how to plan for a wedding
Decide on a budget and stick to it. This is the first step in planning any wedding but even more important when planning on a short time line. Because of the short time frame the money you spend won't be spread out over a year or two. You need to look at what funds you have to spend and be able to live and pay your bills. You may need to scale down the vision of your wedding. It's very easy to rely on credit but you need to seriously consider if entering into a marriage with enormous bills is a healthy start just to have an over the top wedding. No one wants to start a marriage in bankruptcy court. The number one reason for young marriages failing is financial stress. Keep your eye on the ball.
Work with your partner to make a guest list. Determine how many people you can entertain with the budget and space you have available. As you proceed through the planning process, your guest list size may influence your destination choice, and likewise your destination choice may affect how many people you can invite. If you start getting an idea of guests together early, it will help you throughout the whole planning process. Start getting their addresses together, but don't worry about invitations until you're sure you want to invite (and can accommodate).
Buy a wedding planner book or make your own. Make sure it has a calendar and pockets to store brochures and clippings. This helps you organize your ideas and helps you store contact information all in one place. Write down vendors you have talked to along with contact information and appointment dates and times. You can also add swatches of fabric and photos of flowers to show to your florist.
Start planning gold bridesmaid dresses as soon as you decide on a date! If you take care of everything in the beginning, you have more time to enjoy your engagement and more time to focus on the small, minor details (e.g. the font color of your invitations).
Make a time line with a to-do list. The time line will differ depending on where you live and the bridal market. The time line could change drastically if you were planning your wedding for January or June. Most of the following steps need to be completed in the first month to month and a half to get the vendors (florist, photographers, dresses, etc.) booked or picked in time if you're in an average sized city. When planning something fast the bulk of the decisions are made in month one. You just spend the other months fine tuning and hoping the wheels don't come off the wagon.