Whether you have the luxury of a year to organize your wedding or you must pack your planning into a few months, handling the details is easier if you start with some guidelines. Our wedding planning guide is geared for local customs and assumes you have six months to plan for your special day. If not, simply work through the steps in the order they appear until you catch up. Click here for a list of Davis County wedding vendors that can help with this process.
Six Months Ahead
- Set the date. Talk with your fiancé and family about the kind of wedding and reception you want: time of day, formality, size and mood.
- If they do not already know each other, arrange to introduce your fiance’s family to your own. (If the two families live far apart, this step may have to take place closer to the wedding itself.)
- Decide how much you’re willing to spend and make a budget.
- Reserve a place to be married.
- Select and reserve a location for your reception (if other than the place that you’ll be married). Note: You will probably be asked for a deposit to hold the reservation.
- Hire a wedding consultant if you plan to use one (most often this will be the host or hostess of a reception center).
- Choose your attendants and make sure they will be able to participate in your wedding.
Four Months Ahead
- Choose a florist.
- Interview and select musicians for the ceremony and reception.
- Interview and select a photographer and/or a videotape company.
- Order wedding rings and arrange for any engraving.
- Discuss your chosen color scheme with your mother and your fiance’s mother so they can choose their gowns.
- Shop for your wedding dress, arrange to have one made or, if you have an heirloom gown, have it altered for you.
- Shop for gowns for your attendants. If they live far away ask them for measurements and sizes.
- Start your guest list. Talk with your fiance’s parents about the guests they would like you to invite. Give them a target date for submitting their list.
- Start selecting your trousseau. Have your engagement party if you have not already had it.
- Collect information about a variety of honeymoon destinations.
- If necessary find a place to live after the wedding.
Three Months Ahead
- Finalize your guest list.
- Order invitations, announcements and napkins.
- Order the wedding cake.
- Reconfirm date with reception center and caterer.
- Arrange fittings for you and your attendants.
- Make sure your groom has selected wedding attire for himself and his attendants.
- Decide on your honeymoon destination and make necessary reservations. If you need a passport, get one or have yours renewed. Make sure your fiancé has an up-to-date passport.
Two Months Ahead
- Register your gift preferences with a wedding gift registry at a department or specialty store.
- Find a member of the clergy or a civil official to perform the wedding ceremony and review the ceremony with him.
- (This is the time to settle on special readings or changes in the standard text). Reconfirm date with musicians.
- Have your wedding portrait taken (some brides arrange to have this done at their final fitting).
- Meet with the florist to finalize flowers.
- Shop for gifts for each other.
- Handle financial and legal details: open joint bank accounts, write wills, change beneficiaries on insurance policies, etc. If you plan on having a prenuptial agreement, now’s the time to draw it up. If you’ll be changing your name make arrangements to change social security, bank accounts and credit cards accordingly.
- Reserve equipment such as backdrops or centerpieces if you plan to rent them.
- Order any specialty items such as engraved servers or goblets for the wedding.
- Schedule an appointment for a trial “do” with your hair stylist and makeup artist so you can settle on a hair style and makeup look before the big day. (Remember to take your head piece!)
One Month Ahead
- Begin addressing invitations
- . Get your marriage license.
- Schedule the wedding rehearsal and firm up details of any rehearsal party that is planned.
- Get any accessories you need to complete your bridal attire: shoes, jewelry, hosiery. Bring them with you to your final fitting.
- Make arrangements for your bridesmaids’ party. The groom or best man should plan a bachelor party.
- Book ahead for hair styling and manicure near wedding date.
- Confirm that out-of-towners have a place to stay.
- Arrange transportation to and from the wedding and reception for your bridal party.
- Send wedding announcement information and portrait to the newspaper.
- Mail the invitations for the reception. (3 weeks prior)
Two Weeks Ahead
- Make a seating chart (if you’re having a sit down dinner) and write place cards.
- Send change-of-address cards if necessary.
- Handle details (utilities notified, phone installed) at your new residence if you’ll be living in a different place after the wedding.
- Wrap presents for groom and attendants.
- Plan your honeymoon and shop for toiletries or special items you’ll need for the trip.
- Address and stamp wedding announcements if you will be sending them. (Give these to a friend ready to be mailed after your wedding day.)
One Week Ahead
- Try on your wedding gown to check the fit and make sure it is properly pressed.
- Make sure your attendants have their dresses and head pieces and that they have tried them on.
- Finalize any details with reception center or caterer; also musicians (review musical selections), and florist.
- Remind the wedding party about the rehearsal.
One Day Ahead
- Pamper yourself. You can afford to relax if you’ve followed our step-by-step wedding planning guide!