You are engaged but now what? When do you start planning? When you do make the guest list? Whom do you invite? Now that you are engaged and gazing blissfully at the engagement ring it is time to get to work! You have a wedding to plan, and Bridezilla to avoid. Start at least 12 months before your planned wedding date so you have the best results and less stress. This is a simple timeline for brides to follow in a 12-month count down until that special day.
12 Months Out
Task #1. Your first task should be purchasing a wedding organizer that you feel comfortable using, and can honestly see keeping up with. If you are uncomfortable, using it, then it will sit in the corner and collect dust, which will end up being, wasted money. Make sure you like the layout and design; this should become your best friend as you plan, so you want to make a good investment.
Task #2. Next task may sound a bit selfish, but if your ring is expensive get it appraised and insured. This will help protect the investment of the ring should it be lost or stolen at some point. While a replacement will never be exactly the same, it will be better than having to pay fully out of your pockets if it is lost or stolen. This is a much easier bad pill to swallow than coming back out of pocket to replace it.
Task #3. Budget time! Suddenly there are massive groans, sorry we cannot skip this vital step, this determines how much you can spend on flowers, the band, the reception hall, as well as your dress! This is very important to be successful in planning your wedding. A budget needs to be established that is actually feasible and can be maintained, and you need to determine who is responsible for what expenses. For example if your parents and his parents are helping with any of the wedding costs, you want to get those issues hammered away and resolved so you can spend your time raising money for the other expenses.
Task #4. Open a savings account to save money for the wedding. This way the money is a separate fund and you do not tempt yourself into dipping into wedding funds to buy those killer boots that are on sale for $300.
Task #5. Start talking to your groom and deciding do you want a small cozy wedding, or a huge formal affair. You also need to start tossing around ideas about exact date, as well as if you have any specific ideas for locations. These details are all vital to success, and you want to make sure you and your groom can work out your plans and both be happy with the final choices. Neither of you should feel like the other is getting all their way, this should be a great first lesson in marriage compromise.
Task #6. If you are very busy or think you cannot possibly pull off a successful wedding, then perhaps you should consider hiring a wedding coordinator. If you choose to go this route, then you need to also consider the costs compared to the benefits to see if this is really the best option for you and your groom.
Task #7. Reserve the wedding and reception sites. These are sometimes booked up as early as 2 years in advance, so booking early is always best.
Task #8. Start dress shopping, look, and try to manage this into something easier to handle by picking a style dress you really want to start with. Then narrow the options down that you really like. This one task can sometimes take months to do.
Task #9. Start choosing attendants, including your maid of honor. These people will be helpful in helping plan your wedding easily later on.
10 Months Out
Task #1. Start looking for your caterer, photographer, videographer, florist, band and baker for the cake. Select your people carefully after looking at their portfolio and contracts carefully.
Task #2. Meet with the officiator who will be marrying you. Some religions require pre-marital counseling classes. Check and make sure you know all of the religious requirements.
8 Months Out
Task #1. Start booking the caterer, photographer, videographer, florist, band, and baker. Remember you should never sign a contract without reading it carefully and making sure, you understand everything in it.
Task #2. Select and order your dress. Some dresses can take a while to be made, this means you need to give plenty of time for the dress to be made, as well as fitted.
Task #3. Start working on the guest list, this can sometimes take a while to negotiate between the bride and the groom.
Task #4. Start registering for wedding registries. Remember to add a mix of items to the list so that it can fit several budgets.
6 Months Out
Task #1. Start talking to the vendors that you have booked to confirm details and ensure that final plans are being worked out.
Task #2. Select and order invitations. If you are using a calligrapher this is especially important as it can take a while for them to be completed.
Task #3. Reserve the limos for the wedding party.
Task #4. Start shopping for bridesmaids dresses. These also will need to be fitted. If your bridal party is all out of town, you may want to move this to 8 months out. Just to give time for the bridesmaids to all travel and be fitted.
4 Months Out
Task #1. Give guest list to calligrapher so the envelopes can be addressed.
Task #2. Order wedding bands, if you want them engraved, then make sure this is arranged quickly.
Task #3. Groom needs to decide on exact tuxedo styles and colors.
2 Months Out
Task #1. Mail invitations out to everyone on the guest list.
Task #2. Buy gifts for the wedding party.
Task #3. Get name-change forms from all government agencies, start getting these forms filled out and ready to send in if you are changing your name. If you are keeping your own name, this step can be omitted.
6 Weeks Out
Task #1. Order programs and have them printed for the wedding.
Task #2. Send the announcement to the newspaper about your wedding.
Task #3. Write your vows if you are writing your own vows.
2 Weeks Out
Task #1. Finalize the seating chart and make any adjustments necessary.
Task #2. Have your wedding photographs taken if you are doing formal shots ahead of time. Some brides select this so if they dislike the photographs there is time to redo the shots.
1 Week Out
Task #1. Pack for the honeymoon and make sure you take plenty of clothing.
Task #2. Give the caterer a final guest count so they can prepare enough food.
Task #3. Double check all details with all vendors to ensure things are running smoothly.
Task #4. Pick up your dress. Admire the dress, and then put it away so it is not damaged before the wedding date. Do not forget to break in your shoes so they are more comfortable.
1 Day Out
Task #1. Have rehearsal and rehearsal dinner.
Task #2. Get a manicure and pedicure so your nails are all looking their best.
As you can see, there are numerous items that must be done and accomplished before the wedding. With so many tasks to be completed, it is so easy to forget important details. You should always take the tasks as they come along, and slowly work out details and make sure they are completed on time.