The scope of a timeline

Conversely if you don’t have sufficient time to research, consider and debate, decision-making will inevitably be stressful.

Dividing the ‘gap’ into 10 or 12 stages is a tried and tested way forward. The weight will not be uniformly distributed over the periods and inevitably unfinished tasks will cascade down the schedule. However the underlying discipline is to prioritise and keep to the schedule. The objective is to make the countdown in period one as task-free as possible. 

There are a few items best handled as soon as you can – as the adverts say – to avoid disappointment. The more obvious of these that generally find their way into Period 12 are – 

  • Researching venues; getting as much information as you can from web-based searches can save vast amounts of time. See Finding/Choosing a Venue for all the points you need to consider here.
  • Confirming style and ambiance desired. Considering what parts you expect etiquette and tradition to play is best done at the outset too.
  • Discussing with bridal party to ensure proposed date will work.
  • Adding to the Timeline any appointments that are required by celebrants of the ceremony (these vary enormously with the type of ceremony planned).

Period 11 would usually include - 

  • Shortlisting venue options and arranging visits. If you are looking at separate ceremony and reception venues, coordinating joint availability should be top of the list.
  • Confirming date, booking venue and paying a deposit. Since the ceremony time will need to be fixed at this point, pulling together the outline plan for the Day itself (see The Plan of the Day, how to pull it together) should not be left until later.
  • Sending Save the Date announcements (formally by post or on social media)
  • Researching Bridal Dress options adding tasks to Timeline as necessary (see: The Dress, where to start)
  • Organising insurance
  • Familiarising yourself with any software tools that your venue has given you.
  • Setting up your own project tools – Pinterest, Facebook RSVPs, a scrapbook, a folder or book of Lists.

Once the date and venue/s are confirmed a typical order of priority in Period 10 might be something like this – 

  • Researching photographers looking at style in particular, confirming availability for the date, fee markers, and arranging meetings.
  • Contacting entertainers (band, magicians etc.) to confirm availability and make a reservation subject to contract
  • Deciding whether the First Dance is a big thing requiring lessons and rehearsals – add to the Timeline as appropriate.


Period 9 might include the following –

  • Ordering Bridesmaids outfits
  • Fittings for the Grooms outfit (and the Groomsmen’s)
  • Ordering or choosing rings

Period 8 

  • Choosing design for stationery. Ordering.
  • Confirming the details for any Venue enhancement – ensuring that the finishing touches will crystallise the style and theme that you have chosen.
  • Booking and briefing of Florist

Period 7

  • Favours – deciding, designing and/or ordering
  • Choosing thank you gifts for the helpers/bridal party
  • Making a first attempt at the seating plan

Period 6

  • Cake – tasting, designing and ordering
  • Gift List – sorting this before the invitations can go out
  • Honeymoon planning 

Period 5

  • Collating transport and hotel information for guests (to be included with invitations)
  • Booking Hair and Beauty appointments and scheduling rehearsals 
  • Organising and booking Stag and Hen Parties
  • Booking Rehearsal Dinner 

Period 4

  • Confirming menu and drinks
  • Sending invitations

Period 3

  • Agreeing time budgets with speechmakers/write speeches
  • Draft thank you letters for gifts

Period 2

  • Chasing non-responding invitees
  • Confirming numbers and dietary constraints with venue/caterers
  • Finalising table plan
  • Paying outstanding supplier invoices double checking timing, addresses etc.

Period 1

  • Clearing up of unfinished tasks above.
  • Reserving day for full body massage and yoga.