Monday, June 1, 2009

Wedding Planning Guide: Planning the Reception (Part III)

Q. Can you give me. a checklist to help organize the three months prior to the wedding?
A. Yes. Keep the checklist in à convenient place where it can be referred to regularly and additions made or items crossed off as they are attended to.

Three Months Ahead of the Wedding
1. Decide on the type of wedding and reception you want and the degree of formality and the size.
2. With your clergyman's cooperation, set the date and hour of the wedding.
3. With your fiancé, make an appointment for a personal talk with your clergyman.
4. Choose attendants and ask them to serve.
5. Make out your guest list and ask the groom and his family to send their lists to you as soon as possible. Tell them approximately how many guests they may invite, to stay within your limit. A card file is thé most efficient system.
6. Order the invitations and announcements.
7. Order your bridal gown and those of your attendants.
8. Talk to the pastor, sexton and organist about music, decorations and procedure at the ceremony.
9. Engage the caterer if the reception is to be at home.
10. Reserve the club, hotel room, restaurant or hall if the reception is not to be at home.
11. Engage the services of a florist.
12. Make an appointment with a photographer for
your formal wedding portraits, and reserve time for candid shots the day of the wedding.
13. If you plan to have live music at your reception, hire the orchestra or musician.
14. Hire limousines, if necessary, for transporting the bridal party to the church and from the church to the reception.
15. If the wedding is to be at home, make arrangements for repairs, painting, cleaning.
16. If you wish, order notepaper for thank-you notes monogrammed with initials of your maiden name, and paper with your married initials for later.
17. Start to shop for your household trousseau and your personal trousseau.
18. Select your china, crystal and silver patterns.

Two Months Before the Wedding
1. Notify your bridesmaids about their fittings and accessories. If possible, have shoes dyed in one lot.
2. Select gifts for your bridesmaids and a gift foi your groom if you intend to give him one.
3. Go to local gift and department stores and list your choices in their bridal registries.
4. At the time of, or soon after, the final fitting of your wedding dress, have the formal bridal photographs taken.
5. Make detailed plans with the caterer or manager of your club or hotel. This includes menu, seating arrangements, parking and so on.
6. Make medical and dental appointments, and be. sure to make an appointment with your hairdresser for the day of your wedding or a day or two before.
7. Go apartment- or house-hunting with your groom.
8. Address and stuff wedding invitations when they arrive or obtain envelopes when ordering invitations and address them earlier.
9. Make housing arrangements for out-of-town attendants and guests.

The Last Month
1. Mail the invitations three to four weeks before the wedding.
2. Check with your groom about his blood test and the marriage license.
3. With your groom, select your wedding ring— and his, if it is to be a double-ring ceremony.
4. Set up the tables for the display of wedding gifts.
5. Record all gifts and write thank-yous as they arrive.
6. Make a list of your honeymoon clothing and start setting it aside and packing as much as possible.
7. Check on all accessories for your wedding costume and also for those of your bridesmaids.
8. Make final arrangements with the professionals who are working with you—florist, photographer, caterer.
9. Change your name and address on all documents, such as driver's license and checking account.

10. Check your luggage to-be sure it is adequate and in good condition.
11. See about a floater insurance policy to coyer your wedding gifts—especially if you display them.
12. Arrange for a bridesmaids' luncheon if you wish to give one.
13. Address the announcements, enclose them in their envelopes and give them to your mother or a friend to mail the day after the wedding.
14. Make arrangements for a place for the bridesmaids to dress. It is best if they are all-together, whether in your home, at a friend's house or in a room in the church.
15. Plan the seating of the bridal table and the parents' table at the reception, and make out place cards for them.
16. Send your wedding announcement to the newspapers, with your wedding portrait if you wish. Large papers will send you their own form to be filled out.

The Day of the Wedding
1. In the morning:
Have hair done or shampoo and set it yourself. Pick up any orders that are not to be delivered— flowers, food, etc.
2. Two hours before ceremony:
Have bridesmaids arrive at your home to dress and to assist you with last-minute chores or emergencies.
3. One hour before: Bathe and dress.
Ushers should arrive at church at least forty-five minutes before ceremony to plan duties and seat early arrivals.
If you and your attendants are dressing at the church or synagogue, you should arrive now.
4. One half hour before:
Groom and best man arrive at church.
Background music starts.
First guests arrive and are seated.
If you have dressed at home, you and attendants
go to church and wait in private room or corner
of vestibule.
Best man, on arrival, checks last-minute arrangements with clergyman and gives him his fee.
5. Fifteen minutes before:
Family members and honored guests (godparents, for example) arrive and are seated "behind the ribbon" or in the pews near the front. The carpet is rolled down the aisle.
6. Five minutes before:
' The groom's mother and father arrive, and she is escorted in, followed by her husband (unless he is the best man). Finally, just before the music starts for the processional, the bride's mother is escorted to her seat in the front row, her husband takes his place beside the bride and the pew ribbons are put in place.
The attendants take their places in the proper order for the processional.
7. At precisely the time stated on the invitation, the music starts and the ushers lead the procession down the aisle.

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