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Working with a Workable Wedding Plan

The question has been popped! The ring has been sized and now sits beautifully on the bride-to-be’s hand as her friends and family “oh” and “ah” over it. The groom-to-be thinks that the only thing he has left to do is help set the date, say yes to a few questions here and there and show up on the blessed day in his tux. The bride-to-be on the other hand knows that there a million details that need to be decided, and she does not want to be worried about those details as she walks down the aisle.

There are a few things that can be done up to a year in advance prior to the wedding for both the bride and groom.

Twelve Months and Counting:

  • Sit down with your fiancé and talk about your budget. Knowing what your budget is from the start helps keep you organized as well as making sure that everyone knows how much you are spending.
  • Schedule a time to meet with the parents from both sides and get everyone’s input on the details. Even brothers or sisters who have recently been married are good to talk with because they might have some wedding experiences you can benefit from having or avoid.
  • Brainstorm and write a list of any and everything everyone can think of that will need to be decided, for example the colors, a possible theme, and the general size of the wedding. Discussing the big decisions first will make the smaller ones easier.
  • Considering your and your fiancé’s immediate family, decide on a wedding date and venue. Many times the date revolves around the availability of venues. You will also want to make sure that your venue for the reception is available the same day as your ceremony venue.
  • Decide who your attendants are going to be and let them know. Although this is a big day for you, the attendants need to make sure that they are able to share it with you by marking off the day on their calendars.
  • Once the general decisions have been made, it is time to browse for your consultant, photographer, florist, etc. and make a decision about who you want working with you for the big day. Their books fill up quickly so you want make sure that you get your first choice by reserving their services as soon as you have set your date

Nine Months and Counting:

  • Every girl dreams of picking out her wedding dress. Well now is the time for you to pick yours! And don’t forget, you will have to shop for the perfect accessories to go with it.
  • Take your fiancé and go complete your gift registries. Let him hold the scanner while you pick out everything from china to linens to kitchenware. It would be a good idea to get his input occasionally however since he will be using some of those gifts.

Six Months and Counting:

  • Time to make things official and get your engagement picture taken for all to see the first image of the happy couple.
  • Meet with your fiancé and the clergy-member/judge to discuss the ceremony. Every wedding ceremony is different because every couple wants different things to be said during their special day. Also, some denominations require marriage counseling prior to the wedding ceremony.
  • Start your guest list and make sure that your fiancé knows that he is responsible for his half of the list.
  • Once the guest list is compiled, you need to order invitations so they can be addressed as soon as they arrive from the printers.
  • You definitely have to have a girl’s day out to shop for your attendants dresses. It is a good idea to take both your mother as well as your maid of honor with you. They will both have good ideas to help you make the most appropriate choice. Just remember, you want to make sure you pick something that is flattering to all of your attendants not just your maid of honor.
  • Just like you had to plan ahead for the reception venue, it is now time to plan ahead for the rehearsal dinner venue. Make sure that you and your fiancé discuss this because you know that various members of the bridal party and you want to make sure you pick something that everyone will enjoy.
  • This is also a good time to start looking past the wedding at the honeymoon. You have probably talked about it before, but now is the time to really start getting the details worked out so once your big day ends, you can continue the fun on your honeymoon.

Four Months and Counting:

  • Finalize the two guest lists that have been created and make one master list to go off of from now on.
  • Make sure that both of the wedding rings have been ordered and are on their way. Also make sure the jeweler has the sizes for both you and your fiancé.
  • Make sure that your have a request list for your photographer, videographer, and musicians together and that they all have the list. Make sure you check with all of them so that there are no questions about the requests.
  • Find out which guests are coming in from out-of-town and start to plan their lodging details. Remember, you know more about the area then they do.
  • It is time to don your dress and have your portrait made. This is also a great time to set up an appointment with your hairdresser for the day of the wedding. Also while you have your dress on, it is a good thing to make any last minute alterations and confirm when the dress will be ready.
  • This is also the time when you need to make an appointment with your gynecologist to make sure that everything is okay.
  • If you need another reason to have a girl’s day out, shopping for trousseau is it! Of course you can get trousseau by yourself, but it is more fun with your maid of honor and some of your attendants. Who knows, they might even throw you a trousseau party!

Four to Six Weeks and Counting:

  • Put those perfectly addressed invitations in the mail
  • Decide on a picture and the copy of your wedding announcement and send it to your newspapers. Don’t forget if your future in-laws are from out of town you might want to consider running an announcement in their local paper too.
  • You need to talk with your musician and/or MC to make sure that all of your music selections as well as the formal dances for the reception are set up to both you and your fiancé’s liking.
  • Once you have picked out your attendants’ gift, it is a good time to also plan for your bridesmaids’ party.
  • Pick up and try on your dress. There is still enough time for any alterations that need to be done, so do not put off trying on your dress once you get it from the seamstress. This is also a good time to have a practice run with your headpiece again to make sure you do not want to change your hairstyle for the wedding.
  • If you write your thank-you notes, or at least start to write them now, you will save yourself time after the honeymoon.

One Week and Counting:

  • This is the time to do last minute checks with everyone. Give the final guest list count to the caterer, check with the florist for about the arrangements, make sure that the photographer knows the definite portrait shots you want, etc. At this point, it should be a smooth review of months of planning
  • Go to your bridesmaids’ party and enjoy yourself! This is one of the last times that you get to be with them as a single gal, so have fun.
  • Get the post reception items together. Pick out your going-away outfit that you are going to change into and put the entire outfit aside. Also, pre-pack as much as you can for the honeymoon so all you have to do is close the suitcase and go. This is also a good time to get your traveler’s checks together and don’t forget to put them with all of your honeymoon information.
  • Don’t forget that this is also the time to start making two households into one. Set up a move date that will be convenient for both you and you fiancé to move all of your belongings into your new home.
  • Just because you are organized and remember every detail of the wedding and the events leading up to it, does not mean that all of your bridal party will. Make sure you remind them of times and places they need to be there. This is also the time to give your attendants their gifts.

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