Planning your big day: part two

Eight months before

  • Hire the photographer and the videographer. No need to talk specifics yet, but be sure that the people you hire are open to doing the shots that you want.
  • Book the entertainment. Attend gigs of potential acts to see how they perform in front of audiences, then reserve your favourite.
  • Meet caterers. If your wedding venue doesn’t offer its own catering service, look for one now and hire the service this month or early next.
  • Purchase your dress. You’ll need to schedule time for at least three fittings.
  • Reserve a block of hotel rooms for out-of-town guests. Pick three hotels at different price points close to the reception venue.
  • Register your gift list.
  • Select and purchase invitations.
  • Start planning your honeymoon. Make sure that your passports are up-to-date, and schedule doctors’ appointments for any shots you may need.
  • Shop for bridesmaids’ dresses. Allow at least six months for the dresses to be ordered and sized.
  • Meet with the celebrant. Discuss if you would like to write your own vows.
  • Send save-the-date cards.
  • Book a florist.
  • Arrange transportation.
  • Start composing a day-of timeline. Draw up a schedule of the event and slot in each component (the cake-cutting, the first dance).

Seven to six months before

  • Select and purchase invitations.
  • Start planning your honeymoon. Make sure that your passports are up-to-date, and schedule doctors’ appointments for any shots you may need.
  • Shop for bridesmaids’ dresses. Allow at least six months for the dresses to be ordered and sized.
  • Meet with the celebrant. Discuss if you would like to write your own vows.
  • Send save-the-date cards.
  • Book a florist.
  • Arrange transportation.
  • Start composing a day-of timeline. Draw up a schedule of the event and slot in each component (the cake-cutting, the first dance).

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 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.
  • 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 make-up 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 would like played.

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