Wedding To-Do List For A Short Engagement | Planning Update

September 21, 2022

As I’ve recently gotten engaged, I’ve been exposed to all the to-do’s of wedding planning firsthand. So here are some things I still need to plan before the big day. 

I recently got engaged, and while I’m thrilled to be marrying the love of my life very soon, it is also sort of a stressful experience, especially when you are planning a wedding in five weeks! 

Whether you’re balling on a budget or throwing the most extravagant celebration ever, wedding planning is an endless checklist of to-do’s. There are so many different factors to think about, from venues to caterers, even down to small details like wedding favors and all things in between that require time and thought. This is why my fiance and I decided to stick to just family and a short engagement, we wanted to take the pressure off of having what seems like unlimited time in lengthy engagements to avoid overcomplicating ourselves with various options for venues, caterers, and DJs. The less time, the less options we would have, which can lead to more fulfilling choices and happier outcomes! 

So for those of you who have decided on a shorter engagement and for those of you who have no idea where to start on the planning process, I provided a list and checklist to hopefully help guide some of y’all along. But first, here were the first few things that I did RIGHT away to help me get where I am at today, two weeks out from the wedding and little left to worry about!  


Pick A Date: 

The date can either be what determines your venue options and caterer or vice-versa. Personally, since it was a backyard wedding venue, we went with coordinating the caterer with a date that worked for our closest loved ones to be at. With such short notice, we knew one thing, it had to be a date that everyone close to us could make within a short amount of time. We stuck to just immediate family members’ schedules to come up with a Fall weekend that worked for us: October 1st!  


Guest List

Before we could really do anything, we had to get a rough estimate of the guests that we wanted to invite and the people that we knew that no matter the size we would extend an invitation. Since this was a last minute wedding (aka five weeks away), we knew we wanted it to be intimate – just family. But being that my family is MASSIVE, that still puts us well over our original idea of having a 60-person wedding. 

We made the list by going through family members first and then began to include plus ones for those that are engaged and our closest of friends. You need to have an idea (guestimation) of the total before you can really plan anything because a caterer will need to know ahead before agreeing and your venue will obviously need to be big enough. 



Something else that can add a lot of pressure to newly engaged couples is that nowadays, you have to book your wedding venue and all of your vendors a year or more in advance to ensure you get what you want!

In the past few years, many people have had intimate weddings for family and friends due to COVID and have shown how personal, yet special they can still be. With less than a month to plan my wedding, I realized that throwing it in my family’s backyard, where I grew up, is not only time-effective but exactly how I always pictured my special day.


Make a Checklist

Things can get even more complicated if you choose not to hire a wedding planner. However, wedding planners can be extremely expensive and not a practical option for many people, so the choice is yours. The most helpful thing that I did was sit down with my sister (MOH) and Mom to write a list of to-do’s on an Excel sheet that covered all the basics from flowers, dress shopping sites, catering, photographer and DJ. The order of importance was to first secure the caterer, then a photographer and then a DJ.