Visualize or envision your dream wedding - formal hotel or at home? Front garden barbecue or exotic beach?
Decide on a budget and hash out who's contributing.
Pick your preferences for a wedding date and time. If you are planning to get married on an auspicious date and time, ask for a set of dates and time and finalize after okaying with important guests, location, or officiant.
Get your neketh ready, if you are getting married according to Buddist customs. This will be important when making arrangement with others like florists, ashtaka recitals, etc.
Begin interviewing wedding consultants/planners (if you'll have one) AND / OR start asking family AND friends for local wedding vendor referrals and recommendations.
Brides: It's never too early to begin thinking about your saree or gown. Start by figuring out what style will look best on you. Check out saree styles and gown designs on our website.
Scout out reception sites. Check out the hotels on our website.
Start interviewing hotels or caterers. Check out the caterers on our website.
Start looking for an officiant (maybe a sister, aunt, or a professional) who suits your style and spirit.
If you're having an engagement party, set a date, draft a guest list, and purchase your invitations.
Book your reception site as soon as you see something you love that’s available on your date.
Get organized! Use a notebook/file folder to house all your wedding-planning paperwork in one place. Better if you can flag tape them (receipts, quotations, contacts, etc).
Begin working on a preliminary wedding guest list and decide on your wedding's approximate size. Request lists from both sets of parents and create your own wish list.
Hire a consultant (if you're having one) and sign a contract.
Find a ceremony site if one hasn't been determined by your choice of officiant or reception site.
Choose your bridesmaids/groomsmen and ask them to be in the wedding party.
Inform your friends and relations who live afar, of the wedding date, so that they can make plans
Decide on a caterer, if you are not having the wedding at a hotel. Hash out a rough price per head and begin working on a menu.
Choose a color scheme or a wedding theme, taking into account the decor of the rooms/areas you have reserved for your ceremony, reception and for the bridal retinue.
Brides - Start looking at pictures of sarees or gowns online and in magazines. You can also check out what's available at stores and try them on.
Brides - Set up appointments with various beauticians and hairdresses to dress you and the bridesmaids to discuss options.
Sign your hotel or caterer contract and make a deposit.
Start investigating any ethnic customs or cultural traditions you might want to incorporate into your ceremony or reception.
Finalize the guest list.
Start checking on reception bands or DJs. Check if sample tapes are available.
If you've chosen an outdoor ceremony or reception site, look into tent and lighting rentals.
Set up appointments with various florists to discuss options.
Decide on and meet with your officiant to discuss ceremony structure and any religious requirements (such as counseling).
Interview and get rates from several photographers and videographers.
Brides - Narrow down your saree or gown choices and make a final decision.
Book a band or DJ, sign the contract, and send a deposit.
If you plan to use frequent flyer miles to travel to your honeymoon destination, book your flight now.
Start looking into registering for gifts, if you want to use one.
Request demo tapes from ceremony musicians.
Think about how you might want to wear your hair.
Begin looking for a baker to make your big-day cake. Refer Cake Structures.
Reserve photographer and/or videographer, decide on a package, sign contract, and send deposit.
Brides - Start shopping for bridesmaid outfits; sarees or dresses.
Choose your florist and send a deposit to reserve their services.
Make sure your maid of honor and best man are aware of what you expect of them - providing them with a list of their duties will help.
Register for your wedding gifts, if you plan to use a registry service and don't forget to include some choices appropriate for your upcoming bridal shower or engagement party as well.
Brides -Decide on the bridesmaid sarees or dresses.
Arrange accommodation for out-of-town guests.
Purchase and send guests save-the-dates if your celebration is over a holiday weekend or at a faraway locale.
Book a baker, choose your wedding cake design, and send a deposit.
Brides - Collect necessary measurements from attendants or take them to the seamstress to get the jackets or dresses done.
Brides - Purchase or order your saree or gown. Make sure you've asked all the critical questions and your order contains the correct information.
Book ceremony musicians and send deposit.
Start planning the rehearsal dinner. Provide the host with contact information for your attendants and any other guests.
Start working on your invitation wording and design.
Finalize menu and service details with hotel or caterer.
Finalize your invitation wording.
Research and purchase wedding insurance, if necessary.
Order your invitations and announcements (don't forget plenty of extra envelopes).
Start thinking about flower arrangement styles you like, and figure out what flowers will be in season on your wedding day.
Decide on a floral scheme, choose flowers, and negotiate prices with florist. Be sure to sign a contract outlining what you agreed upon.
Grooms - Decide what style of formal wear you will be wearing. Traditional or western?
Reserve tables, chairs, and/or other rental equipment you'll need (unless caterer or site is taking care of it).
Grooms - Start looking to buy or rent your formal attire.
Book a calligrapher (if you are using one).
Book rehearsal-dinner site.
Grooms - Start planning your groomsmen's attire
Book hotel room for your wedding night. Most hotels provide a room free of charge for the first night, when you book the hotel for the wedding.
Grooms - Decide on your groomsmen's attire.
Book your honeymoon flights (if not using frequent flyer miles) and make all your other travel reservations.
Brides - Choose your bridesmaids' accessories (shoes, jewellery, etc.) and either purchase or pass along purchasing information.
Grooms - Buy the groomsmen attire or give all of the groomsmen the information they need to buy and/or reserve their attire.
Make reservations with an ashtaka recital, dancers & drummers and choose jayamangala gee recitals, if you are incorporating Sinhalese traditions.
Shop for and purchase wedding bands.
Brides - Experiment with your beauty routine and facials at your salon or spa.
Consider specific ceremony and reception decoration needs like a poruwa, altars, aisle runners, etc.
Brides - Make sure you or your attendants have purchased their sarees or dresses and accessories.
Make or buy favors. Allow extra time for custom-made favors (i.e., chocolates in a pre-printed box).
Brides - Buy any special lingerie your gown requires in time for first fittings.
Choose your honeymoon destination and select on special package.
Get anything you need for an international honeymoon (passport, birth certificate, visas, vaccinations, etc.).
Talk to your maid of honor and best man about party plans (such as the shower and bachelor party).
Pick up your invitations.
Brides - Confirm delivery date for your saree and jacket or gown and schedule fittings.
If you are handling the bridesmaid outfit order, confirm the delivery date.
Start taking better care of yourself (eat right, exercise) so you look and feel great on your wedding day.
Talk to people you’d want to do special performances or readings as part of the ceremony.
Start addressing invitations or drop them off with the calligrapher (you'll need to send them out at the two-month mark).
Send wedding bands out to be engraved (make sure they'll be back in time for the wedding).
Arrange for all insurance policies to include you and your future spouse: health, auto, homeowner's, and life insurance.
Grooms - Choose and buy any accessories you will need: shoes, shirt stays, cuff links, and a pocket square.
Brides - Begin your fittings.
Brides - Provide guest list to bridesmaids for your shower.
Arrange wedding-day transportation for you, your wedding party, and guests (as needed).
Send out invitations and be sure to post invitations earlier for overseas guests.
Arrange parking for the reception, if not at a hotel.
Begin writing the ceremony program if you are having one and prepare your hymn sheets if you are getting married at a church.
Begin working on vows, particularly if you're writing your own.
Order liquor, wine and/or champagne if they're not included in the catering contract.
Brides - Decide on and purchase major accessories (veil and shoes) prior to final fittings.
Arrange for a babysitter for the reception, if necessary.
Research and choose a local marriage registrars and confirm dates with him/her.
Brides - Buy gifts for your maid of honor and bridesmaids.
Buy a guest book (and nice pen), if the hotel is not providing one.
Grooms - Attend your bachelor party (and be sure to thank the best man afterwards).
Grooms - Buy gifts for your best man, groomsmen, and ushers.
Brides - Attend final jacket or wedding-gown fitting.
Send rehearsal-dinner invitations.
Do trial runs of hair and makeup; schedule wedding-day beauty appointments.
Finish and print ceremony programs.
Discuss music with ceremony musicians and agree on final choices.
Work on a list of "must-play" (and "must-not play") songs for your DJ or band and inform him of the special songs and the times to play them, such as entrance, cutting the cake, first dance, going away.
Pick up wedding rings and check the inscriptions before you leave the store.
Brides - Shop for all additional accessories like stockings, earrings, evening bag, etc.
Wrap all gifts for the wedding party and write each attendant a nice note.
Confirm wedding-night and honeymoon reservations.
Have a follow-up meeting or phone call with the officiant to go over ceremony timing and details.
Sit for your bridal portrait, if you decide to get one.
Do paperwork for official documents if you are changing your name.
Work out wedding day timing and details (who will get the bride there, where the wedding party will dress, etc) and draw up a schedule.
Brides and Grooms - Get final prewedding haircut, if necessary.
Call or email wedding party to relay critical info related to rehearsal and wedding (dates, times, directions, duties).
Brides - Pick up your saree and jacket or gown.
Get a head start on those thank-you notes. Keep them ready to post. Get a brother or sister to post them while you are on your honeymoon.
Finalize any special preferences, readings, or other ceremony details (in writing) with your officiant.
Confirm head count, delivery time, and location with the cakemaker.
Plan a party or go out for cocktails to thank your attendants for all their help.
Call guests who haven't RSVP'd for the wedding and rehearsal dinner. It’s okay to do this, you need a final head count!
Make a table plan if you want to use one and give it to your ushers.
Brides - Practice walking in your wedding shoes. Make sure you are comfortable in them to wear all day.
Determine any wedding day assignments for members of the wedding party, and make lists/info sheets as needed.
Brides - Pick up the veil and/or headpiece.
Call location manager and make sure your vendors all have access to the site when they need it.
Give final head count to the hotel or caterer. Confirm set-up instructions and menu items.
Finalize seating chart. Buy materials for and make place cards (give typed names to the calligrapher if you're using one).
Prepare your toasts or thanks to friends and family.
Plan any additional night-before activities with friends and/or attendants.
Fax transportation providers a schedule and addresses for pickups on wedding day.
Give seating chart to hotel, location manager, usher or host.
Confirm all final payment amounts with your vendors.
Touch base with your officiant and give him/her rehearsal details and wedding day schedule.
Grooms: Pick up your outfit and try it on.
Shop and pack for honeymoon.
Confirm delivery locations, times, and final arrangement count with florist.
Confirm location, date, and time with videographer.
Grooms - Get your final haircut.
Confirm location, date, and time with photographer; create your "must-take" photo list.
Distribute wedding-day directions, schedule, and contact list to all parents, attendants, and vendors.
Designate who will meet, greet, and handle each vendor on the wedding day.
Put together an overnight bag for your wedding night (toothbrush, sexy lingerie, etc.) and designate someone to Put final payments and cash tips in marked envelopes and give to a designated family or friend to distribute on the wedding day.
Leave a copy of your honeymoon itinerary with someone in case of emergency.
Confirm date, location, time, and playlist with band/DJ and/or ceremony or cocktail hour musicians.
Designate someone to collect the wedding gifts (and any cash) brought to the party.
Brides - Get a manicure and pedicure and confirm big-day beauty appointments.
If your wedding is in the morning set your alarm and arrange for a backup.
Have fun and relax at your rehearsal dinner.
Brides - Pull together wedding saree or gown, veil, shoes, underslips, and a last-minute emergency kit (aspirin, makeup, safety pins, mints, etc.).
Rehearse the ceremony with officiant and wedding party.
Get some much-needed sleep - if you can!
Confirm all specific honeymoon travel plans (including transportation to airport, etc.).
Drop off favors, guest book, and pen at the reception site.
Set aside a private moment together after the ceremony to exchange gifts and a sweet congratulatory kiss (or two).
Confirm with people who you expect to give/lead toasts at the reception.
Take a moment to thank your parents and tell them you love them - this is a sweet but sad day for them.
Relax, smile, and enjoy the day!
Arrange for a bridesmaid or mom to pick up your wedding saree or dress and other personal belongings at the hotel after you depart.
Take the bridal bouquet and other wedding mementos to be preserved, if you're a true sentimentalist.
Arrange for gown and veil to be cleaned and preserved. Make sure the provider is experienced in preserving wedding gowns.
Take any personal film to be developed. These will probably be the first photos available since professional proofs can take weeks. You can also post your pictures on our Wedding Gallery for friends and relations to view online.
Mail gifts to your parents to thank them for their help and support, if you didn’t give them out at the rehearsal dinner.
Make sure all vendor bills have been paid in full.
Check, check and re-check!
Find out when you can expect your edited wedding video (if you used a videographer).
Within two months of your wedding, set aside some romantic evenings to write that stack of thank-you notes.