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18 Months before

Announce your engagement.

Arrange for both sets of parents to meet (unless they have already).

Select a date for your wedding.

Determine the type of wedding you want: location, formality, time

of day, number of guests, etc.

Determine budget and how expenses will be shared.

Determine whom you want to have in your wedding party. Make the calls.

Make a preliminary guest list.

Consolidate all guest lists: bride's, groom's, bride's family, groom's family, and organize as follows:

1) those who must be invited

2) those who should be invited

3) those who would be nice to invite

Decide if you want to include children among guests.

Send engagement notice with a photograph to your local newspaper.

Select a date for the wedding (and, if there will be one, for the engagement party, rehearsal dinner, after-wedding breakfast).

Buy a calendar and note all important activities: showers, luncheons, parties, get-togethers, etc.

If ceremony or reception is at home, arrange for home or garden improvements as needed.

Order passport, visa or birth certificate, if needed for your honeymoon or marriage license.

Select and book photographer.

Select maid of honor, best man, bridesmaids and ushers (approx. one usher per 50 guests).

Work out a budget and promise yourself to stick to it.

Review the budget with your folks, if they'll be paying for any part of the event

Develop a record-keeping system for payments made.

Interview or hire an event planner if you are using one.

Decide on the style of wedding you want.

Pick out a caterer, a location for the ceremony and reception (and, if there will be one, for the engagement party, rehearsal dinner, after-wedding breakfast).

Decide at which a local hotel/motel you want to book a block of rooms for your out-of-town guests. Find out on what date they will be prepared to set aside your rooms (in most cases no more than 12 months in advance).

Make arrangements with the persons) who will officiate at your wedding.

Interview photographers, florists, musicians, calligraphers and make your choices.

Make reservations for vehicles (e.g., limo, carriage).

Make plans for your honeymoon.

Pick out your wedding gown, accessories and associated events clothing. Set a schedule with the shop for subsequent fittings and pick up. Remember shoes (ballet slippers, sandals) for the reception.

Determine your color scheme.

Put together directions to be included, as needed, in Save-the-Date cards and/or in your invitations. Take a trial drive to double check distances and landmarks.

Send a "Save-the-Date" cards to your "A" list guests (...back)


6-12 Months Before

Start shopping for each other's wedding gifts.

Reserve rental items needed for ceremony & reception.

Finalize guest list.

Select and order wedding invitations, announcements and other stationery such as thank-you notes, wedding programs, and seating cards.

Set the date and time of the wedding and reserve the ceremony location.

Select the location for the reception.

Discuss honeymoon ideas.

Start planning your honeymoon.

Select and book all miscellaneous services, i.e. gift attendant, valet parking, etc.

Register for gifts.

Purchase shoes & accessories.

Begin to break-in your shoes.

For church weddings visit appropriate clergy members.

Choose attendants, honor attendants, and ushers.

Shop for attendant's attire and accessories and establish a color scheme.

Begin both the bride's and groom's guest list.

Determine the size and formality of the wedding.

Select and reserve photographer and videographer

Select and reserve musicians for wedding and reception.

Order your wedding rings.

Register for china, silver and crystal patterns and other home gifts.

Meet with florists after deciding on your color scheme and choosing dresses. Reserve your date. (...back)


2-4 Months before

Meet with your florist to give a deposit. Changes can be made at that time.

Address all wedding invitations and announcements.

Shop for trousseau attire.

Confirm date and time of wedding rehearsal.

Plan rehearsal dinner.

Set date, time and location for your rehearsal dinner.

Arrange lodging for out-of-town guests and attendants.

Select gifts for attendants and ushers.

Make appointment for blood tests.

Finalize details with reception coordinator.

Select music and meet with musicians.

Have your wedding portrait taken.

Order the wedding cake. (...back)


4 - 6 Weeks Before

Mail invitations. Include accommodation choices and a map to assist guests in finding the ceremony and reception sites.

Maintain a record of RSVPs and all gifts received. Send thank-you notes upon receipt of gifts.

Write thank-you notes for shower gifts and wedding gifts as they arrive.

Determine hair style and makeup.

Schedule to have your hair, makeup and nails done the day of the wedding.

Finalize shopping for wedding day accessories such as toasting glasses, ring pillow, guest book, etc.

Set up an area or a table in your home to display gifts as you receive them.

Check with your local newspapers for wedding announcement requirements.

Send wedding announcement & photograph to your local newspapers.

Change name & address on drivers license, insurance policies, subscriptions, bank accounts, memberships, etc.

Select and reserve wedding attire for groom, ushers, father of the bride and ring bearer.

Select a guest book attendant. Decide where and when to have guests sign in.

Mail invitations to rehearsal dinner.

Get blood test and health certificate.

Obtain marriage license.

Plan a luncheon or dinner with your bridesmaids. Give them their gifts at that time or at the rehearsal dinner.

Find "something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue, and a six pence (or shiny penny) for your shoe."

Finalize your menu, beverage and alcohol order.

Contact your florist for an appointment to review your order.