Get me to the Church on time!

12:32 PM

Sometimes you can't wait to get to the alter and say "I do." More and more couples are opting for a quicker engagement and planning their wedding in as little as 3 months away. Not only can it be done, but there are benefits to tying the knot lickity split. Here are some tips to getting your dream wedding in record time!

1. Venue

Believe it or not, planning your wedding in less than a year is actually a plus when picking a venue. Catering halls are usually booked a year in advance so dates a few months out that are open could be considered a loss for them. Meaning you have the power to negotiate for a better rate. Be flexible with the exact date and ask to get the best price they can offer. Also get a few other quotes that include the same choices and upgrades so you can compare apples to apples.

2. Entertainment

Again, time or lack there of is on your side in this case. DJ's and bands also consider upcoming dates a wash or the winter season is typically slow for them meaning they are willing to offer their services for a discounted price. Don't forget to ask the DJ company if he will add in extras as a gift to you (like lighting or cocktail hour music). If the band you have been dying to get is booked ask them if they recommend another group. Many bands work together and cover each other if double booked.

3. Flowers

Here is where you may run up the tab. If you are looking for a specific flower that is not in season the florist will have a hard time finding them and as a result pay top dollar. If they pay more YOU pay more. To avoid this, pick flowers that are always available like roses, carnations, or even baby's breath (you may flinch at the thought but done right each of these flowers can look hip, modern and lush). Or, show your florist a look and tell her the individual flowers are not important as long as the overall feel is the same. That gives her the leverage to use what is in season and in stock.

4. Dresses
Waiting 8 weeks for a bridesmaid dress is SO 2005! In today's bridal fashion world there is a ton of options from popular stores like Jcrew, Ann Taylor and even Bluefly that offer great bride AND bridesmaids dresses that can be delivered in 1 week or less. Better yet, give your bridesmaids a swatch and tell them to get any dress as close as they can to that color. Your wedding party will look cool, fresh and confident wearing a dress that suits their body and taste. If you want that high-end dress that makes you feel like the princess bride you dreamed to be try trunk shows or sample sales at elite bridal places like Kleinfelds or Mark Ingram, just be prepared to pay for quick alterations.

5. Invites
Don't shun the idea of an evite to serve as a Save the Date (with as much information on it as possible). Guests will appreciate the heads up via e-mail rather than snub at the unconventional method. Follow up with a formal invitation that can be ordered online. One great site is who now carry Preston Bailey invites.

6. Hire a Professional
Insert plug here____. OK, I may be biased but I know that hiring a professional planner or one stop shop is the best ways to get it done right and fast! A planner knows many great DJ's or bands and will make the calls to find out who's available. She can streamline the process tremendously and make you feel a little less stressed and a little more excited! Best of all, using one person/vendor/planner as the guardian of your budget you will save money for that first class upgrade on the honeymoon.