A wedding should be planned in stages with every decision made as early as possible. Begin by setting deadlines, then check off each task as you complete it.
6-12 Months Before
■ Choose the kind of wedding you will have, date and time.
■ Discuss the budget, and who will pay for what.
■ Make arrangements with the officiator.
■ Reserve the wedding and reception locations.
■ Select your wedding dress, veil and accessories.
■ Choose the bridesmaids, groomsmen,
ushers and honored roles.
■ Have formal black/white photo sitting for announcements.
■ Send announcements of your engagement to bride’s and groom’s local and hometown newspapers.
■ Meet with the florist, photographer, caterer, videographer and DJ or entertainment to discuss budgets and options.
■ Draw up the guest list with fiancé and families.
■ Plan reception music and reserve band or orchestra.
■ Contact rental coordinator for equipment reservations.
■ Discuss honeymoon and reservations. (Traditionally the groom makes all the honeymoon arrangements.)
■ Arrange for time off work if necessary.
■ Buy a good, sturdy notebook to store brochures and notes.
■ Develop record-keeping system for invitations, RSVPs, gifts and thank-you notes.
4-6 Months Before
■ Plan new living arrangements and home furnishings.
■ Select and register wedding gifts and patterns.
■ Select color scheme.
■ Order dress and accessories.
■ Order bridesmaids’ dresses, shoes and accessories.
■ Contact men’s formalwear specialist for men’s attire.
■ Have parents select attire.
■ Order wedding cake.
■ Order invitations, announcements, programs, napkins, matchbooks and thank-you notes.
2 Months Before
■ Choose wedding bands and engraving.
■ Check marriage license requirements.
■ Plan ceremony, reception, menus, master of ceremonies and music.
■ Plan rehearsal dinner and bridesmaids’ luncheon.
■ Complete guest list and address invitations.
■ Make arrangements for lodging for out-of-town guests.
■ Purchase gifts for attendants and groom.
■ Plan reception seating if necessary.
1 Month Before
■ Confirm all arrangements and contracts.
■ Mail invitations so they will arrive three weeks before the wedding.
■ Pick up wedding rings.
■ Arrange for transportation to ceremony and from ceremony to reception.
■ Attend final fittings.
■ Have your hair and makeup done as your would like to have it on your wedding.
■ Schedule any tanning, manicures, etc.
■ Purchase guest book and keepsake album.
■ Contact your insurance agent about naming your fiancé as beneficiary on your life insurance, will and auto policies, and about buying homeowners’ and floater insurances to protect wedding gifts.
■ Open joint checking and savings accounts.
■ Decide on a budget and savings program. Discuss them with your financial representatives.
■ Write thank-you notes as gifts are received.
2 Weeks Before
■ Get marriage license.
■ Give caterer final guest count. Don’t forget the wedding party, photographer and DJ.
■ Arrange to have your own gown pressed and delivered.
■ Arrange to change your name on driver’s license, Social Security card, credit cards, bank accounts, insurance, etc.
■ Make arrangements for moving into your new home.
1 Week Before
■ Pack for honeymoon.
■ Give bridesmaids’ luncheon/party, give attendant gifts.
■ Confirm directions, housing, timetables with attendants.
■ Brief head usher of any special seating arrangements.
■ Arrange for rental returns.
1 Day Before
■ Pack the “going-to-church” bag and “emergency” bag.
■ Attend rehearsal and rehearsal dinner.
■ Find a quiet moment to give your fiancé his wedding gift.
The Wedding Day
■ Have a nice, relaxed breakfast.
■ Have hair and makeup done.
■ Relax, and let the planning take care of itself.