wedding planning

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First Things First

Wedding Planning Timeline
How Are We Going to Pay for All This?


Spreading the Word

Choosing Wedding Invitations
Wedding Invitation Wording
Wedding Invitation Etiquette


Keeping Your Sanity

Avoiding the Guilt Trap
Advice from the Bride
Top 10 Wedding Stress Busters



Setting the Mood

Finding a Wedding Location
A Guide to Wedding Flowers
Wedding Centerpiece Ideas


Shaping Up

Get in Shape for the Big Day
Online Personal Training


Dressing the Part

Wedding Gown Guide
Proper Groom's Attire
Shop for Wedding Shoes


Oh, Behave!

Wedding Etiquette Tips
Bachelorette Party Ideas
Bachelor Party Ideas


Eat, Drink and Be Married

Wedding Catering Options
A Guide to Wedding Cakes


'Tis Better to Give...

Wedding Favor Ideas
Bridesmaid Gift Ideas
Groomsman Gift Ideas


Making Your Getaway

Destination Weddings
Honeymoon Planning Tips


Beyond the Big Day

Newlywed Cooking Tips
Financial Advice for Newlyweds


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Wedding Planning Timeline


Stay on track by following this wedding planning timeline and you'll never have reason to be stressed out.


10 to 12 Months Before

-Announce your engagement to friends, family and coworkers.
-Pick a wedding date.
-Determine your wedding budget and who will pay for what.
-Start thinking about your guest list so that you have an approximate head count.
-Find and reserve a ceremony site and officiant.
-Find and reserve a reception site.
6 to 9 Months Before

-Choose the members of the wedding party and make sure they'll be available on your wedding date.
-Choose a caterer, if not included with your reception site.
-Set up wedding gift registries.
-Find your bridal gown.
-Choose bridal attendants' gowns.
-Book a photographer and/or videographer.
-Book a florist.
-Book a band and/or DJ.
4 to 6 Months Before

-Order wedding invitations (and matching thank you note stationary, if you so choose)
-Order your bridal gown, shoes and veil.
-Hire a pastry chef to make your wedding cake, if it isn't included in the catering.
-Scout out accommodations for out-of-town guests, if needed. Most hotels offer a discounted rate if you reserve a block of rooms for a large group.
-Complete your guest list.
2 to 4 Months Before

-Call your county clerk to get requirements for obtaining a marriage license.
-Get a blood test, if required for your license.
-Order tuxedos or suits for the groom and groomsmen.
-Make honeymoon travel arrangements and obtain any documents needed for international travel.
-Arrange a tasting with the caterer and finalize the menus, wine lists and service.
-Order your cake.
-Order wedding bands for bride and grooms.
-Hire a party rental company for tables, chairs, etc. if it isn't included with your reception site or catering service.
-Have your dress fitting and order any necessary alterations.
4 to 8 Weeks Before

-Mail out invitations 8 weeks before wedding date.
-Arrange a consultation with your hair stylist and/or make-up artist to determine "your look." Bring whatever headpiece you'll wear at the wedding.
-Book appointments for yourself (and your attendants, if needed) with the hairdresser and/or make-up artist.
-Go through insurance policies with your fiance/fiancee to see what changes you'll need to make to reflect your married status.
-Book a restaurant or catering hall for the rehearsal dinner, if needed.
2 to 3 Weeks Before

-Ask a friend or family member to contact invitees who haven't yet RSVPed so that you can get a final head count.
-Make seating arrangements for the reception, if you so choose, and have name cards printed or written by a calligrapher.
-Confirm the wedding schedule and details with photographer, videographer, officiant, caterer and florist. The caterer will need a final head count at this time.
-Have a final dress fitting to make sure all alterations were done correctly.

-Write your wedding vows.
1 Week Before

-Have bachelor and bachelorette parties.
-Purchase a guest book and fancy pen.
-Delegate last-minute tasks to trusted friends or family members, e.g. appoint someone to bring the guest book, toasting glasses, etc.
-If you haven't hired a wedding coordinator or DJ, make sure someone will take on the responsibility of announcing the first dance, cake cutting time, etc. at the reception.
-Pamper yourself with a massage, wrap, facial, or other relaxing beauty treatment.
-Pack for your honeymoon.
The Day Before

-Do some form of low-impact exercise to work off nervous energy, but allow plenty of time to make yourself look fabulous for the rehearsal dinner.
-Attend wedding rehearsal and rehearsal dinner.


The Big Day

-Relax and have fun knowing that all the details have been taken care of!



Top 5 Planning Tips

1. Get a dedicated credit card for all of your wedding expenses so that you can dispute the charge if a deal falls though.

2 Earn miles toward your honeymoon with a frequent flyer miles credit card.

3. Get the best deal on airfare, hotel and rental cars for your honeymoon

4. Create your own web page with information about your wedding date, location, gift registries, and hotels for out-of-town guests.

5. If you plan to take your spouse's name, get a Name Change Kit to ensure you cover everything.

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