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How to Plan a Wedding in 6 Months in the Twin Cities

February 11, 2024

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So you’re engaged to your person (HELL YESSSSS) and you are just not interested in a super long engagement leading up to your wedding. After all, you may be buying a house together, working hard on your career goals, or any number of things. 

But you still want to have a meaningful celebration that represents you and has everyone you want to celebrate with.

Let me help you plan your wedding in less than 6 months! We don’t have a lot of time though, so let’s freaking go! 

Oh, and just a small disclaimer: these tips will assume that you’re planning a traditional American wedding with a healthy 80+ guest list. However, you can take these tips and modify them for smaller weddings, or just reach out and we can start planning together!

Get in the Right Mindset

Like with any wedding, I recommend starting with the basics. No, no, not colors and guest list and that…I’m talking about you and your partner setting an intention for your wedding day and deciding what type of celebration will fit your goals. Wondering what the heck I mean? Start here!

I fully believe that everyone should have a fulfilling, joyful and meaningful wedding celebration. That being said, when you’re planning on short notice, it’s important to remain flexible so that you get all the pieces you need for that meaningful celebration without inviting tons of stress and disappointment.

how to plan a wedding in 6 months checklist

Flexibility may mean that you need to adjust your date, reach out to more vendors than normal to find someone who is available, or move your budget around. This is a good time to decide on 3-4 pieces of your wedding that are most important to you (i.e. location, décor, photography, entertainment, food, etc.).

Get Organized

One of my favorite tips to give to couples is to create a combined email address that you can also use after your wedding, where you can keep all of your wedding-related correspondence. Pro-tip: if you create a Gmail together, you can organize with Google Sheets and Google Docs as well!

It may also help to start a wedding website on Zola or The Knot. These are great places for your guests to RSVP easily and for you to share important information with them. 

Pro tip: vendors can update their availability on Zola, but not on The Knot. So you are more likely to be able to narrow your search by date using Zola!

The First Decisions You Should Make

Forgive me for using a cliché :), but we want to avoid putting the cart before the horse. For example, we need to know where and when you’re getting married before we can tell the DJ where and when to show up. You need to have an officiant, or you can’t get legally married at all. It might sound basic, but I’m hoping putting these decisions in order can help planning a short engagement feel much more manageable. You got this!

As mentioned above, for the purposes of this post, I am assuming that we are talking about your traditional American wedding.

Then your must-haves to get married and host your guests are the following:

1. A venue or space to hold your wedding

If your date is flexible, reach out to at least 10 venues that sound interesting to you and ask them what dates they have available for the season or month you’re looking at. At this point, you can inquire about price, rental time, amenities, and other important items before you sign on to a tour. For those you decide to tour, get the full lowdown by asking these questions.

Don’t forget to check with city- and county- managed parks! They tend to be very beautiful, require less decoration, and can be less expensive.

2. Officiant to perform your wedding ceremony and legal paperwork to make it official

Similarly to finding a venue, reach out to a few wedding officiants that match your goals, whether that be a secular officiant, religious officiant, multi cultural officiant, or friend. If you do ask a friend to officiate, they will have to become certified and register with a county in the state before your wedding. 

Looking for an officiant or help writing a ceremony? Start here or check out these resources:

Liz Rae & Co.

Perfect Day Ceremonies & Affordable I Do’s

American Marriage Ministries

3. Food for your guests

In the event that your venue doesn’t have in-house catering or a required catering list, here are a few places to start! Keep in mind that there is a wide range of prices for catering service depending on the services provided. So if you’re looking to limit the number of things on your checklist, look for a caterer that provides their own dishes, flatware, napkins, and glasses. This way, you do not have to find a rental or another company and all of the cleanup is taken care of. 

Some caterers or venues provide table linens as well — this can also be a great option if you do not have a planner, coordinator, or wedding day management. 

how to plan wedding in less than 6 months food and catering

Wondering where to start when looking for the right catering company for you? These are all very experienced service providers in the Twin Cities and provide a wide range of food choices:

Chef Jeff

Chowgirls Catering

Crave Catering

D’Amico Catering

Deco Catering


Root to Rise Kitchen

4. Something to wear

Naturally! Most bridal shops will have gowns ready to take home, but remember to tell the attendant at your appointment that you need to take one home that day. You don’t want to fall in love with a dress you simply can’t get in time! Many wedding gowns require 8-12 months of planning in advance if you go the bespoke route.

If you’re looking for a wide selection of dresses ready to take home (without that long waiting period!), start with

Bridal Aisle Boutique in Maple Grove

Vow’d in Minneapolis’ North Loop

Beyond formal bridal shops, you can also check out Facebook Marketplace (you may be shocked at what is available) and bridal consignment shops. 

For alterations, check out Custom Sewing by Heather, Amazing Alterations, Marsha’s Stitches, or Beauty By Design

Looking for a suit? Luckily, lead times for suits tend to be less than those for wedding gowns. Check out this more detailed post on finding the best suit!

Bringing Your Wedding from Functional to Freakin’ Awesome

Now that you have a date and location, and are sure you won’t be naked on your wedding day (ayyyyy), it’s time to book the rest of the vendors you need to make your day a resounding success.

For the vendors below, I’ll again recommend popping on Zola with your wedding date. Not everyone keeps it super up-to-date, but you have a better chance of reaching out to someone who is available rather than getting a bunch of rejections. 

Another pro tip regarding Zola and other wedding websites: reaching out on their website contact form will always give the vendor the information they will need to tell you if they’re available for your day and start the process as soon as possible. I’ll always recommend that over in-app messaging!

Ok, here we go!

5. Book your photographer.

This person will be with you all day on your wedding day. You of course want to love their portfolio and style, but you also will want to love their personality, management style, and values. Talk with at least three before making your final decision. 

I’ll also plug this: since the photos are the memories of your wedding day, try to be flexible with your budget if you find someone you really connect with. It will pay off!

6. Find your entertainment and Emcee.

In the same way that your photographer will manage your day and mood, your DJ, Emcee, or entertainment will affect the party! 

Find someone with great reviews who can work with the style you love. If you are super into alt-rock and they like playing pop music, find another. This is the one area where going with a larger studio that can match you with the right DJ, like Instant Request, can be best. 

More into a live band? Check out the Bluewater Kings Band or Shirts and Skins!

7. Take care of your décor and flowers.

My personal recommendation here is to check out décor rentals so that you can have great-quality items with little to no hassle. Buying everything new and then dealing with packaging and who will set out your décor is a lot more work than you think!

twin cities florist for wedding

Some florists and coordinators have rental items, so check with them first. If they don’t have their own rentals, they should be able to recommend someone to you. Start with:

Keyed Up Events

Revel and Flourish

Ergo Floral

Green Goddess Floral

Linen Effects

Petite Fete

Silk Stem Collective

8. Schedule your hair and makeup artists. 

Now that you know what your venue timing and amenities are, you’ll have some good information for your hair and makeup artists!

Whether you choose to get ready at a salon, pre-wedding location like a hotel or Airbnb, or at your venue, make sure to get trials for both your hair and makeup. This may seem like an extra step with a short engagement, but it will save you stress, time, and potential heartache on your wedding day. 

Here are some great on-site places to start inquiring with in the Twin Cities:

139 Hair by Heidi

Ascendance Productions

Spa Beauty Agency

WarPaint International 

9. Decide if you need a coordinator or planner.  

If all this seems like a lot, and you are in need of some additional guidance and help either throughout your engagement or on the day of your wedding, hiring a planner, partial planner, or wedding day management (often called a day-of coordinator) can lift a lot of anxiety. 

Ask for services and how these awesome people can help you out!

Ascendance Productions

Events with Maggs

Honeyhill Weddings

Keyed Up Events

Realm Planning

Wrapping up

how to plan a wedding in 6 months minneapolis

This was not, of course, a full list of things that need to be done before your wedding, but hopefully it is a good start for the major items! 

For a full list of things to do, there are some great online resources, again on websites like The Knot and Zola. 

The main things in a short engagement are to remember why you have chosen this and what is most important to you. You’re most certainly not doing it this way to have more stress! 

Lastly, I’ll just throw out a reminder that it is even easier to generate a ton of waste when one is on a deadline. Even if you only have six months to plan your wedding, please try to be conscious of where you can limit waste associated with your wedding, whether that is by using rentals, hiring an efficient professional, or by omitting certain items altogether, like Save the Dates or wedding favors. I’d love to brainstorm sustainable ideas with you!

Rest assured, you can do this! If you feel stuck, send me an email and I will do what I can to point you in the right direction!

Now get to it! 😀

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It's Jess!

Passionate about celebrating relationships between partners and between us and our home, Earth.

Life is so much better when we are all together, amiright? :D


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