Steps before the Big Day:

So the big day is almost here. But, there are still many last minute plans and details to finalize. We know you are probably somewhat overwhelmed so check out this ultimate check list.

Three months before

Finalize the menu and flowers.

You’ll want to wait until now to see what will be available, since food and flowers are affected by season.

Order favors, if desired.

Some safe bets: monogrammed cookies or a treat that represents your city or region. If you’re planning to have welcome baskets for out-of-town guests, plan those now too.

Make a list of the people giving toasts.

Which loved ones would you like to have speak at the reception? Ask them now.

Finalize the readings.

Determine what you would like to have read at the ceremony—and whom you wish to do the readings.

Purchase your undergarments.

And schedule your second fitting.

Finalize the order of the ceremony and the reception.

Print menu cards, if you like, as well as programs.

No need to go to a printer, if that’s not in your budget: You can easily create these on your computer.

Purchase the rings.

This will give you time for resizing and engraving.

Send your event schedule to the vendors.

Giving them a first draft now allows ample time for tweaks and feedback.

Touch base again with all the vendors.

Make sure any questions you or they had on your first draft have been answered.

Meet with the photographer.

Discuss specific shots, and walk through the locations to note spots that appeal to you.

Review the playlist with the band or deejay.

Though you probably won’t be able to dictate every single song played, you should come prepared with a wish list.

Send out the invitations.

The rule of thumb: Mail invitations six to eight weeks before the ceremony, setting the RSVP cutoff at three weeks after the postmark date.

Submit a newspaper wedding announcement.

If you’re planning to include a photograph, check the publication’s website: Some have strict rules about how the photo should look.

Enjoy a bachelorette party.

Arranging a night out with your girlfriends generally falls to the maid of honor. But if she hasn’t mentioned one to you by now, feel free to ask—for scheduling purposes, of course!—if a celebration is in the works.

One month before

Enter RSVPs into your guest-list database.

Phone people who have not yet responded.

Get your marriage license.

The process can take up to six days, but it’s good to give yourself some leeway. If you are changing your name, order several copies.

Mail the rehearsal-dinner invitations.

Visit the dressmaker for (with luck!) your last dress fitting.

For peace of mind, you may want to schedule a fitting the week of your wedding. You can always cancel the appointment if you try on the dress then and it fits perfectly.

Stock the bar.

Now that you have a firm head count you can order accordingly.

Send out as many final payments as you can.

Confirm times for hair and makeup and all vendors.

E-mail and print directions for drivers of transport vehicles.

This gives the chauffeurs ample time to navigate a route.

Assign seating.

Draw out table shapes on a layout of the room to help plan place settings. Write the names of female guests on pink sticky notes and the names of male guests on blue sticky notes so you can move people about without re-sketching the entire setting.

Purchase bridesmaids’ gifts.

You’ll present them at the rehearsal dinner.

Write vows, if necessary.

Get your hair cut and colored, if desired.

 

 

WEEK OF THE WEDDING
Reconfirm arrival times with vendors.

Delegate small wedding-day tasks.

Choose someone to bustle your dress, someone to carry your things, someone to be in charge of gifts (especially the enveloped sort), someone to hand out tips, and someone to be the point person for each vendor.

Send a timeline to the bridal party.

Include every member’s contact information, along with the point people you’ve asked to deal with the vendors, if problems arise.

Pick up your dress.

Or make arrangements for a delivery.

Check in one last time with the photographer.

Supply him or her with a list of moments you want captured on film.

Set aside checks for the vendors.

And put tips in envelopes to be handed out at the event.

Book a spa treatment.

Make an appointment for a manicure and a pedicure the day before the wedding. (You might want to get a stress-relieving massage, too.)

Send the final guest list to the caterer and all venues hosting your wedding-related events.

Typically, companies close their lists 72 hours in advance.

Break in your shoes.

Assemble and distribute the welcome baskets.

Pack for your honeymoon.

Lastly, don’t forget to take a big breath and enjoy! This is what it’s all about. Take it all in and let it be. You’ve done everything you can. Congratulations!