How to Plan a Wedding – Step by Step Guide
Planning a wedding can be a daunting and very stressful task. We highly recommend you take six months to a year to plan your wedding and will outline for you an easy-to-follow schedule.
Twelve months before the Wedding
- Get yourself a binder with paper and dividing tabs.
- Discuss with your fiancé and his/her families, plus your own, to determine a budget.
- Decide on your wedding theme e.g. Christmas, Fall, Snowflakes, Black and White, etc.
- Select a wedding date with your fiancé and families.
- Decide on your wedding attendants.
- Book a ceremony and reception location(s).
- Book your professional wedding photographer, florist, caterer, videographer, and DJ or wedding musicians.
Nine months before the Wedding
- Make an appointment with your officiant. For most religious ceremonies, you may be required to attend pre-wedding counseling. For civil ceremonies, your officiant may require a meeting to discuss your wedding ceremony.
- Wedding gown shopping and first fittings should be looked after at this time.
- Shop for your wedding accessories, wedding veil or head piece, and wedding shoes.
- Begin preparation of the guest list. Be sure to include both sides of the family as guest lists are often a contentious issue. It will take time to decide on long lost cousins, work friends, neighbors, etc.
- Decide on gift registry locations and register.
- Begin your search for your honeymoon location. If you are getting married during a peak holiday season such as Christmas, you may need to book your honeymoon up to nine months in advance.
Six months before the Wedding
- You need to meet with the wedding professionals who will assist you on your special day. The menu should be mapped out with your catering company, a review of requested wedding photos with your photographer, a discussion with your videographer on the amount of footage and locations for videos, and your preference for music with your DJ or wedding musicians.
- Limousines and/or other wedding transportation should be booked. Wedding carriages or winter horse drawn sleighs should be booked and pricing confirmed.
- If you are ordering wedding invitations and/or save the date cards and wedding announcements, you need to decide on a provider. If you are making your own wedding invitations and other wedding stationery, you should choose a wedding invitation kit template package. Announcements should be sent out to those friends and family who you have not included in the ceremony.
- Honeymoon trip should be booked and final budget plans for the honeymoon confirmed.
- Bridesmaids and Flower Girl dresses should be decided upon and ordered.
- Start shopping for wedding rings.
Three months before the Wedding
- Guest list needs to be finalized by you and your fiancé and BOTH families. We can’t emphasize enough that you need to have the blessing of all concerned when it comes to the guest list.
- Final decisions and ordering of wedding rings.
- Visit hairstylist for a consultation and have your first wedding day hair run through.
- Make wedding day appointment with hairstylist. Don’t forget to include your bridesmaids if they are having their hair professionally styled for your wedding.
- Research and review state requirements for blood tests.
- Research, review and book hotel rooms for out of town guests who may require accommodation.
- Follow up on your wedding gown and confirmation of delivery dates for your gown and those of your attendants.
- Attend your first wedding gown fitting including all accessories and shoes.
Six to eight weeks before the Wedding
- Prepare your wedding invitation kit templates for printing, including the Thank You cards.
- If you have ordered your invites from a commercial business, be sure they are ready for you.
- Address and mail the wedding invitations.
- Shop for and purchase any wedding gifts for your fiancé, attendants, parents and grandparents.
- Attend your final dress fitting including wedding accessories.
- Spend time wearing your wedding shoes so that you are not crippled before the wedding dance starts.
- Test a spray on tan if you plan to tan for your wedding.
- Make final decisions on your wedding hair style and any hair color changes should be made.
- Pick up your wedding rings from your jewelry shop.
- Print out your personalized Thank you cards from your wedding invitation kit templates or purchase generic Thank you cards.
- Send any Thank you cards for wedding or shower gifts received over the past weeks.
10 – 14 Days before the Wedding
- Confirm with your caterer with one final review of the menu.
- Confirm with your officiant the venue and time of ceremony.
- Confirm with your photographer, videographer, DJ and/or wedding band.
- Confirm your honeymoon reservation and any special requests for the wedding night.
- Address any wedding announcements, stamp and set in preparation of mailing on your wedding day.
- Final visit to your hairstylist to review any last minute concerns or changes.
One Week before the Wedding
- Attend any last minute parties or bridal showers in your honor.
- Write any Thank you cards for gifts received at these functions.
- Give the caterer your final number of guests expected to attend.
- Bridesmaids and Flower Girl confirmation of the time they are expected to arrive.
- Purchase travel insurance for the honeymoon if you are leaving the country.
- Purchase travelers checks for the honeymoon holiday.
- Double check to be sure that travelers checks are accepted and easily cashed at your final destination.
Wedding Day Peace of Mind – Priceless!