Hey, guys &mdash a wedding-planning checklist keeps it all in order

Ronnie thought that he had it all: a beautiful fiancé, a great honeymoon destination and some money his parents gave him as a wedding gift to help finance the romance.

However, Ronnie (who did not want his real name in print) neglected something very important — and he regretted its absence after the wedding.

“I’ve never been a very organized person,” he says. “I thought I could remember all the things I needed to do, but I didn’t. And I really embarrassed my wife.”

What he forgot was to thank his parents for the honeymoon nest egg, his best man for all the help with planning the wedding and the minister for his services.

“I didn’t mean to be rude, but I was,” Ronnie says. “And ‘I forgot’ really didn’t make a good excuse.”

Grooms need to remember they are part of the plan. There is more to a successful wedding than just showing up well dressed and on time — although both help make the day sweeter for the bride.

What will help? A checklist.

Most guys would use a checklist to make sure they have serviced their car correctly or packed everything needed for a fishing trip. Why not use the same thoroughness to help ensure smooth sailing when you are getting hitched?

www.weddingchannel.com suggests the following checklist for grooms. It will keep you on track and make you the man of the hour come wedding day.

Six to twelve months before

• Purchase the bride’s engagement ring.

• Discuss with fiancé the date and type of wedding.

• Start on your guest list.

• Choose best man and ushers.

• Start planning and making necessary arrangements for the honeymoon.

• Discuss and plan with fiancé your new home together. If fiancé is moving in with you, start cleaning out closets, cupboards and drawers to make room for your bride and wedding gifts.

Four months before

• Shop with fiancé for wedding rings.

• Complete your guest list, including full names, addresses and phone numbers.

• Check requirements for blood test and marriage license in your state, or the state where the marriage will occur.

• Select and order men’s wedding attire with your fiancé.

• Finalize all honeymoon plans and send in deposits if required. Don’t delay — some resorts fill up fast in popular months.

Two months before

• Meet with your officiant to finalize ceremony details.

• Assist parents with plans for the rehearsal dinner party.

• Discuss the amount and the financial arrangement for the flowers that are the groom’s responsibility.

• Arrange accommodations for members of the wedding party who are coming from out of town.

One month before

• See that all attendants are fitted for their wedding attire and check that it has been ordered.

• Purchase gifts for best man and ushers.

• Purchase wedding gift for bride, if gifts are to be exchanged.

• Pick up wedding rings. Make sure they fit.

• Take care of business and legal affairs (add bride’s name to insurance policies and medical plans, make a new will, add her name to joint checking account or joint charge cards). If you have both agreed to a prenuptial agreement, have it drawn up and signed.

Two weeks before

• Together with fiancé, gather necessary documents and get your marriage license.

• Arrange wedding day transportation.

• Reconfirm accommodations for out-of-town guests.

• Get a haircut.

The week before

• Discuss all final details with fiancé; offer to assist if needed.

• Pick up and try on wedding attire.

• See that attendants get their wedding attire.

• Pack clothes for honeymoon.

• Reconfirm all honeymoon reservations.

• If flying, make sure you have plane tickets.

• See to it that you and your attendants are at the rehearsal and that they know their duties.

• Go over special seating with ushers.

• Arrange for how any gifts brought to the reception will be transported home.

• Make sure luggage is in the car or the hotel where you will stay your first night.

• Attend rehearsal dinner. Relax and enjoy yourself.

• Get to bed early — you want to look and feel your best.

Wedding day

• Be sure to eat breakfast — it’s going to be a long day.

• Allow plenty of time to get dressed (at least a full hour before ceremony).

• Get to the ceremony location on time.

• Give the best man the bride’s wedding ring.

• Place the officiant’s fee in a sealed envelope. Give it to the best man so he may present it after the ceremony. Make sure you thank him or her.

• Don’t forget to take the marriage license to the ceremony. Keep it with you, or give it to your best man to bring.

• Afterward, have the best man and maid of honor sign the wedding certificate as witnesses.

• Dance first with your bride, then with both mothers and the bridesmaids.

• Just before leaving the reception, thank your new in-laws and your parents. Make sure you say goodbye to them, too.