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Planning - Organization

- Task Calendar
- Organizing Receipts and Info

- Back to the Planning Guide

Task Calendar
Here is a rough list of what needs to be done and when. Of course, everyone is going to have a different amount of time between the engagement and the marriage, so you'll have to work out a schedule of your own based on these guidelines.
12 months +
  • Announce your engagement

  • Decide on a budget

  • Pick a wedding date

  • Find a wedding consultant (if desired)

9-11 months
  • Get a folder or binder for organizing info and receipts

  • Start looking at reception sites (book one as soon as possible)

  • Interview caterers and pick one

  • Start looking for an officiant

  • Decide on how many guests you want

  • Choose your attendants/groomsmen early so that you can delegate tasks

  • Find a ceremony site

  • Choose a theme for your wedding/reception (colors, style, etc.)

  • Start looking for a wedding gown

  • Finalize the guest list with full names, addresses, etc.

  • Start looking for a band/DJ and book them as soon as possible

  • Look into any rentals you need for your reception site

  • Decide on an officiant and meet with them

  • Interview photographers (and videographer)

  • Make a final decision on your gown

6-8 months
  • Reserve your photographer (and videographer)

  • Choose a florist and tell them what you have in mind for your flowers

  • Give your bridesmaids/groomsmen lists of tasks

  • Decide on where you are going to register and pick what you want

  • Find dresses for your bridesmaids

  • Send out "Save the Date" cards or contact out-of-town guests

  • Select a baker and choose your wedding cake style

  • Get your bridesmaids' measurements, or have them order their dresses themselves

  • Find ceremony musicians (if desired)

  • Order your wedding gown

  • Start planning the rehearsal dinner

  • Figure out what style and wording you want for your invitations

  • Finalize menu and service details with your caterer

  • Order your invitations (make sure you get extra, just in case!)

4-5 months
  • Groom should decide on what he and his groomsmen will wear

  • Rent what you need for your reception (tables, chairs, etc.) unless they provide it

  • Start planning the honeymoon and book as soon as possible

  • Book a calligrapher or printer for your invitations

  • Reserve a site for your rehearsal dinner

  • Book hotel room for your wedding night

  • Finalize your decision on a floral scheme and tell the florist

2-3 months
  • Choose your accessories and have the bridesmaids coordinate

  • Want to try out different beauty ideas (hair dye, tanning, etc)? Do it now

  • Find and purchase your wedding rings

  • Schedule bridal portraits or engagement pictures (if desired)

  • Groom should have his attire ordered or rented

  • Make sure bridesmaids and groomsmen have bought their attire

  • Make or buy your favors

  • Talk to your attendants about a bridal shower and bachelor party

  • Buy wedding day lingerie and shoes in time for your first dress fitting

  • Get passports, vaccinations, etc. if you are having an international honeymoon

  • Pick up your invitations or make sure they have been shipped to you already

  • Start taking better care of yourself- exercise, eat right, etc.

  • Talk to people who you'd like to do something at your wedding

  • Start addressing your invitations

  • Confirm delivery date of your gown and schedule your fitting appointments

  • Talk to your insurance provider and have your spouse included after the wedding

  • Get wedding bands engraved (if not done when purchased)

  • Groom should buy all necessary accessories

  • Make a guest list for your bridal shower and give it to the host

  • Begin your dress fitting appointments

  • Decide on wedding day transportation and reserve, if necessary

  • Send out your invitations

5-6 weeks
  • Order any drinks not included in the catering contract

  • Purchase your veil before your final fitting

  • Begin working on your vows if you are writing your own

  • Update your registry as you receive gifts

  • Research local marriage license requirements

  • Go to your final gown fitting

  • Start using whitening toothpaste and other products

  • Finalize your vows

  • Write "Thank-you" notes for bridal shower gifts

  • Buy a guestbook and matching pen

  • Visit with your hairstylist to decide on the best hairdo to go with your veil

3-4 weeks
  • Send rehearsal dinner invitations

  • Schedule appointments to get your hair and make-up done on your wedding day

  • Get marriage license

  • Work on a song list for your band/DJ

  • Pick out the jewelry and other accessories you don't have yet

  • Meet with or call your officiant to finalize details

  • Confirm wedding night and honeymoon reservations

  • Do the necessary paperwork if your are changing your name

  • Pick up your gown and make sure it fits right

  • Pick up your veil and/or headpiece

  • Get your bridal portrait or other pictures (if desired)

  • Work out wedding day timing issues and make sure attendants know the info

  • Call guests who haven't RSVP'd yet to get a final headcount

  • Confirm headcount with caterer and other vital information

  • Determine your receiving line order (if necessary)

  • Figure out wedding day assignments for attendants and family members

  • Practice walking in your wedding dress

  • Call reception site to make sure all vendors will be able to get inside

1-2 weeks
  • Put together a seating plan (if you're having one)

  • Give the plan to the caterer, or whoever will be in charge of the tables

  • Contact your officiant and give them final details about the rehearsal/ wedding

  • Confirm delivery time, location, and final arrangement count with florist

  • Groom should pick up tux and make sure it fits right

  • Shop and pack for the honeymoon

  • Confirm all final payment amounts with vendors

  • Confirm location, date and time with photographer (and videographer)

  • Groom should get a final hair cut (don't wait till last minute!)

  • Prepare your toasts and ask close friends and family to work on theirs

  • Contact transportation providers with a list of times and locations

  • Distribute wedding day directions, schedule, and tasks to wedding party

  • Designate someone to meet with and handle the vendors on the wedding day

  • Pack an overnight bag for your wedding night

  • Put final payments and tips for vendors in envelops to hand out after the wedding

  • Confirm location, date and time with band/DJ

  • Designate someone to collect the wedding gifts

Day Before
  • Get a manicure and pedicure (plus any waxing or final tanning)

  • Put wedding gown and all accessories in one place so you don't lose anything

  • Confirm all honeymoon travel plans

  • Drop off favors, guestbook and pen to reception site

  • Rehearse the ceremony with officiant and wedding party

  • Have fun and relax at the rehearsal dinner

  • Set your alarm clock and get some sleep!

Day Of
  • Confirm with people who you asked to give toasts

  • Set aside time for a private moment with your new spouse

  • Smile, relax, and enjoy the day!

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Organizing Receipts and Info

There are two main things that you will need to put in your "Wedding Planning" notebook: receipts and general information. If you keep track of these two simple things, your wedding planning will go a lot smoother.

The best way to make sure you are staying within your budget is to check your receipts against your original amount in your budget. If you go over on something, plan on spending that much less on something else. If you spend less than planned, feel free to use that money for something else (hint: pampering?). Make sure you reconcile your budget after every purchase to make certain that you don't go over budget. You should keep all of your receipt in one place so that you can refer back to them if you have questions about what you got or what the price was.

In the beginning of your planning, you will be gathering a lot of different information about vendors in order to pick the one that would be best for you. You do not necessarily need to keep the information on un-chosen vendors; however, it is critical that you keep information about the vendors that you do choose. Make sure you keep brochures, contracts, and everything in between so that whenever you have a question, you will have the answer at your fingertips. You should have separate folders or binder sections for each vendor so that the contracts and such do not get lost between other papers. Also, if you keep all of the contracts and receipts you will be able to know what you owe without having to make an extra phone call to the vendor.

Once the wedding is over you can choose to just throw away the information, or maybe you can use it for a friend who is getting married and needs advice on vendors. Some people like to keep the brochures to put in a wedding scrap book. No matter what you do after the wedding, just make sure you keep track of everything before the wedding. It's no fun going through a huge stack of receipts after the honeymoon to see how much over (or under) budget you went.

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