Let the Countdown Begin

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Let the Countdown Begin!

You enjoyed the initial rush of starry-eyed excitement, gushed over so many gorgeous ideas for the wedding, and all but shouted the news from the rooftops - until the zing of nuptial suspense gave over to a shuddering reality of to-do's and task-lists. Planning your wedding may seem daunting, but a deep breath and a little organization go a long way. No matter what your time-frame, this basic checklist will get you started, and our exclusive Organized Bride Wedding Planner will keep you on task right up to the big day.

  • 6 to 12 months
    • Announce your engagement and set the date
    • Introduce your parents and future in-laws
    • Set your budget - Determine what you both can spend and what your families will contribute
    • Compile the guest list
    • Reserve the ceremony site, the reception venue and the caterer
    • Select members of the wedding party
    • Shop for your gown, and the bridesmaids' dresses. Order dresses by the 6-month mark.
    • Order and send out save-the-date cards
    • Set up a wedding website, with travel and hotel information
    • Register at two or three stores for a variety of gifts in different price ranges
  • 3 to 6 months
  • 2 to 3 months
    • Select men's attire with your fiancé
    • Meet with the musicians to create song lists
    • Ask close friends and family to do special readings
    • Research the marriage license requirements for your state
    • Finalize the menu with the caterer, and the cake details with the baker
    • Arrange transportation from the ceremony to the reception
  • 4 to 6 weeks
  • 1 week
    • Give caterer a final headcount, and confirm plans with other vendors
    • Go over the schedule with the wedding party so they know what's expected of them
    • Write as many thank-you notes as possible
    • See your hairstylist for a last-minute trim, and encourage your fiancé to do the same
    • Confirm honeymoon reservations and begin packing
  • 1 day
    • Drop off welcome baskets for out-of-town guests at the hotel
    • Pack everything needed for the ceremony, including your "survival kit"
    • Get a manicure and pedicure and, if there's time, a relaxing massage
    • Attend the rehearsal and rehearsal dinner-and start celebrating!