You Just Said Yes, Now What?

Wedding bells will be heard this season no matter how the highest court in the land has ruled, but to make it to the altar, under the chuppah, or to the chair next to your fiancé(e) without going Bridezilla, you need a plan of action. Whether luxe or budget, this timeline will help get your fête in order. But first — have you set a date?

BY Daniel W.K. Lee

July 01 2013 4:00 AM ET

3 MONTHS TO GO

Order the wedding cake
The biggest mistake couples can make with their wedding cake is not allowing enough time to get their dream confection created, says gay pastry chef Benny Rivera, owner of New York’s City Cakes. “There are certain designs that will require several days and even weeks of handmade sugar work,” he says. And don’t be afraid to buck tradition — Rivera notes that many of the gay wedding cakes he has done have not been the traditional pretty white cake: “Most of them are based on an idea the couple presents. Sometimes it reflects how they met, the places they have been, what represents them, or even makes fun of them.”

Choose hair and makeup
Make appointments with all of your candidates and document the results with a digital camera. Decide which was best while considering your budget, and book them.

Create a day-of event schedule
Once you’ve finalized all of the elements of your ceremony and reception, including details like who is giving which toast and when the wedding cake will be cut, give a copy of this first-draft schedule to all vendors so they get an idea of what the day is going to look like, and make adjustments according to their feedback.

Purchase rings
This will allow sufficient time for sizing and engraving.

Send out invitations
“Invitations should be mailed three months in advance, and the RSVP date is usually set one month prior to the event date,” says Amidon. Moreover, coordinating stationery elements with the wedding décor is the trend: “With a color scheme, a repeating motif, or theme carried through from the save-the-date to the thank-you notes, each wedding should be unique and the stationery should reflect the couple and, in effect, brand their event. Recently, we have seen this branding extend to the event décor as wall art, pillows and tabletop accessories, [which] adds to the mood of the day.”

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