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August 11, 2017

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Christopher Diamonds, is a highly recommended jeweler.

Depending on your wedding date, you may need to adjust the timeline below.  Would recommend getting as much done as possible as soon as possible so you may relax and enjoy your engagement.

12 to 24 months

  • Select engagement ring with fiancĂ©
  • Announce engagement
  • Schedule engagement photography
  • Plan engagement party (if having)
  • Call local newspaper for guidelines on publishing engagement pictures
  • Discuss budget with groom & families
  • Interview & hire a bridal consultant
  • Meet with ceremony officiant – check date & time availability
  • Meet with reception facilities – check date & time availability
  • Select wedding date & time – consider work schedules & holidays
  • Determine the type of wedding – formal with a seated dinner, or less formal with a buffet
  • Decide on color scheme, wedding theme, or style
  • Choose & reserve wedding & reception sites
  • Compile guest list – have fiancĂ© do the same
  • Determine size of final guest list
  • Compile names, addresses, & phone numbers of the guest list
  • Select wedding party
  • Shop for your bridal gown & accessories
  • Choose bridesmaids’ dresses & accessories
  • Interview & hire reception/ceremony musicians, photographer, videographer, caterer, & florist (check references & the Better Business Bureau)
  • Interview & hire a premarital counselor
  • Sign up for required classes with church
    (if necessary)

6 to 12 months

  • Plan ceremony & reception music, take dance lessons
  • Register with bridal registry of your choice remember there are options for honeymoon registries & home registries too!
  • Select & order the men’s attire with fiancĂ©
  • Discuss gown colors & styles with both mothers
  • Interview & schedule a trial run with in salon or on location hairstylist, makeup artist, and nail technician

4 to 6 months

  • Decide on new living arrangements
  • Order invitations, announcements, & personal stationery (order at least 25 extras)
  • Prepare easy-to-follow maps & directions to include with your invitations
  • Meet with caterer to confirm the menu, beverage service, & all details
  • Select a baker to create your wedding cake
  • Buy wedding rings & order engraving
  • Shop for trousseau
  • Meet with fiancé’s parents to plan & reserve rehearsal dinner site
  • Arrange accommodations for out-of-town attendants
  • Reserve a block of rooms for out-of-town guests, have several price options
  • Hire specialty company to brand and produce your out-of-town welcome bags
  • Visit florist with color swatches to finalize the selection of flowers
  • Design & print ceremony program
  • Select honeymoon destination & confirm plans with travel agent (normally fiancĂ© handles this)
  • Order passports, if needed
  • Decide on wedding favors
  • Interview & hire a company to handle releases for ceremony or your departure (white doves, butterflies, bubbles, sparklers, or fireworks)

2 to 4 months

  • Compile list of people you would like invited to bridal shower
  • Address wedding invitations – consider a professional calligrapher
  • Reserve rental items
  • Make sure you have a Plan B for inclement weather
  • Purchase gifts for attendants & each other
  • Reserve transportation for you, fiancĂ©, the wedding party, & parents, hire valet parking
  • Experiment with hairstyles and makeup changes
  • Purchase bride’s & attendants’ shoes – decide
    on exact color & have dyed, if necessary

1 to 2 months

  • Mail invitations six to eight weeks prior to
    wedding (check the weight of your invitation before mailing it with all of your enclosures, maps, etc., to make sure invitations are not delivered
    to guests with “postage due,” or returned for lack
    of adequate postage)
  • Confirm all details & arrangements with all contracted services
  • Pick up wedding rings, check engraving, & sizes
  • Call insurance agent to include wedding rings in policy
  • Finalize plans with photographer, & give them a list of pictures you would like to have taken
  • Arrange final fitting for gown & bridesmaids’ gowns
  • Make plans to get marriage license with fiancĂ©
  • Schedule all final details & quantities of appointments needed with makeover professionals
  • Pamper yourself with a massage & a facial
  • Arrange bridal luncheon
  • Select reception decorations: flowers, centerpieces, rental items, lighting, & favors
  • Purchase ceremony accessories: unity candle, candle holders, tapers, ring bearer pillow, box for holding cards, sand & sand vases for unity sand ceremony, etc.
  • Purchase personal accessories: garter, guest keepsakes, and engraved toasting glasses
  • Review procedures for ceremony lineup, processional, recessional, & receiving lines
  • Purchase gifts for wedding party

2 to 4 weeks

  • Invite wedding party & guests to rehearsal dinner & confirm date, time, & location
  • Decide on seating assignments for rehearsal dinner & reception
  • Order place cards and escort cards from calligrapher
  • Confirm wedding party transportation & arrival times
  • Move belongings to new home
  • Send announcements to local paper
  • Confirm lodging for guests with hotels
  • Record gifts once received, write thank-you notes promptly
  • Make arrangements for gown cleaning & preservation.
  • Make arrangements for floral preservation
  • Call guests who have not responded to invitation
  • Select a responsible person to handle guest book & determine its location

1 to 2 weeks

  • Give final count to the reception facility, caterer, bartending service, & florist
  • Remind men to pick up their formal wear & to check the fit
  • Give musicians all final music selections
  • Give master of ceremonies all announcements to be made during evening with the time of schedule of events. Make sure for grand entrance, give the exact order of who will be walking in with whom, & pronunciation for difficult names
  • Obtain necessary forms to change names for Social Security card, charge cards, -driver’s license, car registration, insurance policies, business cards, stationery, employer records, voter registration, utility companies, wills, property titles, leases, deeds, stocks, bonds, government agencies, passports, loans, mail delivery, subscriptions, pension plans, club memberships, & bank accounts
  • Confirm rehearsal plans with ceremony officiant, ceremony location, & your attendants
  • Confirm all details with every service you have hired. Inform them of any changes
  • Make a schedule outlining the details of wedding day & give a copy to each person in wedding party at rehearsal
  • Pack for honeymoon
  • Inquire about ATMs near honeymoon site
  • Pick up wedding rings
  • Start packing things to take to rehearsal & the ceremony, including bride’s emergency kit. Have a list of contents in each box, & if you take something out, remember to account for it
  • Arrange for someone to take all gifts from the reception to your new home.

Wedding Day!

  • Eat something, since it will be a long day
  • Make sure headpiece & veil make it to your hair appointment
  • Make sure nails are done in adequate time for drying
  • Make sure you allow plenty of time for makeup to be applied
  • Start dressing at least one-half hour before you start taking pictures.
  • Remember to relax and enjoy your day!

Copyright 2017, Kim Horn, MWP™

HIRE expert, Kim Horn, MWP™ to help design, negotiate, mediate, plan, and implement your wedding details.

Kim M. Horn, MWP™

Master Wedding Planner | 1 of 75 in the World

Couples’ Choice Best Wedding Planner 2016 Wedding Wire

Scottsdale Wedding Planner | Paradise Valley Wedding Planner |

Chandler Wedding Planner | Phoenix Wedding Planner |

Sedona Wedding Planner | Destination Weddings | Weddings Worldwide

Publisher | President | ArizonaBridalSource.com

O 480.921.7891 | M 602.418.9089 | F 480.829.6292

E info@ArizonaBridalSource.com

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May 12, 2012

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First Dance at Your Wedding

A DJ or band will set the tempo and mood of your wedding.  Music is one of the first impressions your guests experience when they arrive.  It pays to do your homework when hiring a DJ and band.  You do get what you pay for, if it appears to be too good, it probably is.  The personality, knowledge, and expertise of your DJ and band will make your event.  A professional DJ and band will be able give you guidelines on the flow of your wedding, and to assist you as you select your “must play” songs and your “must NOT play” songs.

Select Music for a Diverse Group of family and friends.  As a bride and groom, you have your favorite songs, yet your parents and grandparents may have an entirely different song list.  Review your guest list to see what type of music will work best, and ask your DJ and band for recommendations.  As you review your guest list, it normally narrows down to a diverse group of family and friends, which translates to a diverse group of music selections.   You may want live music for a portion, and a DJ for another portion. Music played during dinner will be an entirely different selection compared to the last hour for dance music.

Load In and Set Up.  Your DJ and band need to be scheduled to have enough time to load in, set up, have a sound check, trouble shoot, change clothes, and be ready for the arrival of your guests.   The last thing you want is your DJ or band loading in as your guests arrive.  If you have a band, they will have multiple breaks.  Make sure you have someone play music during breaks.

Are you a musiczilla?  As a wedding planner, always have lots of stories!  One bride had a song list of what she wanted played to the minute for her entire three hour wedding reception.  This is not recommended!  As her wedding planner, let her know it was not recommended, yet the DJ would follow her plan “her way”, yet she needed to understand if it wasn’t working we needed a Plan B.  Plan B was the most of the same songs, yet played in an order and timing the DJ felt worked best for the flow.  After 10 minutes of no one dancing, I approached the bride, and she agreed to go to Plan B.  Please remember you hire a professional for a reason, and each song may be three to four minutes long.  If you have a MUST PLAY list of 150 songs, you may have 600 minutes of music, translating to 10 hours of music.  Allow your DJ or band leader to guide you in selections which will get your guests up on the dance floor.  If there are songs which you do NOT want played, even if requested by a guest, make sure they honor your requests first.

Team and Timeline.  As your wedding planner, one crucial item requested of you is to be respectful to your vendors and give them a realistic timeframe to do what they feel they need to do it in.  You will need a timeline from your photographer to know how much time they need to photograph you, your wedding party, your family, and  your room before guests enter.  Depending on your menu selection and service style, you may want to position songs like the Father/Daughter dance after the servers have cleared tables, while everyone is waiting for your next course to be served.  You want your vendors to be able to do their personal best in a realistic timeframe.

Cake Cutting vs. Cake Service.  One of the key issues when timing your dinner is when to cut the cake.  Many feel when you cut the cake, your guests leave.  There is a “gap” in time from when you physically “cut the cake”, to when the cake is “served” to your guests.  Most people eat dessert and have coffee after their entrĂ©e (they don’t wait an hour or two for dessert).  Would recommend the bride and groom to cut their cake when most of the guests are finished eating their entrĂ©e.  Once the cake is cut, then have the DJ and band open the dance floor for dancing (approximately 20 – 30 minutes) while the catering staff disassembles, cuts, and prepares the cake to be served to the guests.  After 20 – 30 minutes of dancing, your guests are normally ready to take a break, and return to their table to eat their cake.

Check references, and meet with the DJ and band directly.   The DJ and band leader should give you recommendations or a guideline to help you with song selections for your:

  • Grand Entrance
  • Dinner Music
  • First Dance
  • Father/Daughter Dance
  • Mother/Son Dance
  • Cake Cutting Song
  • Dance Music (slow and fast selections)
  • Last Dance

Read and understand your agreement before signing it.

What time will they start and end?

What is included in their fee?

What is an additional fee?

Who is your DJ?

Who is your emcee?

Who are your band members and what instrumentation or vocals will they include?

What are overtime charges?

What will they wear?

If it is a band, how many breaks do they have and for how long?

What and who will be play on band breaks (or do they have a DJ to handle this)?

If it is a band, are they willing to learn the music of your First Dance, and other special requested dances?

Do they have a wireless microphone for announcements?

Do they include lighting, or is it extra?

Two recommended DJ companies:

http://www.CitronSound.com (ask for Jon)

http://www.RayTheDJ.com (ask for Ray)

Copyright 2012, Kim Horn, MBC™

To hire Kim as your wedding planner, call 480.921.7891 or text your name, wedding date, and wedding planner request to 602.418.9089.

Kim M. Horn, MBC™

Master Bridal Consultant | 1 of 61 in the World

Scottsdale, Paradise Valley, Chandler, Phoenix and Destination Weddings

Publisher | Pres. | ArizonaBridalSource.com

AZ State Coordinator | Assoc. of Bridal Consultants May 2003 – April 2012

ABC 2010 Conference Chair worked with David Tutera

O 480.921.7891

C 602.418.9089

F 480.829.6292

E info@ArizonaBridalSource.com

ArizonaBridalSource.com

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