Engagements and wedding planning should be an enjoyable process. We do understand it becomes stressful at times to plan a wedding, especially if you are not from the Hudson Valley. Lola's Catering is a full service catering company that will help you with a lot of your planning. Lola's Catering wants you to have fun and enjoy the process! We have put together a short timeline and checklist for you to help every step of the way.
When you become engaged...…
- TELL YOUR PARENTS!
- Have engagement photos taken
- Write to your close friends or have an engagement party
- Start a wedding organizer: This is a good way to keep track of appointments, payments, invitations, addresses, gifts you receive or need to get, and thank you notes.
9 to 12 months in advance
- Announce in local newspaper where you live and where you use to live.
- Determine what you and your families expect your wedding to be like. What religion, if any, will the service be performed in? How many guests do you want to have? Is it important to have dancing? A seated meal? Live music? An outdoor setting? Alcohol?
- Decide how the wedding will be financed. If parents are helping to pay for it, find out how they want to deal with this. The lowest-stress method for everyone is for the parents to commit a specific amount of money, which the bride & groom can supplement with their own money. It may be helpful to do some research about wedding costs in your area before attempting to come up with a budget.
- Select a wedding date. This may need to be done in conjunction with selecting ceremony and reception sites.
- Select and reserve ceremony and reception sites.
- Find a wedding officiant, if one does not come with the wedding site. Speak with your officiant to determine if there are any requirements for them to marry you, and when these requirements need to be met. Discuss also when you should meet to discuss the ceremony
- Choose a wedding party.
- Start working on guest lists. Typically, there are 4: The bride's family's list, the groom's family's list, the bride's list, and the groom's list. Gather addresses and phone numbers in an excel sheet.
- Research caterers, florsits, photographer, and entertainment that you would like for your wedding.
6 to 9 months in advance
- Finalize guest list.
- Send save the dates.
- Select and order the bridal gown and accessories, or arrange for a seamstress to make it.
- Make arrangements for music at your ceremony/reception.
- Select and order bridesmaids' dresses, or arrange for a seamstress to make them.
- Book and send deposits to any vendor that requires it to hold your day.
4 to 6 months in advance
- Order invitations and any other stationery you will need (such as informal notes to use when writing thank-you, seating cards, guest book, etc.)
- Plan the honeymoon. (Often arranged by the groom.)
- Help the mothers to select their dresses.
- Plan the rehearsal dinner. (Often given by the groom's family, so they may do most of the work.)
- Register for gifts.
2 to 4 months in advance
- Select attire for the men in the wedding party.
- Purchase wedding rings and have them engraved.
- Find out what the legal requirements are for marriage in your state.
- Obtain any immunizations you will need for the honeymoon.
- Make sure out-of-town guests will be appropriately lodged. You may want to reserve a block of rooms at a hotel; the hotel will usually give your guests a reduced rate.
- Insurance for the wedding and for wedding rings.
- Choose first dance, and rehearse.
6 to 8 weeks in advance
- Mail the invitations
- Purchase gifts for each other.
- Purchase gifts for attendants.
- Consult hairstylist about wedding hairstyle.
- Consult makeup person about wedding-day makeup.
4 to 6 weeks in advance
- Investigate legal details, such as naming fiancé as beneficiary in will and life insurance, obtaining insurance to cover joint property, consolidating auto insurance, opening joint bank accounts, etc.
- If you will be changing your names, make a list of where you need to do this and when.
- Decide on seating plan for reception.
- If you will need foreign money for the honeymoon, make arrangements to obtain it.
- Be sure attendants are kept informed of rehearsal plans, other commitments they have.
- Make final checks on everything: catering, honeymoon, photographer, videographer, florist, musicians, officiant, rehearsal, etc.
1-3 days in advance
- Make sure everyone arriving from out-of-town is met by someone, knows where everyone else is staying, etc.
- Pack an "emergency kit" containing things like spare hose, sewing supplies, aspirin, etc. to take with you to the wedding.
- Attend rehearsal and rehearsal dinner. You may choose to give gifts to attendants and each other at this event, or at a more private moment.
Get married! There will be things that may go wrong, but don't let it ruin YOUR DAY. Enjoy every moment you have to starting your life with the one you love.