NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Wedding couples sometimes love a challenge, hate logistics or hear the shotgun cocking in the distance, but short-timers with a month to prepare can still have a great wedding
Couples with three months or less until their ceremony spend little more than 11 hours a week planning the event, according to TheKnot.com (KNOT) and WeddingChannel.com's Real Weddings survey. But they'll have to do much more if they're hoping to squeeze all that planning into a month or less. Also, while retailers including Bed, Bath & Beyond (BBBY - Get Report), Macy's (M - Get Report) and Williams-Sonoma (WSM) make a month seem like a lifetime by letting couples register online and tinker with their wish lists 24/7, elements such as venues, dresses, flowers and photographers aren't nearly as flexible.
That doesn't mean it's impossible, just tricky.
"I have a cousin who's doing her whole wedding in San Diego in a month," says Donne Kerestic, chief executive of 1-800Registry. "We were able to get half of her vendors done in a week."It also takes a bit of luck. Sharon Naylor, author of 35 wedding advice books including Your Wedding, Your Way, says other couples' cancellations can help late-game wedding planners get not only their venue, but possibly a discount as well. A wedding planner, meanwhile, may cost couples upward of $1,600, according to the Real Weddings survey, but Naylor notes that they can turn events around in as little as two weeks and can break down a couple's to-do list "like a human spreadsheet." "It can be done if you immediately adopt the attitude of 'We're going to see what comes to us,'" Naylor says. "'We're not going to jam our expectations into reality and expect it to work.'" While wedding experts advise against planning a wedding in a month unless absolutely necessary, they acknowledge that there are shortcuts that can not only help a couple pull it off, but do it more frugally and with less stress than their more well prepared counterparts. Here are five suggestions that will go a long way toward making a wedding happen on a short timetable: