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Now that the big question has been popped, the engagement has been 'grammed, and you’ve given reality some time (so much time) to sink in, by now your loved ones are probably wondering if the Big Day is even happening. If you’ve yet to lift your engaged finger on that whole wedding planning sitch, we feel you — organizing one of the most important eight hours of your life is pretty daunting.
Since not all brides can — or want to — be a Type A Pinterest pro, this guide is for all of the
lazy Ms. Procrastinators who are finally ready to get wed. Assuming that you’ve named your budget (this is real world, so we’re guessing you’ve got one) and assembled your guest list (right?), we’ve put together a helpful guide to planning a wedding at the last minute.
Now roll up your sleeves, take a deep breathe, and let’s get 'er done, yeah?
Think Outside of the Bridal Box
Already scheduled the big day, only to realize that you’ve got negative three months to get that gown altered? Bridal boutiques will tell you that tailoring takes time, and sometimes so does finding The One (dress, we mean) too. Non-wedding retailers have plenty of bridal options, like LA-based label Flynn Skye, which is known for its effortless maxi dresses. On top of stocking under-$200 options for brides, the brand’s dreamy Venice boutique offers a range of silhouettes — like frilly off-the-shoulder dresses and figure-flattering wraps — in hues for your bridesmaids, too.
Book a Venue with Built-In Decor
There’s no better way to cut down on the florals in twine-wrapped mason jars than by booking a venue that’s done all the work for you. We’ve rounded up LA’s most stunning wedding-ready spots — whether money is no object or you’re on a shoestring budget — that have built-in decor, whether it be breathtaking architecture or out-of-this-world greenery.
Looking for something cheaper or free, even? Santa Monica requires zero permits (that means $0) for weddings of under 150 participants; there are definitely rules, which you can find more about here. For more al fresco options, California’s Parks and Recs website has a pretty hefty list here.
Get Glammed On the Go
From on-demand beauty apps to LA’s many quickie beauty bars, it’s never been easier to be a procrastinating bride-to-be. Consider one-stop pampering shops for your pre-wedding skincare and beauty needs, especially because many offer crowd-pleasing menus that don’t require cumbersome hair and makeup trials.
These days you can schedule everything from pre-wedding laser and light facials at Skin Laundry (which offers the first sesh free), Dr. Lancer-approved treatments at Facehaus, on-the-go beautification at Blushington, and blowouts at Drybar the week of your nuptials, and in some instances the very same day. (You rebel, you!)
Round Up Your Girl (or Guy) Gang
You know your girl who's a Spotify DJ superstar? That graphic design genius pal? Recruit them in your wedding planning girl (or guy) gang — it's an easy way to include more friends in the festivities without obligating them to take part in the whole bridal party shebang. You can also show your appreciation by toasting them in the wedding program and treating them to a fancy dinner (who doesn't love a gratis meal and BFF face time?)
Give Good Gifts
Everyone loves a booze-fueled celebration — but useless party favors, not so much. Same goes for your nuptials: your wedding will give them memories years to come, so they'll appreciate practical (or even edible) parting gifts that won't collect dust in the back of a random tchotchkes drawer. Brentwood-based Compartes, for instance, can customize its adorable chocolates with your own design, monograms, or wedding colors (two-piece boxes start at $6.95); we suggest something clever, like your event's hashtag. Sweet, right?