HOW TO PLAN A WEDDING IN 4 WEEKS

Hey everyone! Our wonderful Marta is on her way to Timor Leste at the moment but this week we decided to have a small wedding series about Marta’s wedding. Below is a post written by Marta about planning her awesome wedding. Check back on Thursday for a post about her wedding makeup which will be written by me (Sophie). Hope you enjoy! -Sophie

I got engaged back in May to my wonderful significant other, Shaun. Yay!!! Since then, the summer has been a whirlwind of prepping for the Peace Corps, working whatever hours we could, and finishing up school for me. When we got engaged, I was in shock and it took me a while to process it! Originally, we were going to wait until after our Peace Corps service to tie the knot, but being with me means being a little crazy… So four weeks ago, I proposed back to Shaun with the idea that we should get married literally days before our date of departure. We would be stuck together for almost three years anyway, right? Being as crazy as me, he said yes 😀

Planning a wedding is as simple or as complicated as you wish it to be. I’m going to break down this post into how Shaun and myself approached planning this wedding, and sprinkled throughout will be photos from the wedding. Let’s get rolling!

wedding picture 1

Week 1: Fight, compromise, decide.

There was a solid week of arguments and tears and frustration following our decision to get married in four weeks. Like, a lot of it. It felt uncomfortable and gross, but we crammed what most couples talk about over the span of a few months into just a few days. There will be lots of compromise and arguing when trying to figure out what it is you and your partner want for your wedding day. Just barrel through it, and you come out of it stronger as a couple and get to know both yourself and your partner better by the end of it.

When I proposed getting married in four weeks, I had outlined an elopement. We would go to where we first got to know each other and bond (camping in Vermont), and all we would need were our parents and a marriage license. However, our wedding ended up taking place near my home and with over 40 guests. This was a product of my desire to keep the wedding small, simple, and intimate, and Shaun’s desire to have more than just his parents present, as well as making the wedding a little bit of a big deal (‘cause marriage). While we had many fights for the first week, by the end we had a game plan we both loved and were happy with.

Week 2: Call venues, send e-vites, pick deadlines.

wedding wire

When you are planning a wedding in a very short span of time, you have the pleasure of getting out of paying for postage and saving some trees. Shaun and I sent out a Save the Date via Facebook, just to announce and let our guests know that they should mark their calendars. It was a very quick way to get the word out, and also kept the news within a smaller group of people, as we did not want to announce it to the whole world quite yet.

While Facebook helped us out with a Save the Date and updating our guests on details for the ceremony and reception, we wanted something a bit more ‘official’ for conducting RSVPs. After some research, I found Wedding Wire, which is a pretty cool wedding planning tool. While it has tons of tools for planning a much larger wedding, it works just fine for two people pulling together something small. I was in charge of this (P.S. delegate who is doing what early on and be okay with that person speaking on your path…. COMMUNICATION IS EVERYTHING!). I created a guest list for the ceremony and reception, as well as a wedding website. This website held all the information regarding the wedding, and we only shared it with our guests once the venues were decided upon.

Week 3: Delegate tasks to family + friends, find a dress, and dress the groom.

wedding picture 2

Week 3 is for wrapping up the loose ends! Think details like confirming your headcount for the reception and finalizing that with the restaurant, getting the marriage license, getting an officiant (we had my father get ordained through AMM. The ceremony came out beautifully perfect ❤ ), and delegating tasks. Shaun and I decided against having a wedding party, only because we thought that it was far too much to organize in a short time and we wanted to have a simple wedding without a bunch of bells and whistles. There was no colors or theme and we asked our guests to dress nice but be comfortable. In addition, this week is a good time to dress yourself and the groom up! I was able to find an amazing dress for $15 at a thrift store in New York City. Less waste and super inexpensive. It was a near perfect fit and did not even require tailoring.

We also wanted to make the reception just a little bit our own by incorporating centerpieces, which were made by Shaun’s mother and came out amazingly. To incorporate my side of the family we decided to have our reception at a local Spanish restaurant. To save money and due to our short time constraint we also had the reception from 3-5pm when no one is out to eat. Our goal was to make both of our parents feel integrated and involved in the wedding, especially because the two of us were leaving home for over two years. It also brought in the intimate factor Shaun and I found to be very important in planning the wedding. People also really want to help you, so let them! Your friends and family will want to help make your wedding day special in any way they can.

Week 4: Try really hard not to eat your feelings and workout instead.

3-days-until-k2hfd4

I ate WAY too much junk food in the week leading up to the wedding, and I am still feeling the repurcussions now. #NoRegrets? Of course, for us, this wedding was also a send-off for our going into the Peace Corps. We had to prepare ourselves to say goodbye to many of the people present the day of the wedding. While we are beyond happy to have gotten married the way we did, it was certainly much more stressful than the average small wedding. We used that energy to write each of our guests personal thank you and farewell notes (our version of a wedding favor) just to end things here on a bittersweet note.

During this week, spend a lot of time with friends or with yourself and doing things that feel good for your mind and body. This means spending some extra time at the gym, doing what brings your inner peace and quiet, and really enjoying the calm before the storm. For the most part, all of your ducks are in a row, and it is just a waiting game for the big day. Also, don’t take things too seriously, and enjoy the ride 🙂

-Marta

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