- Choose a destination.
- If you're tying the knot in a foreign country, check into legal requirements.
- If necessary, apply for your visas, and schedule immunizations.
- Hire a wedding coordinator. Get referrals from friends, family, or the Association of Bridal Consultants (bridalassn.com).
- Send save-the-date cards to all of your guests.
- Estimate how many guests will attend, and talk to your wedding coordinator about blocking off hotel rooms and helping you negotiate special airfare discounts.
- Ask your wedding coordinator to recommend an officiant, photographer, hairstylist, florist, caterer, band, or DJ, and a few locations for the ceremony.
- Request musicians' tapes or CDs, and have photographers and florists send you samples of their wedding work. (Your coordinator can arrange this.)
- Visit the site before you confirm your choices for flowers, menu, music, photographer, and hairstylist.
- Plan a few events for guests, such as a welcome party or a golf tournament. But don't feel like you have to fill every minute they're there.
- Buy your plane tickets.
- Send out formal invitations to everybody on your guest list.
- Ask your planner to check on any legal paperwork that you’ve submitted.
- Order favors and gifts, if they're not included in your wedding package.
- Submit a final head count to the hotel or reception hall.
- Confirm any group activities that you've booked.
- Meet with your coordinator and officiant to review last-minute details.
- Settle your accounts with all vendors.
- Distribute a list of events and greeting bags (with goodies like sunscreen, local maps, and a phrasebook) to your guests' rooms.