Bride’s Wedding Planning Guide

There’s so much to do when planning a wedding. Being organized is the best way to make sure you have your dream-come-true wedding. Like most things in the world today, wedding trends come and go. And the same tools that make it easy for us to discover new trends often overload us with too much information. So whether you’re planning a small bohemian style wedding or a huge extravaganza, the key is to break things down into manageable bits. That’s why we made a straightforward checklist, broken down by months left, of what to do and when to do. Just click the link at the bottom of the page to use our free and easy 12 month bride’s wedding planning guide checklist. It has all the information you need to help you keep yourself on track. If you’re tech savvy and want to plan using your phone, tablet or pc you can check out some of our favorite wedding planning apps.

Bride’s List (12-Month)

12 Months
-Meet the in-laws
-Research color themes
-Research flowers
-Research dresses
-Put ideas into a scrapbook (i.e. magazine clippings, webpages)
-Discuss wedding date ideas (season, month, weekday)

11 Months
-Discuss a ‘mock’ guest list
-Discuss wedding budget & expenses list
-Have engagement ring re-sized, appraised, and insured

10 Months
-Agree on an official wedding date
-Select bridal party
Search and book wedding reception and venues
-Schedule rehearsal times
Hire a wedding planner (optional)

9 Months
-Book the officiant
-Hire the photographer
-Hire videographer
-Conduct wedding and reception site inspections with fiance

8 Months
-Select bridal party
-Book hotel reservations for out-of-towners
-Quote group discount tickets for air travel
-Refine and finalize the ‘mock’ guest list
-Get wedding invitation ideas
-Select Save-the-Date cards
-Begin wedding gown shopping

7 Months
-Book caterer
-Mail the Save-the-Date cards
-Order ‘Thank You’ notes for early gifts
-Purchase wedding gown
-Create a wedding website
-Discuss honeymoon locations

6 Months
-Send traveling and lodging info to out-of-towners
-Book lighting company
-Book florist
-Select bridesmaids
-Interview makeup artists and hair stylists
-Open a registry
-Get wedding insurance
-Begin vaccinations for destination wedding or honeymoon
-Book rehearsal dinner
-Book Day-After-Brunch location
-Book music for ceremony
-Book music for reception
Book day of wedding coordinator

5 Months
-Order wedding invitations
-Order wedding/ reception maps to include with invitations
-Order ‘Thank You’ notes for after the wedding
-Book calligrapher (optional)
-Order wedding announcements
-Begin custom designing jewelry if desired
-Get or renew passport
-Book rental item (i.e tents) now
-Have engagement photos taken
-Order the flower girl’s dress

4 Months
-Schedule a cake tasting
-Book your makeup artist and hairstylist
-Find gifts for the wedding party
-Research marriage license requirements and plan time to file the application
-Review invitation proof
-Quote travel insurance
-Book hotel room for wedding night
-Make guest list for the bride and groom showers
-Book transportation to ceremony and venue for bridal party
-If needed, order transportation for guests
-Begin discussing preunps

3 Months
-Choose menu for wedding ceremony and rehearsal dinner
-Plan ceremony with officiant
-Consult with florist on arrangements
-Order personal flower arrangements
-Choose table linens and napkins
-Place order for tabletop rentals (i.e. silverware, glassware)
-Purchase wedding rings
-Order wedding cake
Start choosing music and a ‘Do-Not-Play’ list
-Come up with wedding favor ideas
-Purchase wedding rehearsal, bridal shower and bachelorette party outfits
-Finalize details with officiant
-Maintain registry
-Purchase wedding and rehearsal dinner undergarments
-Book a dress fitting
-Book food tasting
-Arrange the ‘Day-after’ brunch
-Before mailing invitations deliver envelopes and one invitation to the wedding calligrapher
-Weigh one complete invitation for correct postage
-Choose stamps for invitations
-Stuff invitations
-Order rehearsal dinner invitations
-Order ‘Day-after-brunch’ invitations
-Schedule all rehearsal times
-Choose Ketubah (Jewish weddings)
Choose wedding reception dance songs
-Begin a draft for your wedding vows. Research wedding vow ideas.
-Book dance lessons

8 Weeks
-Finalize invitation list addresses
-Mail wedding invitations
-Mail rehearsal dinner invitations
-Attend food tasting and wine tasting
-Choose seating cards and places
-Order table numbers
-Order cocktail napkins and guest towels
-Purchase shower gifts for the hosts
-Purchase gifts for the maid-of-honor and the bridesmaids
-Place the wedding announcements for the newspaper
-Purchase wedding shoes. Break them in and bring them to the tailor
-Purchase wedding favors
-Purchase wedding gifts for out-of-towners
-Purchase head piece
-Finalize honeymoon plans
-Complete any testing needed for marriage license

7 Weeks
-If any changes, update the guest list
-Create schedule for the wedding events
-Write thank-you notes for shower gifts

6 Weeks
-Have a final meeting with your DJ to go over details such as the playing schedule, attire, set-up and do-not-play list.
-Create list for photo ideas for the photographer
-Create list for video ideas for the videographer
-Obtain marriage license

5 Weeks
-Choose ceremony readings
-Check the ring sizes and have them personalized if desired

4 Weeks
-Obtain marriage license.
-Contact anyone who has not confirmed RSVP
-Finalize the checklist for the wedding events
-Send final checklist to any vendors, and the officiant
-Work on the seating chart
-Have a final, detailed meeting with the officiant about what to expect
-Have hairstylist and makeup artist do a test trial
-Have the programs printed
-Order reception menus
-Purchase the guest book, handkerchief, garter, something old, borrowed, new, blue, unity candle, kiddush cup, cake-cutting knife, toasting flutes
-Go over shot-list with photographer & videographer
-Go over final honeymoon reservations. Reserve any special outgoings for your honeymoon.
-Book manicure/ pedicure appointment day before the wedding
-Finalize your vows
-Have bachelorette party

3 Weeks
-Have final meeting with florist
Write toast and speeches for the reception
-Purchase thank you gifts for the parents
-Arrange for people to accept gifts and arrange seating at the reception

2 Weeks
-Have final dress fitting
-Maintain gift registry

1 Week
-Pick up dress
-Start packing for the honeymoon
-Finalize seating arrangements
-Give calligrapher seating cards and table numbers
-Provide the seating chart for the photographer and the videographer
-Stay up to date on the forecast for wedding day
-Confirm food and bar menu with the caterer

4/5 Days
-Arrange transportation to and from airport for honeymoon
-Write thank you notes for the parents showing your appreciation

2/3 Days
-Confirm honeymoon hotel reservations
-Check wedding forecast
-Practice vows
-Pack bags and emergency kit for wedding
-Give out-of-towners gifts
-Give programs to the person who will distribute them
-Give placement cards, seating charts, to the person who will be distributing them
-Give guest book, cutting knife, toasting glasses to person who will be placing them
-Give wedding favors to the person distributing them
-Check to make bridesmaids outfits are complete. Accessories included.
-Reconfirm wedding night hotel reservations

Day Before
-Practice vows and speeches
-Get manicure/ pedicure
-Adjust seating chart for last minute cancellations
-Treat bridal party to lunch or have a get together
-Give gifts to bridesmaids
-Rehearse ceremony
-Rehearse dinner
-Get well rested

Wedding Day
-Get steaming service for wedding attire
-Have wedding gift and note sent to the groom
-Make sure groom or best man hasn’t forgot the wedding rings or certificate
-Have the maid-of-honor and best man sign the certificate as witnesses
-Enjoy the day
-Arrange to have maid-of-honor and best man take gifts back with them

Day After
-Enjoy the Day-After-Brunch
-Send ‘Thank You’ notes to the parents
-Thank attendants
-Return any rentals
-Deposit monetary wedding gifts
-Freeze top layer of cake
-Send flowers for preservation services
-Plan to get any stains on wedding attire taken care of by the cleaners

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