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Wedding preparations make all the difference

Daily Staff Report
Vail CO, Colorado
Special to the DailyMarriage comes with several big decisions, be cautious in which to pursue right away.
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As soon as you’re engaged:

– Arrange for families to meet, if they haven’t already and officially announce your engagement

– Consult with fiancee and all parents about the wedding budget, style, location, etc.



– Start to get organized. Buy a wedding planner or date book, sign up for a wedding planning website.

– Select a tentative wedding date. Choose several options, then check with your



venues, officiant, and important guests before finalizing.

– Announce engagement in local newspapers

9-12 months before:



– Reserve ceremony and reception sites; obtain necessary permits.

– Agree on number of guests, begin compiling guest lists. Let out-of-town guests know your wedding is in the works so they can make travel plans.

– Check marriage license requirements, particularly for a destination wedding.

– Book an officiant; discuss the ceremony and any premarriage requirements.

– Research and book wedding professionals or hire a wedding planner. Interview vendors: caterers, musicians, florists, photographers, videographers and bakers. Get written estimates of their costs.

– Research a wedding insurance policy to protect your deposits.

– Choose your wedding party

– Start shopping for your gown, veil and accessories.

– Begin a beauty routine including facials, hair removal and massages. Consider whitening your teeth. Begin weight loss program, if desired.

– Get ideas for honeymoon locations and research pricing.

6-9 months before:

– Order your wedding gown and schedule fittings. Choose your wedding shoes and other accessories.

– Select bridesmaid dresses and schedule fittings.

– Book wedding vendors and pay deposits

– Book florist, decide on flower arrangements, bouquets, etc

– Book caterer, decide on menu choice

– Book photographer and/or videographer

– Book ceremony musicians and band or DJ for reception

– Select baker and order the cake

– Contact rental companies if you need to rent anything for ceremony/reception, such as chairs, tables, and tent.

– Shop for wedding rings and send for engraving if applicable.

– Finalize the guest list

– Set up your gift registry

– Select and order invitations and personal stationery for the thank-you notes. Mail thank you notes as soon as you begin receiving gifts.

– Arrange airline deals and group accommodation rates for out-of-town guests. Send save-the-date cards if you’re marrying during a tourist or holiday season or having a destination wedding.

– Book your honeymoon

– Schedule time off from work.

4-6 months before:

– Plan the rehearsal dinner for members of your wedding party, your family and out-of-town guests. Reserve the location and decide on a menu. Schedule the rehearsal with your officiant; notify key people.

– Reserve tuxes for groom and groomsman

– Make appointments for gown fittings

– Help both mothers to coordinate and shop for their wedding-day attire.

– Confirm your bridesmaids ordered their gowns and choose accessories.

– Get ideas for wedding hair and makeup.

– Reserve your wedding-day transportation

– Prepare directions to the ceremony and reception for guests

– Book a calligrapher to address envelopes

– Book your hotel room for the night of the wedding

– Renew or get passports and visas, and schedule shots, if needed

– Select music for your ceremony and reception.

– Choose readings for your wedding and write your vows.

– Choose wedding guest favors

– Choose gifts for attendants

– Make sure contracts and arrangements are complete with all of your vendors

– Interview and hire any additional management staff and babysitters if needed.

– Confirm dates for bridal showers and bachelor and bachelorette parties.

– Shop for honeymoon outfits

2-4 months before:

– Finalize guest list and submit invitations to calligrapher. Mail six to eight weeks before your wedding.. Mail invitations eight weeks before your wedding day

– Schedule a tasting with your caterer, and finalize the menu. Give the caterer a close estimate of number of guest you expect.

– Make appointments for trial runs for hair and makeup. Try out any new beauty/hair routines now; test for allergies.

– Book wedding day hairstylists and make-up artists

– Finalize all decor for the ceremony and reception

– Have wedding portraits taken. Discuss a photo and video shot list with photographer, naming important family members and guests

– Make sure all reservations are in place for honeymoon travel.

– Schedule dance classes

– Finalize honeymoon plans

– Finalize wedding transportation.

– Finalize music lists for ceremony and reception

– Confirm tuxes have been ordered for groom/groomsmen.

– Have your first bridal gown fitting. Remember to bring stockings, shoes, the appropriate bra, hair accessories, jewelry, a camera, and your mom or best friend.

– Arrange for a pre-ceremony changing area for the bridal party

– Discuss ceremony order, etc with officiant

– Update registry and add items, if you needed

– Purchase guest book

– Arrange and wedding weekend activities you’re planning

– Gather necessary birth or baptismal certificates you may need for your wedding license.

– Meet with your attorney to discuss changes to insurance policies, wills and bank accounts, and if you choose, to draw up a prenuptial agreement.

2 months before:

– Finalize ceremony readings and songs, and review with performers.

– Order liquor/beverages not handled by caterer.

– Begin whitening your teeth for your wedding day.

– Coordinate ceremony and reception responsibilities with your attendants

1 month before:

– Confirm wedding day details with all vendors

– Get your marriage license

– Have a final fitting of your gown and make sure your attendants have theirs. Bring all your accessories. Bring your maid of honor along to learn how to bustle your dress.

– Make sure bridesmaids have their gowns ready for the wedding

– Draw up a seating plan and make up place cards.

– Break in wedding shoes, practice walking and first dance.

– Confirm honeymoon reservations; share your itinerary with someone in case of emergency

– Call guests who haven’t RSVP’d.

– Pick up your wedding rings. Make sure any special engraving appears precisely as you wished.

– Make last-minute adjustments with vendors.

– Write toast for rehearsal dinner/wedding reception

– Send announcement to local newspapers

2 weeks before:

-Ask a friend to look after your home while you’re away

– Plan your honeymoon wardrobe, as well as your getaway outfit

– Schedule manicures, pedicures and tanning salon, if necessary.

– Purchase travelers’ checks make final honeymoon preparations.

– Check in with wedding consultants, make final round of vendor checks.

– Final check-in with attendants, tie up any loose ends.

Pick up dress or have it delivered; have a dress rehearsal and make sure someone close

– Finalize seating charts.

1 week before:

– Provide your caterer with a final head count

– Organize your vendor payments and other fees in envelopes to distribute the day of the wedding. Prepare a list of payment envelopes – including tips – earmarking who is responsible for distributing to vendors.

– Ask a friend or family member to arrange for gifts that may be brought to your reception to be delivered to your home or an arranged spot.

– Create a “wedding box” to gather your ceremony accessories (marriage license, candles, ring pillow, basket, guest book) and assign someone to transport.

– Prepare a “reception box” for accessories such as guest books, cameras, toasting goblets, cake toppers, etc., and assign someone to transport.

– Prepare all of your wedding favors for transportation to reception venue and assign someone to move them.

– Pick up your wedding dress and make sure all of your accessories are together.

– Pick up the groom’s outfit, make sure it fits, and gather all of his accessories together.

– Pack for your wedding night and honeymoon.

– Get a facial and confirm beauty appointments for the big day

– Reduce salt intake. This will prevent bloating and water retention.

– Wrap gifts for bridal attendants and have them ready for the rehearsal dinner.

– Attend bachelor/ette parties.

2-3 days before:

– Have your gown pressed or steamed.

– Groom and groomsmen have final fitting and pick up formalwear.

– Determine wedding-party positions during ceremony and the order of the party in the processional and recessional.

– Hand off place cards, table cards, menus, disposable cameras, favors, and any other items for setting the tables to the caterer and/or reception site manager.

The day before

– Hand out assignment lists and checklists to ensure everyone knows their tasks, including person responsible for transporting gifts.

– Gather together your wedding dress, accessories, and bridal emergency kit.

– Give your marriage license to your officiant.

– Give rings to the best man.

– Write checks for tips, assemble tip envelope portfolio, give to the tips person.

– Assign someone to mail your announcement cards.

– Get a manicure, pedicure, and massage.

– Rehearse ceremony with officiant and wedding party.

– Attend rehearsal dinner

– Distribute gifts to attendants

– Go to bed early for a good night’s sleep.

Your Wedding Day:

– Eat breakfast

– Have luggage delivered to your hotel, if needed

– Introduce your reception site manager to your consultant or maid of honor for questions or problems during the reception.

– Assign a family member or attendant to be the photographer’s contact so he knows who is who.

– Get hair and makeup done. Be sure to wear a button-down shirt for your hair and makeup appointments.

Allow plenty of time for dressing, makeup and hairstyling.

– Eat a light snack two hours before ceremony, remember

to stay hydrated.

– Get married and have the time of your life, delegate wedding day schedule to an attendant, who will make sure you are on time and in the right place.

After the wedding:

– Prearrange for someone to return any rentals.

– Write and mail your thank-you notes.

– Have your gown dry-cleaned and preserved

– Preserve your bouquet.

– Store, distribute or donate leftover decorations.

– Contact vendors with any complaints or compliments..

– Return gifts, if necessary

– Change your name, if desired, on all legal documents. Make name or address changes official on documents, including driver’s license, Social Security forms and financial accounts. Fill out change-of-address forms at the post office.

– Order wedding photographs


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