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Wedding Planning > Wedding Planning for the Groom

Wedding Planning: Grooms Twelve Month Countdown Checklist

Answers to your most important wedding planning questions

Grooms Twelve Month Countdown Checklist

What do you need to do, and when does it have to be done? Here's a timing Outline that covers wedding tasks, with suggestions for when to do them. If you're having a big, formal wedding in a major metropolitan area; or during the peak wedding months of June, July, and August; you might need more time than this section indicates. In addition, some churches, caterers, and reception sites are reserved two, sometimes three years in advance. It's much better to start too early than too late. If you try to do everything at the last  minute, you'll pay more, have fewer choices, and more headaches and anxiety. Unless you really get involved in the planning, your fiancée will probably take care of most of these tasks. Read them to see what's involved, and what you must do on your own.

Twelve Months

  • Purchase engagement ring (if you haven't already).
  • Make general wedding decisions-date, style, size of guest list.
  • Make a preliminary budget.
  • Choose the location for the ceremony, and the Officiant.
  • Reserve the reception site.
  • Check caterers, photographers, florists, musicians, etc.

Six Months Before

  • Ask your best man, ushers, and groomsmen to stand up in the wedding.
  • Visit formalwear shops and look at different styles. If you're getting married during the summer, you might want to reserve your formalwear style now.
  • Where will you go for your honeymoon? Talk about destinations, make plans and reservations. You don't want to be bothered with these details right before the wedding. Most popular spots are reserved early each  year.
  • If you're traveling abroad on your honeymoon, verify that your passport is up to date, and find out what inoculations are required.
  • Make final arrangements for wedding services such as photographers, florist, musicians, etc. Put down deposits, sign contracts, etc.

Four Months Before

  • If your housing arrangements aren't settled, it's time to start looking for home furnishings and a place to live.
  • If you haven't reserved your formalwear yet, take care of it now.
  • Get up to date addresses for your guest list, pass them on to your fiancée.

Two Months Before

  • Check State and local requirements for the blood/medical tests and marriage license. The time lapse varies a great deal, so it's good to know the regulations early.
  • Verify that all required documents (both civil and religious) are in order. For example: birth certificate, citizenship papers, proof of divorce, baptismal and confirmation certificates.
  • Register for gifts.
  • Shop for bride's gift, male attendants' gifts.
  • Help bride address invitations and announcements.
  • Rehearsal dinner plans should be started.
  • Arrange accommodations for out of town attendants.
  • Choose wedding rings, arrange for engraving.
  • Discuss musical selections with musicians.
  • Order flowers you're responsible for (Bride's bouquet and going away flowers, mother's corsages, male attendants' boutonnieres).
  • Make reservations for wedding night. Don't tell anyone where.

Six Weeks Before

  • Confirm all attendants have been fitted for formalwear .Discuss photo shots with photographer .
  • Make final menu decisions.
  • Invitations should be mailed six to eight weeks before the wedding.
  • Attend showers when necessary.

Two Weeks Before

  • Get a haircut.
  • Verify security arrangements have been made for the reception.
  • Take care of blood/medical tests, marriage license.
  • Confirm accommodations reservations for out of town guests.
  • Arrange transportation on wedding day.
  • Begin paperwork to add your wife's name to bank accounts, insurance policies, etc.
  • If you'll be moving, fill out a change of address card at the Post Office.
  • Find out details of the rehearsal dinner and make sure everyone is informed.

One Week Before

  • Attend bachelor party.
  • Pick up rings.
  • Give attendants their gifts (or do this at the rehearsal dinner).
  • Verify all attendants have had final fittings for formalwear .
  • Confirm honeymoon plans.
  • Pack for honeymoon.
  • Prepare envelopes with fees for Officiant, organist, and other service providers for best man to pass around after the wedding
  • Pay upcoming bills.
  • Make sure all attendants know when to arrive at the rehearsal and dinner  afterward.

Two Days Before

  • Pick up your formalwear, and try It on.
  • Verify that all attendants have picked up and tried on their formalwear .

One Day Before

  • Attend rehearsal and dinner .
  • Pass out attendant's gifts if you haven't already done so.
  • Review any special ceremony seating arrangements with ushers.
  • Confirm where/when you and best man will meet in the morning.
  • Give your fiancée her gift.
  • Get a good night's sleep.

Wedding Day

  • Two hours before the ceremony: begin dressing.
  • One-half hour before: arrive at the church.
  • Don't forget the marriage license and the ring's!

After the Wedding

  • It's thoughtful to send the bride's parents a Thank You note and flowers after the wedding. (For raising a great daughter, and giving you a wonderful party).
  • Make sure Thank You notes are sent for wedding gifts, and for those who did special work for you. They should be sent within one month after the wedding.
  • Live happily ever after


Bridal Party Additional Resources:


Bridesmaids and Groomsmen, Getting to know one another
Choosing your bridal party
Can my bridesmaids wear black?
Dismissing a Bridesmaid or other attendant
Do we send invitations to the people in our wedding party?
Do you have a suggestion of a fun, inexpensive way to ask them to be in my
Down the aisle: Who walks with the bride?
Eight Tips for Drafting a Great Team!
Fun and unique ways to ask my friends to be by my side in my wedding
Gift Ideas for your wedding attendants
Is it a new tradition to have a maid of honor and matron of honor?
Is it appropriate to have my divorced dad & mom walk me down the isle
Is it tacky to have a MAID & MATRON of honor?
Is there a certain way your supposed to ask a person to be an attendant?
Matron of Honor and a Maid of Honor
more than one maid of honor?
Not the Maid of Honor, can I help?
order of processional
what color ties should the guys wear?

When should I ask them to be my attendants? 

Best man: Best Man Responsibilities
Best man: Duties of the Best man and Maid of Honor
Best man: How to choose your best man
Best man: The Morning of duties..
Best man: You've Been Chosen to be the Best man, Now Live up to it!
Best man: wedding duties for the night before
Best man: What Tuxedoes  should be worn in the year 2000
Best man: Writing that wedding speech
Best man: Forum: How soon should we order the tuxedos
Best man: Speech: Examples:  We have over 40 speeches
Children: Including Your Children
Children: Should you include them?
Children: Roles For Children in Weddings
Children: Ten tips on children participation  in Weddings
Children: Deciding on clothing
Children: Gift Ideas for children in Weddings
Children: Make your children a part of the wedding
Children: Ring Ceremony for Baby
Children: Vows that include children
Children: Including a 2 year old in the vows and ceremony
Children: Including Babies in the Ceremony
Children: Ceremony to include children
Children: Child Attendants with sitter after ceremony?
Children: How to include step children in vows
Children: Kids In The Wedding Party….Will They Be In Yours?
Children: Child care will be provided during the ceremony
Children: Who buys the pillow?
Duties: 10 Things Your Ushers Should Know
Duties: Best man Responsibilities
Duties: Do you know your duties? Check this list for your duties!
Duties: For a 4 year old daughter
Duties: Is it proper to have a maid and a matron of honor?
Duties: It is traditional for the bride to treat her maids to a luncheon
Duties: Duties of the Bestman and Maid of Honor
Duties: Maid of Honor Duties
Duties: What are the grooms parents suppose to pay for?
Duties: What exactly does a personal attendant to do?
Maid of Honor : Being the Maid of Honor
Maid of Honor: Ordering Dresses
Maid of Honor: Planning the Wedding Shower
Maid of Honor (MOH): Planning the Bachelorette Party
MOH: Tending to the Bride on the Big Day
MOH: Advice: Can I have a maid of honor and matron of honor?
MOH: Advice: How much money should I expect to be spending on this?
MOH: Advice: I have been asked to be Matron of Honor, there is also a Maid of Honor.  Please advise me as to the logistics in the processional/recessional order for the both of us
MOH: Advice: Long Distance Maid of Honor
MOH: Advice: Is there a kosher way of letting her down? if I agree to follow through, while letting her know my concerns both financially and time commitment wise, is there an etiquette in letting others (friends, family, bridal party, etc.) know that I will NOT be paying for everything
MOH: Advice: What do you call a guy that stands in as your maid of honor?
MOH: Advice: maid of honor and also another friend as the matron of honor. one standing on each side.
MOH: Advice: my best friend is getting married and has asked me to be her maid of honor, what can I wear and what are all my duties?
MOH: Advice: I am matron of honor, I would like to give a very nice speech instead of making no sense and embarrassing my self
MOH: Advice: Do you have any suggestions on poems, verses, jokes, etc. that would help me start and end this speech? 
MOH: Advice: I haven't told my maid of honor that I want her to be the maid of honor yet. I really want to give her a book on being a maid of honor and how I think she is so very special.
MOH: Advice: Mother as matron of honor
MOH: Advice: My cousin is getting married and I am her maid of honor. What exactly am I expected to do for the wedding
MOH: Advice: We are having 3 bridesmaids and do not want to select one as a maid of honor. Is there such a role as personal attendant who could fulfill some of the maid of honor duties?

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