How to Start Your Wedding Planning

Wedding planning can be a complicated and drawn out processes if the right approach is not taken. However, when done logically and far enough in advance, it can be much less stressful. Following proper guidelines can also ensure that the future event is successful and enjoyable.

Within nine months to a year of a wedding several things must take place. The couple should announce the engagement to family and friends and select a wedding date. By giving people plenty of notice they will make sure they can attend. The longer a couple takes to do this the less likely it is that guests can rearrange their schedules.

Hire a coordinator to help with the planning process and to make sure everything runs smoothly. Decide where the ceremony will take place, if it will have a theme, and how many will receive invites. Figure out if the event is casual or formal. Decide what time of day it will take place-during the morning, afternoon or evening.

It is important to decide how much money can be spent on the event, and how bills will be shared. Purchase a planner to write down and remember any appointments and find a way to organize and track payments.

Decide whether or not children are welcome. Reserve the ceremony location and any officials, priests, rabbis or ministers. Also book the location for the reception.

The bridal gown should be selected and ordered. Pick out color themes. Make sure that the necessary passports, visas or other documentation is on hand for traveling or marriage licensing.

When the big day is six to nine months away, further preparations are necessary. Caterers, photographers, musicians, bands, videographers, and florists should all be booked. Select the wedding party and let them know their roles.

Bridesmaids and flower girls need to be identified and their attire chosen. The bride and grooms mothers also need their outfits selected. If not already done, gift registries must be made at this time.

Four to six weeks prior to the ceremony, fit the bridesmaid dresses. Reserve rentals, book decorators, finalize the guest list and order invitations. Finalize details for the rehearsal dinner and honeymoon night.

Make sure guests traveling from out of town have proper accommodations. Begin shopping for gifts for the wedding party, fiance and parents. Buy appropriate accessories for bride and bridesmaids. Order the bands.

When the ceremony is two to four months in the future, take engagement pictures and pick out a wedding cake. Book wedding day transportation, address and send invitations, book hair and makeup appointments, and get a marriage license.