Austin-area experts weigh in with wedding advice that really works.
The Countdown to Your Wedding-Timeline to Keep you Organized
First Things First ... Before announcing your engagement, inform your families. Traditionally, the Bride’s parents are told first, then the Groom’s parents. If they have not yet met, a get-together should be arranged by the Groom’s family. Nine to Twelve Months Prior:
- Establish your budget early, with maximum amounts for each event/activity. Consider hiring a wedding consultant to help with your plans. Determine expense responsibilities for specific events.
- Shop for your wedding rings. If you want custom-made rings, plan this early in your schedule.
- Decide on the style, formality and size of your wedding, then set your tentative wedding date.
- Choose your wedding consultant.
- Prepare your tentative guest list and determine the size of your wedding events.
- Choose your attendants; get a firm commitment to each event. Determine all pertinent sizes for each.
- Select your ceremony location and consult with the officiant who will perform the ceremony, then choose a firm wedding date. Begin planning your ceremony, and determine any pre-marital requirements.
- Choose a reception location.
- Plan rehearsal dates and times with your officiant and location choices.
- Choose and reserve the location for your rehearsal dinner.
- Choose the color scheme and any appropriate style for your ceremony and wedding attire.
- Begin shopping for the bridal gown, headpiece, and attendants’ attire.
- Schedule fittings, alteration fittings and delivery dates.
- Choose your attendant’s dresses and accessories. Schedule fittings and delivery dates, and notify your attendants.
- Start the selection process for your wedding professionals: Contact a photographer/videographer early; some are booked as much as a year in advance. Decide your type of entertainment and choose the right professional. Choose your caterer if not included with your reception site. Select your mode of transportation.
- Begin the selection of your florist, balloonist and/or ice sculptor. Determine any party rental needs and select an appropriate professional.
- Select your stationer, style of invitations, thank you notes and any other stationery.
- Consult a travel agent or visit web-sites for honeymoon plans.
Six to Nine Months Prior
- Begin compiling guest list names and addresses.
- Locate and choose your gift registry and begin recording your selections.
- Get engagement photographs taken by your photographer and set-up your engagement announcement with your local newspaper.
- Finalize your wedding professional choices and secure with a deposit:
- Ceremony Music
- Reception Entertainment
- Party Rentals
- Select Groom’s attire. Set up fittings, alterations and delivery or pick up dates.
- Select and order the Groom’s attendants attire. Schedule fittings and delivery or pick up dates, and notify the attendants.
Four to Six Months Prior
- Meet with each of your Austin wedding professionals and continue to plan each event. Finalize ordering and reservations for all your event needs.
- Meet with your florist and complete your selections for bouquets, boutonnieres, table arrangements and confirm delivery times.
- Finalize guest list.
- Choose and reserve accommodations for all of your out-of-town guests. Compile a list of local activities during their stay in Austin.
- Finalize selection and order your invitations and all related stationery.
- Set-up and maintain records of gifts and begin sending thank you notes.
- Select a baker, order wedding cake, groom’s cake and any other confectionery needs.
- Shop for and purchase trousseau.
- Help parents select and coordinate their formal attire.
- Research all legal requirements – blood tests and marriage license.
- Don’t forget ... begin your beauty regimen early.
Two to Three Months Prior
- Make a list of who you want to speak at each event and in what order, and contact each person.
- Order favors and gifts. Purchase cake knives, ring pillow, toasting goblets, and other accessories.
- Address invitations and announcements and mail out-of-town invitations. Continue writing thank you notes.
- Finalize honeymoon and travel plans.
Four to Six Weeks Prior
- Reserve wedding day appointments with your hair stylist for you and your attendants. Get any perms, color, cut or new style done early.
- Make pre-wedding beauty appointments for you and your attendants for manicure, massage, spa
- Select a make up artist for your wedding day and your bridal portrait session.
- Get bridal portrait taken and framed for reception.
- Make plans and reservations for an attendants’ party.
- Address and mail all local invitations. Begin RSVP counts. Include maps to all event sites with invitations.
- Begin addressing wedding announcements.
- Finalize all attire fittings. Pick up wedding rings.
- Select and purchase attendants’ gifts and a wedding gift for your new spouse.
- Obtain your marriage license.
- If you are moving finalize all moving details.
One to Two Weeks Prior
- Confirm all appointments.
- Confirm all ceremony and rehearsal details.
- Confirm all counts with food and beverage caterers.
- Plan seating arrangements.
- Finalize all rehearsal dinner details.
- Finalize all song lists and entertainment details.
- Finalize photographer and videographer details.
- Finalize arrangements for all professional services and transportation needs. Confirm guest accommodations.
- Plan honeymoon wardrobes and luggage needs. Obtain all travel tickets and confirm reservations.
- Arrange for gowns, bouquet and/or cake preservation.
The Last Week
- Arrange for pickup of bridal ensemble. Best Man should confirm final fittings for the Groom and Ushers; and schedule return of Groom’s tuxedo and rental equipment.
- Assign post-wedding tasks to wedding party.
- Prepare envelopes for payments or donations to ceremony officials and musicians.
- Give gifts to wedding party, family and fiancé.
- Attend the rehearsal dinner and attendants’ party.
The Day Before
- Finish packing for the wedding night and honeymoon.
- Gather all wedding day items. Entrust payment envelopes to the Best Man for tomorrow.
- Assure that “getaway” car will be at reception site – packed and ready to go.
Your Wedding Day (This Is It!)
- See hairdresser and make-up artist early.
- The Bride should transfer engagement ring to the right hand. Be dressed and ready about two hours before ceremony for picture-taking.
- Relax ... if you followed your planned schedule, the rest of the day should be easy.
After The Wedding
- Write & mail thank you notes.
- Take care of business, banking, change of address