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  • The Checklist

    From The New Essential Guide to Gay & Lesbian Weddings by Tess Ayers and Paul Brown with additions by Brian:

    PHASE 1: 6-12 months prior

    • Set the date and time of day
    • Establish priorities and set goals
    • Discuss finances and crate a preliminary budget
    • Set up the wedding planning organization system
    • Tell friends and family
    • Explore locations for the ceremony and reception
    • Draw up a guest list
    • Start getting estimates for caterers, florists, photographers, videographers, musicians, and invitations
    • Send out Save-the-dates
    • Select Officiant
    • Figure out preliminary legal steps to take to formalize our relationship

    PHASE 2: 3-4 months prior

    • Order or create invitations
    • Shop for rings
    • Determine wedding attire
    • Choose wedding party
    • Register for gifts
    • Decide on locations
    • Contact caterer/make food and drink arrangements
    • Shop for a wedding cake
    • Adjust the budget

    PHASE 3: 2-3 months prior

    • Mail invitations
    • Finalize arrangements with the caterer, florist,photographer, videographer, and musicians
    • Meet with Officiant to work on the ceremony
    • Order the wedding cake
    • Solidify modes of transportation
    • Purchase wedding attire
    • Record gifts as they arrive and mail out thank you cards
    • Adjust the budget

    PHASE 4: 1-2 months prior

    • Decide on specific music selections to give to the DJ
    • Arrange the rehearsal dinner
    • Finalize ceremony
    • Work on ceremony announcement to be mailed to the press after the wedding
    • Arrange for accommodations for out of town guests
    • Finalize honeymoon plans
    • Do attire fittings
    • Buy gifts for attendants and for each other
    • Buy wedding day items (guestbook, bird seed, etc)
    • Meet with photographer to go over shot requests
    • Final consultation with caterer concerning an menu changes
    • Talk through the day and list potential snags
    • Adjust the budget

    PHASE 5: Final 2 weeks

    • Reconfirm all services
    • Make arrangements for final payments and gratuities
    • Pick up wedding attire
    • Get honeymoon gear in order
    • Double check final costs with caterer
    • Final meeting with wedding planner

    PHASE 6: The Night Before:

    • Set the alarm clock!
    • Locate all essentials that you might forget in a panic – wallets, keys, airline tickets, rings, etc – and put them in a safe place
    • Read over vows and place the script in a prearranged place with the best person
    • Double check that your wedding attire is neat and that you have all of the accessories (socks, belt, cuff links, shoes, underwear, headpiece, handkerchief, and jewelry.
    • Pack your getaway clothes for the honeymoon (separately).
    • Take all contract information and any other organizational tools collected thus far.
    • Make sure you have acquired al required balances, gifts, and tips for the caterer, officiant, musicians, and helpers
    • Make arrangements for the collection of mail, and care of pets.
    • Call telephone company and adjust plan for the international trip.
    • Sleep!

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