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The 12 Month Countdown

Congratulations on your engagement! It's a time where your will, wit, organizational skills, and humor will be put to the test. Weddings take a lot of planning and you will likely spend over 100 hours on the phone, visiting with vendors, planning, and chasing after details. To help you get off to a good start, we've put together a complete outline of the things you'll need to do for your wedding and the approximate timeline for getting those things done!

Six to Twelve Months Before Your Wedding

  ____ Call Russian American Wedding for great ideas... and some details
  ____ Select a Wedding Date and Time (and possibly a backup date)
  ____ Plan an engagement party with family and friends
  ____ Talk with a bridal consultant or wedding coordinator
  ____ Agree on a preliminary budget
  ____ Decide who will pay for what and how expenses will be shared
  ____ Call your church or synagogue for an appointment with the Efficient
  ____ Consider and ask friends and family to serve as wedding attendants
  ____ Start a "planning system" and system of organization
  ____ Start your wedding guest list
  ____ Start thinking about ideas/themes for your reception and catering plans
  ____ Determine what type of entertainment you want to have for your reception
  ____ Decide the type of wedding you would like to have (size, formality, and setting)
  ____ Think about your color schemes
  ____ Explore pre-marital counseling
  ____ Start health and fitness plan if you're not already in one!
  ____ Select your reception location
  ____ Select your professional photographer
  ____ Select your videographer
  ____ Select professional caterer (if necessary)
  ____ Select Master of Ceremony
  ____ Select Musician or Disc Jockey
  ____ Select your florist
  ____ Shop together for your wedding rings
  ____ Select wedding dress and headpiece, and set a date for fittings and delivery
  ____ Select your bridesmaids' dresses and accessories
  ____ It's time to choose a honeymoon and location 

Four Months Prior To The Wedding

  ____ OK, now it's time to spend some REAL time with Wedding Planner at
           Russian American Wedding, details, details...
  ____ Check the requirements for marriage license
  ____ Select and discuss your color schemes with the florist/decorator of choice
  ____ Again consider pre-marital counseling
  ____ Reserve your wedding day rental equipment
  ____ Decide upon a gift registry and select your gift choices
  ____ Order your invitations and related stationery needs
  ____ Start shopping for the men'sí wedding attire
  ____ Reserve your wedding day transportation
  ____ Research and select readings for ceremony
  ____ Make music selections for ceremony and reception
  ____ Select your baker, then choose your cake, and groomís cake
  ____ Help both mothers coordinate and find their wedding day clothing
  ____ Review your contracts with all of your vendors and service providers (DETAILS!!)

Two Months Before Your Wedding

  ____ Well, at this point you could meet with Wedding Planner at
           Russian American Wedding again
  ____ Have engagement portraits taken
  ____ Place your engagement announcement in the newspaper
  ____ Mail out invitations and announcements
  ____ Decide on the men'sí wedding attire
  ____ Arrange and plan your rehearsal dinner
  ____ Purchase your wedding day accessories
  ____ Arrange attendants' parties
  ____ Prepare accommodations for out-of-town attendants and guests
  ____ Consider a hairdresser and/or makeup artist and book appointments
  ____ Finalize all honeymoon plans

One Month Left!

  ____ Final wedding dress fitting
  ____ Final fitting for your wedding attendants
  ____ Obtain marriage license
  ____ Have your attendants' parties
  ____ Purchase your going-away outfit
  ____ Create a calendar of events for the wedding day.
  ____ Make sure your accessories are in order (rings, pillow, garter, etc.)

Two Weeks Remaining!

  ____ Finalize arrangements with the entertainer(s)
  ____ Provide a list of music you would like played (or not played)
  ____ Finalize music during special events such as first dance, dance with dad, etc.
  ____ Pick up your wedding rings and make sure that the engravings are correct
  ____ Make sure they fit!
  ____ Contact the guests who have not responded to your invitations.

One Week To GO!

  ____ If you can, take the week, or part of the week off from work!
  ____ Make sure your marriage license is in order
  ____ Prepare seating arrangements, if necessary
  ____ Purchase travelers checks, confirm honeymoon reservations
  ____ Pack your baggage for your honeymoon
  ____ Have your wedding ceremony rehearsal
  ____ Instruct your wedding party on what they will be doing on the day of the wedding
  ____ Have your rehearsal dinner
  ____ Make sure all wedding attire fits properly
  ____ Give the best man the amounts your vendors are to be paid on the day of the  
  ____ Inform your caterer of the total guest count
  ____ Confirm out-of-town guests have transportation and sleeping accommodations
  ____ Check with your florist and/or balloonist to make sure they will arrive when

Your Wedding Day

  ____ Your primary goal today is to get married! Have fun! Forget about everything
  ____ Relax, enjoy yourself, and remain calm!
  ____ Allow at least two hours for dressing
  ____ Allow plenty of time to apply your makeup and style your hair
  ____ If professionals are doing your hair and/or makeup, determine the time they need
  ____ If photographs are to be taken before the ceremony, allow plenty of time for that!
  ____ Remember to bring the rings and marriage license
  ____ Seat guests as they arrive
  ____ The groomís parents should be seated about 5 minutes before start time
  ____ Mother of the bride is normally seated last
  ____ Take a deep breath, don't worry, be HAPPY and SMILE!

Helpful Wedding Links

Engagement Party
12 Months Countdown
Choosing Your Bridal Party
Cocktail Hour Music
The Groom's Cake
Wedding Cake
Who Pays For What
Who walks with Bride

Wedding Toasts & Speeches

Wedding Toasts and Speeches - INTRO
Seven real toasting horror stories and how to keep them from happening to you
How to make a Wedding Toast
How To Be a Great Groom
How To Be a Great Best Man
Groom's Toasts
Father of the Groom's Toasts
Father of the Bride's Toasts
Best Man's Toasts

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