First things first... Congratulations on your engagement! You have found your partner, got engaged and picked a date, now here are a few tips on what to do next.
~ Many couples have an engagement party to formally announce their happy news, while others simply have engagement pictures done and send out engagement announcements.
~ Start looking for your wedding and reception venue before the good ones are taken. Most venues are booked six (6) months to a year prior to the wedding date.
~ Set your budget. Keeping track of your expenses and keeping your budget on track is very important! It can be very overwhelming if you don't know where you stand financially.
~ Start looking for that perfect dress, shoes and accessories.
~ Start looking for bridesmaids dresses.
~ You may want to start a wedding website so that out of state family and friends can share in your progress from where ever they may be.
~ Start your guest list.
About 8 to 10 months before your wedding -
~ Hire a consultant (if you are going to).
~ Choose and book your wedding officiant.
~ Choose your bridesmaids, groomsman and ushers.
~ Meet with florists, caterers and musicians.
~ Arrange for a tasting with your caterer.
~ Find a photographer.
~ Plan your honeymoon.
~ Meet with your wedding cake designer/baker.
About 4 to 6 months before your wedding -
~ Send out save-the-date announcements with the final date and location of your wedding.
~ Start planning your rehearsal dinner.
~ If your caterer isn't reserving your tables, linens, chairs and flatware for you now is the time to start doing this, also any tents that may be needed.
~ Register for gifts.
~ Select your groom's tuxedo or other attire, what the groomsmen will wear and make arrangements to purchase or rent.
~ Select and purchase your rings.
~Book any hotel accommodations for the wedding weekend for yourself and book or send hotel information to out of town guests.
About 2 to 3 months before your wedding -
~ Give a list of any "must have" pictures to your photographer.
~ Discuss your wedding menu with the caterer
~ Meet with your officiant to discuss the ceremony.
~ Write your wedding vows (if you plan on writing your own).
~ Mail your wedding invitations.
~ Attend your bridal shower (if any).
~ Schedule your rehearsal dinner.
The month of your wedding -
~ Apply for a marriage license.
Riverside County - http://riverside.asrclkrec.com/SVmarriage.asp
San Bernardino County - http://www.sbcounty.gov/arc/marriage_info.htm
San Diego County - http://arcc.co.san-diego.ca.us/services/marriage_licenses.aspx
Los Angeles County - http://www.lavote.net/Clerk/Marriages.cfm
Orange County - http://egov.ocgov.com/ocgov/Clerk-Recorder%20-%20Tom%20Daly/Services/Marriage%20Services
Ventura County - http://recorder.countyofventura.org/marriage.htm
Santa Barbara County - http://sbcvote.com/ClerkRecorder/MarriageLicenses.aspx
Imperial County - http://www.co.imperial.ca.us/Recorder/PDFDocuments/092111IMPERIALCOUNTYCLERKFEES.pdf
~ Schedule your final gown fitting.
~ Contact your vendors (caterers, officiant, bakery, photographer, florist, musician, transportation, hotels, etc.) to verify times for arrival and delivery.
~ Verify with your wedding party to verify that they have got their attire and have confirmed arrival and delivery times.
~ Write and print your wedding program.
The week of -
~ Arrange seat plans and write place cards.
~ Give your head count to your caterer and confirm any last minute details.
~ Pick up your wedding dress.
~ Attend your bachelor/bachelorette parties.
The day before -
~ Relax, go to the spa for mani/pedi (you may want to avoid any new facials in case of an allergic reaction) with some out of town guests.
~ Rehearsal/rehearsal dinner.
~ Give any wedding party gifts.
~ Confirm any wedding day transportation.
Wedding day! -
~ Give any thank you gifts to your parents.
~ Enjoy your day!!