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Columns : Bahamas Wedding Planner - Glenn Ferguson Last Updated: Feb 6, 2017 - 2:32:04 PM

A Simple Checklist for Planning Your Dream Wedding
By Glenn S. Ferguson
Jan 27, 2011 - 4:59:36 AM

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Emily Post Wedding Planner

S o you have started planning your dream wedding in the Bahamas, but not sure about what needs to done and when. Do not despair here is a simple checklist inclusive of time lines that you can use to help you plan your dream wedding.

You have started your wedding planning  and are beginning to create and prioritized your “To Do” list as recommended in “4 Easy Ways to Start Planning Your Dream Wedding” but the problem is that with all of the excitement and emotions swirling around, you maybe having difficulties figuring out exactly what you need to do and when.

Well here is a simple checklist that you can use for planning your dream wedding with suggested time line. But bear in mind that the time you actually have to plan your wedding will dictate when things really happens. And that it is not intended to be an exhaustive list but to help guide you along the way as you plan your special day.

And while you will be making a lot of decisions and purchases over the next next few months, one of the most important decision and purchase you can make is to get yourself these two resources:-
  1. Emily Post’s Wedding Planner  
  2. Simple Stunning Wedding Organizer
Simple Stunning Wedding Organizer

As these will provides you with practical advice, charts and worksheets that you can use to help you add that personal touch to every aspect of your wedding while keeping organized and focused at the same time.

But at the least you will need to purchases a 3-ring notebook and a set of tabbed dividers. Which you will organize and label with the important activities and planning worksheets that you will be using including the checklist and other information we will be providing you with.

And be sure to always take it along when you meet with vendors or anyone involved in your wedding.

As Soon As Possible
  • Book a photo session for engagement announcement in local newspapers
  • Arrange for both families to meet if they haven't already done so
  • Thinks about your wedding theme or style
  • Decide on the size of your wedding
  • Set your initial wedding budget
  • Decide on the number of guest and start creating a guest list ( be sure to involve both parents)
  • Set the wedding day and time
  • Choose and book your wedding officiant
  • Choose your wedding party - maid of honor, bridesmaids, best man, groomsmen, ushers etc.
  • Choose and book your ceremony and reception venue
  • Interview wedding planner
  • Interview caterers and arrange for food tasting
  • Interview florists
  • Interview and audition musicians, bands, and/or DJs
  • Interview photographers and/or videographers and review their portfolios
6 - 12 months before the wedding
  • Select and book your musician and entertainment
  • Select and book your photographer/ Videographer
  • Select and book your florist
  • Select and book the limousine and other wedding day transportation
  • Shop for and order your wedding dress
  • Shop for and order/purchase bridal accessories (veil, shoes, jewelry, etc.)
  • Shop for and order bridesmaids dresses (should include bridesmaids, if possible)
  • Select caterer and sign contract
  • Start planning your honeymoon (and be sure to check with your Doctor about any vaccination/medication that may be required for overseas travel).
  • Finalize your guest list
  • If you're having an outdoor wedding , reserve rental equipment (such as tents, chairs, etc.)
  • Meet with wedding cake company and sample wedding cakes
  • Start looking at wedding invitations
  • Start thinking about the wording of your wedding invitations
  • Start planning the rehearsal dinner
3 - 6 months before the wedding
  • Join one or more bridal registries
  • Select a wedding cake company and order your wedding cake
  • Order your wedding invitations
  • Order stationery and wedding guest favours
  • Select and book hotel rooms for out-of-town guests
  • Contact out-of-town guests about the wedding (prior to sending out invitations)
  • Finalize dinner menu with caterer
  • Select flower girl's dress and pass details on to the parents
  • Select and book the rehearsal dinner site
  • Book a calligrapher (if you're using one)
  • Start looking at tuxedos or other formal wear
  • Book the honeymoon
  • Book your first night hotel room for wedding night
  • Start thinking about wedding ceremony decorations
  • Buy bridal lingerie in time for first dress fitting
  • Arrange for fittings for groom’s men, ushers, pageboys etc.
  • Order rings
  • Arrange wedding gift list
  • Book hairdresser/beauty therapist and make-up artist
3  months before the wedding
  • Meet with wedding officiant to discuss service
  • Choose hymns, music and reading for the ceremony
  • Send out invitations
  • Give the photographer your list of photos you want taken
  • Buy gifts for maid/matron of honor and bridesmaids
  • Buy gifts for best man and groomsmen
  • Buy the groom's gift
  • Buy the bride's gifts
  • Finalize tuxedo/formal attire and pass on rental/purchase details to groomsmen
  • Finalize ring bearer attire and pass details on to the parents
  • Send engagement announcement in local newspapers
  • Schedule your dress fittings
  • Make sure your maid/matron of honor and bridesmaids have purchased their accessories
  • Book your hair and makeup appointments
  • Talk to your maid/matron of honor about a bridal shower
  • Address and send out wedding invitations (invitations should be mailed at 2-month mark)
  • Purchase your accessories including shoes, cuff links, handkerchiefs, etc.
  • Start writing wedding vows, especially if writing your own
  • Decide on any elements or traditions you would like added to your wedding ceremony
  • Start working on wedding program
2 month before the wedding
  • Arrange final fitting for wedding dress/ bride maids outfits
  • Order any beverage not provided by the caterer
  • Confirm parking at the ceremony and reception locations
  • Get your marriage license
  • Finalize wedding vows
  • Finalize and print wedding program
  • Choose gifts for your attendants
  • Check passport and travel documents
  • Select and finalize your entertainment with musicians
  • Buy a guest book and pen
  • Write speeches for rehearsal and wedding dinners
  • Attend your bridal shower
  • Sent out thank-you cards for bridal shower gifts
1 month before the wedding
  • Review seating plans for ceremony and reception as RSVPs come in
  • Contact any guests who haven't replied to the invitation
  • Inform venue / caterer of final numbers
  • Inform stationer of names for place cards and menu details if required
  • Keep record of gifts that are being received
  • Check all dress wear and accessories
  • Make sure that everyone involved in the wedding are aware of what happening and timing for these events
  • Send rehearsal dinner invitations, if necessary
  • Do trial-runs of your hair and makeup and book appointment for wedding day
  • Confirm honeymoon details and reservations
  • Have your bachelor party
  • Have your bachelorette party
2 weeks before the wedding
  • Confirm all arrangement with suppliers and vendors
  • Make sure all speeches have been prepared
  • Arrange for travelers cheque and any currency exchange need for your honeymoon
  • Finalize seating plan and write place cards
  • Create a seating chart to hang in the reception site
  • Break in your wedding shoes by wearing them around the house
  • Pick up your wedding dress
  • Pick up wedding rings and check that the inscriptions are correct
  • Purchase a garter
  • Plan your wedding day itinerary
  • Plan your receiving line
  • Leave your honeymoon travel plans and itinerary with a family member
  • Confirm headcount with caterer, baker and liquor/wine provider
  • Confirm ceremony details with officiant
1 weeks before the wedding
  • Pick up Marriage  license
  • Ensure best man has ring and cash for services that need to be paid for on the wedding day
  • Arrange rehearsal at the ceremony venue
  • Confirm timing with florist, photographer, transportation etc
  • Send the photographer a list of any must take shots
Day before the wedding
  • Get manicure and pedicure
  • Pick up your tuxedo
  • Decorate the ceremony and reception locations (if possible)
  • Arrange for cake to be delivered at the reception venue
  • Drop off wedding favors, guest book and seating chart at reception site
  • Rehearse the ceremony with the officiant and wedding party
  • Give your wedding party their gifts
  • Enjoy the rehearsal dinner
  • Pack over night and travel bags
  • Relax and get a good night's sleep!
Day of the wedding
  • Take a relaxing bath or shower and enjoy the moment of solitude
  • Have breakfast; you'll need your energy
  • Give yourself plenty of time to get ready
  • Give your partner their wedding gift
  • Have bouquets and button holes delivered or send someone to collect them
  • Get dressed
  • The mother of the bride and bride maids leave first, followed by you and your father (or whoever is giving you away)
  • Groom and best man arrive at least 15 minutes before the bride
  • The best man is in charge of ensuring everyone has transportation to the ceremony
  • Speeches traditionally come after the food and before the coffee, but persons are choosing to do these first  
  • Traditionally the bride and the groom leave the reception before al the other guest
  • Relax and enjoy the day!
You do not want to miss our next article when we will be sharing on the elements that goes into making your wedding a celebration of your style and personality.

And should you have questions about your planning your dream wedding, just email glenn@bahamas-destination-wedding.com and I will get the answer for you.

Glenn S. Ferguson is the resident Bahamas Wedding Officiant and Wedding consultant at Bahamas Destination Wedding a company in the Bahamas that provides wedding in the Bahamas services.

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