How long does it take to plan a wedding?

You can plan a wedding in as little time as two days or as much as two years. But, there is a sweet spot depending on what you’re planning. Here’s what our expert wedding planner has to say about the ideal wedding planning time frame.

“Most couples take about a year to plan their wedding,” says Darcy Allen, our expert wedding planner. “Twelve to Fourteen months is pretty typical, but some couples will take 18 months or as long as two years, while others just want to get it done as quickly as possible. If you’re the type of person who wants to be able to plan every last detail exactly as you want it, I’d probably recommend twelve to sixteen months.”

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What’s included in this article:

  1. How long does it take to plan a wedding?

  2. When should you book your key wedding suppliers?

  3. Can you plan a wedding in less than a year?

  4. Can you plan a wedding in six months?

  5. What’s the shortest amount of time you need to plan a wedding?

How long does it take to plan a wedding?

According to our annual survey of 4,000+ Australian couples, on average, most couples report a 21-month engagement. They might not start planning their weddings immediately, but we can assume that most couples spend more than a year planning.

“If you want to have the most options available and you’re stuck on a particular season or location for your wedding, eighteen months of planning is really the sweet spot,” says Darcy. “At that point, you’re likely to be able to book the exact venue you want and you’ll have less competition for your wedding suppliers. But, you can plan a wedding so much faster than that if you’re flexible and realistic in your approach — this is one of the reasons couples end up using our wedding packages.”

Most suppliers take bookings up to two years out, and of course, their availability lessens as dates draw nearer.

When should you book your key wedding suppliers?

You don’t want to book your suppliers so far in advance that you’re not ready to start planning your wedding, but you also don’t want to wait so long that their calendars are too full.

Generally speaking, we advise our couples to lock in their key vendors as soon as they’ve chosen a date and a venue, and mapped out a budget. Without that important information in place, it’ll be hard to lock in any suppliers.

Haven’t selected a venue or suppliers yet? Let’s talk about it first. This is a critical step in planning your wedding, and it’s the step we’re fully equipped to handle for you if you use our wedding packages.

Here are the time frames we recommend for booking your wedding team.

Can you plan a wedding in less than a year?

It’s absolutely possible to plan a wedding in less than a year. Keep in mind that most suppliers are at their busiest level of enquiries about 10-14 months prior to any given wedding season. So, if you’re hoping to plan a wedding in eight months’ time on a peak-season weekend, you may need to be more flexible with your venue and supplier selections or reconsider your date.

The best thing you can do to expedite the wedding planning process is to find ways to cut out some of the work on your end. For some couples, this might mean hiring a wedding planner who manages everything from start to finish. For others, there are shortcuts to take along the way like using a free venue finder service or bundling together all of your suppliers in a wedding package so you can really eliminate all the time you’d normally spend researching and negotiating.

“We’ve planned plenty of weddings in under a year,” says Darcy. One of the benefits of working with a wedding package through Easy Weddings is that we do all the grunt work of figuring out who’s available and what your best wedding dates are going to be in order to get that dream day you had in mind.

Because our wedding packages bring together the main suppliers you need for your wedding, they offer a quick and easy way to skip a few months’ worths of research and scouting so you can skip ahead to the more fun stuff like decorations and cake tastings.

Central Sydney wedding, Photo by The Evoke Company

Can you plan a wedding in six months?

Yes, it’s possible to plan a wedding in six months or less. In fact, this is a great option for couples who suffer from decision fatigue and options overload. The less time you have to plan, the more motivation you’ll have to breeze through decisions quickly and efficiently.

The downside of planning a wedding in a short time frame of fewer than six months is that you’ll likely run into limited availability of venues and suppliers, especially for weekend wedding dates. You’ll also likely run into rush fees and last-minute charges you mightn’t otherwise have incurred (especially for things like your wedding dress and bridesmaids’ attire).

“It’s funny — a lot of couples assume that planning a wedding in a short time frame means they’ll have to sacrifice quality,” says Darcy. “But that really isn’t the case. You can actually have a wedding that’s just as gorgeous and unforgettable even if we plan it in just two months’ time.”

The most efficient way to plan a wedding quickly is to work with someone who’s done it all before and can work within a short time frame. Our wedding experts know all the best suppliers across Australia and work closely with couples to not only select a venue but also book all the key suppliers together so it’s all smooth sailing and you can get right onto the fun bit — cocktail hour.

What’s the shortest amount of time you need to plan a wedding?

“In all honesty, you can plan a wedding with as little notice as you want,” says Darcy. “It really depends on the experience you’re trying to create.” If it’s just a spur-of-the-moment courthouse moment for the two of you, there’s no reason you can’t make that happen. Darcy says, “If you’re dead-set on a 2-month time frame, by all means, bring it on! Challenge accepted! We would LOVE to help!”

If you’re keen to include friends and family, and host your wedding at a venue with a professional photographer, celebrant, musician, and all the other key suppliers, a minimum of three months is probably a more reasonable time frame to keep it from being all too stressful. That should allow enough time to notify your guests and lock in a wedding package or the individual suppliers you need. You can also plan a gorgeous small wedding in that time frame.

The main thing to keep in mind when you’re planning a wedding in a short time frame is that being flexible is the name of the game. We saw many weddings adjusted and readjusted throughout the Covid pandemic, and we saw many suppliers who were able to scramble to make it all work even in the most last-minute circumstances.

As long as you know going into wedding planning that turning to the pros will speed up the processes, you’ll be in great shape to plan within whatever time frame works best for you.

To speed up the planning process, speak with our Wedding Supplier Concierge Team today about a Wedding Package.
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