A step -by- step guide to help keep the stars in your eyes, your feet on the ground, & your Wedding plans on track.
Think of yourself as a project manager. Establish an overall framework for completing the work, and set specific intermediate deadlines, schedules & goals. Taken one small step at the time, the detail-laden job becomes less overwhelming.
9 to 12 Months before your Wedding.
*Chose your wedding date. If you plan to be married in a church, temple or mosque or in a religious service at home, clear the date & time with your clergy.
*Announce your engagement in local newspaper.
*Set your budget. Take time for a heart-to-heart talk with your fiancé about the budget & style of your wedding, reception &wedding-related parties, & who pays for what.
*Enlist help. Consider hiring a bridal consultant. If your budget won’t stretch that far, ask relatives & close friends to assist you in specific task selecting a dress, interviewing caterers, locating a reception site-specially in areas where you feel you need support.
*Compose your guest list. Let out-of-town guests know your wedding is in the works so they can make travel plans.
*Reserve your reception site.
*Choose your wedding attendants.
*Select your wedding gown, shoes & accessories.
*Determine the theme or mood you’d like to establish with the food, table settings, flowers & entertainment at your reception.
*Decide on bridesmaids’ dresses.
*Interview caterers, musicians, florists, photographers, videographers & bakers. Get written estimates of their costs. Keep track of your discussions & their bids in a notebook or with wedding-planning software.
6 Months before your wedding.
*Choose your caterer. Remember to get a written contract.
*Choose your musicians.
*Send out Save the dates.
*Book your photographer &/or videographer.
*Select you baker & order the cake.
*Choose your florist.
*Decide on your color scheme.
*Shop for wedding rings with your fiancé.
*Decide on your honeymoon destination. Work with a travel agent to book your travel & accommodations.
*Select your wedding invitations. Don’t forget to purchase personal stationery for the thank-you notes you’ll need to write.
4 Months before your wedding.
*Register for a gifts at one or more bridal gift registries.
*Help both mothers to coordinate & shop for their wedding-day attire.
*Select music for your ceremony and reception.
*Choose readings for your wedding & write your wedding vows.
*Plan a rehearsal dinner for members of you wedding party, your family & out-of-town guests. Reserve the location.
*Arrange hotel accommodations for members of the wedding party who live out-of-town. Reserve a block of rooms for other out-of-town guests, & let them know the rooms are available. Remember to ask for any group discounts or special package.
*Reserve your wedding-day transportation and any other wedding-day rentals needs.
*Make sure contracts & arrangements are complete with all of your service providers.
3 Months before your wedding.
*Carefully prepare directions, including simply drawn maps, if necessary, to help guide guests to the wedding & reception, & to hotels. For guests who will travel a long distance to your wedding, consider assembling an information package on fun things to do & see in your area.
*Begin addressing invitations & announcements. Select a special stamp at the post office. Invitations should go in the mail six to eight weeks before your big day.
*Give the caterer or other food suppliers a close idea of the number of guests you expect.
*Make sure all reservations are in place for honeymoon travel.
*Check with bridesmaids to make sure they have their gowns & are getting them adjusted.
*Shop for gifts for your bridesmaids. Offer to help your fiancé select gifts for his attendants.
*Select your “going away” outfit & special items for your trousseau.
*Make a date with your photographer for any formal portraits you desire.
*Make an appointment to have your hair done just before your portrait session & again the day or so before your wedding. Consider including your bridesmaids in a “day of beauty” before your wedding, with manicures, hair styling, massages & makeup sessions.
2 Months before your wedding.
*Mail out your wedding invitations & announcements.
*Have wedding portraits taken.
*Send bridal portrait & wedding announcement to newspaper for publication.
*Finalize the music that will be played during your wedding ceremony.
*Meet with musicians who will provide entertainment during your reception & orchestrate precisely what you want & when you want it played.
*Don’t be shy to voice your preferences, down to the volume, favorite songs you’d like to hear or even songs you don’t want played.
*Plan your rehearsal dinner & a brunch or fun activity for out-of-town guests to enjoy on the day following your wedding.
*Purchase special accessories for your wedding-day attire.
*Plan a luncheon for your bridesmaids.
*Make appointments for a hairdresser, makeup artist and manicurist.
*Finalize honeymoon plans. If you’re traveling overseas, check again that your passports are current & that you have any necessary visas.
*Gather necessary birth or baptismal certificates you may need for your wedding license.
1 Month before your wedding.
*Get your wedding license.
*Have a final fitting of your gown & make sure your attendants have theirs.
*Check that your menu selections & service plans are locked in place with the caterer.
*Purchase a special book to keep track of wedding gifts as they arrive.
*Keep writing those thank-you notes on a daily basis!
*If you plan a formal dinner for your reception, it’s time to draw up a seating plan & make up place cards.
*Check with your florist to confirm dates & times of flowers deliveries.
*Review your wedding-day transportation plans & make sure drivers are clear about addresses, times & number of passengers.
*Make name or address changes official on documents, including driver’s license, social security forms & financial accounts. Fill out changes of address forms at the post office.
*Meet with your photographer to specify the formal shots you want taken of the bridal party, as well as specific, candid shots you’d like taken during the reception.
*Review the video plans with your videographer.
2 weeks before your wedding.
*Keep writing those thank-you notes for wedding gifts!
*Pick up your wedding rings. Make sure any special engraving appears precisely as you wished.
*Begin packing for honeymoon.
1 week before your wedding.
*Make final checks with all your vendors: officiant, musicians, florist, photographer, videographer, limousine, or other transportation provider, caterers and baker.
*Ask a friend or family member to arrange for wedding gifts that may be brought to your reception to be delivery to your home or another spot.
*Wrap gifts for bridal attendants and have them ready for the rehearsal dinner.
*Reconfirm honeymoon travel and hotels plans.
*See that checks are written and ready to be handed out to vendors at the agreed-upon time.
*Inform your caterer of the final number of guests. Confirm that out-of-town guests are set with hotel accommodations, transportation and wedding day directions.
The day before your wedding.
*Take time to relax and enjoy a massage, manicure and pedicure.
*Traditionally, this is the day for your rehearsal ceremony and rehearsal dinner. Have fun!
*Turn in early for a good night’s sleep.
Your wedding day.
*Allow plenty of time for dressing, makeup & hair styling.
*If you plan on photography before the ceremony, allow ample time so you’re not rushed.
*Relax and remember: This is your special day, the result of all your careful planning. Now it’s time to enjoy. Take a deep breath. Refuse to let any glitch get to you. Savor every moment of this sacred day. Let your joy and happiness shine through. BEST WISHES!!!