Congratulations on your engagement. Now it’s time to go to work and plan the wedding of your dreams. With a little preparation (and a sense of Humor!) there is no need to act like a bridezilla.
Here is a checklist to help you keep your sanity.
9-12 Months before the wedding
- Announce your engagement.
- Plan what type of wedding you want- formal, informal, day or evening, number of guests
- Choose a wedding date.
- Determine your budget- Discuss who is responsible for what expenses before making any plans. You should include your parents and future in-laws in this discussion. Remember to treat them with respect. Any money they provide is a gift!
- Make guest list – Don’t forget to include your parents and future in-laws in this discussion.
- Speak to officiant- Priest, Minister, Rabbi, Justice of the Peace etc.
- Reserve your ceremony and Reception Sites.
6-9 Months Before Wedding
- Select Bridal Gown
- Choose your attendants- Maid/Matron of Honor, Best Man, Bridesmaids, Ushers, Flowergirls, and Ring Bearer
- Choose a Photographer
- Select bridesmaids dresses & accessories (Remember to be Kind and listen to their suggestions and concerns).
- Select a caterer (if needed)
- Hire a band or DJ
- Book your florist
4-5 Months Before Wedding
- Schedule fittings for yourself and attendants (don’t forget your flower-girl)
- Reserve any rental items needed for ceremony and reception
- Finalize guest list
- Order Stationery – wedding invitations, thank you notes, and wedding programs
- Address invitations or hire a professional calligrapher
- Plan rehearsal dinner – set date, time and location. (This dinner is usually given by the grooms’ parents.)
- Arrange for accommodations for out-of-town guests.
- Start planning honeymoon (Groom usually makes these arrangements after you BOTH decide where to go.) Don’t forget to get any passports or travel documents you may need.
- Register for gifts.
- Purchase shoes and accessories (Remember to break your shoes in before the wedding)
2-3 Months Before Wedding
- Order wedding cake
- Order party favors
- Order all necessary decorations
- Book all transportation for wedding day (if necessary)
- Buy wedding rings
- Visit lawyer to write any necessary wills or prenuptial agreements
5-8 Weeks Before Wedding
- Purchase gifts for wedding attendants
- Mail invitations (A map to assist your guests in finding the ceremony and reception sites is a nice idea).
- Visit hairstylist to determine what style you want for your hair. (Hint: Never change haircolor or change your style right before your wedding. Any changes should be made at least 3-4 weeks in advance).
- Have a formal wedding portrait taken
- Send wedding announcements to newspapers (if necessary)
- Change name and address on driver’s license, social security cards, insurance policies, and bank accounts
- Reserve wedding attire for groom, ushers, ring bearer (Usually done by the groom).
- Mail invitations to rehearsal dinner (if necessary)
- Obtain marriage license
- Get blood tests if necessary in your state
- Plan a bridesmaid luncheon
2-4 Weeks Before Wedding
- Confirm ceremony details with officiant
- Arrange final fittings for your gown and bridesmaids dresses
- Make final floral selections
- Finalize rehearsal dinner plans
- Confirm details with all service providers – It is a good idea to give them a written list of your wedding day timeline.
- Contact guests who have not yet responded to your invitation
- Pick up wedding rings
- Meet with your photographer to discuss special photos you want taken.
- Meet with your DJ or band to confirm the music you want played
- Remind all attendants (male & female) when to pick up their wedding attire.
- Purchase any special accessories or make-up you want your attendants to wear.
- Determine ceremony seating for any special guests (give the list to the ushers).
- Plan reception seating-write names on place cards.
Hold On….Your Almost Done! Last Week
- Pick up wedding attire
- Figure final guest count and notify cater
- Arrange for “get-a-way” car from the reception
- Review the schedule of events and last minute arrangements with all service providers.
- Confirm honeymoon reservations
- Pack for your honeymoon
Take a Breath…..It’s Finally Here….Your Wedding Day!!!!
- Give rings to the best man and maid of honor (If no ring Bearer)
- Give the best man money to pay the officiant after the ceremony
- Relax and have fun!!! All your hard work and planning has paid off.