Congratulations on your ENGAGEMENT!

Teresa McCalop Share Her Top Wedding Planning Tips.


The key to a stress-free, beautiful wedding is planning, planning and more planning. Paying attention to details, EARLY, can really make a difference in how much you enjoy your big day.

Bride Planning Checklist down to a list of Top Ten Tips:

First Things First!
  •  Set wedding date.
  •  Invitations should be mailed 6 weeks before the wedding.
  •  Wedding dress should be ordered at least 6 months before wedding date.
  •  Bridesmaids’ dresses should be ordered at least 6 months prior to wedding.
  •  Bride’s hair should be cut and colored about 2 weeks before wedding.
  •  Groom’s hair should be cut 2 weeks before wedding.
  •  Blood tests generally must be taken within 30 days of the wedding.

12 or More Months Ahead

  •  Pick a date! Look at your calendar with your fiancé (don’t forget to confer with parents on both sides) and set the date. Be sure to have an alternate date or two in case the venue is already booked.
  •  Start now thinking about whether you will plan a formal or informal wedding.
  •  Creating a preliminary guest list now will really help out down the road when it’s time to create a budget.

10 to 12 Months Ahead

  •  Select wedding date and time
  •  Send out save the date cards/emails.
  •  Announce your engagement and have engagement photos taken.
  •  Discuss and create a preliminary wedding budget with all involved.
  •  Determine how expenses will be shared.
  •  Determine your wedding theme or style.
  •  Reserve your ceremony location.
  •  Determine who will officiant the ceremony.
  •  If you choose to use a professional planner you should begin interviewing now.
  •  Reserve your reception location.
  •  If your reception or wedding is planned for outdoors have an alternate plan in place.

8 to 10 Months Ahead

  •  Decide on your wedding colors.
  •  Determine the size of your guest list.
  •  Begin compiling list of names and numbers and addresses.
  •  Send out a “Save the Date” cards or emails.
  •  Select bridal attendants.
  •  Ask attendants for their measurements and sizes.
  •  Select Groomsmen.
  •  Ask Groomsmen for their measurements and shoe size.
  •  Plan reception.
  •  Select a caterer.
  •  Select photographer.
  •  Select Videographer.
  •  Select Florist.
  •  Select Band or DJ.
  •  Select Soloists, organists, musicians for ceremony.
  •  Select your dress and order if necessary.
  •  Select your headpiece and shoes.
  •  Select petticoat and jewelry.
  •  Select bridesmaids’ dresses and order if necessary.
  •  Select and order invitations, matches, napkins, thank-you notes and programs.
  •  Start planning honeymoon.
  •  Start addressing invitations and announcements when they arrive.
  •  Pre-address thank-you note envelopes while addressing invitations and announcements.
  •  Prepare maps and directions to include in your invitations for ceremony and reception.
  •  Check with the post office for the amount of postage needed to mail the invitations when all the pieces are in the envelope.
  •  Register with Bridal registries.
  •  Reserve the rehearsal dinner location.
  •  Select a baker for the cake.

6 to 4 Months Ahead

  •  Check with your local newspaper for the form and timing of your wedding announcement submission.
  •  Reserve block accommodations for out-of-town guests.
  •  Have mothers select their dresses.
  •  Choose songs that you would like for the band or DJ to play at your wedding.
  •  Keep gift checklist up to date and write thank-you notes DAILY.
  •  Arrange accommodations for out-of-town guests.
  •  Hire limousines and/or other transportation.
  •  Make appointments for physicals and update your immunizations shots and records.
  •  Shop for wedding rings.
  •  Start planning your honeymoon.
  •  Get your passport and other important documents.
  •  Begin shopping for your trousseau.
  •  Begin addressing invitations and announcements (These should be sent out 4 to 6 weeks before the wedding).
  •  Order favors for guests.

2 Months Ahead

  •  Finishing addressing invitations.
  •  Prepare wedding vows and speeches to be made.
  •  Begin dance lessons or purchase dance lesson video.
  •  Finalize all details with the caterer, photographer, florist, reception coordinator, musicians, etc…
  •  Order the wedding cake if not supplied by the caterer.
  •  Order candies for reception.
  •  Purchase gifts for out-of-town guests to be left in hotel rooms.
  •  Finalize the ceremony details with the officiant.
  •  Purchase guest book
  • Purchase or make place cards.
  •  Purchase cake and knife server.
  •  Purchase garter.
  •  Make rehearsal and rehearsal dinner arrangements.
  •  Plan the Bridesmaids luncheon.
  •  Make appointments with your hairdresser and make-up artist.
  •  Finalize your honeymoon plans.

1 Month Ahead

  •  Have a final fitting of the wedding and bridesmaids’ dresses.
  •  Have a formal portrait done.
  •  Complete all physical and dental appointments.
  •  Get blood test and marriage license.
  •  Make transportation arrangements for the wedding day.
  •  Purchase gifts for all of your attendants.
  •  Purchase gift for your fiancé.
  •  Keep careful records of the gifts you receive and write thank-you notes as you receive them.
  •  Select responsible person to handle your guest book
  •  Make sure that all of the men’s attire has been ordered.
  •  Pick up wedding rings and make sure they fit.
  •  Take care of legal affairs such as changing the names on insurance policies, bank accounts, credit cards, etc…
  •  Reconfirm the accommodations for out-of-town guests.
  •  Prepare wedding announcements to be sent to the newspaper
Top Ten Tips:
  • Set your budget
  • Meet with a wedding planner
  • Never sign a contract without having a planner to review
  • Keep copies of all receipts
  • Ask for examples and samples of vendor work
  • Never pay full balance to vendors until day of event
  • Budget shop at consignment shops
  • Every bride deserves a honeymoon
  • Send out Save the Date announcements to your wedding guests
  • Relax, enjoy and have fun at your wedding