Helping Busy, Engaged Couples Plan The Wedding of Their Dreams
Most of the planning for the wedding should be shared by both the Bride and Groom, however, the Bride’s mother should also be allowed to share some of the responsibilities, if she so desires. This planner is mainly for the Bride, (see separate planner for the Groom located at the end of this section).
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9-12 Months before Wedding:
• Purchase a three ring binder and divide it into appropriate sections, start making notes and use it for filling quotations from various suppliers and stores, etc.
• Prepare a budget for your wedding plans.
• Decide on your wedding time and date.
• Decide upon whether it is to be a formal or informal affair.
• Choose and reserve the location of the ceremony and the reception.
• Reserve a tent if you are planning an outdoor reception.
• Consult with your Clergy, Priest or Rabbi.
• Choose your attendants, (the Groom chooses best man and ushers).
• Select a colour scheme for your wedding.
• Select your gown and accessories, and your attendant’s dresses.
• The groom and best man select their wedding attire.
• Draw up the bride and groom’s guest list.
• Plan the reception and include the M.C. in these plans.
• Select your caterer and discuss the menu for the reception.
• Select the following: Cakemakers and/or decorators, Florist, Photographer, Videographer, Music for the reception (Live Band or Disc Jockey).
Six Months before Wedding:
• Order wedding invitations, announcements, personal stationery and note paper.
• Make honeymoon plans & reservations. Take advantage of early reservation discounts. If necessary, arrange for passports and inoculations.
• Select wedding rings.
• Choose your trousseau.
• Mothers choose dresses, agree on colours.
• Find a new home and shop for furnishings that you will need.
• Register with bridal gift registry.
• Reserve your rehearsal dinner location, including immediate members of both families, the wedding party, spouses and close friends if possible.
• Book hotel accommodations for your attendants who may be coming from out-of-town, and reserve a block of rooms for out-of-town guests.
• Confirm dates, times and final arrangements with Cakemaker, Florist, Photographer, Videographer.
Three Months Before Wedding:
• Arrange for direction maps to all venues (Church, reception, etc.) to be drawn and sufficient copies made to include with all invitations.
• Prepare invitations, ensuring all inserts (maps, reply cards, hotel information) are included in all envelopes.
• Meet with caterer and discuss final menus, service charges, liquor costs, waiters and bartenders. Provide approximate number of guests. Make sure everything is confirmed in writing.
• Arrange for the transportation from the service to the reception: limousine service or horse and carriage. Remember to have these arrangements confirmed in writing.
Two Months Before Wedding:
Mail Wedding Invitations.
• Discuss and try different hairstyles with your hairstylist.
• Select gifts for your attendants.
• Find all the necessary birth or Baptismal certificates you may need for acquiring your marriage license.
• Apply for a marriage license: for details call your city hall.
• Plan a brunch for out-of-town guests for the morning after the wedding, or another activity prior to their departure. This is a gesture of appreciation for their presence at your wedding.
• Arrange time and place for a bridesmaid’s luncheon.
• Send or deliver wedding announcement to your local paper, provide photo if you wish it to be published.
• Arrange for your attendants’ gown fittings
• Record all gifts you receive in the appropriate section of your three ring binder. Be sure to list all names of gift givers &the gift they gave, as well as date of receipt.
• Meet with the organist and discuss the music for the service, also with your D.J. or band leader. Be sure everyone is clear on the type of music you wish played at the reception, as well as at the dance to follow. Clarify the breaks in the music, when and how long, agree on additional charges for possible overtime play.
Two Weeks Before Wedding:
• Set the wedding rehearsal date and confirm rehearsal dinner date and time with the restaurant, or with the caterer, as well as with all attendants, family members and friends who will be attending the rehearsal.
• Place your marriage license in a safe place and remember, you will need it at the ceremony.
• Be sure you have arranged transportation for out-of-town guests who will not have their own cars, not overlooking the fact they will need to be transported from the service to the reception.
• Move your belongings to your new home.
• Check all invitation responses and give final number of guests to your caterer. At this time finalize all previously discussed items, and have a written cost-per-person breakdown of food and drink signed by the caterer. Make sure you have a copy for yourself.
• Have a final fitting of your gown.
• Buy a Wedding Guest Book.
• Buy a gift for your Groom
• Make name and address changes at your bank, all credit cards, driver’s licenses, insurance policies and mail change of address cards to relatives and friends.
• Finalize seating arrangements for both the rehearsal dinner and the reception, make or have made place cards.
• Meet with your M.C. for general discussion, determining how you wish the reception proceedings to be handled. Provide the M.C. with names and phone numbers of relatives or friends with whom you would like him/her to consult.
• Start writing thank-you cards and notes for your guests. Do a few each day. Don’t leave them until after your return from your honeymoon.
• Decide upon the receiving line, and arrange with one of your ushers to organize this at the correct time just prior to the reception.
• Last minute purchases for your trousseau.
• Start packing for your honeymoon.
One Week Before Wedding:
• You will need to make final checks with all services and suppliers to your wedding. Remember your florist and photographer for example, may be servicing two or three other weddings on the same day. Be sure they have the correct times, address for your home, church, reception and photo session area, (with directions, if necessary).
• Go through your 3-ring binder, and be sure all suppliers and services have been checked for final arrangements.
• Your bridal party gifts should be wrapped and gifts for those relatives or friends who have been particularly helpful in planning your wedding.
• Arrange with a family member or close friend to help the photographer and videographer to identify those persons whom you wish to be photographed or taped for your wedding library.