Woman shares how and why she planned her wedding in 5 days

"Lets skip the stress and focus on what's most important," she said.

ByABC News
March 21, 2017, 8:29 AM

— -- One woman is sharing her story of how and why she planned her whole wedding in less than one week, telling ABC News, "lets skip the stress and focus on what's most important."

Emily Hardman and her husband Rob Reading, from California's Bay Area, got married on Jan. 5, 2016, less than a week after becoming engaged.

"We got engaged on New Year's Eve and got married five days later," Hardman told ABC News. She added that she did not get her dress until the day before her wedding, and it consisted of a top she bought for $10 from the mall and a skirt that was sewn by her mother. She added that they got the ring at Wal-Mart for less than $10.

Hardman added that the total cost of her wedding was $4,600, "counting the rings, the dress, the luncheon, everything."

"I had become convinced that modern weddings had become way to burdensome," Hardman said. "Starting at age seventeen, I started helping my friends and my siblings plan their weddings, and I just saw this stress that was going into the napkin colors ... and I just thought nobody is going to notice the napkin colors, nobody is going to walk out with their bag of peanuts and be like, 'Wow, I just feel so loved that you stayed up for three days tying a ribbon around these peanuts.'"

"I don’t know why people aren’t questioning these cultural expectations, they are not making people feel more loved at the wedding, and they are not strengthening the promises that you are making," Hardman said.

Hardman said that at the time that she got married, her husband was being transferred by his job from London to the Bay Area, and he only had a two week break from work. Meanwhile, Hardman said she was working on a major court case that would require her to travel for much of the coming months.

"We knew at this point that that we wanted to get married and spend an eternity together," Hardman said, "We knew that we could either get married now or wait up to a year to make that happen."

"So I said challenge accepted, I’m going to do this in five days," Hardman said, adding that she also "wanted the opportunity to prove that it could be done."

She said part of how she puled it off was that she began planning as soon as she became engaged.

"We were hiking in Sedona, Arizona, when we got engaged," Hardman said. "As soon as we had cell phone reception, I called the banquet hall, and then I called my parents, and told them, and then I called the temple."

Hardman said after making those three calls, the wedding "was pretty much planned."

She then sent out a selfie collage invite that she made herself to all of her 100 guests via text.

"Because of the short turnaround I said, 'I actually need your RSVP by tonight,'" Hardman said.

Hardman said that despite the short notice, all of her guests gave her overwhelmingly positive responses.

"People know that I hate everything that is overly complicated. I am just a minimalist, so nobody was surprised," Hardman said. "And everybody was just so happy that we were getting married they were all like 'awesome I’ll be there.'"

"My mom's reaction was 'Hallelujah' ... for putting the relationship above the reception, and that you don't have enough time to back out," Hardman said.

Hardman told ABC News that on her big day nothing felt like it was missing.

"Everyone who came, they said it couldn't have been more perfect than if you had a whole year to plan it," Hardman said. "They said there was nothing that felt left out, there was nothing that felt rushed or undone."

She added that "nobody noticed that I didn’t have flowers."

Hardman said that she never expected her story to blow up, or the attention that she received since she wrote about her experience for the New York Times this past weekend.

"My hope was that it would start a conversation, of questioning these things that happen in weddings," Hardman said of her story. "I hoped that it would at least cause someone who is planning their wedding, to say, 'Maybe I don’t need to spend $10,000 on the party favors.'"

She said she hopes her story will "encourage everybody to focus on the essence of what really is important in life."