12 to 16 Months Before the Wedding
Choose a wedding date.! Don't rush, give yourself enough time.!
The best way to do this is to visit ceremony and reception
facilities at which you would like to be married and have your
reception.! Choose a date based on availability.! If you give
yourself a year or more to plan, you have a much greater chance
of booking your desired venue on your desired date.
Start a wedding ﬁle.! This is a ﬁle or folder to keep all your
wedding documents, contracts etc! Organization is the key to
staying sane during the planning phase.
Discuss & Choose the style and formality of your wedding.!
Pick what best suits your lifestyle, personalities and budget.!
"Formal",! "Semi-Formal" or "Informal".! There is no wrong
choice.! This is your day and you should make it your own.! This
will also help in narrowing down which venues you will consider.
Put an announcement of your recent engagement in the
local paper.! This is optional, but is a nice touch and memento.
Decide on a wedding budget.! Common sense dictates that you
do not spend beyond your means.! The last thing you want is to
begin your marriage in major debt because of your wedding.
Hire a wedding consultant if you plan to.! Some brides choose
to hire a wedding consultant to ease the stress of planning or
because their schedule doesn't allow enough time for planning.
!Select a ceremony location.! Keep in mind that reservations
are sometimes booked over a year in advance, so if you ﬁnd one
that you like, put a security deposit down to hold the date.!
Always check the cancellation/refund policies ﬁrst and have them
Select a reception site.! Many times the ceremony and
reception will be held in the same facility.! If this is not the case,
be sure that the ceremony and reception facilities are available
on the same date.! also keeping in mind that they sometimes
book over a year in advance.! Again, always check the
cancellation/refund policies ﬁrst and have them in writing.
Start shopping for a wedding gown.! Custom gowns can take
up to a! year to prepare.! Be sure to begin this process as early
as possible.! Sometimes the wedding gown can become a stress
factor, so the more time you leave for this, the better.! Keep in
mind that alterations and ﬁnal dress ﬁttings can also eat up extra
time. There are no refunds on wedding gown purchases, so
make sure your selection is 100% what you want.! You can also
start looking for a coordinating your veil.
8 to 10 Months Before the Wedding
Select your bridal party and request their participation in your
Interview and Hire the following:!
Wedding ofﬁciant.! This can be a religious or civil person
depending on your beliefs and preference.
Reception Caterer.! if your reception site does not provide one,
you will need to arrange for your own.! Once you have found one
that appeals to you be sure to secure your date with a signed
contract and a security deposit.! As always, be comfortable with!
your selection, and know the refund/cancellation policies in the
event you cancel or change your date. And remember, Thunder
Bay is a versatile caterer for your wedding reception, from a
tapas and cocktail reception to a sit down dinner.
Photographer and Videographer.! If your budget allows for it,
hire a professional.! There will only be one chance to get this
Band or DJ.! Interview several.! Review demo CD's to hear their
sound and style.! A good band or DJ can make a reception, but a
bad one can all but ruin it.
Decide on bridesmaids dresses.! When ordering your gowns
for the women, be sure to order them at the same time to assure
an identical dye lot.! Be sure to bring this factor up to the person
taking the dress order as well.
Start compiling names & addresses for the guest list.! Keep
in mind that you still have to combine and reﬁne your list, his list,
his family's list, your parents' list and the ﬁnal list.! If you are
limited to the number of guests that can be invited to the
wedding, be sure to give your families! the number of guests they
may include in their list. By requesting a certain number of guest
beforehand, you alleviate a lot of potential stress. Also, try to
make the request even on both parents' sides.!
Sign up for a gift registry.! Gift registries are a great way of
ensuring that you get items you really want and can use.! It also
makes your guests' shopping much easier.! Be sure to choose
items for your registry from every price range to accommodate
each guest's budget.
Engagement party.! It's a great way to get the families and
friends together beforehand.
5 to 7 Months Before the Wedding
Finalize the guest list.!! Determine the number of invitations and
thank you cards that need to be ordered.
Shop for! your wedding stationery.! Invitations, thank you
cards and personal stationery.
Arrange accommodations.! Some guest (such as out-of-
towners) may wish to stay at a nearby hotel after the festivities.
Select your wedding cake.! Give careful thought to you & your
ﬁancé's favorite ﬂavors, style, size, decorations and color.
Begin preparations for your honeymoon.! Consult with your
travel agent and discuss possible honeymoon destinations and
prices.! Make arrangements early to catch the lowest airfares. !
4 Months Before the Wedding
Book! your ﬂorist.! Once you have found one that appeals to
you be sure to secure your order with a signed contract and a
security deposit.! Be 100% sure of your selection, and know the
refund/cancellation policies in the event you cancel or change
Shop for your wedding bands.! You should do this with your
ﬁancé.! You will both be wearing these rings for a long time, so
you should both be happy with your selection.
Visit your physician. Get your physical examinations and blood
tests if required to obtain a marriage license in your state.
3 Months Before the Wedding
Send out your invitations.! Be sure to include everyone who
received a save the date magnet or card.! Double check the
postage required to ensure that the invitations reach your guests.
Select tuxedos.! Get all the groomsmen, best man and couple's
fathers together.! Measurements should be taken at the tux shop
(to ensure a proper ﬁt).
Arrange for rental of items needed for your ceremony and
reception.! This includes but is not limited to, arches,
candelabras, china, crystal, ﬂatware, ﬂowing punch fountains,
and silver if necessary.!
Discuss ﬁnalized menu options and costs with your caterer.!
Conﬁrm arrival and departure times, as well as any added extras.
Arrange transportation/ limousine service for the wedding
party to the ceremony and reception.
Order wedding favors and ribbons (imprinted).! Don't forget the
extra's such as imprinted napkins, matches, and coasters.
Shop for bridal party gifts.
Begin any necessary counseling sessions with your wedding
2 Months Before the Wedding
Choose your wedding music and share your selections with
your Band or DJ.
Select a location for your rehearsal dinner and make the
necessary reservations & deposits.
Conﬁrm with formal wear shop that they have received all
measurements of every male attendant.
Schedule your alterations and ﬁnal ﬁtting for the gown
Schedule fittings for the bridesmaids and flower girl.
Make arrangements for your "Bridesmaid Luncheon" and
other "Pre-Wedding Parties".
Order address labels with you & your future husband's new
name & new address. This adds a personalized touch when
sending out your wedding thank you cards.
Confirm your order with the florist.
1 Month Before the Wedding
Design your wedding programs.! You don't want to do this too
much sooner than this because things inevitably change.
Apply for your marriage license.
Have a final gown fitting.
Choose all of your wedding accessories.! There are many
accessories that you will need to choose for your big day.
Visit your hair stylist, work on a style with your veil.
Visit your make-up artist the same day.
Hair & make-up done, have your formal bridal portraits done.
Discuss and finalize details with wedding service providers.
2 Weeks Before the Wedding
Call any guests that haven't sent back their response card
(there will almost always be a few)
Give the caterer a finalized head count.
Pick up your marriage license.
Give your DJ or Band a list of songs that you may have come
up with since your last contact with them.
Conﬁrm rehearsal plans with your ofﬁciant and church wedding
Obtain any legal information regarding changing your name
for: Drivers License, Social Security Card, Vehicle Documents,
Credit Cards, Bank Accounts, Investment Accounts, Passport,
Change of Address Card with Post Ofﬁce, Insurance Policies,
Voter Registration Card, Subscriptions, Employment Records,
Billing Address/Name Change.
Complete ﬂoor and seating plan for reception.
Confirm all rental and floral delivery dates and times.
Conﬁrm arrival time for all attendants.
Check all parking arrangements
1 Week Before the Wedding
Make any last minute seating arrangements/adjustments.
Organize your wedding day attire, make sure you try
everything on & it ﬁts perfectly.
Confirm honeymoon reservations.
Confirm reservations for out-of-town guests.
Pick up passports (if necessary).
Gather all necessary documents for travel.!
Conﬁrm rehearsal plans with attendants and request that they
arrive on time.
Confirm reservations for the rehearsal dinner.
Pick up formalwear. Be sure to try everything on & make sure
all your accessories are there.
Your Groom's bachelor party should be during this week prior
to the wedding. !Remind him to be on his best behavior!
Go through your list of things to do and make sure all your
bases are covered
Pack your wedding day emergency kit.
Get a manicure and pedicure.
Put wedding attire and accessories together.
Try to get a good night's sleep!
Eat Something! It will help the Pre-Wedding Jitters if you have
something in your stomach!
Get your hair and make-up done (wear a button up shirt to
keep everything perfect).
Have someone check the reception site. (as early as possible)
Have candid photos taken with family.
Enjoy, you've worked hard !!
Most Importantly... If anything doesn't go according to plan,
don't worry,! your guests probably won't even notice the
Have your wedding gown and flowers preserved.