You are engaged! Now, it is time to start the planning and it is never too early to begin. If you have a year before you plan to tie the knot, here is a little guide to help you check things off your list leading up to the big day.
12 Months Out
- Determine your budget.
- Make a guest list.
- Hire a wedding planner.
- Decide formality and overall theme.
- Select the venue; while selecting your venue, throw out that pros and cons list and trust your gut—this decision is about how you feel when you’re there.
- Select the caterer.
11 Months Out
- Choose a color theme and start thinking of overall design.
- Hire vendors who book up quickly, including your photographer, band, DJ and videographer.
10 Months Out
- Start shopping for your wedding dress.
- Book hotel-room blocks for guests.
- Create your wedding website.
- Take engagement photos.
- Start looking at invitations.
9 Months Out
- Buy your wedding dress.
- Send save the dates.
8 Months Out
- Register for gifts.
- Select the bridesmaids’ dresses and schedule fittings within the month.
- Meet with potential florists.
7 Months Out
- Book the rehearsal dinner venue.
- Hire the ceremony musicians.
- Order rental items, such as specialty chairs, linens, draping, lounge furniture, white dance floor, etc.
- Hire an officiant.
6 Months Out
- Hire a lighting technician.
5 Months Out
- Book transportation for guests, if needed.
- Book the newlyweds’ transportation (limo, specialty car, etc.).
- Book the honeymoon.
- Buy or rent the groom’s tuxedo.
- Begin premarital counseling.
4 Months Out
- Have your final tasting with the caterer.
- Choose your cake.
- Buy wedding bands.
- Select the groomsmen’s attire and schedule fittings within the month.
- Do a hair and makeup trial.
3 Months Out
- Order the invitations and hire a calligrapher.
- Create or plan your menu.
- Brainstorm guest favors and gift bags.
- Write your vows.
- Select readings with the officiant.
- Start crafting any DIY items if you haven’t already.
2 Months Out
- Send the wedding invitations (with RSVPs due one month before the wedding).
- Send out rehearsal dinner invitations.
- Have your first dress fitting.
- Get your marriage license.
- Buy wedding-party gifts.
- Do a floral mock-up with your florist.
- Give the song selections to your
- band or DJ.
- Give the song selections to your
- ceremony musicians.
1 Month Out
- Assemble gift bags.
- Pay your vendors in full.
- Create a seating chart.
- Order or make your escort cards
- and place cards.
- Have a final venue walk-through.
- Put cash in tip envelopes for your planner/delegate to distribute.
- Break-in your wedding shoes.
YAY! Final Week!
You made it! Make sure you’re breathing and power through.
- Practice your vows out loud.
- Chase any RSVP stragglers and deliver the final headcount.
- Get your eyebrows done.
- Have a manicure/pedicure.
- Pack your bags for the honeymoon; don’t forget your passport if you’re leaving the country and confirm all travel arrangements.
- Can you believe it’s here?! It’s going to be a perfect and great day!
- Eat a healthy meal.
- Pack a clutch or small bag of personal items.
- Drink plenty of water!
- Get a good night’s sleep.
- Put any boxes, suitcases, bags and survival kits to bring to the ceremony or reception in the car! Prep for next day madness!
YOUR BIG DAY IS HERE!
- Eat breakfast.
- Drink even more water.
- Take your dress and veil out of the bag early on and have someone steam them if needed.
- Lay out all the items that you want your photographer to capture.
- Exchange notes with your partner.
- Say thank you to everyone around you.