The stress of thinking about all this can lead a couple to look favorably on the idea of eloping to escape it all and still get married. And in some cases this might be perfect. In other cases you trade ease for memories, and you might regret that. How about an alternative?
Don't have a year to plan? Want to get married in a ridiculously short time? You can do and not lose your mind in the process it if you are able to think outside the box and be flexible about your choices of music, flowers, cake, locations, officiant and rings.
A good friend of mine is a professional stage manager in the theatre. She once wisely told me about a "law" of set creation.
"You can get anything you want," she told me, "as long as you're willing to deal with the designer's holy triangle." What's that? The 3 aspects of the "holy triangle" are: Good, Fast and Cheap. You can have 2 of the 3 at any time, but not all 3. You have to choose which 2 are most important to you for a particular event.
According to this "law," if you want something that is good quality and you need it right away, it won't be cheap. If you want fine quality at a low price, you can get it, but it won't be available in a hurry. If you want it both inexpensive and fast, the quality won't be as great."
What are the things you want most for your quick wedding? Music, flowers, cake and photos? A beautiful setting? Great dresses and/or suits? Wonderful rings?
What can your friends help you with? One friend may have a beautiful garden. Another may be a great singer with musician friends who think this would be fun and easy to do. Someone else might be good at photography as a hobby.
Creative thinking can bring a lot of unique, fun elements together for a memorable, wonderful ceremony in a short time. Where do you want to invest the most money?
Does your cake have to be traditional? If not you might find more resources for something great.
Do you have to mail invitations or can you design a great one yourself and email it to most of your guests?
A traditional wedding takes time to plan. It can get quite expensive and complex, and be incredibly beautiful. But it isn't the only way to get married and have a wonderful day with friends and family.
So if you want to get married and have only a short time to plan, first decide that you can do it. Then go find the miracles waiting to make your day perfect for the two of you.