Even if you're lucky enough to be a Chill Bride, you still need to pitch in. Like marriage, wedding planning is a two-person effort.
Here's a list the things you should do, in recommended order. Note that this presumes a timeline of at least six months from the actual wedding date.
1) Draw up your own guest list.
And remember: this is your wedding, so feel free to skip right over the peeps you barely hang out with or talk to. If all you want at your special day is your parents, the family dog, and that woman you met on the train one day who shares your obsession with Rainbow Brite, go for it. Save a fortune on the reception!
Sub-tip: If you encounter plaintive questions about the lack of invitation and you're comfortable with lying, say "Oh, we're keeping it to family-only as much as possible," or some other variation. Does not work with actual family members.
2) Select a venue.
This is when you choose the wedding date based on availability at your desired location. Most places will also quote prices based on guest numbers, so do this after you've finalized your respective lists. Remember: quality trumps quantity, especially if you're footing the bill.
3) Choose your wedding party.
Your maid of honor and bridesmaid(s) will throw your bachelorette and will be crucial for step 4.
4) Buy your wedding gown.
This sucker will take months to be ready. After the purchase, the bridal shop will usually recommend a tailor, who needs at least two fittings to make sure you look perrrr-fect, daaaah-ling, as you walk down the aisle. And if she's good, she'll have a ton of other clients who are much more high-strung than you, so be patient. Finally, some tailors forbid the menfolk from entering their premises, so you need your lady friends with you for zippers and such.
5) Book the photographer.
Good wedding photographers get booked insanely fast. As an example, we cluelessly started our search in March for our May ceremony, and the person we talked to was already booked to 2014. Fortunately, she was free on our particular weekend, because, like that obscure Buddhist sect that teaches us not to seek enlightenment to find enlightenment, you will be prepared for your wedding by not being prepared. Such deep.
6) Get a DJ.
We got a friend to be our DJ. If going this route, make sure the event staff know he's a guest, not a vendor, because otherwise they will give him/her a hard time for drinking.
7) Choose seasonal flowers.
Seasonal = cheaper. Just, y'know, avoid colors and sizes reminiscent of Shub-Niggurath or some other Lovecraftian monstrosity.
8) Prep your family for pre-ceremony pictures.
Applies if some of your family members like to nap at every opportunity and need to be awoken because we're ready to take the pictures, the groom's entire family is here, where are your father and brother?
Chill Bride, you have somehow hit the jackpot! Live it up! Your dress turns back into a pumpkin after midnight!
10) Send thank-you cards
This is the denouement. Give yourselves three months max to write thank-you notes to the gift-givers.
Once all this is done...