The Internet has completely changed the way brides shop and plan. So has the economic recession. In the past, brides typically booked their weddings well in advance, but now, thanks to the Internet, research takes less time and thanks to the current economic climate, couples don’t always have the luxury of planning ahead.  As a result, last-minute weddings have become more common.  Below, some sage advice for couples planning in a hurry:

1. Make a plan. Start with your guest list. Check with family and close friends about any upcoming commitments to avoid scheduling conflicts. Be willing to compromise. Flexibility is key. Rather than having just one date in mind, you might choose a time of year. Weekday weddings are great for bargain hunters and last-minute planning.

2. Make decisions and move on. The biggest mistake couples make is to meet with too many vendors in each category. Once you meet a vendor you like who is available on your date, sign the contract, check it off your list and don’t look back.

3. Avoid the rabbit hole. The Internet is a blessing and a curse. It’s very easy to be distracted by the overabundance of information available on-line, and that’s even more true than when it comes to weddings. The more you see, the harder it becomes to stay focused. Stay true to your vision.

4. You don’t know what you don’t know. Ask for help, whether it’s from friends, family or a professional. Planning a wedding is stressful, and planning in a hurry can lead to costly mistakes. Ask vendors who they like to work with. A team that plays well and often together will make your planning process and your day smoother.

5. Don’t sweat the small stuff. There’s a lot of little details that go into planning a wedding. Don’t complicate the process by thinking there’s a right way and a wrong way to do everything. It’s about style and preference, compromise and communication.  Your wedding will not be ruined if your bridal party doesn’t match.  In fact, mismatching is very much in style, so relax and roll with it.

6. Some things are actually beyond control.  Don’t let the weather dictate how much you enjoy your wedding.  We can’t control the wind, but we can always adjust the sails.  Just remember to have great plan B and a sense of humor.

7. A little insurance can’t hurt.  Clients often ask me about wedding insurance.  My answer is always “it can’t hurt.”  Try Travelers.  but remember that “cold feet” are not covered.  So if you change your mind or change the date, you’re out of luck and out-of-pocket.

Good luck and happy planning!

Celebrating Sooner; tips for the last minute bride (and groom)