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A Sensible Wedding Planning Timeline Will Help You Get Organized So You Can Enjoy Your Wedding Day
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Early preparation helps you create the perfect wedding day!
Planning a wedding can be extremely overwhelming. There is so much to remember and so much to plan. It's hard to know when to begin and how to prioritize. Having a sensible and doable wedding planning timeline can really help. Here's a good guide you can use to plan your special day.
What To Do A Year Ahead
The first thing you should do is set the date for your wedding. This is a great starting point. From there, carefully plan your budget, and decide whether or not you wish to (and can afford) a wedding planner.
Decide where you want to have your wedding and who you want to officiate. Make arrangements well in advance. Make arrangements for a venue for both the wedding and the reception. Doing this a year in advance is practical and smart to be certain of having just the right venue. Additionally, having your pastor, rabbi, priest or other officiant on board early on can be very helpful to you. He or she is sure to have many good ideas to share with you and can help you with tasks such as writing or selecting your vows.
With these goals met, begin making plans for your wedding dress. Do some shopping and get some firm ideas in mind. You should also begin thinking about the guest list.
What To Do Nine Months Before Your Wedding
Begin looking into the help you will need to make your wedding a success. This includes caterers, florists, photographers, bakers, limousine service and bands. Start interviewing vendors to get a feel for them and to compare prices, reviews, services and so on. Don't just hire the first person you meet. Conduct thorough interviews and make wise hiring decisions.
What To Do Eight Months Before Your Wedding
At this point, you should have selected and ordered your wedding dress. If you have not, do it right now! A specially ordered wedding gown can be several months in the making. Once you receive your gown, you will need to have it fitted and altered. All of this takes time, so it's important to get this taken care of well in advance.
Before the month is out, you should also have chosen and hired all of the vendors for your wedding.
This is also the time to take care of reserving accommodations for your guests and establishing your bridal registry. If you haven't done so already, choose your bridesmaids and talk with them about the kind of dresses they will have. Give them a little time to sort this out among themselves and come back to it next month.
What To Do Six Months Before Your Wedding
Your guest list should now be complete, so you can send out your "save the date" cards and go ahead and order your wedding invitations. If you haven't already done so, now is the time to select and order your wedding rings.
You should also follow up with your bridesmaids, select their dresses and order them.
With that out of the way, you can begin specific planning for your honeymoon. Surely, you already have ideas about where you want to go. Now is the time to make your reservations.
What To Do Five Months Before Your Wedding
Having selected your baker early on, you are now ready to select and order your wedding cake. It may seem that you should have done this earlier, but it's best to wait until after you have chosen your dress, jewelry and veil, along with your bridesmaids dresses to order the cake. This way you can coordinate style and decoration better.
Talk with your caterer or make reservations for events such as the rehearsal dinner and/or after-wedding brunch.
What To Do Four Months Before Your Wedding
Finalize menus, seating arrangements and other details with your caterer and begin talking with your florist about the flowers. It's best to leave flower choices until late because there may be surprise seasonal choices that will look lovely and save you money. Of course, you will have an idea in mind regarding what you want, but it pays to stay open-minded and take advantage of happy surprises.
- Now is also the time to shop for and purchase groomsmen gifts and bridesmaid jewelry. You can do this in person, by catalog or online.
- You should also finalize plans for guest favors and mementos and order, purchase or make these items.
What To Do Three Months Before Your Wedding
- Get together with your photographer and discuss the photos you specifically want to have taken. Review his or her portfolio to get good ideas. You may wish to take your formal portrait now so that you won't have to rush around close to your wedding date.
- Meet with the band and go over the play-list. Double-check their costuming to be sure it is appropriate.
- Meet with your other vendors to double-check and confirm arrangements.
What To Do Two Months Before Your Wedding
At this point, you have taken care of everything and should feel pretty organized. Now you can send out your invitations, relax and enjoy pre-wedding events such as your bridal shower.
What To Do In The Final Month Before Your Wedding
- Be sure all your paperwork (e.g. marriage license) and other necessary details are taken care of.
- Be sure all invitations to your wedding, rehearsal dinner and other events have been sent out in a timely manner to all the people you wish to include.
- During the last week before your wedding, check in with all your vendors to confirm their commitment and make sure everything is as it should be.
- Take delivery of your wedding dress and be sure to keep it in a secure place where nothing can happen to it. Alternately, you may wish to have it delivered to the venue to be certain it is properly stored until you need it.
- Take care of last minute details such as packing your bags for your honeymoon, having your nails and hair done.
Now all that's left to do is get married! You've done a great job of getting organized and paying attention to detail. It's a sure bet your wedding will be lovely and stress free, and you will be able to enjoy every minute of it!