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Wedding Dresses

Diary to prepare effectively a wedding

12 Months before

Buy a wedding planner or organizer.

 10 Months before

Start scouting for a caterer, baker, florist, musicians, photographer, and videographer.

 8 Months before

Book your caterer, baker, florist, musicians, photographer, and videographer.

  • Choose and order your dress.
  • Register for presents. Check your registry periodically, and, if necessary, add to it as items are purchased.
  • Begin the guest list. Typically, half the list is allotted to the bride and her family and half to the groom and his family.
 6 Months before

Research the honeymoon, but wait to visit a travel agent until you have a general idea of the type of trip you want.

  • Plan the details with all the wedding professionals. Decide on the menu with your caterer, the bouquets with your florist, etc.
  • Book a calligrapher, limos for the wedding party, and a portrait photographer. (Your wedding photographer may not do portraits.)
  • Order wedding stationery--invitations, response cards, maps, programs, and thank-you notes. Proofread them upon delivery.
 4 Months before

Book your honeymoon. Apply for passports if you'll need them.

  • Finalize the guest list. Give complete names, with addresses and zip codes, to the calligrapher so she can start on the envelopes
  • Make an appointment for your first dress fitting.
  • Order the wedding rings.
  • Schedule the rehearsal and the rehearsal dinner.
  • Visit the formalwear shop in the town where you'll be marrying—if the groom and ushers will be renting their outfits—to select and reserve their morning suits, strollers, or tuxedos.
  • Book a hotel room for your wedding night.
2 Months before

Visit your officiant to go over vows, readings, music.

  • Shop for lingerie and honeymoon clothes.
  • Have your portrait taken. If you are getting your makeup professionally done for the wedding, this is a good time for a trial run..
  • Check to see if the state where you're marrying requires blood tests; if so, make an appointment with your doctor.
  • Mail your invitations. To ensure you're using the right postage, take one complete invitation to the post office to be weighed.
  • Choose gifts for your attendants.
  • Arrange to transport your belongings, if either of you is moving. Send change-of-address information to the post office.
  • Get name-change forms from the department of motor vehicles, Social Security office, credit-card issuers, etc., if you're taking your fiance's name.
6 Weeks before

Have the final dress fitting.

  • Pick up the rings.
  • Make an appointment with your hairstylist to do a practice run with your headpiece; book her for the wedding.
  • Get programs printed.
  • Send your announcement to the newspapers.
2 Weeks before


  • Get the marriage license.
  • Submit lists of must-take shots to the photographer and videographer, and your playlist to musicians.
  • Arrange the seating plan. Write out table and place cards.
  • Confirm honeymoon reservations.
  • Break in your shoes. Scuff the soles to avoid slipping.
  • Write toasts for the rehearsal dinner and reception.
1 Week before


  • Pack for the honeymoon; get your going-away clothes ready.
  • Check about using your ATM card at your honeymoon site. If travelling abroad, purchase a small amount of the local currency.
  • Give the final guest count to your caterer.
  • Keep up with thank-you notes.
  • Remind all attendants of the rehearsal details.
  • Throw the bridesmaids' party, at which you'll distribute gifts.
  • Pick up your dress a few days before the wedding.
  • Give copies of ceremony readings to those doing them.
1 Day before


  • Treat yourself and your mom to a manicure.
  • Hold the rehearsal and the rehearsal dinner.
  • Go to bed early and try to get a good night's sleep.
Day of the Wedding


  • Eat breakfast—nerves don't mix with an empty stomach.
  • Splurge on a massage. (Raid your "emergency" fund.)
  • Make sure announcements are in the mail.
  • Enjoy!