First things first. Organize the tools you'll need to put your ideas in place.
A 3-ring binder (large enough to keep your ideas, invoices and timelines)
Dividers with pockets
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- Set a wedding date - Decide what season you want your wedding to occur in, and if you prefer an indoor or outdoor ceremony.
- Create a budget - Decide how the expenses will be divided and where you want to allocate most of your funds (i.e. venue, food, décor etc.)
- Research reception venues and check for availability – Venues book up fast so you'll want to book at least a year in advance if possible.
- Call your Officiant and book your wedding at church / hall / beach – Same thing goes for the ceremony location, so book early.
- Make a guest list – Decide who you want to attend your wedding. This will also tell you how large or small a venue you’ll need.
- Make a list of your wedding party – Think about who you’d like to stand beside you on your big day and think of a fun way to ask them!
- Decide on wedding colors and a theme – Your wedding colors and theme will guide your décor so it’s best to decide early so you can purchase décor items as far ahead as possible.
- Consider hiring a wedding consultant – A wedding consultant assists you with all the details you may not be able to do yourself due to work or family commitments. It’s also invaluable to have someone there on your wedding day so that all you need to do is enjoy yourself!
- Book an engagement photo shoot - The engagement photo shoot is the perfect opportunity to announce your love to the world, and to show off your beautiful diamond engagement ring of course! Engagement photos are a great way to reveal your engagement to family, friends and on social media. Your photos should be a personal reflection of you as a couple. so choose poses that you are comfortable with. A shot of your shiny, new Best Brilliance diamond engagement ring on your hand is a must-have as you’ll definitely want to show it off to everyone so they can share your in your joy.
- Choose vendors – This is the time to research and book your photographer, videographer, caterer, DJ/Band and florist. When possible, book vendors who have worked at your selected venue.
- Begin window shopping for wedding gown – Plan a trip with your mom, your bridesmaids and maid of honor to start looking for that perfect gown. Remember it may take a few trips before you find the right one.
- Engagement Party – Though not a requirement, it is a nice way to announce and celebrate your engagement with your family and friends
- Order dress – Hopefully by now you have decided on your perfect gown. Order early in case you need to have any alterations done. Take a fabric sample from your wedding gown retailer so you can select your shoes now.
- Rent Groom’s and Groomsmen’s attire – This is the time for the groom to order his and his groomsmen’s suits or tuxes. Coordinate the shoes and any accessories they'll be wearing to match their attire, and possibly the color scheme of the wedding party.
- Send out Save-the-Date notices – Give out of town guests enough time to make travel plans by sending out the save the dates early.
- Cake tasting – This is one of the best parts of the planning process, so enjoy that cake! This is a delicious fun event for you and your fiance. There's no stress here--simply pick what you two like! Decide if you want a groom's cake which is popular in some regions.
- Wedding registry – It’s best to get this out of the way as people may need ideas for engagement and shower gifts too. Consider your guests budgets by selecting a wide range (by price) of gift items for them to choose.
- Book hair stylist and makeup artist – Before you book your hair stylist and makeup artist, request that they do a trial with you first. You will want to do this after you’ve chosen your dress so that you know for sure your beauty look will go with your dress style.
- Choose bridesmaid attire and accessories – Decide whether you are going to purchase or have your bridesmaid dresses made. The earlier you decide the better so that you have ample time to do alterations if need be. Don't forget the shoes!
- Book Honeymoon – Decide where you want to go and begin researching prices and packages, accommodations and travel arrangements.
- Order wedding invitations & thank you cards – You’ll want to send your invitations out at least 8 weeks in advance so order them early to make sure you have enough time to address and send them out.
- Book limo / transportation – Decide what type of transportation you’d like the day of your wedding and book it.
- Buy thank you gifts for bridal party and parents – Have special thank you gifts for the important people in your life that attend your wedding.
- Research wedding favors – Think about how you’d like to thank your wedding guests – whether it’s a small take-home memento, donation or edible treat. Pinterest has lots of great ideas!
- Book rehearsal dinner venue – Match the venue to accommodate your wedding party and immediate family.
- Plan on welcome gifts for out of town guests – Make your out of town guests feel special by giving them a welcome gift.
- Shop for wedding rings - You may already have the diamond engagement ring for the bride but what about the wedding bands for both bride and groom? Wedding bands are one of the most important purchases you will make when it comes to your wedding. This is a symbol of your love and commitment that you will wear every day for the rest of your life. There are three different types of wedding bands that you can choose from – solitaire, pave and side stones. Best Brilliance has a beautiful selection of diamond wedding bands for you to choose from.
- Confirm vendors – Confirm and book and pay deposits on additional vendors (cake delivery, sound equipment, furniture rentals).
- Buy your wedding shoes for BOTH of you – Choose wedding shoes that are comfortable enough for you to wear for a long period of time including dancing if that's part of your big day. Wear them around the house to break them in before your wedding.
- Book hair and makeup trial – Finalize your look and make sure you have the appropriate makeup for touchups on the day of your wedding.
- Create timeline for ceremony – Decide how you’d like the ceremony to go. If having a church wedding, decide on your music, singing, and readings and who will be doing them.
- Create timeline for reception – Decide when you’d like to do the first dance, cake cutting, toasts and special speeches, etc.
- Create a wedding program – Create your wedding program and have it printed.
- Mail/Email Wedding invitations – Wedding invitations are typically sent out 6-8 weeks prior to the wedding.
- Bridal party fittings – Make sure you have the shoes the bridal party will be wearing with you for any fittings so that the length can be altered accordingly.
- Choose playlist – Choose some of your favorite songs and let your DJ know if there are any special songs you’d like to hear.
- Book a spa day – Pamper yourself, you deserve it!
- Create a seating plan for reception – Try to seat friends and acquaintances together whenever possible--but mix up the table a bit so new friendships and memories are created.
- Write vows – If you are writing your own vows, now’s the time to do it!
- Book a spa facial – Book a facial to make sure your skin is picture perfect for your big day.
- Final dress/gown fitting – Test out your accessories and shoes with your dress and make any changes needed.
- Treat, cut, and color hair – This isn’t the time to make a drastic change, just freshen up your color and clean up any split ends.
- Get a massage – Treat yourself to a relaxing massage to help you unwind from all the wedding planning stress!
- Pick up dress/gown – Pick up your wedding dress and keep it somewhere away from the prying eyes of your groom!
- Packing list for honeymoon – If you’re going on your honeymoon right away, make a list of the things you’ll need to bring. It’s one less thing you’ll need to do close to your wedding day.
- Confirm with caterer your final guest count – Confirm your numbers with the caterer as well as any rental companies you’re using.
2 DAYS BEFORE
- Prep beauty bag and emergency kit – Have the makeup you’ll be wearing ready in a bag for any necessary touch-ups.
- Get a mani and pedi – You’ll want your manicure and pedicure to be as fresh as possible so get this done as close to the wedding as you can.
- Write your fiance a love note – A love note is the perfect way to tell your fiancé just how much you love them.
- Wedding rehearsal & dinner – Relax~The work is done! Enjoy your time with family and friends!
- Get beauty sleep – Get a good night sleep so you can enjoy your big day to the fullest!
- Exercise – Even a small amount of exercise will help calm your nerves and help you get a good night’s sleep.
- Have a warm bath – Relax and unwind in a warm bath. Bubbles are good!
YOUR WEDDING DAY
- 10 minutes exercise – Start your day with at least 10 minutes of exercise to get your body ready for the big day!
- Eat a healthy meal – You’ll need energy for the day’s events so choose a meal with plenty of protein and greens to give you the fuel you’ll need.
- Relax – Enjoy the time you have with your bridesmaids getting ready, have a glass of champagne, relax and enjoy yourself!
- Hydrate – Have a water bottle with you and hydrate throughout the day.
- Have fun! – Enjoy yourself! This is what you’ve been looking forward to for a whole year! Savor every moment, it does go fast!
Planning a wedding is no small feat and can seem overwhelming at first glance. But with this detailed wedding planning checklist you’ll have no problem getting everything done. With your diamond engagement ring on your hand, your true love by your side and this list in your pocket, you’ll be on your way to wedded bliss before you know it!