How Do You Measure a Year?

In checklists, obviously. (I’ve been on a big musicals kick lately, and so of course Rent.)

I can’t believe this is the end of 2013. It’s been a crazy, busy year and it absolutely flew by. Doesn’t everyone always say that? Maybe we should adjust our perception of how long a year is. Still, even more amazing is that tomorrow is 2014. It will be the year that we get married. Holy cow.

With the wedding in May, we essentially have a semester to finish off everything for the big day—I’ve done more than this in that period of time before, right? In honor of the completion of a year and the start of a new one, I want to take a look at some of the things that we’ve gotten done and when.


New Year’s Eve 2012 Fireworks Shenanigans—BM/FSIL Dino shooting her magic wand, and Sphinx being Sphinx. Because why not?

If you’re a newly engaged bee fresh out of a Christmas-season engagement, hello, welcome, and you should say hi in the comments! The most overwhelming time for me was at the beginning, trying to figure out what to address first, so I hope this can give you some idea of what we prioritized.

I started out with lists on WeddingWire to use as a guideline, mainly to make sure I wasn’t forgetting anything. I adjusted all the timing to fit our needs, since the app doesn’t have you start doing anything until one year out. Yeah, our venue would have been booked up if I had waited that long! So do what works for you, and make sure you realize the decisions that are dependent on other decisions. Like if you’re getting married in a church, don’t buy your dress (or the bridesmaids’) until you’ve talked with them about the dress code.

Here’s a rundown of what the Pyramids finalized every month in this engagement.

December 2012:

  • Got engaged! – did some research but no definite decisions at this point

January 2013:

February 2013:

March 2013:

April 2013:

  • Bought some other white dresses (shower, bachelorette, rehearsal dinner, etc.)

May 2013:

  • Bought my shoes and engagement-picture dress in NYC

June 2013:

  • Booked hotel blocks, ceremony cantor, and organist
  • Started our registry

July 2013:

  • Booked wedding-day limos
  • Completed e-pic props
  • Bought my coveted chandeliers!

August 2013:

September 2013:

  • Booked our linens/rentals guy

October 2013:

  • Submitted my application to the ‘Bee and got accepted!
  • Booked rehearsal dinner and welcome party venues
  • Booked hairstylist
  • Purchased bridesmaids’ gowns (reveal coming soon!)

November 2013:

  • Mostly finalized guest list

December 2013:

  • Initial meeting with the priest
  • Day for the Engaged class
  • Makeup trial
  • Finished the wedding website
  • Completed and sent out save the dates

Yikes, looking at it like that, it seems like some months nothing got done (and really, sometimes they didn’t). But a lot of those months had research or prep work going on before something was officially finalized, and sometimes real life actually required some of my attention. I want to kick myself for not getting more done in April and May, but when I remember that I had some important projects to prepare and present at work, I can cut myself some slack. Also, the natural progression is to start to develop more ideas as you go, and some of these things just couldn’t be done back then.

I told Sphinx that we need to kick it in gear from here on out—every week we should be attempting to get at least something on the checklist done. I’ll let you know how that works out. We’ve got lots of things going on right at the beginning of the year here: catering and cake tasting, the FOCCUS test, photo-booth reservations, booking the honeymoon, and deciding on the guys’ attire. When it gets overwhelming, I try to to balance out tedious tasks with fun ones. Spent some time trying to fight with the website layout, so I go add some goodies to the registry. Reviewed the guest list and updated addresses, so we looked up honeymoon activities and daydreamed. It helps to keep me excited and not annoyed (mostly). And don’t forget to seek out your partner’s help—I was totally overwhelmed trying to pick dishes for our tasting, but I sat down with Sphinx and it was fun to go over it together and went by much more quickly!

And when all else fails—wine a little. Or champagne in honor of 2014 heading our way!


Apparently I don’t have a picture with champagne, so here’s a cider toast with BM Dino. (She’s on fire today.)

Cheers to a new year from the Pyramids!

Are you an already married/more experienced bee? Any advice on how to handle the home stretch here? What did you wish you had gotten done sooner?


Mrs. Pyramid

New Orleans, LA
Wedding Date:
May 2014
Love Potion #13: Formal Portraits That Are Formal: Family Edition
Bamboo for Two: Honeymooning in Prague
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  1. Member
    ashylula 25 posts, Newbee @ 1:36 pm

    I had a super short engagement….it was only 2 months! We got engaged in October 2013 and Married this December. Just remember that if something doesn’t seem like it is working out how you want it to right now more than likely it will all come together the day of. Don’t stress about the little things especially the stuff you can’t control. No matter how much you prepare something will not go as planned but its all in how you handle it. The place we ordered our cake from didn’t have our cake ready at all (they hadn’t even baked it) when by DOC went to pick it up. I had talked to them twice that week to check to make sure on the time and that they had my order. My DOC took care of the whole thing and even got a full refund! In the end I had an ugly cake but a funny story to tell. Hope this helps!! Have a Happy New Year!!

  2. wellies Member
    wellies 1425 posts, Bumble bee @ 1:57 pm

    I just watched Rent the other day! I have “Take Me or Leave Me” stuck in my head.
    I love your list of everything you’ve done since getting engaged. :) Happy New Year!

  3. Guest Icon Guest
    Tara, Guest @ 3:04 pm

    We got engaged in Feb 2013 and our wedding is in May! We have 4 months to go and save the dates haven’t completely gone out yet. I am completely freaking out over everything but trying to play it cool.

  4. msclover Member
    Mrs. Clover 123 posts, Blushing bee @ 3:17 pm

    Love this! Now I want to do my own!

  5. msfilly Member
    Mrs. Filly 827 posts, Busy bee @ 9:28 am

    Wine a little… I like the way you think! ;)

    You’ve got a lot done already! I feel like we did a lot at the beginning, then nothing for ages, and now the home stretch is going to be madness. Let’s gooooo!

  6. roadtrip Member
    roadtrip 803 posts, Busy bee @ 12:36 pm

    My calendar had at least a 3-month low on planning after the bigger things were dealt with. And, yes, I could have kicked myself for not doing more, earlier, but it’ll all work out–it always does!

  7. gondola Member
    gondola 1046 posts, Bumble bee @ 6:49 pm

    I love your monthly run down! As for the home stretch Рwine and snuggling with your fianc̩ always helps!

  8. pyramid Member
    Mrs. Pyramid 103 posts, Blushing bee @ 5:55 am

    @ashylula: that is great to remember – girl, you’re a rock star doing everything in 2 months! Thanks for the words of advice!

    @Miss Wellies: I just forgot how good it is! I’ve got a pretty good musicals pandora going on right now, and it’s fun!

    @Miss Clover: It’s a good motivator, I’ve been trying to keep a monthly to-do list, but I think now that will become a weekly list!

    @Miss Filly: Yes, we’ve got this! It feels like no time left at all!

    @Mrs. Road Trip: It was so crazy at the beginning and then I took a second to breathe…and now it’s 2014! Here’s hoping it will all turn out fine!

    @Mrs. Gondola: I can do that! ;-)

  9. Member
    bribaby119 203 posts, Helper bee @ 6:13 am

    I can’t wait to read about your wedding it is going to be fantastic. This is a wonderfully helpful list!

  10. jetsetter Member
    jetsetter 535 posts, Busy bee @ 9:10 am

    Yay, I love lists! I was really good at pacing myself throughout the planning so nothing felt truly overwhelming. Definitely think ahead and write out your lists OVER AND OVER again to stay on top of everything!

  11. weathervane Member
    weathervane 171 posts, Blushing bee @ 9:52 am

    I love how organized you are! Now I’m a bit worried, ha, you are a lot ahead of us!! :)

  12. mspalmtree Member
    Mrs. Palm Tree 1122 posts, Bumble bee @ 10:17 am

    Our timelines were SUPER similar – I did so.much. in my early months that the later months felt almost empty. Hoping these next few are AWESOME for you. Just think: shower! Bachelorette party! It’ll get you through the eepies-moments.

  13. rucksack Member
    rucksack 518 posts, Busy bee @ 10:29 am

    Happy New Year, Pyramid! I love your month by month list. Mine would have read more like: January-April: put off chores. April – August: Panic

  14. mswaterfall Member
    Mrs. Waterfall 1403 posts, Bumble bee @ 9:32 am

    Haha, love the rent reference. Won’t you light my candle?
    @Mrs. Rucksack: LOL.

  15. Member
    aquarius_91 202 posts, Helper bee @ 4:46 am

    I am 8 months into a two year engagement, and I just wanted you to know how helpful this list has been! We got a ton of stuff done in May, and I have this post bookmarked. It really has been helpful. Also, your wedding turned out beautifully!

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