Bride's guide: timeline

It takes a day to get married, but a year to get your plans just right. Stay on track with our step-by-step checklist

Illustration: Barbara Spoettel


A year before

Estimate numbers and calculate budgets

Choose the style of your wedding

Pick a date

Make a shortlist and recce venues

Confirm your venue

Book in caterer tastings

Make a guest list Appoint key personnel  

Nine months before

Start shopping for your dress

Decide on colour and style themes

Start finalising your guest list 

Research photographers and book one

Book a caterer

Organise entertainment  

Six months before

Send out ‘save the date’ cards

Choose your dress and arrange fittings

Plan your order of service

Order your invitations

Choose a gift list

Meet with your florist

Meet suppliers and put down deposits

Order your wedding cake

Begin honeymoon preparations  

Three months before

Send out invitations

Arrange final dress fittings

Choose your wedding rings

Order favours and bridal party gifts

Finalise menu and wine with your caterer

Arrange transport for the wedding party

Go over song lists and requests with your reception band or DJ

One month before

Chase up RSVPs from guests who have not yet responded

Draw up a seating plan for the meal 

Order/make place cards for the tables

Arrange a hair and make-up run-through

Final dress fitting and accessory choices

Confirm the final guest list  

One week before

Double-check numbers

Confirm special meals

Reconfirm all suppliers

Compile a detailed shot list and brief your photographer

Produce a final seating plan for the venue

Check you have all necessary documents for your honeymoon

A day before

Double-check wedding favours and bridal party gifts

Make payment envelopes to pay each supplier on the day

Visit the venue and make sure food and drink orders match final numbers 

Check the weather forecast 

This article was first printed in Square Meal Weddings, 2014