Planning your big day: part three

planning your big dayThree months before

  • Finalise the menu and flowers. You’ll want to wait until now to see what will be available, since food and flowers are affected by season.
  • Order bomboniere.
  • Make a list of the people giving toasts. Which loved ones would you like to have speak at the reception? Ask them now.
  • Finalise the readings. Determine what you would like to have read at the ceremony and whom you wish to do the readings.
  • Purchase your lingerie. And schedule your second dress fitting.
  • Print menu cards, if you like, as well as programs.
  • Purchase the rings. This will give you time for resizing and engraving.
  • Send your event schedule to the vendors. Giving them a first draft now allows ample time for tweaks and feedback.

Two Months Before

  • Touch base again with all the vendors. Make sure any questions you or they had on your first draft have been answered.
  • Meet with the photographer. Discuss specific shots, and walk through the locations to note spots that appeal to you.
  • Review the playlist with the band or DJ. Though you probably won’t be able to dictate every single song played, you should come prepared with a wish list.
  • Send out the invitations. The rule of thumb: Mail invitations six to eight weeks before the ceremony, setting the RSVP cutoff at three weeks after the postmark date.

One Month Before

  • Enter RSVPs into your guest-list database. Phone people who have not yet responded.
  • Get your marriage license. The process can take up to six days, but it’s good to give yourself some leeway. If you are changing your name, order several copies.
  • Mail the rehearsal-dinner invitations.
  • Visit the dressmaker for your last dress fitting. For peace of mind, you may want to schedule a fitting the week of your wedding. You can always cancel the appointment if you try on the dress then and it fits perfectly.
  • Confirm times for hair and make-up and all vendors.
  • Assign seating. Draw out table shapes on a layout of the room to help plan place settings. Write the names of female guests on pink sticky notes and the names of male guests on blue sticky notes so you can move people about without resketching the entire setting.
  • Purchase bridesmaids’ gifts. You’ll present them at the rehearsal dinner.
  • Write vows, if necessary.
  • Get your hair cut and if need be, coloured.

Week of the Wedding

  • Reconfirm arrival times with vendors.
  • Send a timeline to the bridal party.
  • Pick up your dress.
  • Check in one last time with the photographer. Supply him or her with a list of moments you want captured on film.
  • Set aside checks for the vendors. And put tips in envelopes to be handed out at the event.
  • Send the final guest list to the caterer and all venues hosting your wedding-related events.
  • Book a spa treatment. Make an appointment for a manicure and a pedicure the day before the wedding. (You might want to get a stress-relieving massage, too!)

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