rocky coastline elopement with groom in casual clothing
Photo: Elicia Bryan

While we recommend taking at least a few months to plan your wedding, pulling off a celebration with a tight turnaround definitely isn't impossible. In fact, we've seen some incredible events planned in a short timeframe. To make the process as seamless as possible (because trust us, it can get stressful), we've listed some of our top tips for putting together a ceremony and reception quickly. For ways to make up for the lost time, look no further than the advice below. 

HOW TO REGISTER IN A HURRY

Officiant

You're going to need someone to make this thing official. If you are religious, contact your church's leader and see who could be available to you on such short notice. Some religions don't permit weddings outside of the church or temple, so you should also look into a private officiant. If you want, you can also have a friend or family member licensed online within a day in most states.

Venue

Especially if you are trying to plan your elopement in the summer, most of the traditional wedding venues will be booked. Check into local parks, favorite restaurants, and even unconventional locations like a miniature golf course or carnival. A restaurant or cafe will probably be the simplest choice, so that you can do in-house catering (which will save you from having to search down another vendor).

Cake

There may not be time to order a traditional cake, but most bakeries will be able to accommodate layer cakes or other desserts for a quick wedding. While etiquette dictates that you should have refreshments on hand, they don't have to be classic or fancy (tea and pie will do!). So, don't stress yourselves out over large expenses for food and drink.

Florist

More than likely, you're going to have to DIY these to some extent. Talk to your florist about what they have the time and ability to accomplish. Fill in the rest with loose flowers on your own. Or, skip the flowers altogether in favor of the venue's everyday decor.

Invitations

You can order personalized invitations quickly, but that's still not going to get you the responses you need in time. Instead, opt to send an online invitation or link to a wedding website. If you want to send out something hard copy, wait to send wedding announcements when you return from your honeymoon. You can send these both to your guests and people that didn't get an invite.