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FACT: Wedding planning can take a lot of time. There’s a reason why the average engagement lasts 12–18 months. Besides the fact that you’ll likely want to book your venue, photographer and vendors well in advance, getting everything crossed off your wedding prep to-do list takes time.

If you’re working on a shorter timeline than average, or if you simply just don’t want to devote every free night and weekend between now and your wedding day to the process, the following tips should save you valuable time.

If you follow all of them, it’s possible to save more than 300 hours planning your wedding with these tips. But even using a handful of them will help you keep your sanity. 

1. Get and Stay Organized

Being organized can save a ton of time. Conservatively we’re estimating about 48–72 total hours!

Keep everything you need in one spot. Make it a Google file, Dropbox folder or an old fashioned 3-ring binder.

Label and place all your correspondences with vendors, meeting notes and inspiring photos and ideas into this collection.

Two more ways to stay organized are to set up a special email address dedicated to your wedding, and to store important vendor numbers in your phone.

Doing this digitally allows you to take advantage of search functions or to quickly click through to the right section.

The Time-Saving Math

Let’s estimate that being organized makes it so that it takes about two minutes to pull up exactly the right piece of information you need at any given time.

If you were not organized and had stuff just willy-nilly floating around in your inbox (or scattered about your office desk or on the counter in the kitchen or underneath last night’s pizza box on the coffee table) and you had to poke around for 10 minutes every time you needed access to something, then you could save 8 minutes per occurrence.

If you are accessing things even once a day then that would be 56 minutes a week for a year (or more).

Hours Saved: 48

2. Nail Down Your Guest Count ASAP

Knowing how many people you will be inviting, (with about 85–90% of them actually attending) can be a big time saver. 

In the worst case scenario, you and your partner could waste months finding a venue you both love only to not be able to actually use it because it can’t accommodate your large group, or it’s way too big for your small group.

Figure out the guest count, as best you can, super early on so that you know what size of venue to search for.

It does you no good to spend six or eight weeks looking for an outdoor veranda in the Caribbean  that can accommodate 25 people if you failed to count up your invitees first and later find that you’ll need a space for 75  people.

The Time-Saving Math

We’ll estimate that you spend three hours a night, four nights a week for six weeks looking for your venue.

Between internet searches, phone calls and emails back and forth with the venue operator and site visits, you might spend a total of 72 hours.

If you have to do all that twice, because you get all the way to the finish line once and then make your guest count, you’ll have wasted a lot of time.

Hours Saved: 72

3. Let One Thing Lead to Another

Relying on a trusted vendor to in turn give you recommendations for other vendors, can save a lot of time and effort.

For example, your wedding photographer can tell you which florist’s blooms really pop, and your reception manager should know which band consistently packs the dance floor.

Hunting down each vendor separately on your own can be time consuming. But, if you can trust the recommendations you get, then you’ll be ahead of the game.

As an added bonus, they probably work well with the people they recommend, which can reduce headaches and drama later on.

The Time-Saving Math

If every time you book one good vendor they turn you on to a second good vendor, you might be able to cut your vendor search time in half.

If you have 14 total vendors (which is about average) and it takes you 12 hours to find each one (likely spread out over several days), that would be 168 hours spent.

Cut that in half and save more than two weeks of your precious time!

Hours Saved: 84

4. Avoid the Post Office

Shopping online for postage stamps for your invitations can be a good time saver. 

Your local post office may not have the stamps you want in stock, so don’t waste time making a trip, and standing in line.

Instead, order them online through the USPS. They have a huge selection and will deliver them to — you guessed it — your mailbox.

You’ll also be able to save time when dropping your invites in your outgoing mailbox since you’ve already got the postage on hand.

The Time-Saving Math

Let’s say you drive 10 minutes to the post office, spend 3 minutes parking and walking in, have to wait in line for 10 minutes, spend 2 minutes talking to the postal worker, 3 minutes getting back to your car and maneuvering out of the parking lot and 10 minutes to get back home. That adds up to 38 minutes.

You may still need 10 or 15 minutes to decide which stamps you’d like to buy, but at least by doing it online you won’t have to spend time in the car, or in line behind other people. 

Hours Saved: .25

5. NOT Preparing Gift Bags for Your Guests

Our sister blog at Electric Sugar Elopements spotted this trendy time saving tip earlier this year, and we can’t get behind it enough.

Putting together a bag of incredibly meaningless junk isn’t worth a second of your time. Your guests don’t need a 100-calorie package of Pop Corners, a travel size stain remover stick and a packet of Advil. It’s all likely going to end up in the garbage, and none of it is a meaningful reflection of your relationship with the guest. 

Don’t think that home-baked cookies and a careful curation of locally sourced goodies are any different. You don’t need the stress and they don’t need the tote bag.

The Time-Saving Math

Assembly line-style builds on the kitchen counter at your mother’s house the night before your guests arrive might take an hour and a half. Shopping might take another hour. 

Hours Saved: 2.5

6. Get Your Helpers Helping

Set your generous friends and family up for success.

Once you share your happy engagement news with your friends and family, you will almost assuredly get a bunch of people saying, “Let me know what I can do to help.” 

Turn this thoughtful gesture into actual action by setting up a to-do list that you can share with the people who have offered assistance.

Put various tasks on there that wouldn’t be too much of a burden, and then politely circulate the list.

If they’ve been genuine with their offer, they’ll be eager to pitch in. When things get more tangible, they’re easier to get done.

The Time-Saving Math

Assume that half a dozen people get on board and each of them tackles two tasks at an hour per task.

Hours Saved: 12

7. Beautiful “As Is”

Décor not your thing? Find a beautiful venue that already has a look you love.

Couples can spend a huge amount of time planning and making decorations. Endless scrolling on Pinterest and Etsy, multiple weekend trips to craft stores.

It always looks easy, but arts and crafts can get complicated. 

Instead, why not just pick an amazing venue that doesn’t need any added decorations?

Hours after they are used, all those store-bought and handmade DIY pieces may ultimately end up as thrift shop donations. 

We recommend some really spectacular natural venues around Las Vegas, ones that need no added decorations.

From mountain meadows to desert canyons and calm oases, there’s a lot to choose from that can save you time by skipping the DIY.

The Time-Saving Math

Calculating time for creating decorations will vary widely depending on what a couple could decide to take on, but let’s go with 10 projects that take a combined 1 full (8 hour day) day each. 

Hours Saved: 80

8. Use Artificial Intelligence to Help Write Your Vows

Technology can be an incredible thing if you know how to put it to good use.

You don’t have to hole up in your writer’s hut for days like George Bernard Shaw. Let the machines help.

Speed things up and avoid time-sucking writer’s block by using new artificial intelligence tools that can help put together the words you want to share with your partner on your wedding day.

AI’s encyclopedic “knowledge” is capable of doing a half-way decent job for you to begin with, and then you can add your human touch and elements of you and your fiance(e)’s shared life experiences to the rough draft it provides.

The Time-Saving Math

If you want heart-fluttering vows, you’d traditionally have to put in the work to craft them yourself. Even if writing comes naturally to you, it still takes time.

Give this homework assignment an “A” if you spend less than 16 hours on it. But, by letting AI lighten the load, you could perhaps cut that time down to an hour or two tops. 

Hours Saved: 1.5

9. Get Gift Registration Advice

Get the low-down from trusted friends and family before you grab the scanning gun.

Some couples view registering for wedding gifts as fun and exciting, while others see it as endless hours wandering the aisles of homegoods stores and debating the merits of honey-colored or espresso-colored wooden spoons. If you’ve never done it before, then there’s certainly a learning curve.

Each store does it differently. Some make you sit down for a whole spiel and then take a guided tour.

Others sign you up for their mobile app and send you off into the wilderness to hunt down the goods yourself.

Ask someone you know who has registered before (preferably semi-recently), and see if they’re able to provide insight into what worked and what didn’t.

You’ll still have to get to know sections of the department store you’ve likely never been in before, but at least you’ll have a head start on what to expect.

The Time-Saving Math

You’ll likely register at about three stores. If each one takes an hour to figure out their process if you were to go in cold, but only 15 minutes if you were given the Cliffs Notes version ahead of time, you could save some serious time. 

Hours Saved: 2

It All Adds Up

Let’s see what our time-saving tips total up to. Here’s what we calculated:

Total Hours Saved: 302.25

Every little bit helps when the clock is ticking leading up to your special day. And we’re here to be of service to make your wedding day shine with less stress and less time spent.

Get in touch with us today — we’ll make your life easy and your micro wedding or elopement unforgettable.

McKenzi Taylor
McKenzi Taylor

McKenzi Taylor is America’s go-to elopement and micro wedding expert, often featured in small and major media outlets, such as the New York Times. With over 15 years of wedding photography experience, it was after planning her own Las Vegas elopement in 2016 that McKenzi felt her purpose shift into elopement coordination. She started Cactus Collective Weddings soon after in 2017. Since then, she’s become a WIPA board member, and has helped well over 1000 couples get hitched in style around Las Vegas, San Diego and Black Hills.