PLAN YOUR BIG DAY: 1 year wedding countdown calendar

12+ Months

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  • Announce your engagement to friends and family
  • Choose your wedding theme and style and colours
  • Calculate your basic wedding budget; research reception venues
  • Decide how many guests you wish to invite
  • Look through bridal magazines for gowns and bridal ideas
  • Meet potential wedding consultants
  • Research wedding pros (photographers, videographers, reception bands or DJs, musicians). Set up appointments and review portfolios and recordings.

11 Months

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  • Select a wedding consultant and meet to discuss wedding planning details
  • Determine theme/decorations for your reception
  • Meet with several caterers; arrange for tastings
  • Select and book a caterer
  • Reserve musicians/DJ for reception
  • Determine wedding ceremony musicians and make musical selections
  • Book wedding videographer and photographer; make a list of photos, such as must-have photos of the bride and groom, fun bridal party ideas, and traditional bridal, ceremony and reception shots
  • Research and interview florists
  • Select and reserve your ceremony venue and schedule a rehearsal time
  • Choose reception venue; negotiate contract; leave a deposit
  • Visit local bridal stores to browse their selection of gowns
  • Choose your wedding-party members and ask them to participate in your celebration
  • Meet with your officiant to discuss the wedding ceremony
  • Mail save-the-dates for a destination wedding

10 Months

Order your wedding dress

  • Select and order your wedding gown
  • If your ceremony or reception will be held in a park or recreational area, obtain necessary permits
  • Discuss attendants’ duties with your maid of honour and bridesmaids

9 Months

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  • Register for wedding gifts
  • Coordinate with vendors to incorporate your theme/style into all aspects of your wedding
  • Decide on the food and liquor to be served at your reception
  • Prepare a playlist of wedding-reception musical selections
  • Select and order your headpiece, veil, gloves and shoes
  • Confirm orders of and delivery dates for your wedding attire
  • Research airline, hotel and rental-car reservations for out-of-town guests

8 Months

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  • Go to first gown fitting; invite your maid of honour to attend
  • Choose and order bridesmaid dresses and accessories
  • Research a variety of wedding ring styles
  • Select florist; discuss wedding ideas, theme and style

7 Months

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  • Select and order your wedding rings
  • Review and finalise your wedding details with consultant
  • Notify bridesmaids about dress fittings
  • Discuss attire with groomsmen and make referrals to local formal-wear store
  • Select attire for flower girl and/or ring bearer
  • Determine the design, wording, font and paper stock for your wedding invitations, stationery, table and escort cards and thank-you notes; finalise order
  • Arrange a printer or hire a calligrapher for table cards
  • Determine order of ceremony events and choose appropriate wording for your programs
  • Negotiate rates and book a block of hotel rooms for out-of-town guests
  • Purchase bridal accessories: jewellery, lingerie, etc.
  • Choose and order something fun for guests to throw after your ceremony (rose petals, confetti or birdseed)

6 Months

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  • Review and approve proofs of wedding invitations and stationery
  • Discuss the type of honeymoon you want – start reading up on potential destinations and consult a travel agent for ideas and suggestions.

5 Months

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Finalise choice of honeymoon destination

  • Order table and/or escort cards; place print order for programmes
  • Finalise choice of honeymoon destination
  • Taste a variety of wedding cakes and select a baker; place cake order and arrange for delivery
  • Secure reservations for rehearsal dinner and select menu

4 Months

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  • Hand-address — or have a calligrapher address — wedding invitations, or print labels.
  • Write or choose your wedding vows
  • Have groom visit formal-wear shops and try on tuxedos
  • Purchase or rent groom’s wedding accessories, including tuxedo, cuff links, shoes, socks, etc.
  • Make honeymoon reservations and place all deposits

3 Months

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  • Review and approve wedding announcement and printed program proofs
  • Book venue or secure reservations for post-wedding brunch
  • Discuss bachelorette party plans with your attendants
  • Plan your bridesmaids’ luncheon or dinner
  • Make appointment with stylist and/or hairdresser to discuss your wedding hairstyle
  • Take another look at your registry and update or add items
  • Create hotel information cards and maps to include with your wedding invitations

2 Months

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Prenuptial agreement

  • Secure a wedding-day dressing room for your bridesmaids
  • Weigh, purchase postage for and mail wedding invitations
  • Go to final gown fitting; arrange for pickup or delivery
  • Have groom’s formal-wear fitted
  • If you plan to have a prenuptial agreement, meet with your attorney to discuss it
  • Purchase gifts for all wedding-party members and your parents
  • Arrange transportation for bride and groom from the ceremony site to the reception
  • Purchase ceremony accessories (unity candle, wine glasses, etc.)

6 Weeks

  • Purchase a new camera, if needed
  • Send rehearsal dinner invitations
  • Write thank-you notes as you receive gifts
  • Confirm music selections (“playlist”) with musicians/DJ
  • Select menu for post-wedding brunch
  • Write newspaper announcement and gather photos
  • Purchase a gift for your spouse-to-be
  • Shop for wedding favors
  • Purchase honeymoon clothing, luggage and accessories
  • Go in for a practice hairstyle and make day-of-wedding hair appointment

4 Weeks

Seating arrangements

Seating arrangements

  • Confirm floral order and arrange for delivery times
  • Meet with ushers and assign duties for the ceremony and reception
  • Discuss the details of your wedding ceremony with your officiant
  • Determine the placement or distribution of programs at the ceremony venue
  • Arrange for preparation, storage and break areas for musicians/DJ at the reception venue
  • Determine seating arrangements for guests
  • If you color your hair, make appointment for a touch-up the week before your wedding
  • Go in for a dry run with a professional makeup artist and make a day-of-wedding appointment
  • Schedule an appointment for a manicure and/or pedicure the day before your wedding
  • Finalise details with wedding photographer and videographer, determining arrival times at each nuptial venue
  • Arrange for preparation/storage area for photographer and videographer at each nuptial venue
  • Sign your prenuptial agreement, if applicable
  • Finalise honeymoon plans/itinerary and confirm all travel and hotel reservations
  • Arrange for transportation to and from the airport
  • Make all necessary arrangements for care of pet(s), plants and mail while you’re away on honeymoon
  • Post announcement and photo on your wedding website
  • Arrange for table card setup at reception venue
  • Schedule pickup/return of groom’s formal-wear

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3 Weeks

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  • Finalise list of reception guests
  • Give the final headcount to the caterer and review details
  • Arrange for delivery and placement of wedding flowers, candles and other decorations on the day of the ceremony
  • Contact anyone who has not responded to his or her wedding invitation

1 Week

Confirm your honeymoon travel arrangements

Start packing bags for your honeymoon

Get traveler’s checks and/or a small amount of foreign cash

Pick up your wedding dress

Wedding Day!

hair and makeup

Eat a good breakfast

Attend hairstyle appointment

Give yourself plenty of time to get ready

Relax and enjoy yourself!

Post Wedding

Wedding gifts

Wedding gifts

Arrange for transport of gifts

Have family or friends mail wedding announcements

After Honeymoon

Take wedding gown and veil to a dry cleaner who specializes in gown preservation

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