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Weddings are a beautiful and fun celebration of love. It should always be remembered that way and keep stress at bay for most of the planning season. Keep lists organized and be on top of everything so that it will go accordingly on the big day. Here is a checklist to ensure that plans are on time for the wedding day. Researching and having options all throughout the planning is best so that if one thing does not go as planned, there are back-ups right away.

The initial planning of the wedding can become overwhelming but tackling each task by months will greatly help in keeping the wedding as stress-free as possible. Create a wedding folder or binder nine months to a year before the wedding. In the folder include the theme, the budget, the bridal party, and the guest list. It is also possible to hire a wedding planner at this stage to help out with the whole event and to lessen the burden on the bride. Secure the date and the venue especially if you are planning to get married during the wedding season. Some venues will be completely booked so get ahead of everyone else.

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Eight months before the wedding is the time to look for a dress, meet-up with caterers, book the priest or pastor, and book the venue for the wedding reception unless the wedding venue and the reception will be at the same place. The bridal party should also start fitting their dresses during this time and give instructions on how to order the dresses. This is also the time to hire videographers and photographers. Speak to them about the theme of the wedding and how you envision the videos and photographs to turn out. It would be best to meet them in person so that the photographers and videographers have an idea of the bride and groom’s personality.

Six months before the wedding is enough time to purchase invitations, booking a florist, arranging transportation for the bridal party, reserving tents or lightning components for the wedding venue, and drawing up a wedding schedule. This time is about seeing your dreams come to life. The details of the wedding will slowly be finalized during this time.

Four to five months before the wedding is enough time to start fitting the dress and the dresses of the bridal party. Schedule hair and makeup artists. Book the rehearsal and rehearsal venue and make sure that your chosen venue will not be double booked. This can happen during the busy wedding seasons. The invitations should also be finalized and sent. Cake tasting and food tasting should be done during this time as some bakers and caterers do not allow modifications closer to the day of the wedding.

Three months before the wedding is the time to purchase the rings, have the second fitting for the dress, menu and flowers finalized, the ceremony finalized, and menu cards to be printed. Send in the details of the wedding to caterers, florists, and other vendors so that there will be enough time for adjustments or tweaks.

A month to two months before the wedding should serve as a buffer time for any changes in the main ceremony. Meet with vendors again if necessary just to finalize all the details for the wedding. Assign the seating or the layout of the room for the reception. Meet with videographers and photographers once more to discuss the plans for the wedding photo shoot. Having a test shoot and a test makeup can show you how you will look during the day. Send in payments during this time to lessen tasks on your checklist. Most importantly, fill out the marriage license and create necessary copies.

A week before the wedding is the time for the bride to pick up the dress, break into the wedding shoes, give final instructions to the bridesmaids, and assemble give-away baskets. Any other task should be delegated to the bridesmaids or maid of honor. The wedding planner and the host should have the schedule of the wedding a couple of days before the big day.

By Ady Banico

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