i can't even read this whole fucking thing without wanting to puke. i can't even read this whole thing, PERIOD. fuck it, i can't even get past the first few lines.
12+ MONTHS AND PRIOR
Begin envisioning your wedding -- formal hotel or friend's loft? Backyard barbecue or exotic beach?
Decide on a budget and hash out who's contributing.
Pick your preferences for a wedding date and time, and finalize after okaying with important guests, location, or officiant.
Begin interviewing wedding consultants (if you'll have one) and/or start asking family and friends for local wedding vendor recommendations.
Brides: It's never too early to begin thinking about your gown. Start by figuring out what style will look best on you.
Start interviewing caterers.
Scout out reception sites.
Start looking for an officiant who suits your style and spirit.
Book your reception site as soon as you see something you love that’s available on your date.
If you're having an engagement party, set a date, draft a guest list, and purchase your invitations.
Begin working on a preliminary wedding guest list and decide on your wedding's approximate size. Request lists from both sets of parents and create your own wish list.
Get organized! Start a notebook/file folder to house all your wedding-planning paperwork in one place.
Choose your bridesmaids/groomsmen and ask them to be in the wedding party.
Find a ceremony site if one hasn't been determined by your choice of officiant or reception site.
Hire a consultant (if you're having one) and sign a contract.
Contact newspapers to announce your engagement (you may need to have an engagement photo taken as well).
Decide on a caterer. Hash out a rough price per head and begin working on a menu.
Choose a color scheme, if you so desire, taking into account the decor of the rooms/areas you have reserved for your ceremony and reception.
Brides: Begin looking at pictures of gowns online and in magazines.
Brides: When you've found some gowns you like, head out to the stores to try them on.
Start investigating any ethnic customs or cultural traditions you might want to incorporate into your ceremony or reception.
Finalize the guest list.Knot hint: When you’re done, make your life easy by entering everything into the Guest List Manager.
Sign your caterer contract and send in a deposit.
Start auditioning reception bands or DJs.
If you've chosen an outdoor ceremony or reception site, look into tent and lighting rentals.
Set up appointments with various florists to discuss options.
Decide on and meet with your officiant to discuss ceremony structure and any religious requirements (such as counseling).
Interview and get price lists from several photographers and videographers.
Book reception band or DJ, sign the contract, and send a deposit.
Brides: Narrow down your gown choices and make a final decision.
If you plan to use frequent flyer miles to travel to your honeymoon destination, book your flight now.
Start looking into registering for gifts.
Request demo tapes from ceremony musicians.
Think about how you might want to wear your hair.
Begin looking for a baker to make your big-day cake. Your caterer is the best source for leads.
Reserve photographer and/or videographer, decide on a package, sign contract, and send deposit.
Brides: Start shopping for bridesmaid dresses.
Choose your florist and send a deposit to reserve their services.
Make sure your maid of honor and best man are aware of what you expect of them -- providing a list of their duties will help.
Register for your wedding gifts, and don't forget to include some choices appropriate for your upcoming bridal shower or engagement party as well.
Set aside blocks of hotel rooms for out-of-town guests.
Brides: Decide on the bridesmaid dresses.
Purchase and send save-the-dates to out-of-town guests, or to all guests if your celebration is over a holiday weekend or at a faraway locale.
Book a baker, choose your wedding cake design, and send a deposit.
Brides: Collect necessary measurements from attendants or pass along vender information so that they can order the dresses themselves.
Brides: Order your gown. Make sure you've asked all the critical questions and your order contains the correct information.
Book ceremony musicians and send deposit.
Start planning the rehearsal dinner. Provide the host with contact information for your attendants and any other guests.
Start working on your invitation wording and design.
Finalize your invitation wording.
Finalize menu and service details with caterer.
Order your invitations and announcements (don't forget plenty of extra envelopes).
Research and purchase wedding insurance, if necessary.
Decide on a floral scheme, choose flowers, and negotiate prices with florist. Be sure to sign a contract outlining what you agreed upon.
Start thinking about flower arrangement styles you like, and figure out what flowers will be in season on your wedding day.
Grooms: Decide what style of formalwear you will be wearing.
Reserve tables, chairs, and/or other rental equipment you'll need (unless caterer or site is taking care of it).
Book a calligrapher (if you are using one).
Grooms: Start looking to buy or rent tux, suit, or other formal attire.
Book rehearsal-dinner site.
Grooms: Start planning your groomsmen's attire: Tux or suit?
Book hotel room for your wedding night.
Compile packages for out-of-town guests with hotel reservation and city information, and mail them out.
Grooms: Decide on your groomsmen's attire.
Book your honeymoon flights (if not using frequent flyer miles) and make all your other travel reservations.
Pick out or design a ketubah or other marriage contract required by your religion.
Brides: Choose your bridesmaids' accessories (shoes, gloves, etc.) and either purchase or pass along purchasing information.
Grooms: Give all of the groomsmen the information they need to buy and/or reserve their attire.
Shop for and purchase wedding bands.
If you haven't registered yet, be sure to do so before any upcoming prewedding parties.
Brides: Experiment with your beauty routine, self-tanners, and facials.
Consider specific ceremony and reception decoration needs like a huppah, aisle runner, etc.
Schedule portrait session if you need one for a newspaper wedding announcement.
Make or buy favors. Allow extra time for custom-made favors (i.e., chocolates in a preprinted box).
Brides: Make sure your attendants have purchased their dresses and accessories.
Pick up your invitations.
Talk to your maid of honor and best man about party plans (such as the shower and bachelor party).
Get anything you need for an international honeymoon (passport, birth certificate, visas, vaccinations, etc.).
Brides: Buy any special lingerie your gown requires in time for first fittings.
Grooms: If you are renting a tux, visit the formalwear shop to get measured.
Start taking better care of yourself (eat right, exercise) so you look and feel great on your wedding day.
Start addressing invitations or drop them off with the calligrapher (you'll need to send them out at the two-month mark).
Talk to people you’d want to do special performances or readings as part of the ceremony.
If you are handling the bridesmaid dress order, confirm the delivery date.
Brides: Confirm delivery date for your gown and schedule fittings.
Arrange for all insurance policies to include you and your future spouse: health, auto, homeowner's, and life insurance.
Send wedding bands out to be engraved (make sure they'll be back in time for the wedding).
Grooms: Choose and buy any accessories you will need: shoes, shirt stays, cuff links, and a pocket square.
Brides: Provide guest list to bridesmaids for your shower.
Brides: Begin your fittings.
Arrange wedding-day transportation for you, your wedding party, and guests (as needed).
Send out invitations (be sure to add extra postage for overseas guests).
As you receive presents, be sure to update and/or add items to your registry list and record the gifts you get.Knot Hint: Enter gifts and who sent them into your guest list manager for easy access.
Confirm reservations for out-of-town guests.
Arrange parking for the reception.
Order liquor, wine and/or champagne if they're not included in the catering contract.
Brides: Decide on and purchase major accessories (veil and shoes) prior to final fittings.
Begin working on vows, particularly if you're writing your own.
Begin writing the ceremony program if you are having one.
Arrange for a babysitter for the reception, if necessary.
Submit your wedding announcement to newspapers (if you so desire).
Research local marriage license requirements.
Buy a guest book (and nice pen).
Set aside some time to write thank-you notes for gifts received at the bridal shower.
Make an appointment to take the veil to your hairstylist and make sure your current do and veil work together.
Grooms: Attend your bachelor party (and be sure to thank the best man afterwards).
Grooms: Buy gifts for your best man, groomsmen, and ushers.Knot Hint: Check out our selection of gifts for guys.
Brides: Buy gifts for your maid of honor and bridesmaids.Knot Hint: Check out our selection of gifts for girls.
Brides: Attend final wedding-gown fitting.
Send rehearsal-dinner invitations.
Do trial runs of hair and makeup; schedule wedding-day beauty appointments.
Finish and print ceremony programs.
Get marriage license and make appointments for blood tests (if necessary). Check when the license expires.
Work on a list of "must-play" (and "must-not play") songs for your DJ or band.
Discuss music with ceremony musicians and agree on final choices.
Confirm wedding-night and honeymoon reservations.
Wrap all gifts for the wedding party and write each attendant a nice note.
Brides: Shop for all additional accessories like stockings, earrings, evening bag, etc.
Have a follow-up meeting or phone call with the officiant to go over ceremony timing and details.
Pick up wedding rings and check the inscriptions before you leave the store.
Make sure your homeowner's or renter's insurance covers your rings and gifts.
Sit for your bridal portrait, if you decide to get one.
Do paperwork for official documents if you are changing your name.
Work out wedding day timing and details (who will get the bride there, where the wedding party will dress, etc) and draw up a schedule.
Brides: Get final prewedding haircut, if necessary.
Brides: Make sure you have your garter and "something old, new, borrowed, and blue" if you want to include these customs in your wedding.
Call or email wedding party to relay critical info related to rehearsal and wedding (dates, times, directions, duties).
Brides: Pick up your gown.
Get a head start on those thank-you notes (it will feel great to get a batch out before the wedding).
Finalize any special preferences, readings, or other ceremony details (in writing) with your officiant.
Give final head count to the caterer. Confirm set-up instructions and menu items.
Brides: Pick up the veil and/or headpiece.
Call location manager and make sure your vendors all have access to the site when they need it.
Confirm head count, delivery time, and location with the cakemaker.
Plan a party or go out for cocktails to thank your attendants for all their help.
Brides: Practice walking in your wedding shoes.
Call guests who haven't RSVP'd for the wedding and rehearsal dinner. It’s okay to do this, you need a final head count!
If you're having a receiving line, determine the order you want everyone to stand in.
Determine any wedding day assignments for members of the wedding party, and make lists/info sheets as needed.
Start putting together the seating plan if you're having a seated reception meal.
Finalize seating chart. Buy materials for and make place cards (give typed names to the calligrapher if you're using one).
Confirm delivery locations, times, and final arrangement count with florist.
Touch base with your officiant and give him/her rehearsal details and wedding day schedule.
Grooms: Pick up your tux and try it on. (Don't wait until the day of to do this!)
Prepare your toasts or thanks to friends and family.
Give seating chart to caterer, location manager, or host.
Fax transportation providers a schedule and addresses for pickups on wedding day.
Plan any additional night-before activities with friends and/or attendants.
Grooms: Get your final haircut.
Confirm all final payment amounts with your vendors.
Shop and pack for honeymoon.
Confirm location, date, and time with videographer.
Confirm location, date, and time with photographer; create your "must-take" photo list.
Rehearse the ceremony with officiant and wedding party.
Confirm all specific honeymoon travel plans (including transportation to airport, etc.).
Give wedding announcements to your honor attendant to be mailed on the wedding day.
Brides: Pull together wedding gown, veil, shoes, stockings, and a last-minute emergency kit (aspirin, makeup, safety pins, mints, etc.).
Have fun and relax at your rehearsal dinner.
If your wedding is in the a.m., set your alarm and arrange for a backup.
Get some much-needed sleep -- if you can!
Drop off favors, guest book, and pen at the reception site.
Set aside a private moment together after the ceremony to exchange gifts and a sweet congratulatory kiss (or two).
Confirm with people who you expect to give/lead toasts at the reception.
Take a moment to thank your parents and tell them you love them -- this is a sweet but sad day for them.
Relax, smile, and enjoy the day!
Mail gifts to your parents to thank them for their help and support, if you didn’t give them out at the rehearsal dinner.
Make sure all vendor bills have been paid in full.
Arrange for gown and veil to be cleaned and preserved. Make sure the provider is experienced in preserving wedding gowns.
Within two months of your wedding, set aside some romantic evenings to write that stack of thank-you notes.
Take any personal film to be developed. These will probably be the first photos available since professional proofs can take weeks.Knot Hint: Check in with your photographer to see when your photos will be online. Email your online album to family and friends.
Arrange for a bridesmaid or mom to pick up your wedding dress and other personal belongings at the hotel after you depart.
Take the bridal bouquet and other wedding mementos to be preserved, if you're a true sentimentalist.
Find out when you can expect your edited wedding video (if you used a videographer).
Freeze the top layer of the wedding cake to be eaten at your first anniversary celebration (save some cocktail napkins, too!).