One Year Wedding Countdown
8-12 Months before the Wedding
· Select a wedding date and time.
· Mail out save-the-date magnets or postcards
· Decide the type of wedding you would like to have (size, formality, and setting).
· Begin your guest list.
· Consider possible color schemes. Explore pre-marital counseling/ compatibility classes through churches
· Start health and fitness plan.
· Select your professional: photographer, caterer, consultant, music, etc.
· Shop together for your wedding rings.
· Decide upon your budget.
· Determine who will pay what expenses.
· Book your wedding location.
· Choose your attendants.
· Determine the sizes of your attendants.
· Select dress and headpiece, and set a date for fittings and delivery.
· Select your bridesmaids' dresses and accessories.
· Consider having bridesmaids pay for their own dresses to help ease wedding pressures, this is no longer taboo and is a common practice so you may have your dream wedding and not break the bank
· Give thought to your honeymoon location.
5-8 Months Before The Wedding
· Check the requirements for marriage license
· Select and discuss your color schemes with the florist and/or balloonist of choice.
· Again consider pre-marital counseling, this is the best way to make sure your biggest decision of your life is perfect (Most churches will not allow you to marry without attending some kind of weekend seminar or couple to couple counseling)
· Reserve your wedding day rental equipment (tables, chairs, china, silverware, gazebo, etc.).
· Decide upon a gift registry and select your gift choices.
· Begin your record of gifts received.
· Send thank you notes as soon as possible.
· Order your invitations and related stationary needs.
· Start shopping for the mens wedding attire.
· Check online for most items, you will find the BEST deals on the net
3-5 Months Before The Wedding
· Finalize your guest list.
· Think of unique ideas that will set your wedding apart from any other - perhaps a Castle Moonwalk at the reception for the kids, maybe serve a rare dish for the food
· Decide upon and order your favors.
· Select your baker, and then choose your cake, grooms cake, and mints.
· Help both mothers coordinate and find their wedding day clothing.
· When deciding on a photographer, consider hiring a NON professional, but someone who is a friend or family that takes good photos. When it comes down to wedding photography, it's not so much skill, but quantity, they take so many photos and just pick the best ones. Modern brides have gone to this often
· Review your written agreements forms with all of your professionals (photographer, caterer, D.J., site coordinator, transportation, etc.)
· Have engagement portraits taken.
· Place your engagement announcement in the newspaper.
· Mail out invitations and announcements.
· Decide on the mens wedding attire.
· Arrange and plan your rehearsal dinner.
· Be sure to have comfortable shoes for the reception, perhaps a new tradition of "wedding sneakers", it's your day, and you don't want your feet to hurt!
· Purchase your wedding day accessories.
· Arrange attendants' parties.
· Book a beverage caterer for the reception and make selections.
· Consider fooling your guests with "fake champagne", an excellent wedding joke that will be remembered for years!
· Prepare accommodations for out-of-town attendants and guests.
· Consider a hairdresser and/or makeup artist and book appointments.
· Practice getting your hair done EXACTLY how you want it so there are no surprises on your wedding day!
· Finalize all honeymoon plans.
· Final wedding dress fitting.
· Instead of paying a small fortune for all of these fittings, consider taking your dress out of the boutique and having a regular seamstress do the alterations a few days before, generally only $20 or $30 compared to the hundreds and hundreds you'll be paying in alterations.
· Final fitting for your wedding attendants.
· Obtain marriage license.
· Have your attendants' parties.
· Purchase your going-away outfit.
· Draw a map to direct your guests to the site(s), if necessary.
· Create a calendar of events for the wedding day.
· Make sure your accessories are in order (rings, pillow, garter, etc.)
· Finalize arrangements with the entertainer(s) and provide a list of music you would like played during special events such as first dance, garter removal and bouquet toss.
· Pick up your wedding rings and make sure that the engravings are correct and they fit properly.
· Contact the guests who have not responded to your invitations.
· Make sure you have all the items you want to take on your honeymoon - including that frilly thingy you got at your bridal shower.
· Make sure your marriage license is in order.
· Prepare seating arrangements, if necessary.
· Purchase travelers checks, confirm honeymoon reservations.
· Pack your baggage for your honeymoon.
· Have your wedding ceremony rehearsal.
· Instruct your wedding party on what you would like them to do on the day of the wedding.
· Have your rehearsal dinner.
· Present monetary gifts to attends.
· Make sure all wedding attire fits properly.
· Give the best man the amount the professionals are to be paid on the day of the wedding.
· Inform your caterer of the total guest count.
· Confirm out-of-town guests have transportation and sleeping accommodations.
· Make sure someone will be writing on your getaway wedding car, it's supposed to be "their" job, but if no one does it, that won't be fun!
· Check with your florist and/or balloonist to make sure they will arrive when scheduled.
· Make sure your wedding dress is at the church where you're going to put it on a few days before
Your Wedding Day
· Relax, enjoy yourself, and remain calm! Allow at least two hours for dressing.
· Allow plenty of time to apply your makeup and style your hair.
· Don't forget to put on your wedding garter.
· Put the penny in your shoe
· Something borrowed, something new, something blue
· Don't dance too crazy, someone will be videotaping!
· If professionals are doing your hair and/or makeup, ask them in advance how much time they will need.
· If photographs are to be taken before the ceremony, allow at least one and one-half hours.
· Remember to bring the rings and marriage license.
· Seat guests as they arrive. The grooms parents should be seated about 5 minutes before start time, the mother of the bride is normally seated last.
· Be sure to thank everyone for all of their hard work!
· Take a deep breath, don't worry, and SMILE!