In a hurry to get married? We approve! There are many reasons not to have a long engagement, and if you have one of those reasons, then we stand ready with top tips to help you create your dream wedding in six months or less. In fact, at The Gables at Chadds Ford, there’s a bonus for holding a wedding within two months. More on that later.
“When you plan a wedding quickly, you tend to go with your gut, and there’s no time for second-guessing,” said Banquet Manager Kelly Donahue. “You can’t hit Pinterest and go to a home goods store, and then rethink it 15 times. There’s no time for that, so find a venue with great event coordinators who can guide you.”
So how on earth do you pull a wedding together in such a short time frame? You find a venue with an attentive, knowledgeable, caring and fun events team to do the work. These tips are relevant no matter where you have your wedding, but we sure hope you give us a look.
1. Look for a “One-Stop Shopping” Venue so Planning’s a Cinch
You have enough to do with confirming your wedding party, choosing a date, whipping up a guest list … need we go on? Your venue should do the rest, from start (a complimentary tour) to finish (cleaning up). Your event coordinator must be willing to work with you to stay within budget while delighting you; offer special touches such as terrace space and a wedding suite for getting ready while not nickel-and-diming you on the necessities; assist with decorations, including on-site rental options and recommend trusted vendors for services they don’t offer, such as photography, limo rentals, flowers or cakes.
At The Gables, we have a secret weapon: our “girl Friday,” Carol Lowe. She makes sure everything runs smoothly as the “on-site person during events to support the banquet captain, and to take care of the little things that are a big deal to our couples.”
2. Host the Ceremony and Reception in One Place
Talk about saving money and time! Having the ceremony and reception at the same venue eliminates travel, potential delays (traffic!) and, if parking is free, another expense for you and your guests.
“At The Gables, we provide everything except the music, photography and cake — we can even rent you decorations to save you that hassle,” Kelly explained. “Then, we can point you toward seasoned professionals for the rest. Another bonus: Ample free parking.”
3. Get Your Save the Dates out ASAP
This one’s simple, and it doesn’t matter if you’re using an online service such as The Knot, a Facebook group, Evite or the good old U.S. Postal Service: You want to get your wedding date into the hands of your nearest and dearest as soon as you book the venue.
“The easiest way to pull the trigger on a quick save the date is to make your guest list while you’re shopping venues,” Kelly recommended. “Know who has to approve the list in addition to you and your partner. Perhaps a parent is paying or contributing and you want them to have a say. Do that while you’re looking for the perfect spot so you’re ready to roll.”
4. Focus on Vendors Once the Venue is Booked
Once you have the wedding spot of your dreams, then it’s time to make sure you have your preferred music and photographer, too. Those two should be next on your list.
“Another thing to do while you’re looking at venues is to decide whether you’re going to have a band or a DJ,” Kelly added. “You and your partner probably have a preference, but space may dictate depending on the size of the wedding and the venue. Great photographers often book up to a year in advance, so check our vendor list, talk to friends and family, and contact photographers as soon as possible. You’ll want to meet with them to make sure the vibe works for you both.”
5. Don’t Be Afraid to Ask For Help
Your friends and family are great resources, and they usually want to help. You can ask your maid of honor to handle the save the dates, invite the bridal party for a girls’ night and address invitation envelopes over a few glasses of wine and assign your best man to research DJs or bands — the possibilities are endless.
“We offer our couples a Wedding Detail Package to help you organize your thoughts and let you know the type of information we’ll need,” Kelly said. “The event coordinator can help you pinpoint tasks that you can divvy up among those who want to help.”
Remember that bonus we mentioned earlier? When your wedding is held at The Gables within two months of the date you talk to our event planners, you may choose one of the following:
25 percent off an 8’ x 8’ Nicol Floral Designs silk flower wall, or
75 percent off one passed or stationed hors d’oeuvre, or
A complimentary champagne toast.
Now that’s a reason to rush!
The Gables at Chadds Ford is nestled in the heart of the historic Brandywine Valley. Our combination of fresh seasonal cuisine, rustic yet elegant charm and enchanting outdoor dining will keep you coming back time and time again. The Gables is also the perfect venue to host your next special event, whether you are planning a wedding, rehearsal dinner, baby shower or corporate event.
Featured photo: The Gables of Chadds Ford; all other photos, top to bottom: First Impression Photography (next two photos); Pexels; Memory Keeper Photography