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Dino Petrocelli

Perfect Timing
By Laura Leon

A month-by-month checklist to minimize the stress of planning your wedding

Bride’s Calendar

12 Months Before
• Buy a wedding planner and memory album
• With fiancé, choose engagement ring
• Announce engagement
• Consult fiancé, all parents about budget, style, size of wedding and limits on number of guests
• Select attendants
• Decide on wedding and reception site; plan reception; make reservations. Depending on the location you choose, you may have to make reservations more than one year in advance
• Confirm officiant (clergyman/woman or justice)
• Book consultants, caterer, photographer, videographer, florist and musicians and/or DJ service

9 Months Before
• With fiancé, see officiant
• Choose and order dress, accessories
• Begin guest list
• Register for china, crystal, flatware, linens or other gifts
• Make travel arrangements for honeymoon
• Plan lodging for out-of-town guests (if your wedding date happens to coincide with nearby seasonal attractions, you will need to reserve rooms well in advance)

6 Months Before
• Meet with florist
• Book calligrapher, limousine and portrait photographer
• Order invitations and announcements
• Order attendants’ dresses
• Order wedding rings
• Discuss rehearsal dinner with fiancé
• Complete honeymoon plans

3 Months Before
• Finish guest list
• Shop for trousseau
• Confirm delivery dates of all dresses
• Make appointments with hair and makeup stylists
• Schedule rehearsal

6-8 Weeks Before
• Mail invitations
• Choose gifts for groom and bridesmaids
• Have final dress and headpiece fitting
• Take newspaper announcement portrait
• Pick up rings, check engravings
• Plan bridesmaids’ party
• Submit photo to newspaper
• Submit music requests to band/DJ
• Write thank-you notes for gifts already received

2 Weeks Before
• Go with fiancé to get marriage license
• Finish addressing announcements to mail
• Check honeymoon reservations
• Break in wedding shoes at home

1 Week Before
• Pack for honeymoon, get going-away outfit ready
• Purchase traveler’s checks
• Give final guest count to caterer
• Host or attend bridesmaids’ party
• Check final details with florist
• Keep up with gift acknowledgments
• Remind attendants of rehearsal dinner

The Day Before (or Of)
• Get a massage
• Get hair and nails done

Groom’s Calendar

12 Months Before
• Pick out bride’s engagement ring
• Discuss wedding expenses with fiancée and family
• Select ushers (1 per 50 guests)

9 Months Before
• Arrange a visit with clergy or justice
• Begin guest list
• Visit a bridal registry with fiancée
• Make arrangements for honeymoon
• If traveling out of the country, update passports, arrange for visas, international driver’s license, inoculations
• Arrange lodging for out-of-town guests (see note in Bride’s Calendar)

6 Months Before
• If you don’t already have it, pick up bride’s engagement ring
• Arrange to pay for bride’s bouquet, order boutonnieres, corsages
• Order wedding rings
• Complete honeymoon plans, reservations
• Arrange transportation for wedding party
• Plan rehearsal dinner with parents

3 Months Before
• Consult fiancée, order wedding attire
• Shop for honeymoon clothes

6-8 Weeks Before
• Select gifts for bride and ushers
• Check marriage license requirements
• Pick up rings, check engraving
• Help fiancée with thank-you notes

2 Weeks Before
• Make a date with fiancée to get marriage license (check requirements in your state—some still require blood tests, so you may need to plan further ahead)
• Arrange with best man for transportation from reception to airport or train
• Check honeymoon reservations, pack

1 Week Before
• Explain special seating to head usher
• Give officiant’s fee in envelope to best man for delivery after ceremony
• Purchase traveler’s check
• Remind ushers of rehearsal dinner

The Day Before (or Of)
• Make final arrangements to pay photographer, caterer, musicians/DJs, etc.
• Pick up rented wedding attire, finalize plans for its return
• Double-check tickets, clothing, schedule, etc. for getaway

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