Fully Engaged

Getting married is a little bit like blasting off into outer space.

A journey beyond the limits of anything you’ve known before. Crossing into uncharted territory. Braving new worlds.

And the preparations can get pretty harrowing. But if there’s one way to keep your feet on the ground and your head from spinning into orbit, it’s to plan ahead and be aware of your time line. So here it is: DailyCandy’s countdown to your big day.

T Minus 12 Months

papersource! The Informal Thank-You: Good news travels fast. Before you know it, the calls and gifts start pouring in. Order informal thank-you cards, monogrammed with the happy couple’s (that’s you, FYI) first names. For a quick, no-fuss approach, design your own letterpress flat cards at paper-source.com.

The Planner: The lists, ripped magazine clippings, business cards, floor plans, and contracts … A mere notebook isn’t enough to help you manage your wedding-day preparations. So leave it to celebrity planner Mindy Weiss to dream up the ultimate wedding planner to store pouches for fabric swatches and stationery samples. This totable organizer takes care of every detail, from engagement to the honeymoon.

distinctivehoneymoons! The Registry: Okay, the no-brainers — Weddingchannel.com and theknot.com — are stocked with everything from china to the priciest fork. For something a little more useful, like, say, cash to put toward a down payment on a new home, greenwish.com is on the money. And check out Distinctive Honeymoons, where you can set up a honeymoon fund. If you’d rather give something back (other than a toaster), justgive.org allows you to pledge to the charity of your choice on behalf of your wedding.

T Minus 10 Months

The Photographer: Nothing tells a story better than, well, a story. Artist Zoey Abbott is behind An Edition of One, an impressively illustrated, hand-bound, custom art book that tells your love story in your words. Just provide her with your gushiest romantic moment (the proposal), and she’ll work it into a beautifully scripted narrative (415-939-1389).

T Minus 9 Months

The Entertainment: There’s something so predictable about hiring a band for a wedding. The American Disc Jockey Association (ignore the moniker) is, hands down, the most amaxing online source for finding great talent.

T Minus 8 Months

weddingwinesource! The Caterer: A little-known fact: Serve up a good selection of alcohol and the food won’t bother the guests. This year it’s all about customization. Weddingwinesource.com located in Napa Valley, offers custom wines. If you really want to impress, have each guest’s name printed on the wine and champagne bottles.

T Minus 7 Months

speakingroses! The Decor: Who needs complicated arrangements when speakingroses.com can print anything you want, from initials to photos, on roses.

Overwhelmed? Don’t be. (You haven’t got time for that.) Take a deep breath. Meditate. Medicate. Because this is only the beginning. We’ll tell you all about the final steps next week.