6 TO 12 MONTHS AHEAD
Announce your engagement.
Create a wedding budget.
Decide on the number of guests you'll invite.
Have your family and his family draw up their invitation lists.
Set the date.
Decide who will perform the ceremony.
Choose a location for the ceremony.
Choose a location for the reception.
Select a caterer (often, this is connected to the reception site).
Choose your attendants.
Start shopping for your dress and shoes.
Start looking for a florist, cake baker, DJ or band, photographer and/or a videographer.
4 TO 6 MONTHS AHEAD
If you're getting married in a church or synagogue, meet with the officiant to discuss the ceremony and to arrange pre-marital counseling, if required.
Order the invitations, announcements, programs, and thank-you cards.
Shop for bridesmaids' dresses and shoes.
Urge your mother and your future mother-in-law to shop for their dresses.
Decide what the groom and his attendants will wear.
Register for gifts.
Plan your honeymoon and make reservations. or a videographer.
2 TO 4 MONTHS AHEAD
Buy your wedding bands.
Buy gifts for the attendants.
Arrange for the rehearsal dinner.
Arrange transportation for the two of you from the wedding site to the reception.
Buy a guest book and select someone to preside over it at the reception.
1 TO 2 MONTHS AHEAD
Mail the invitations.
Write thank-you notes as gifts are received.
Pick up wedding bands.
Apply for your marriage license. Washington state law does not require a blood test, but you must apply for the license at least four days before the wedding. You must get married within 30 days of getting the license.
Arrange accommodations for out-of-town guests.
Have your final dress fitting.
Make wedding-day appointments with your hairstylist and manicurist.
2 Weeks Ahead
Send wedding announcement to the newspaper.
If changing your name, make arrangements with Social Security, Department of Motor Vehicles, credit card companies, and your bank.
Arrange to have your fiance be made the beneficiary of your life insurance.
Draw up the seating plan for the reception and make cards for the head table.
Confirm your honeymoon travel arrangements.
1 WEEK AHEAD
Notify the caterer of the final count.
Go over final details with the reception site coordinator, florist, cake baker, DJ or band, photographer and/or videographer.
Be sure the attendants have directions to the wedding and reception and are aware of the schedule of events.
1 TO 3 DAYS AHEAD
Give the marriage license to the Maid of Honor or Best Man and remind this person to bring it to the ceremony.
Write checks to all vendors, put in a single envelope, and give to your Maid of Honor or Best Man to dole out on the big day.
Tell the attendants and parents what time they'll need to arrive at the rehearsal dinner.
Arrange for out-of-town guests to be met at the airport and directed to their accommodations.
Pack everything you'll need for the ceremony.
THE WEDDING DAY
Eat something for breakfast.
Give your Maid of Honor the groom's wedding band.
See your stylist for final preparations.
Gather all of your pre-packed belongings and head for the altar.