Pass The Cake!

Custom-made cakes for weddings and all occasions

He Popped the Question! Now What!

So he's popped the question... and you said "Yes!"

Here are some simple step-by-step timelines to tend to the tasks at hand... and ahead!

Twelve or more months ahead

  • Arrange for your families to meet (if they haven't already).
  • Do a little early planning. Determine the kind of wedding you want: location, formaility, time of day, number of guests, etc.
  • Set the date! Have backup dates in mind in case the site, caterer, or officiant is already booked.
  • Set the initial budget and determine how expenses will be shared.
  • Create preliminary guest lists.
  • Reserve wedding and reception sites.
  • Reserve officiate.
  • Reserve photographer.
  • Reserve caterer.

Nine or more months ahead

  • Announce your engagement.
  • Buy a calendar to note all important activities: showers, luncheons, parties, get-togethers, bachelorette party, etc.
  • Hire a professional wedding consultant or wedding planner.
  • Consolidate all guest lists (bride's, groom's, bride's family, groom's family) and organize as follows: those who must be invited; those who should be invited; and those who would be nice to invite. Decide if you want to include children among guests.
  • Determine your colors and/or color scheme.
  • Select maid or matron of honor, best man, bridesmaids, groomsmen, ushers, flower girl, and ring bearer.
  • Select and order your bridal gown and accessories, including headpiece, jewelry, and shoes.
  • Select attendants' gowns/dresses. Let both mothers know about the color selection so that they can plan their attire accordingly.
  • Select attire for flower girl and ring bearer.
  • If ceremony or reception is at home, arrange for home or garden improvements as needed.
  • Order passport, visa, or birth certificate (if needed) for your honeymoon and marriage license.
  • Reserve blocks of hotel rooms for out-of-town guests.
  • Reserve a band or DeeJay.
  • Make appointments with florists to review their work.
  • Create a bridal and/or engagement registry.

Six to nine months ahead

  • Reserve a florist and choose arrangements. Order bouquets and boutonnieres for the wedding party and corsages for the mothers. (Some brides also have corsages for the grandmothers and boutonnieres for the grandfathers as well.)
  • Make appointments with cake designers to review their work. (Some cake designers will meet with you so that you can sample their cakes).
  • Select and book videographer and/or photographer.
  • Schedule gown fittings and attire delivery dates for yourself, attendants, flower girl, and ring bearer.
  • Plan and book honeymoon.
  • Order "Save-the-Date" cards or magnets, invitations, stationery, and thank-you cards. Order maps to the ceremony and reception for guests.
  • Book stylists for hair and makeup.
  • The parents of the groom should begin to arrange the location and details of the rehearsal dinner.

Four to six months ahead

  • Reserve any rental equipment, such as tables, chairs, tents, linens, etc.
  • Schedule rehearsal time and rehearsal dinner.
  • Order invitations to rehearsal dinner.
  • Select wedding cake designer and order cake.
  • Purchase or reserve groom's, groomsmen's, and ushers' attire.
  • Purchase wedding rings.
  • Choose favors for wedding guests. If you're making something or wrapping the favors, start as soon as possible.
  • Book hotel room for your wedding night.
  • Finalize guest list.
  • Address save-the-date cards and invitations or hire a calligrapher.
  • Select and book all miscellaneous services, e.g. gift and guestbook attendants, valet parking, etc.
  • Begin a monthly facial or beauty treatment regimen.

Two to four months ahead

  • Mail save-the-date cards (especially for out-of-town guests who need to make travel arrangements.)
  • Confirm details of menu and decor with caterer - get all confirmations in writing.
  • Check in with bridal salon, florist, photographer, musicians, and other vendors to confirm arrangements.
  • Discuss service with officiate.
  • Choose readings and readers for ceremony. Give copies to those whom you've asked to read so they'll have time to practice.
  • If you're writing your own vows, do so now!
  • Plan the bridesmaids' luncheon and any other wedding weekend activities.
  • Select and book transportation for wedding day.
  • Purchase the gifts for groom and wedding attendants.
  • Find something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue, and a sixpence (or shiny penny) for your shoe.

Six to eight weeks ahead

  • Mail invitations for wedding and rehearsal dinner. Include accommodation choices and a map to assist guests in finding the ceremony and reception sites.
  • Have programs printed.
  • Arrange final fitting of your gown.
  • Have makeup artist do a trial run and have your hairstylists do a trial run of your chosen hairstyle with the headpiece.
  • Schedule to have your nails done for the wedding.
  • Have your formal wedding portrait taken.
  • Send wedding announcement and photograph to local newspapers.
  • If you're changing your name and/or moving, complete proper documents to change name and address on driver's license, social security card, insurance policies, bank and credit card accounts, subscriptions, memberships, etc.
  • If you're moving, send change-of-address information to post office.
  • Maintain a record of RSVPs and all gifts received and write thank-you notes as you receive gifts.
  • Obtain marriage license.
  • Finish shopping for wedding-day accessories, such as toasting glasses, ring pillow, guestbook, etc.
  • Set up an area or a table in your hone to display gifts as you receive them.
  • If you're having a guestbook, decide where and when to have guests sign in.
  • Finalize the reception menu and estimate the expected number of guests. (Also, finalize the beverage and alcohol order. Obtain alcohol permit, if needed.)
  • Purchase a going-away outfit if you'll be changing out of your wedding dress.
  • Pick up your wedding rings and check fit.
  • Plan reception room layout and seating with your reception site manager or caterer. Write names on placecards for arranged seating.

Two to six weeks ahead

  • Confirm ceremony details with our officiate.
  • Schedule final fitting of bridesmaids' dresses.
  • Book limousine or other transportation for wedding day.
  • Finalize rehearsal dinner plans. Plan seating and write place cards.
  • Choose the music for your ceremony, first dance, parent dances, and party, and give information to band, DeeJay, and other musicians.
  • Decide if you want to have a receiving line. If so, determine when and where to form the line.
  • Meet with photographer and confirm special events or people you want videotaped.
  • Make a detailed timeline for your wedding party and service providers.
  • Confirm details with all service providers.
  • Contact guests who have not responded.
  • Continue writing thank-you notes as gifts arrive.
  • Remind bridesmaids of when and where to pick up their wedding attire.
  • Purchase lipstick, nail polish, and any other accessories you want your bridesmaids to wear.
  • Start packing for your honeymoon.
  • Determine ceremony seating and/or reception seating for special guests. Give a list to the ushers.
  • Delegate wedding-related duties to friends and family for the wedding.

One to two weeks ahead

  • Finish packing for honeymoon
  • Confirm travel arrangements. Pick up tickets and traveler's checks.
  • Arrange for the post office or a neighbor to hold your mail while you are away on your honeymoon.
  • Make sure all wedding attire fits properly.
  • Make sure all clothing and accessories - including makeup and jewelry - for the bridal party are ready.
  • Do final guest count and notify your caterer or reception site manager.
  • Gather everything you will need for the rehearsal and wedding day to stow in a box or bag. (Don't forget needle & thread, band-aids, safety pins - just in case!)
  • Give timeline to service providers and review the schedule of events and last-minute arrangements with them.
  • Familiarize yourself, and your director, with guests' names. It will help during the receiving line and reception.
  • Make arrangements to have your wedding gifts delivered to your home.
  • Reconfirm your guests' accommodations.
  • Wrap the gifts for members of the wedding party.

One day before

  • Relax with a manicure and massage!
  • Assign different responsibilities, such as handing out corsages and boutonneieres, to members of bridal party.
  • Arrange for someone to bring accessories, such as flower basket, ring pillow, guestbook and pen, toasting glasses, cake knife, etc., to the ceremony and/or reception site.
  • Provide each member of your bridal party with detailed timeline for the wedding day.
  • Remind the maid/matron of honor and best man to sign the wedding cerificate.
  • Review list of things to bring to the rehearsal.
  • Confirm limousines or other transportation.
  • Put suitcases in getaway car!
  • Review the schedule of events with your service providers.
  • Give each member of the bridal party their gift, along with a personal note, if you haven't already done so.
  • Give best man the officiate's fee and any other checks for service providers that have not already been paid. Instruct him to deliver these checks the day of the wedding.
  • Arrange for someone to return rental items, such as tuxedos and cake stand, after the wedding.
  • Review list of things to bring to the ceremony.
  • Rehearse ceremony and all other details with those who will participate in the wedding.
  • Hold rehearsal dinner.

Wedding Day!

  • Give the groom's ring to the maid/matron of honor. Give the bride's ring to the best man.
  • Follow your detailed schedule of events.
  • Thank your parents and your guests.
  • Enjoy the day!