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Wedding checklist

12 months before

• Announce your engagement to family and friends and plan an engagement party

• Place an engagement announcement in your local newspaper

• Sign up for a wedding website to keep your guests informed about event details, area information, etc.

• Work on the budget

• Consider purchasing wedding planning software to organize everything, or hire a wedding planner to help secure contracts, etc.

• Choose a wedding date – select a few days in case your first choice is booked

• Choose a location and reserve your ceremony and reception site(s)

• Begin a rough guest list and compile current addresses

• Decide on who you’d like to have as your attendants, including your maid of honor and best man

• Begin shopping for your wedding gown

• Attend a local bridal show or two and jot down notes about any vendors you really liked

• Purchase a wedding planning organizer or calendar to keep track of important dates and appointments (fittings, showers, etc.)

6-9 months before

• Research and choose one or more bridal gift registry

• Order your wedding gown and buy undergarments that you will wear with it (bring these to all fittings)

• Order other bridal accessories – shoes, gloves and veil

• Begin shopping for bridesmaids dresses

• Find an officiant who will perform your ceremony

• Research vendor websites and blogs, schedule appointments and book ceremony musicians, a wedding band or DJ, photographer, videographer, caterer and florist

4-6 months before

• Select and order your wedding invitations, invitation envelopes and thank-you cards

• Hire a calligrapher, if desired (check with a local stationery store for referrals)

• Select and purchase wedding favors and wedding favor accessories – boxes, personalized wedding ribbon, labels, etc.

• Purchase any desired ceremony and reception decorations – unity candles, vases, aisle runner, etc.

• Start researching wedding cake pictures and local bakeries for ideas

• Book your honeymoon and verify that you have any necessary travel documents including passports and visas

• Book a room for your wedding night, if you will be leaving for your honeymoon the next morning

• Book hotel rooms or arrange other accommodations for out-of-town guests

• Finalize your guest list and send out save-the-date cards, if using

• Print out directions to the ceremony, reception, rehearsal dinner and hotel(s) for guests

• Reserve transportation for you and your wedding party to and from the wedding, as well as a bus or trolley for your guests (if necessary)

2-4 months before

• Find out what your state’s requirements are for obtaining a marriage license and get blood tests done, if required

• Order tuxedos for the groom and groomsmen

• Meet with your caterer to discuss the menu and your bar/liquor needs

• Meet with your officiant to discuss ceremony details, wording and wedding vows

• Select wedding readings

• Order your wedding cake

• Buy thank-you gifts for your attendants, flower girl and ring bearer

• Shop for a gift for your new spouse-to-be

• Select and purchase wedding rings, and have them engraved if desired

• Coordinate and choose a location for the rehearsal dinner

• Contact party rental companies for tents, tables, arches, etc. if necessary

• Book any other specialty services – ice sculptures, photo booths, etc.

• Purchase luggage and other travel necessities and attire for your honeymoon

• Order/renew passports if necessary, leaving ample time for them to be sent back to you

1-2 months before

• Mail invitations out to everyone eight weeks prior to the wedding date and send accommodation info to your out-of-town guests

• Compile and complete name change documents or purchase a bridal name change kit online which contains all of the necessary forms to file

• Fill out a change of address form at the post office, if necessary

• Pick up your marriage license

• Have ceremony programs printed

• Purchase a guest book, pen and other wedding accessories including toasting glasses, cake knife, ring pillow, etc.

• Keep your wedding web site updated with directions and event details

• Choose your hair and makeup stylists and schedule a trial for both; also book appointments to have your hair, make-up and nails done on the day of the wedding

• Review insurance information with your fiancé and check with employers to see what documents need to be updated once you are legally wed (car, home, medical, etc.)

2 weeks to 1 month before

• Create a seating chart for the reception and make table numbers and place cards (or have your calligrapher work on these, if you have hired one)

• Contact your caterer with a final guest count

• Print out a timeline of events for your wedding party and vendors – include contact information and cell phone numbers

• Meet with your photographer to finalize your wedding photo list of any must-have photos

• Contact your florist to confirm your final flower order (bouquets, boutonnieres, centerpieces, etc.) and go over any decor details or venue logistics for the big day

• Finalize your ceremony and reception music and song lists for your wedding band or DJ

• Confirm lodging reservations for out-of-town guests

• Place a wedding announcement in your local newspaper

• Plan a bridal luncheon or dinner with your bridesmaids

• Pick up wedding bands and make sure the fit is good

• Schedule a final wedding dress fitting

• Write rehearsal dinner toasts

1 week before

• Write out final checks to your wedding vendors (each organized in an envelope) and let your wedding coordinator or one of your attendants to distribute at the wedding

• Pick up your wedding gown

• Confirm limo or other transportation reservations

• Pack for your honeymoon and confirm travel arrangements

• Have your post office hold your mail, if necessary, while you are on your honeymoon

• Treat yourself to a spa day — you deserve it!

The day before

• Welcome out-of-town guests as they arrive

• Take a yoga class or go for a walk during the day

• Schedule a hair appointment for prior to the rehearsal dinner

• Attend the rehearsal and enjoy the rehearsal dinner!

The wedding day

• Wake up early and do some easy exercise, or just go for a peaceful walk outdoors and try to soak up the beauty of the day

• Set aside some time before the festivities to share gifts with your bridesmaids or close family members

• Eat a healthy breakfast – you’ll need your energy for the big day ahead!

• Enjoy it; it’s finally here and everything will be wonderful… Congratulations!

Courtesy of

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