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Planning Calendar for
the Bride & Groom

This month-by-month checklist of all your wedding
to-dos can start you in the right direction.

Just got engaged? Congrats! Now it's time to plan the wedding. These days, it's not just the bride who plans the nuptials; it's a joint venture into the great beyond of wedding bliss. You have the invitations to send out, spaces to rent, engagement parties to host, and hundreds of tiny little details before it's time to say "I do." It can be a stressful time, but organization and plans made in advance will allow your wedding-day glow to be from happiness, rather than nerves.

12 Months Ahead
• Envision your special day. What's going to make this picture-perfect? (Day ceremony/Night ceremony) (Formal/Informal) (Themes/Colour Schemes)
• Set a budget that works for you both. You don't want to pay more for the cake and not be able to invite 50 ofyour closest friends to the reception.
• Begin to compile the guest list. It may be difficult to pare down the list, but just imagine who you really want to be there to share this occasion with you both.
• Get everyone's contact information. How are they going to know you're getting hitched if you don't send them an invitation?
• Plan your engagement party. Indulge in the thought of letting your friends and family shower you with gifts and congratulations.
• Choose a maid-of-honour, bridesmaids, best man and groomsmen. Your maid-of-honour and best man will be your second in command.
• Decide upon your place of worship or ceremony location and pick a date.
• Do you want to be barefoot on the beach or waltzing down an aisle? Do you want a winter wedding in the snow or a summer wedding on the beach?
• Begin to search for reception locations. After the ceremony, this will be where you two can unwind and celebrate, so make it a place you both will be comfortable.

A Tip: Consider attending bridal shows for ideas. This is a great opportunity to look at the dresses, accessories and the latest wedding trends.

9 Months Ahead
• Book the location for the ceremony and reception. "TBD" is not an acronym in your vocabulary. Both of you should be happy with the venue and time of year and stick with it.
• Choose and book all vendors- Florist, entertainment, photographer, videographer, etc. Do you need a caterer or do you trust your favourite uncle to do all the cooking?
• Discuss reception food with the caterer. If you want a casual affair as opposed to a fancy sit-down extravaganza, now is the time to speak up.
• Shop for your wedding dress, tuxedo/suit and accessories. You will want to look perfect for each other and for the photographs which will last a lifetime.
• Put together a bridal registration for gifts. Think of it as a guaranteed wish list. This way, you'll avoid duplicates of that spatula you bought yourself two weeks ago and you won't end up with five glass vases you don't need.
• Find affordable accommodations for out-of-town guests. Comfortable guests are happy guests. Remember, they're going to be there for you, so be there for them.
• Pick out formal wear and accessories for your maid-of-honour, bridesmaids, best man and your groomsmen.

A Tip: Consider a wedding insurance policy to protect your deposits.

6 Months Ahead
• Send out announcement cards. Everyone needs time to plan for your big event.
• Purchase the perfect wedding bands. Whether you choose a diamond, or metal, the perfect wedding band symbolizes your marriage commitment. Shop Wedding Bands>
• Choose and order your wedding cake. Now you'll get the chance to have your cake and eat it too. Wedding bliss will never taste so sweet.
• Research and begin to book plans for your honeymoon. Have you both always dreamed of an ocean vacation or a road trip to the mountains? Whatever it is, make sure the two of you will love it.

A Tip: If you get overwhelmed, call on a bridesmaid or groomsman for help, or consider a wedding planner.

3 Months Ahead
• Purchase gifts for your maid-of-honour, bridesmaids, best man and your groomsmen. Express your appreciation for the friends who have been there for you through thick and thin. Shop Gifts for the Wedding Party>
• Shop for the perfect gift for each other. You're not just giving your hand in marriage, but your devotion so why not give one another a token of affection? Shop Gifts for Him>    Shop Gifts for Her>
• Purchase a traditional gift for your parents or those who helped shape you into the man and woman you are today. This is your way to thank them for their continuous support. Shop Gifts for Parents>
• Brides - Generally, the women closest to you should throw a bridal shower in your honour. Get all your close family and friends together to celebrate your day.
• Mail out the actual invitations. Don't forget to include R.S.V.P. instructions!
• Plan the details of the ceremony. If you want to enter in a horse drawn carriage, go for it. If you want polka music played at your entrance, do it. It's your day - personalize it and make it your own!

A Tip: Make arrangements for trial appointments. Your wedding day is not the day for experiments so try out that hairstyle or makeup technique in advance so there are no surprises.

1 Month to 1 Week Ahead
• Write your vows. You know how much you love one another, but it might be difficult to put it into words - especially on such an emotional day! Start writing and practicing early so you have time to remember everything you want to say.
• Attend bachelor/ette parties. Nothing is more beautiful than a well-rested and relaxed couple on their wedding day. Having a great celebration with your closest friends at least a week before the wedding will ensure you both of just that.

Day Of
• Breathe and say "I do!"