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 www.littleweddingguide.com.