WEDDING TIME-LINE/CALENDAR OF THINGS TO DO

The following is an overview of the steps to take in planning and coordinating your dream wedding. Detail on major steps is contained later in this resource.

SIX MONTHS OR MORE BEFORE YOUR WEDDING

    1. Make a decision on the type of wedding and reception you want.
      Plan the size and formality of your special wedding.
      Refer to YOUR STYLE for details.
    2. Make a guest list, choose and ask your attendants…
      Refer to WHO MIGHT BE INVITED for details.
    3. Make a wedding budget…
      Refer to DETERMINE YOUR COSTS for details.
    4. Find a ceremony site and reception site…
      Refer to WHERE AND WHEN for details.
      This includes:

      1. Setting a date for the wedding and reception.
      2. Setting a time for the ceremony.
      3. Setting a time for the reception.
      4. Hiring a caterer for the reception.
      5. Setting any appropriate meetings with a spiritual officiant for premarital counseling.
    5. Qualify and hire a photographer…
      Refer to PHOTOGRAPHS for details.
    6. Qualify and hire a videographer…
      Refer to VIDEO for details.
    7. Qualify and hire a live band if you choose to have one at your reception…
      Refer to LIVE BAND for details.
    8. Qualify and hire a caterer if you have not already done so by securing your reception site…
      Refer to CATERER for details.
    9. Find and order your wedding gown…
      Refer to WEDDING GOWN for details.
    10. Find and order your bridesmaids’ dresses…
      Refer to BRIDESMAIDS’ DRESSES for details.
    11. Qualify and hire a disc jockey if you choose to have one instead of a live band…
      Refer to DISC JOCKEY for details.
    12. Qualify and hire the ceremony musicians…
      Refer to CEREMONY MUSIC for details.
    13. Order invitations, announcements and thank-you notes…
      Refer to INVITATIONS, ANNOUNCEMENTS AND THANK-YOU NOTES for details.
    14. Plan the honeymoon and make all reservations required…
      Refer to HONEYMOON AND RESERVATIONS for details.
    15. Qualify and hire a florist…
      Refer to FLOWERS for details.
    16. Find a rehearsal dinner site if you are having one…
      Refer to REHEARSAL DINNER for details.
    17. Block hotel rooms for your out of town guests.
    18. Send a “save the date letter” to your guests, so they are sure to keep your wedding date free.
    19. Have an engagement photo taken.

FOUR MONTHS BEFORE YOUR WEDDING

    1. Send your engagement announcement and photograph to your local newspaper(s).
    2. Select and register your choices for wedding gifts at your selected stores…
      Refer to REGISTER FOR WEDDING GIFTS for details.

THREE MONTHS BEFORE YOUR WEDDING

    1. Select rings…
      Refer to SELECT RINGS for details.
    2. Address and stuff invitations. Consider utilizing a calligrapher or a calligraphy machine…
      Refer to PREPARE INVITATIONS for details.

TWO MONTHS BEFORE YOUR WEDDING

    1. Make an appointment with your hairdresser and your make-up artist for a trial run.
    2. Finalize your menu selections with the caterer.
    3. Reserve any necessary local transportation.
    4. Coordinate dress fittings for your bridesmaids.
    5. When your final gown alterations are complete have your formal portrait taken, if you choose to have one.
    6. Pay any balance still due on your honeymoon.
    7. Make any necessary medical and dental appointments, including any required blood tests.
    8. Purchase gifts for your bridesmaids and ushers.

SIX TO EIGHT WEEKS BEFORE YOUR WEDDING

    1. Mail your invitations.

ONE MONTH BEFORE YOUR WEDDING

    1. Get your marriage license. Check for requirements in your state.
    2. Carefully confirm any final arrangements with your photographer, videographer, musicians, caterer, florist, and officiant.
    3. Finalize selection of accessories for your wedding gown and the bridesmaid dresses.
    4. Write thank-you notes for any wedding gifts as they are received. Do not use cards printed with your married name until after the wedding.
    5. Compose, design and print your ceremony program, if you want one.
    6. Arrange for facilities for your bridesmaids to dress.

TWO WEEKS BEFORE YOUR WEDDING

    1. Call any guests who haven’t yet responded to your invitation.
    2. Plan and finalize the seating arrangements and place cards for the reception.

ONE WEEK BEFORE YOUR WEDDING

  1. Provide your caterer with your final guest count.
  2. Reconfirm with all of your vendors the nature and timing of every service each is to render. It might be helpful if you write out a timeline for each of them to follow.
  3. Call your travel agent to reconfirm your travel and lodging reservations for your honeymoon.
  4. Arrange for someone to mail wedding announcements after the wedding, if you choose to send them.
  5. You, your parents, and/or the groom should have in hand all wedding gratuities and checks for balances due to your vendors. Put someone responsible in charge to hand these out at your wedding.

Decide the style and possible theme of your wedding. Your personal taste is the most important consideration. Certainly a traditional formal wedding is always in vogue. But today, many couples personalize their weddings from start to finish. Not only do some choose informal locations and non-religious officiants, but often they combine religions in the ceremony if each comes from a different heritage. Destination weddings are also common, such as a couple from Ohio marrying in the wedding facilities at Walt Disney World. There are also theme weddings ranging from Hawaiian beach luaus to vows exchanged in an atmosphere of medieval knights and ladies. The possibilities are only limited by your own imagination, so get imagining and write down all of the things you want for your very special day.

Once you have a clear idea of your wedding’s style and theme you should turn your attention to the number of wedding participants (bridesmaids, groomsmen, flower girl(s), ring bearer(s), ushers) and guests you would consider inviting. At this point the list is tentative since your monetary resources and the capacity of your wedding site and reception site could prompt revisions.

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