Free Wedding Planning Guide and Checklist

Written by Jean Bachcroft

With so much to do, every bride needs a surefire way to get organized and stay on track as she countdown toward that all-important day. Hereís a guide and checklist you wonít want to be without.

12 Months Before

*Buy a wedding planner and organizer (The only realistic alternative to not being well organized is hiring a wedding consultant to managerepparttar details for you.) *Talk with your fiance (and parents if they will be payingrepparttar 144473 bill and adding torepparttar 144474 guest list) aboutrepparttar 144475 size and a budget, possible date, and location forrepparttar 144476 wedding. *Reserverepparttar 144477 ceremony and reception sites. (Ifrepparttar 144478 wedding will take place in a large city, donít dilly dally on this one. Wedding venues can be booked up solid for a year.) *Begin shopping for your dress. (You could be looking for that perfect gown for months, and most shops need at least four months to fill an order. Look for styles appropriate forrepparttar 144479 wedding venue and time of day.) *Shop for or begin making save-the-date cards. *Send your engagement announcement to newspapers.

10 Months Before

*Make an appointment to meet with your clergyman. (Atrepparttar 144480 time you make your appointment, let him know your wedding date. You and your fiance should arrange to meet with him as soon as possible, especially if you live in a large city or are planning to write your own wedding vows.) *Begin scouting around for a baker, caterer, florist, musicians, and photographers. (Once you have found them, ask about and review price options.)

8 Months Before

*Research honeymoon destinations and prices. *Beginrepparttar 144481 guest list. (Generally, half ofrepparttar 144482 invited guests arerepparttar 144483 brideís and half arerepparttar 144484 groomís.) *Order your dress. *Book vendors and musicians or a dj. *Choose bridal registries and gifts you would like to receive. *Reserve a block of rooms for out-of-town guests.

6 Months Before

*Mail save-the-day notices. *Select menu and flower arrangements. *Order wedding stationery. *Shop for bridesmaidsí dresses. *Reserve rentals (tents, fans, etc.). *Make honeymoon and flight reservations. *Reserve hotel room for your wedding night.

Wedding Save the Date CardsóBest Ideas and Wording

Written by Jean Bachcroft

The sole purpose of save-the-date cards is to giverepparttar people you intend to invite to your wedding plenty of advance notice. If, for example, you are planning to marry duringrepparttar 144472 holiday season or a holiday weekend, youíll want your guests to reserve you wedding date on their calendars months in advance. If you will be inviting guest from out of town who will need to fly in forrepparttar 144473 wedding, they will need time to makerepparttar 144474 necessary travel arrangements.

You should send save-the-date cards to all of your intended guests when either of these circumstances fit your situation. Even friends and family members who you already know will attend should be sent a card.

Onrepparttar 144475 other hand, if you are not sure whether a particular person or couple will be invited torepparttar 144476 wedding, donít send them a save-the-date card. And there is really no reason, and itís a waste of your precious money, to buy and send these notices when all of your guests live relatively nearby orrepparttar 144477 wedding will not occur during a busy time ofrepparttar 144478 year.

Planning and Sending

Once you know all ofrepparttar 144479 basic details about your wedding plans, place your order with your stationer. As with invitations, having these cards printed can take up to several weeks, so give your stationer plenty of time. You can mail these cards out up to six months beforerepparttar 144480 wedding date.

Save-the-date cards can be designed to matchrepparttar 144481 rest of your wedding stationery and ordered atrepparttar 144482 same time, or they can have a completely different look.

Getting your guestsí attention

Some brides-to-be really want these cards to be eye catching so that they truly standout and serve as a visual notice. If this is what you have in mind, look for something unusual, such as scratch-off cards or magnets (that can be posted on your guests refrigerators). Maybe you will want to make your own cards, incorporating one or more of your wedding colors, a graphic design, or a photo.

You can buy save-the-date cards through most wedding stationery manufacturers and retailers. If you want to create your own cards or save money, look for a card-design software program. Michaelís arts and crafts stores sells a good software program called "Wedding Invitation Kit" that costs under $25. The program is designed mainly for making your own wedding invitations, but it does include note cards.

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