While the average bride-to-be takes months on end to plan the perfect wedding and agonize over the tiniest of details, some will face circumstances that only afford them the luxury of a few weeks to get the job done. Luckily, with a little creativity and an open mind (think: e-vites instead of invites, sparklers instead of flowers), you can still have the kind of wedding you have always dreamt of – or secretly put together on your Pinterest account.
If you happen to find yourself in a similar situation and tackling all the anxiety that comes with it, Savoir Flair is here to help. Ahead of The Wedding Fair taking place this weekend at Burj Park, we turned to Emma Pope, Director of Lifestyle Events at Emaar Hospitality Group, for her tips and tricks on planning a rush wedding – all of which you’ll find further below. Plenty more help awaits at the fair, which will feature four zones showcasing Arabian, South Asian, African, and Western wedding concepts and inspiration. Also on the agenda? A showcase of over 30 venues, both indoor and outdoor, alongside 50 vendors specializing in wedding stationery, cakes, décor, entertainment, and more.
Accessories can make even the most uninspiring venue very appealing.
Begin the planning process by drawing up a guest list and sending out invites. This will give your guests as much time as possible to make arrangements, especially if they will be traveling from abroad.
Cake is not what they came for, so consider a playful alternative that’s easier to arrange. Cake pops, a cupcake or donut tower, or even a self-serve sundae bar will prove to be a big hit with your guests, regardless of their age.
Choosing and having your dress made can be a very long process. If you really don’t have time, there are beautiful dresses that can be bought off the rack.
Entertainment arrangements can be tricky, so keep in mind that a DJ may be more flexible and affordable than a band. In fact, a really intimate wedding may not even require loud music.
Flexibility is key. You may not be able to source the venue/florist/band you wanted on short notice, so think outside the box and you may just be pleasantly surprised by the alternatives out there.
Green is in and grass is green! Consider outdoor venues for a unique and dreamy wedding ceremony, especially during Dubai’s beautiful winter.
Help is always at hand. Just remember to ask for it from those you are paying to help you and those you aren’t.
Ideas aplenty are available on your phone, so look for inspiration on the go. Turn to apps like Pinterest and Instagram to browse the thousands of bridal accounts on them.
Jewelry can be borrowed or rented and does not need to be bought.
Keepsakes are a beautiful way to allow guests to bring home a small part of your wedding, but they often take a long time to source and personalize. If you’re short on time, rely on local craftsmen to deliver faster and avoid the stress of having to rely on international shipping. Local markets are a wonderful source of inspiration and guests from abroad will appreciate a souvenir with a slightly exotic feel.
A limo is more suited to a traditional wedding that has been planned months in advance. Do away with the hurdle of not being able to source one in a short period of time by renting your groom’s favorite car as a surprise. Win-win.
Mothers and mothers-in-law have dreamt of planning a wedding for more than 20 years. Try to involve them wherever and whenever you can.
Handwritten notes are a faster (and more affordable) alternative to wedding stationery if you’re having a small wedding and make for a great personalized element – provided patience and access to good penmanship!
Organizers for your big day are known as wedding planners, and the right ones are worth every penny.
Photographers usually book up well in advance, so consider asking a friend who is great at photography or ask around about those just starting out in the wedding industry.
Quick is the name of the game. If you know that you tend to procrastinate making decisions, make sure you set specific timelines and deadlines for each task.
Researching everything online saves you a lot of time in the long run, but it cannot replace the physical world. See it as a way of reducing your choices, but make the time to get out there.
The size of your wedding is key. Keep your guest list small and just about all the other arrangements will be easier and faster to execute.
Table decorations don’t need to be elaborate to make a statement. Opt for a beautiful arrangement made using a single type of flower for an elegant yet powerful effect.
Understated luxury is key when you’re planning a rushed wedding – the less elaborate your wedding elements, the easier and faster your decision-making process will be.
Vary what you focus on each day so that every element gets the right amount of attention. Don’t wait to finish one thing before you start the next.
Wake up early, and you will notice it adds considerable planning time to your day.
Excel will be your best friend during this period. Be sure to keep detailed sheets of your guests’ attendance, addresses, and dietary requirements, as well as your expenses.
Do-It-Yourself projects will allow you to save time and money as you’ll eliminate the need to liaise with a wedding vendor. Websites like Etsy are filled with downloadable templates that you can use to create your stationery, table numbers, menus, and more.
Zen is your best friend at this frantic time. Sign up for a yoga class or add meditation sessions to your weekly schedule.