How “Last Minute” can a wedding in England get? Are we allowed to do a “Vegas” impromptu “I Do?”

In our years in the industry we have noticed that brides usually fall into two very distinct categories –  the super advanced planners, and the last minute “lets just get married!” As soon as any bride contacts us to book in for a try on appointment we ask when the wedding is as it varies so much! Our record for the most “last minute” was a bride who phoned us about 10.30 on a Monday morning, she had been let down by someone who was making her dress and her wedding was……..wait for it……that Wednesday!! We are pleased to say this record has not yet been beaten and hopefully no one will ever get close, I don’t think our nerves will take it to be honest!!!

The important Legal stuff:
So if you are getting married in England what are the legal timescales that will prevent you from doing an equivalent of an Elvis Las Vegas Wedding! If you are getting married in a church, the traditional “Reading of the Banns” is required approximately 4 months before the wedding. We would recommend contacting the church you are intending on saying your “I Do’s” in to check their individual procedure as it can vary, even within the same diocese.  If you are planning a civil ceremony, either at a Register Office or venue you have to give notice of your intention to marry at your local Register Office with a full 28 days notice.  If you would like a little bit more information regarding the official procedure – here is a fab link:

Why is the timescale so important?
So how is being “Last minute” bride different to those with years of planning time? The main difference is that the timescale means you can’t ummm and ahhhh about decisions as you simply haven’t the time! Other than that, it is exactly the same as it is still a super exciting time planning your special day and you are still a Bride to Be!!!! So make the most of it!!!! “Last minute” in the bridal shop world, is any time scale that means the usual delivery time for wedding dresses from the designers of 12-16 weeks simply isn’t an option! So what are the options if you still want the dress of your dreams but the time just isn’t there?IMG_5690

Both myself and my mum Jenny would have fallen under the “Last Minute” category as I got engaged on Christmas Day and married the following April (4 months) and mom organised her entire wedding in 6 weeks!!! So when we first opened our Bridal Store we felt we really must ensure that we had a huge choice of “off the peg” wedding dresses for brides just like us! The aptly named “Gowns to Go” collection was born and we are proud to say we have helped hundreds and hundreds of brides find their dream dress over the years! We have been known to start the first fitting of the dress as soon as the bride has said “Yes to the Dress” before now as time is so tight! We are very lucky that we have control over all aspects of your dress’s journey, as all of the fittings and alterations are done on site by us, so we can accommodate a new bridal alteration with a short timescale without much fuss. If you would like to know more about what happens on your first visit to us have a read: Your first visit to The Wedding Rooms as a bride to be!

Our Top 5 Tips:
You are quite simply a “Woman on a Mission” and here are a few tips we have picked up from our brides over the years:

  1. Lists are your best friend (oooooh I love a list!) and are the most important tool to help you focus on what needs to be done, by when and by whom! Have an actual list, not one on your computer or phone as you need to be able to cross completed tasks off –  it does wonders for your sense of achievement!
  2. Delegate!!! This is what many brides struggle with as they just want to make sure everything is exactly how they want it, but the bride with a tight timescale simply cannot do everything that needs to be done! Try to think of any task or job you can give to someone else,  never has the old saying  “many hands make light work” been more apt!
  3. Be Decisive! You have a list of decisions to make so make them as soon as you can, as once an aspect of the wedding planning has been decided, you can move onto the next. Organising a wedding is a bit like Domino Rally (stick with me on this one) as once the first domino is pushed/decided the others will naturally follow!
  4. Don’t put off jobs: Procrastination is the brides nemesis!! Being a “Last Minute” bride means you really haven’t got the time to think “nah I will do that next week!” Certain jobs have to be done to a specific time table, like the notice or reading of the Banns so putting something off can cause a headache later on!
  5. ENJOY IT! Although organising it all so quickly can seem a bit like a massive mountain to climb it is still your time to celebrate being a bride to be! It is fun organising such a brilliant celebration, and you must make sure you enjoy every moment!

2 thoughts on “How “Last Minute” can a wedding in England get? Are we allowed to do a “Vegas” impromptu “I Do?”

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