Advance Planning of your Wedding.

As the wedding date approaches, less and less time will be available for wedding preparations.
You need to be in a position to enjoy the days leading up to your wedding,
as well as the wedding day itself.

To do this you must start planning your wedding early,
the earlier the better.
An average wedding is planned at least 9 to 12 months in advance.

Here is a guide to the things you need to plan for your big day.

Up To 12 Months Before The Wedding

Announce your engagement
Set your wedding date -
decide if you want a civil or religious ceremony
and book the church or other venue.
See a minister or wedding officiant to arrange the ceremony
and any paperwork you may need well in advance.

Select your best man, maid of honor, brides maids and ushers
and otherkey members of wedding party.

Plan your budget.
Establish who pays for what
Draw up your guest list.
Check with your place of ceremony, they may have limits on the number
of guests attending the wedding, fire regulations for example.
You can always invite a more guests to the reception.

Select your venue for the reception.
In some cases you might have to book a year in advance.
Check they have a room for you to change out of wedding attire into your going away clothes.

Book your professionals
i.e. Photographer (hopefully me!),
Caterer, Entertainment, Limo, Florist etc.

Think about your color scheme for the wedding

3 To 6 Months Before The Wedding

Confirm your booking with the caterer
and select your menu and drinks for the wedding.

Select your color scheme
and order your wedding dress and bridesmaids dresses.
Start wearing your wedding shoes around the house,
as this will break them in
and make them more comfortable on the big day

Decide on what the groom will wear
and clothing for the best man and ushers, normally matching tuxedos.

Confirm color scheme with florist and cake designer.
Organize the flowers for the church and the reception
as well as the bridal bouquet sprays and buttonholes

Go shopping together and select your wedding rings

Decide on the stores for Wedding Gift Registery Lists
If you are setting up a first home
this is the time to get all the essentials you need.
If you are already have those items, some couples prefer
cash towards larger items or towards the honeymoon

Choose a honeymoon destination
and book early.
Order your invitations and stationery needs

Decide on and order your reception favors.
Be sure to order disposabile cameras for every guest table at the reception.
You will enjoy the casual photos that everyone will take.
Leave a little note that the camera should be used freely
and left on the table to be collected at the end of the night.

Help both mothers coordinate their outfits.

2 Months Before The Wedding

Send out your invitations and keep note of all replies
Buy your going away clothes.
List gifts as they arrive and write Thank You notes.
Book a hotel room for your wedding night

Buy gifts for bridesmaids, best man, ushers
and anyone else you wish to thank

1 Month Before The Wedding

Follow up on invitation replies

Finalize the guest list
and confirm the final numbers with the caterers.

Confirm all transport arrangements

Visit you hairdresser with your headdress
to try out some hairstyles
and its worth paying a visit to a beautician for some advice on makeup.

The Week Before The Wedding

Have the final fittings for the Bride's dress, bridesmaids dresses,
groom's and usher's clothing.
Practice you hair and makeup.
Get the packing done for the honeymoon.
Buy Travelers checks and keep your tickets and passport in a safe place,
so there's no panic at the last minute

Prepare seating arrangements (if necessary)

Make sure your marriage license is in order

Have the wedding ceremony rehearsal

Instruct your wedding party on what they do on the wedding day.
Be sure that everyone knows your plan for photography after the ceremony

Give your best man the payment for the caterers, photographer, etc.

Confirm the caterer in writing the final head count

Check final arrangements with florist to ensure flowers arrive on time,
and confirm your photograph requirements with the photographer,
including any extra ideas you have thought of.

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JMichael Lazarus-Warren

A group photo of the whole family. Photo by JMichael