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Congrats — you’re engaged! So, now what?

The key tool when you start out, and throughout your wedding planning journey, should be a good wedding checklist.

12 Months Before
- Announce your engagement to family and friends and plan an engagement party
- Place an engagement announcement in your local newspaper
- Sign up for a wedding website to keep your guests informed about event details, area information, etc.
- Work on the budget
- Choose a wedding date – select a few days in case your first choice is booked
- Reserve your ceremony and reception site at the Colonial Hotel
- Begin a rough guest list and compile current addresses
- Decide on who you’d like to have as your attendants, including your maid of honor and best man
- Begin shopping for your wedding gown
- Attend a local bridal show or two and jot down notes about any vendors you really liked

6-9 Months Before
- Research and choose one or more bridal gift registry
- Order your wedding gown and buy undergarments that you will wear with it (bring these to all fittings)
- Order other bridal accessories – shoes, gloves and veil
- Begin shopping for bridesmaids dresses
- Find an officiant who will perform your ceremony
- Research vendor websites and blogs, schedule appointments and book ceremony band or DJ, photographer, videographer, caterer and florist

4-6 Months Before
- Select and order your wedding invitations, invitation envelopes and thank-you cards
- Select and purchase wedding favors and wedding favor accessories – boxes, personalized wedding ribbon, labels, etc.
- Purchase any desired ceremony and reception decorations – unity candles, vases, aisle runner, etc.
- Book your honeymoon and verify that you have any necessary travel documents including passports and visas
- Finalize your guest list and send out save-the-date cards, if using

2-4 Months Before
- Find out what your state’s requirements are for obtaining a marriage license and get blood tests done, if required
- Order tuxedos for the groom and groomsmen
- Meet with your officiant to discuss ceremony details, wording and wedding vows
- Select wedding readings
- Order your wedding cake
- Buy thank-you gifts for your attendants, flower girl and ring bearer
- Shop for a gift for your new spouse-to-be
- Select and purchase wedding rings, and have them engraved if desired
- Book any other specialty services – ice sculptures, photo booths, etc.
- Purchase luggage and other travel necessities and attire for your honeymoon

1-2 Months Before
- Mail invitations out to everyone eight weeks prior to the wedding date and send accommodation info to your out-of-town guests
- Compile and complete name change documents or purchase a bridal name change kit online which contains all of the necessary forms to file
- Fill out a change of address form at the post office, if necessary
- Pick up your marriage license
- Have ceremony programs printed
- Keep your wedding web site updated with directions and event details
- Choose your hair and makeup stylists and schedule a trial for both; also book appointments for the day of the wedding
- Review insurance information with your fiancé and check with employers to see what documents need to be updated once you are legally wed

2 Weeks to 1 Month Before
- Create a seating chart for the reception and make table numbers and place cards
- Contact the Colonial Hotel with a final guest count and to set up your final detail appointment
- Print out a timeline of events for your wedding party and vendors – include contact information and cell phone numbers
- Meet with your photographer to finalize your wedding photo list of any must-have photos
- Contact your florist to confirm your final flower order (bouquets, boutonnieres, centerpieces, etc.) and go over any decor details or venue
- Finalize your ceremony and reception music and song lists for your wedding band or DJ
- Confirm lodging reservations for out-of-town guests
- Place a wedding announcement in your local newspaper
- Plan a bridal luncheon or dinner with your bridesmaids
- Pick up wedding bands and make sure the fit is good
- Schedule a final wedding dress fitting
- Write rehearsal dinner toasts

1 Week Before
- Write out final checks to your wedding vendors
- Pick up your wedding gown
- Pack for your honeymoon and confirm travel arrangements
- Have your post office hold your mail, if necessary, while you are on your honeymoon
- Treat yourself to a spa day — you deserve it!

The Day Before
- Welcome out-of-town guests as they arrive
- Take a yoga class or go for a walk during the day
- Attend the rehearsal and enjoy the rehearsal dinner!

The Wedding Day
- Wake up early and do some easy exercise, or just go for a peaceful walk outdoors and try to soak up the beauty of the day
- Set aside some time before the festivities to share gifts with your bridesmaids or close family members
- Eat a healthy breakfast – you’ll need your energy for the big day ahead!
- Enjoy it; it’s finally here and everything will be wonderful…