins

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On December 18, 2017, Prince Harry announced that he will marry Meghan Markle on May 19, 2018. Without question, their wedding will be truly spectacular—I mean, what royal wedding isn’t? Somehow, the pair will pull it all off in just five months, which seems pretty rushed. Unlike many American engagements, most royal engagements are relatively short. Prince William and Kate Middleton were only engaged for five and a half months. Prince Charles and Princess Dianna were engaged for just six months, yet their wedding is considered by many to have been the wedding of the century.

This begs the question: How on earth do the royals pull off such majestic weddings with such a short engagement period? According to Megan Velez of Destination Weddings Travel Group, “Efficiency is key when planning a short-term wedding. Focus on the big things like the venue, photography, attire and food. There may not be enough time to plan and work out some of the smaller details, so make a list of the most important things to you and your partner and tackle those first.” So, get out your checklist—yes, you will definitely need a checklist—and let’s get started!

1.     Find a seasoned planner.

Do NOT rely on help from your friends (despite their good intentions). Professional planners already have the relationships, so you won’t have to rush to call and negotiate with vendors, do research and order floral arrangements.

2.     Embrace technology.

Using technology is a great way to maximize efficiency. Instead of traditional save-the-dates and initiations that you mail, create beautiful e-versions where guests can receive and RSVP immediately. Make sure you have a final guest count early on, so you can lock down your venue. Also, a short engagement means your guests will have to plan any necessary travel pretty quickly, too. Help them out by creating a wedding website and let everyone know that it’s available. Be sure to include room block information, travel tips and the key dates and times so they can plan accordingly. While you’re at it, download a few wedding planning apps to help you stay organized.

3.     Choose your date wisely.

When trying to choose a date, consider something unconventional, like a Sunday brunch or a weekday. That will open up a lot more options in terms of vendor availability and you may even find they are willing to give you and discount for scheduling on an off day. Securing your dream venue will also be a lot easier if your reception is not on a Saturday.

4.     Capture the moment with care.

For most couples, a photographer and a videographer are the most important components of their wedding. Every property has their own rules and regulations, so be sure to book one who’s worked at your venue before. Since you may not have time for an engagement shoot prior to the wedding, talk to the photographer about doing an anniversary shoot instead.

5.     Catering… keep it simple.

Stick to seasonal and local options for food and beverages. Don’t try to reinvent what the caterer does, either. Let them help guide you through their menus. Don’t offer more than one entrée that requires guests to RSVP for menu selection. Make it simple by selecting one entrée plus a vegetarian option or, if needed, a buffet. Consider a duet plate—a dinner plate that pairs proteins, such as beef and fish.

6.     Avoid wedding cake confusion.

Although a wedding cake is an essential part of any wedding, since they’re usually made a few days before the reception, don’t stress about it. Just make sure you know exactly what you want when you finally talk to your baker.

7.     Opt for seasonal flowers.

Seasonal flowers are less expensive and will take a lot less time to put together into bouquets and centerpieces.

8.     Have linens help set the mood.

Linens are the simplest way to change the look and feel of an event. Do you want something rich, regal and elegant? Go for something velvet. Prefer something more breezy and airy? Drape runners in a light fabric down your table. Since linens are pretty universal in sizing, you can order them fairly quickly. But don’t put off your linen decision because they can change the entire color scheme of your venue.

9.     Avoid Pinterest—seriously.

Pinterest is full of beautiful photos that can inspire your wedding, right? Wrong. The abundance of choice on this popular social media platform will lead to confusion and indecision. Go with what you like and listen to the advice of your professional vendors.

That’s it! By staying on task and working efficiently, you can have a regal wedding in no time flat!