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 manage details for you.) *Talk with your fiance (and parents if they will be paying bill and adding to guest list) about size and a budget, possible date, and location for wedding. *Reserve ceremony and reception sites. (If 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 for 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. (At 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. *Begin guest list. (Generally, half of invited guests are brideís and half are 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.