I had a chance last night to ask my sister if she and her boyfriend had plans of getting hitched.
"Well, yes," she told me.
"Um, I don't know. Maybe this year?" I sense the uncertainty in her voice.
"Well, you have to start preparing now," I told her.
They're not the first couple I know to make rushed wedding preparations. But knowing my sister, who's very obsessive-compulsive about the nitty-gritty of details and stuff, she might encounter a lot of obstacles along the way, especially when they're working with a pretty tight deadline.
My hubby and I took one year and two months to prepare for everything. And we weren't that OC.
One thing I learned about wedding preparations is that the earlier, the better.
After he asked my parents for my hand in marriage, we began working on it on June 2007. By the end of the year, we already had a ceremony and reception venue, caterer and photographer. We were fortunate to have reserved these suppliers because, by the beginning of 2008, they increased their prices. Our price packages weren't affected, because they had a price-lock for clients who reserved the year before. That eliminated additional expenditure we had to incur (price-lock depends on the supplier; they may or may not give you a price-lock so better ask them about it prior to booking). Booking suppliers early also serves as an advantage, especially if you're eying those in-demand ones during peak wedding months. As the saying goes, the early bird catches the first (and often sought-after) worm.
It also gave us a chance to canvass more supplier options that we had enough time to choose which would meet our budget but offer the best value. We also had a chance to visit bridal fairs where potential suppliers could showcase their craft, giving us a sample of what they can do and helping us in decision-making.
Preparing early made it easier for us to iron out kinks. We had a very erratic entourage list with a bridesmaid getting pregnant (and getting married months before we did) and her replacement having to go out of the country on the month of our wedding. Guest list problems were also worked out during the whole time (but not without a fight).
This is not to say that short wedding preparations result in wedding disasters. That is not always the case. I've seen couples have amazing weddings which were prepared in such a short time. But there's always an advantage in starting early. So if you could begin your wedding preparations as soon as you can, do so.