While most weddings are planned one to two years in advance or more, not everyone has that luxury. Military deployments, job relocations, elderly relatives, and a host of other reasons can lead to a last-minute wedding – including people who just don’t want to wait to be married.
While traditional wedding venues can book anywhere from one to as much as four years in advance, Skyline Cruises is the ideal solution for those booking a wedding on short notice. We can create memorable wedding on a much shorter time frame and, if you have a small guest list, you can even arrange a full deck rental on one of our brunch, lunch, or dinner cruises for even more date flexibility.
Last Minute Wedding Basics
- Choose Your Time Frame
- Set Your Budget
- Make Your Guest List
- Location, Location, Location
- Wedding Officiants
First figure out exactly how much time you have. A wedding planned in three months is easier than one planned in two weeks. If possible, have a selection of dates and times ready to ensure flexibility.
Set your priorities. A last-minute wedding can’t have all the elaborate bells and whistles of a large wedding that has been planned out over two years. Decide what’s most important to you – Venue? Food? Attire? – and prioritize that while compromising as needed for the lower priority items.
Regardless of size, a wedding costs money. Know how much you have to spend. If possible, add 10 percent for flexibility. If your budget is tight, you have to be very firm about your decisions.
A last-minute wedding requires a smaller guest list than a wedding planned two years in advance, if only because it’s harder to gather people on short notice. On the plus side, the smaller group means your budget will go farther, and you can focus on having an intimate get-together where you can actually spend quality time with your guests.
A last-minute wedding also usually means a smaller wedding party, to make the logistics easier. One or two attendants on each side is much more manageable on than six.
Last-minute weddings mean traditional wedding reception venues are out, but the smaller guest list works in your favor. The Skyline Princess offers a gorgeous opportunity for stunning wedding photos with iconic New York landmarks in the background. Restaurants are another option for last-minute wedding receptions.
Your favorite member of clergy might not be free on the date you want. If not, consider a civil ceremony. It’s usually easier to arrange a civil ceremony on short notice. Interfaith clergy have more flexible schedules. Both civil officiants and interfaith clergy are more flexible about having a ceremony outside of a church, synagogue, mosque, etc. On the Skyline Princess, Captain Arnold can officiate weddings.
Last Minute Wedding Details
Now that you have the essentials of when, where, who, and how much to spend handled, you can focus on other details.
- Wedding Attire
- A Piece of Cake
- Photos and Video
- Fun with Flowers
For grooms, a last-minute wedding is much easier because they’re probably going to rent a tux or just wear a suit anyway. If you’re inclined to a more casual wedding or certain types of specialty weddings (a kilt for a Scottish wedding, etc.), it’s even easier. If the bride or groom are active military members they can get married in uniform, too.
For brides, it can be trickier. A traditional bridal salon will take too long, but there are shops that sell off-the-rack wedding dresses, plus consignment and vintage shops might have something to your taste in your size. Again, a more casual approach can help. If you’re not hung up on the traditional white dress, a formal dress shop might have a lovely option you can buy immediately. That same type of shop or the formal section of a department store might also have good options for the bride’s attendants.
The shorter the time frame, the harder it is to arrange a traditional, tiered wedding cake – but it’s not impossible. Sometimes the baker agrees to a date more easily if the word “wedding” isn’t mentioned when ordering. If bakeries are balking at your time frame, consider a white sheet cake or simple two-tiered cake. A cake topper or live flowers will add the bridal touch. If you use fresh flowers to decorate the cake, make sure to select edible flowers, like roses, lavender and violets, or make sure the stems are wrapped in plastic or foil.
With a short time frame, formal, engraved wedding invitations might be impossible. Fortunately, technology makes that easier, especially with a smaller wedding group. You can print invitations yourself or even use e-vites.
Depending upon your date, a last-minute photographer or videographer might be difficult. Fortunately, cameras in today’s smart phones can be very forgiving for informal photography and can produce surprisingly good formal portraits. Or you can have a formal sitting with a photographer after the wedding if desired.
If a florist isn’t available, go to a wholesale flower vendor and create a shabby-chic bouquet yourself. For table flowers get small vases at a dollar store or used mismatched vases and glassware for flowers bought at the wholesaler.
Talk to the Wedding Experts at Skyline Cruises
If you’re planning a last-minute wedding, the event planner experts at Skyline Cruises can guide you through the process. Call at (718) 446-1100 or fill out the form on our contact us page.