I recently got my hands on Emirates Bride magazine, which is full of gorgeous gowns and good reads. I came across an article that I wish I had read while getting my own wedding together. It basically breaks down into timelines, all the to-dos…oh the wonders of being organized and in control.

Since I have a few gals in mind that may walk down the aisle this year or the next, this is for you ladies. Feel free to use it, copy-paste it or add your own check points:

After the engagement:

 Choose a wedding date

 Calculate your budget and draw up a spreadsheet

 Decide on the style and the theme of the wedding you want

 Speak to your religious head or registry office to confirm any necessary details

 Decide on and book the wedding and reception venues and note the guest capacity

 Make a preliminary guest-list, including your bridesmaids, best man and full wedding party.

 Choose those taking part in the ceremony

 Create and post Save The Date cards to notify guests of the engagement and wedding

 Discuss menu options, look at estimates for food and drink, then confirm caterer.

 Start looking for your wedding dress

 Book your photographer and videographer

 Start a health/beauty regime

Three months before:

 Organize a second meeting with your religious head and venue organizer to confirm timing and other details
 Finalize wedding cake options and place order
 Book transport to and from the ceremony and reception
 Discuss flowers arrangements with a florist, keeping in mind what will be in season
 Book a musical band or a DJ for the reception
 Decide on the honeymoon destination, book a hotel, transport and check passport

 Pick your wedding stationery and order of services and place your order

 Choose your wedding bands and order them

 Decide on your wedding dress, groom’s suit and the wedding parties attire for fittings

 Confirm wedding guest list

Two months before:

 Confirm all of your prior bookings

 Give your caterer the final head count noting any special dietary requirements

 Buy all of your accessories to match your dress including jewellery and shoes

 Speak to a hair and make-up artist and discuss potential looks

 Book another dress fitting appointment

 If you are getting married in a hotel, make sure you have a room booked for the day/night of the wedding for getting ready

 Decide if you are having centerpieces, discuss with florists and order them

 Notify your bank and any other official government bodies that require your change of name status

One month before:

 Book your hair and make-up artist for a trial and arrange timing for your wedding day

 Collect your wedding bands

 Arrange for a trusted friend or family member to bring the cake knife, toasting glasses, ring bearer pillow and flower girl baskets

 Draw up a seating plan

 Finalize the outfits for the groom, bride, bridesmaids, best man and bridal party

 Confirm running order of the ceremony with all relevant parties taking part in the ceremony

Two weeks before:

 Speak to your DJ and confirm a first dance song for the reception

 Have a final fitting of your dress with your veil, jewellery and shows. It helps to practice walking

 Reconfirm the honeymoon arrangements and pack for the vacation

 Confirm the number of guests with your caterer and finalize the seating plan

One week before:
 Arrange a rehearsal at the venue
 Re-confirm your photographer, florist, hair and make-up artist, transport and catering.
 Liaise with your photographer regarding specific shots you want
 Ensure anyone doing a speech has it written and ready to be presented
 Prepare an emergency wedding kit including dress repair materials, essential make up, tissues and other important materials

The day before:

 Help to decorate the reception venue if necessary and make sure all final details are in place

 Arrange for the cake to be delivered to the reception

 Relax and have an early night

On the day:

 Start with a good breakfast, as you will be on your feet for most of the day

 Ensure that you have plenty of time to get your hair an make up done

 Get everyone dressed and ready

 At the ceremony, the speeches rung in the order of father-of-the-bride, followed by the groom and then the best man

 At the end of the evening its tradition for the bride and groom to leave the reception first