There are a myriad of reasons why, when a couple decides to marry, they could, perhaps, find that instead of having nine months to a year during which to plan and execute a wedding, they are time-limited to a window of two or three months for the process. From possible work-related relocation needs involving either the bride or groom, to military deployment of one or the other …and even including the accommodation of various family situations such as those medical or logistical, a couple might need to create a shorter or compressed time frame from the point of their engagement to their actually tying the knot. Sometimes the cause could lie in financial constraints, while there might be some couples who might actually choose, out of preference, to opt for a smaller and even more intimate affair, arranged in a reduced amount of time in order to begin their life journey together sooner—wanting to get on with their lives. Regardless of the circumstances, some important things must be carefully negotiated in the process.
The bride and groom should decide early on what they want to hold on to from their notions of a dream wedding and what elements to let go of in terms of accoutrements such as venue, floral decor, food, photography, music, and wedding apparel. In their navigation of the choices they will need to make, they must be tightly organized and make every minute of the planning process count. A wedding consultant can help with this as a professional who can alleviate some of the pressure on the couple. But with or without outside help, the bride and groom, in order to ensure their success, should decide at the outset what aspects of the occasion they deem the most crucial in expressing themselves, as well as how to pull off’ those things in a memorable way. In this regard, they should look to portraying what they want in a setting or venue, what style they want to convey, and finally, what overarching ambience will serve to characterize them best. And these broad areas of ceremony and reception, if done right, should leave them with a most sublime set of memories that time can never erode.
SETTING OR VENUE
The size of their guest list is a prime factor in determining the size of the setting for a wedding and its reception. Another element has to do with the time of year when the nuptials are occurring. The holidays as well as the traditional wedding months of summer, of course, present a big problem since there is immense competition for space at that time. With a small, intimate, and exclusive list of invitees, a couple might look to a room at a restaurant or, perhaps, even an area in an art institute, museum, or other cultural venue. The type of food served—and even the time of the event—can be contingent upon the size and kind of setting and the number of guests to attend. An outdoor affair can bring further leeway to the settling of the food question, as well while also allowing for an expanded number of guests, if that’s a desire for the couple. Whatever the environment, this is the thing for the pair to establish first and foremost.
The look of things is the primary way to a couple—but most especially a bride—to put a unique mark upon the occasion of a wedding. It involves choices such as the apparel of the entire wedding party, the groom, and the bride who is the star of the show. How these principals are dressed signals how formal and elegant or how simple, refined, or even casual a celebration might be. It could prove difficult to order a bridal gown in such a short period of time, so that element might require a point of compromise, with a bride either buying a dress off the rack in a bridal shop or wearing an outfit appropriate to the occasion…but not strictly nuptial in nature. Further, the venue, food, manner of serving, and character of the wedding participants all signal style, while the floral accompaniment can serve to underscore what a couple is trying to convey to represent them. And style usually dictates how guests dress themselves and how they celebrate as well. So if a bride and her groom want to keep it simple, they can do so, thereby cutting down on how complicated and time-consuming these accoutrements are to their plan. If, on the other hand, the couple have a yen for the posh, select, or highly tasteful, the small size of the entire party can serve them well in their truncated time frame.
And just as style can serve as the signature of the couple racing against time limitations, ambience, that oh-so-crucial sense of atmosphere that can make for a great party, can determine the success of a wedding, whether planned in a year’s time or in the span of a couple of months. If the couple, in the wisdom of their choices, can manage to create a soirée that reflects their own special “feel,” the celebration of their union will be a success. This sense of the couple and who they are, from the wedding to the reception afterward, can benefit from their choosing a clear theme which they think characterizes them. The motif can derive from anything — like colors mirroring or representative of the season during which the wedding is held echoed in floral arrangements, to that which manifests a particular interest the bride and groom share, such as sailing (the sea and sun re-created in food and color), traveling (international cuisine, perhaps) or skiing with attention to mountain colors and foliage. The couple might even use how or where they met to create a sense of their significant relationship, expressing themselves by re-creating some lasting effect of that. It is this thematic approach that will set in motion a trajectory of good will and good times to be had by all in attendance. And, of course, music is a powerful way to not only get a party going but to keep it on track…especially as it can play into the senses in a powerful way, establishing lasting memories of successful occasion.
In order to ensure that a couple achieves maximum success in this regard, all it takes for them to do in their planning in the face of their time constraints is to retain what really matters to them about their celebration of marriage, while not worrying about the elements they have to jettison. In fact, it is essential that they strive to “do up big” those things worth remembering later on, and to do them to the best of their ability. So much depends, anyway, on the creativity of the bride and groom, working together, that it usually is their love, shining through, that makes everything that comes to pass in their unique wedding such a remarkable event.