9 to 12 months
- Set a budget
- Make the guest list
- Set the date
- Research and reserve a venue
- Determine the wedding party
6 to 9 months
- Choose colors
- Order invites
- Register for gifts
- Interview key vendors (Florist, Photographer, Baker, Caterer)
- Find and secure an officiant
- Shop for and order dress
- Shop for and select attendants' gowns
4 to 6 months
- Meetings with key vendors (Florist, Photographer, Baker, Caterer)
- Plan the honeymoon
- Arrange for passports
- Obtain marriage license and other legalities
- Order rings
Here's a list from Real Simple that's a bit more in depth.
Seven to Six Months Before
- Select and purchase invitations. Hire a calligrapher, if desired. Addressing cards is time-consuming, so you need to budget accordingly. They are ready to be addressed.
- Start planning a honeymoon. Make sure that your passports are up-to-date, and schedule doctors’ appointments for any shots you may need. We have some options, but haven't decided for sure yet.
- Shop for bridesmaids’ dresses. Allow at least six months for the dresses to be ordered and sized. Chose the dresses but haven't ordered them yet.
- Meet with the officiant. Map out the ceremony and confirm that you have all the official documents for the wedding (these vary by county and religion). Need to talk about that.
- Book a florist. Florists can serve multiple clients on one day, which is why you can wait a little longer to engage one. Plus, at this point, you’ll be firm on what your wedding palette will be. Got that one done awhile ago.
- Start composing a day-of timeline. Draw up a schedule of the event and slot in each component (the cake-cutting, the first dance). What?! Is this a joke?
Five to Four Months Before
- Book the rehearsal and rehearsal-dinner venues. Negotiate the cost and the menu. If you’re planning to host a day-after brunch for guests, book that place as well.
- Check on the wedding invitations. Ask the stationer for samples of the finished invitations and revise them to suit your needs.
- Select and order the cake. Some bakers require a long lead time. Attend several tastings before committing to any baker.
- Send your guest list to the host of your shower. Provided you, ahem, know about the shower.
- Purchase wedding shoes and start dress fittings. Bring the shoes along to your first fitting so the tailor can choose the appropriate length for your gown.
- Schedule hair and makeup artists. Make a few appointments with local experts to try them out. Snap a photo at each so you can compare results.
- Choose your music. What should be playing when the wedding party is announced? During dinner? To kick off the dancing? Keep a running list of what you want—and do not want—played.
My focus right now is to schedule meetings with bakers. I tried to do that the week before last, but their schedules are funky. I am meeting with Fleur di Lis Cakes on November 5th, so at least there's that. Bakers have been kind of frustrating to find. I've noticed that they tend to have terrible sites with terrible pictures. I haven't seen any cakes that I've really been impressed with either. And it's kind of scary ... I have pictures of what I want, but what happens when it's delivered and looks terrible? It's not like the wedding dress that you see it before you buy ... yowza. I've just seen some really terrible cakes and hopefully mine doesn't turn out to be one of them. I kind of wish my mom could just bake it haha. I'd love to have these key lime cupcakes from Bon Appetit. I made them a year or so ago and they are definitely my favorite cake concoction ever.
Ugh, I am feeling overwhelmed again and I haven't even done anything. I understand that your wedding is supposed to be the best day of your life and all, but it just seems ridiculous how much time and effort is supposed to go into it.
I can't seem to get anything done, let alone personalize it and think about the details. I have a feeling this wedding is not going to be very cute or thoughtful. I don't really have the energy to add thoughtful touches, nor do I have any good ideas. And stupid stuff like ... who is going to do my hair? I have never gone to a real "salon." So I guess I have to start going to a fancy hair place so I can find a hairdresser who I trust?
Well, I guess I needed a wake up call at some point. It's just a pain because these next weeks are particularly hectic with crazy deadlines at work and freelance projects. It doesn't help that I have four articles due tomorrow and I haven't started any. I guess I should say ciao to this stupid blog entry and hope the checklist magically gets completed in my sleep.