Dan proposed on Christmas Eve, and we're getting married on February 16th. And no, it's not a 'shotgun wedding'. While some people think we're crazy, we've had a lot of confirmation from friends saying that a short engagement is definitely the way to go (although all the bridal magazines are telling me I need at MINIMUM a year to plan!) So, recently a friend asked what my tips would be for getting married quickly.
Here they are, for what they're worth:
1. Work on your guest list now, and compile all their addresses into a spreadsheet so that it's really easy to make them into address labels or print them on your invitation labels. This saved us tons of time, since I had them already in a spreadsheet for my Christmas card list!
2. If you find a dress you like now, buy it! I'm wearing bridal separates that I love, and i'm happy because I didn't care about having a big frou-frou princess wedding dress since we're having a small ceremony, larger reception.
3. Get married where you live, and not necessarily where your family lives. They'll travel if they want to be there, and you can handle the details a LOT easier. If i'd gotten married in Nanaimo it would have been a lot more stressful.
4. When you register, don't be picky. You can always exchange / return things. Find things you like, but don't agonize over them being perfect. They'll probably be just fine. Of course, all the magazines and websites, etc. tell you that this is your dream list and it has to be perfect, but see how everything looks when you get it and if it doesn't work, then exchange it!
5. Let your friends help you. They are going to be part of your marriage - not just your wedding. This is a big one! I've been absolutely AMAZED at how people are helping and supporting me, knowing that I have a short time frame, my mom and family aren't here, etc. They've been incredible. I'm totally blessed. My matron of honor did a lot of calling around and checking out halls for us - and we found one we LOVE - St. George Hall. I've been given the wedding cake by my friend Michelle and her pastry chef sister, the wedding decorations by various people, an amazing price on my flowers (Rebecca is a talented florist), a sister-in-law to take engagement photos, a sister to host the rehearsal dinner and people are popping out all over the place to offer things. It's amazing what happens when you don't hold your own wedding plans so tightly. And you know what, it's so incredible that it's become not just my event, or Dan and mine, but it's become a community event.
6. Set yourself aside and see what God will do. The best thing about a short engagement has been that we don't have the luxury of arguing over things. It's been more like "this is a great hall - do you like it?", "yup","okay - done". We have to be partners and work as a team. Also, it allows us to let God in on the details. We need him to intervene! I'm pretty organized, which helps, but I can only do so much. God has provided so much for us - from great deals on the things we need for the wedding, to people to purchase things we need to get rid of in the combining of two households. And yes - this was all basically organized within 3 1/2 weeks. Not 12 months.
So there you go. I don't have time to go all bridezilla! I don't want to be bridezilla, because frankly Dan doesn't like me so much when i'm stressed, and I don't like myself so much when i'm stressed!