A Brides Master List

This is it! This is the list of everything you need for your wedding. Every little detail, every big picture. When I was first starting to plan our wedding, I sat down and typed up everything that came to mind that had to do with a wedding. I’ve since tidied it up a little and figured I would give it to you. It’s a good start for all brides, if you haven’t already done this yourself. I broke it down into categories so it’s easier to keep track of what you’ve already taken care of. You may want to add to/edit and print this list and carry it with you in your wedding planner. You’ll be able to jot things down on it, scratch things off, and look at it while you’re out and about. Good luck, and happy planning!

The Brides Master List

Misc:

Premarital counseling

Wedding invitations

RSVP cards

Thank you cards

Return address stamp

Gift registries

Wedding website

Photographer and Videographer (if you choose to have one)

Wedding night accommodations and reservations

Wedding party gifts

Honeymoon accommodations and reservations (if applicable)

Bride:

Gown, undergarments, and shoes

Leg garters

Earrings, bracelet, necklace

Make-up

Tiara

Veil

Cover-up robe (for getting ready the day of)

Something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue

Bridal hair appointment

Manicure and pedicure appointment

Wedding Party Attire:

Bridesmaids dresses, shoes, and desired accessories

Grooms tux and shoes

Father of the brides tux

Groomsmens suits/tuxes and shoes

Flower girl dress and shoes

Ring bearer tux and shoes

Ceremony:

Venue

Officiate

Aisle runner

Flower petals for the flower girl

Ring bearer pillow

Flower girl basket

Pew and front decorations

Unity sand/candle set

In Memory candles

Guest book and pen

Brides bouquet (and a toss bouquet)

Grooms boutonniere

Bridesmaids bouquets

Groomsmens boutonnieres

Father of the bride/grooms boutonnieres

Wedding rings

Vows

Entrance and exit music

Reception:

Venue

Cake (and grooms cake if applicable)

Cake knife and serving set

Cake topper

Plates, napkins, utensils (if applicable)

Toasting flutes

Tables and chairs

Linens

DJ or band

First dance song

Father-Daughter dance song

Mother-Son dance song

Decorations [table runners, centerpieces, balloons, Christmas lights, tulle, disposable cameras, etc]

Party favors

Caterer or food

Card box

Gift table

People to get for Help:

Wedding coordinator (at your ceremony venue or church)

Ushers (for ceremony) and “aisle-runner-puller”

Someone(s) to be at the reception before the other guests

Cake cutters and servers

Someone to take gifts home for you after the reception

Decorating help

Clean up crew (for both the ceremony site and reception site)

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Reception Centerpieces

There are hundreds, probably thousands, of ideas and examples for your table centerpieces out there. I have quite a few on my “Ideas for Weddings & Parties” board on Pinterest if you need some inspiration. I found this idea for ours on Pinterest, but I tweaked it a little to match our wedding theme. You can view the original pin here.

I gathered 27 mason jars in various sizes (I ended up using only 26; one of them was really tiny!) and I didn’t even have to buy them. All I had to do was get on Facebook (small town girl, remember) and ask if anyone had any jars that they no longer needed or wanted to part with.

You will want a good sized work station. To do this project, you will need mason jars, ribbon of your choice, and a hot glue gun. For display you’ll need flat bottomed clear (or colored if you’d like) pebbles, water, and floating candles.

To start, measure around the jar and add about an extra half inch. Cut your ribbon accordingly – the extra half inch is for glue. I used the same ribbon that I did for the ring pillow and the flower girl basket, so I glued the sheer ribbon first and the turquoise over it. The seam where the ribbons are glued looks like this:

Outside of the jar, where the ribbons are hot glued down.

A view of the inside of the jar. You can see how the bottom ribbon is glued to the jar, then each new spot of glue is put directly over the first.

Once your initial ribbons are glued, decide what ribbon you will be using for the bow. You could also use some other kind of embellishment for the front if you prefer. I used a thin lavender ribbon for some, and the same 3/8 in for others (I didn’t plan it that way, I ran out of the turquoise part way through and ended up using the lavender until I got more turquoise). Instead of tying the bow on the jar, use this bow tying tutorial to tie free bows and hot glue them in your desired spot.

For display at the wedding, fill roughly the bottom 1 1/2 to 2 inches of the jar with the pebbles, fill with water up to the top of your ribbon, and float a candle in them. (You need floating candles… regular candles don’t float. I thought most everyone knew this, but Andy and a few of my friends didn’t! I found mine for about $3.50 per 8 pack at Fred Meyers.)

Our assortment of jars turned out really nice, and once they were on the tables filled with water and had the candles lit it was even better. Here’s 3 of our various jars. You can see the three different bow styles I ended up doing.

Finished centerpieces, minus the pebbles.

Personally, my favorites were the ones with turquoise bows. It was what I originally wanted and I just thought it looked best. I even saved two of them after the wedding and I have them sitting on our mantle with our unity sand 🙂 You could tweak this to match your wedding style or theme and your wedding colors. It’s a very easy project and looks great on tables!

Bouquets & Boutonnieres

Fresh flowers are unbelievably expensive! My bouquet and two boutonnieres cost $150, and I know the gal I got them from could have charged more. Since we were trying to do our wedding cheaply, I wanted to avoid fresh flowers wherever possible. So I made my bridesmaids bouquets and the groomsmens boutonnieres.

Apparently I did this the hard way, because little did I know that you can buy bridesmaid bouquet handles with that green foam in them for arranging fake flowers. Hmph.I found them at Michael’s long after I made these…

I ordered fake lavender colored roses and white mini rose buds from eFavorMart (which is where I got all of our decorations too – more on that later). They have lots of colors and flowers to choose from. I took 4 lavender roses and 4 stems of white rose buds and set them aside for the groomsmen, and divided the remaining roses and buds by 5 to make the bouquets (I also made myself a toss bouquet – there was no way I was throwing my real and expensive one). I cut them all to the same lengths and rubber-banded them together very tight and near the top (as close to the flowers as possible, without messing up the arrangement).

I then wrapped the stems in a deep purple, inch and a half wide ribbon, starting at the base and wrapping upward toward the flowers. (You will want to use tacky glue to glue the starting end to the ribbon laying over it. I didn’t do this and one or two of them started coming unraveled at the wedding.) Wrap your ribbon around all the way to the top, glue down to itself with tacky glue, and clamp it for 10 minutes or so, just so it has a good hold before you let it finish drying. Then cut off any excess ribbon and fluff the flowers.

For the boutonnieres, I used small rubber bands (like the ones you use for small hair braids) to hold the two stems together, and did the same wrapping style with the same ribbon. Glue the last end wherever you want the “back” to be, the side that is against the groomsmens chest, so it’s hidden and unnoticeable. You’ll be able to use a boutonniere pin right through the ribbon to attach it to their suit jacket or shirt.

Here is how my finished products looked:

The completed bouquets and boutonnieres.

This was rather difficult and time consuming. I highly recommend buying the bridesmaid bouquet handles. They have them at Michael’s on one of their wedding aisles, and I’m sure you can order them on the internet as well. (Unless of course you’re super-bride, then by all means make yours this way!) You can at the very least make your boutonnieres 🙂

In Memory Candles

Having “In Memory” candles is a personal choice and not a tradition at weddings, although there are marketed premade candles out there. I couldn’t justify spending $20 or more on a candle, so I made ours. I went to Walmart and bought two ivory, unscented pillar candles (I think they were $1 each) and two small square mirror plates to set them on (these were about $3 a piece). I already had silver glittery alphabet scrapbook stickers at home, but I went to Michael’s and got some pearl and corner embellishments to add to them. Using tweezers, I carefully placed each letter and number on the candles. The use of tweezers prevents getting your skin oils on the stickers, and also helps you keep them straight. Since they are going on wax you can easily peal and replace them if they begin to go askew (but don’t worry, they hold on great once you press them on hard! Ours made it 2 months in a tote and then all the way from Anchorage to Kodiak – 250 miles).

You could also tie or hot glue ribbon onto candles, use rhinestones, or whatever else your little heart desires. (Paint, pen, and markers do not work so don’t waste your money on those attempts). You can find small photo clips at Invitations by Dawn that you can use on your bouquet ribbons or could clip onto ribbon attached to your candles.

Here is how our candles looked when I was finished. They looked great up on stage, and cost about $5 a piece with all the materials.

Our candles for my Grandmother and Uncle.

 

You can choose to incorporate these into the ceremony, or just have them already lit when guests are arriving. I had my parents walk to the front together and light them at the beginning of the ceremony before my mother took her seat (the church we were married at has doors and stairs both at the front and back of the sanctuary, so my father went downstairs and circled back up and around to get me!)

Remembering loved ones lost in this way on your wedding day can help bring you a sort of peace, especially when it was someone you were close to and loved very much, who would have been there in life if they could. I prayed that morning that maybe God would let them look down on us and watch, and because of the peace I felt before I walked down the aisle I have faith that He did.

 

 

“The Lord is near to the brokenhearted, and saves the crushed in spirit. Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the Lord delivers him out of them all.” (Psalm 34:18-19 ESV)

Ring Pillow & Flower Basket

Since I couldn’t find a pillow and basket in my wedding colors at a low price, I decided to make my own. This was my first craft for our wedding, and it obviously lead to many more! It’s very easy, and I hope this is easy enough to follow.

You will need:

– Tacky glue

– Ribbon in your wedding colors

– Small rhinestones (optional)

– Small sewing kit

– A plain ring pillow and flower girl basket

 

I got my ring bearer pillow at Walmart for about $11. The tacky glue, ribbon, and rhinestones I got at Michael’s. (I apologize for some of the photos. They were taken with my phone and aren’t that great!)

My plain ring pillow from Walmart.

Wrap your chosen ribbons around the pillow to get a measurement and cut accordingly. I used a wide sheer purple and a narrower solid blue to layer. Trim the edges of the wide ribbon so it looks like it disappears behind the main bow (if your pillow doesn’t have a bow or anything on the front, you can make a bow using either white ribbon or one of your wedding colors and tack or sew it to the front. Here is a great bow tying tutorial). Because one of my ribbons was sheer, I stitched them to the pillow under one of the bow ears, with the solid ribbon under the sheer.

Stitch or glue one end under the bow, making sure the ribbon is lying over top and centered on whatever preexisting ribbon is there (if your pillow has one). Flip your pillow over and pull the ribbon flush so it lays tight and flat against it. Stitch it where the existing ribbon is stitched to create the handle, then stitch it again in the same place on the other side. Wrap it back around to the front and stitch the end under the opposite side of the front bow. Then do the same steps with your next ribbon (if you have one), laying it centered and flush just like the first one. If this ribbon is wider and sheer like mine, don’t make it part of the handle. Instead, cut it and stitch or glue it where the handle starts and do the same on the other side. The underside should look like this:

The backside of the pillow, showing the handle or hand slot for the ring bearer.

The front should look something like this:

The pillows front side, almost finished.

I used a thin purple ribbon to add to the tying ribbons that hang off the front. I cut them to the same length and stitched them up underneath the heart embellishment. I also decided to monogram the pillow with rhinestones. Put some tacky glue on a paper plate and use tweezers to carefully pick up each rhinestone, dip the back of it in the glue, and position it on the pillow. Create any design or monogram you’d like! I’d suggest practicing on a flat surface first though 😉 Tacky glue goes on white but dries clear, so if it comes out around the edges you won’t see it when it dries.

 

The flower girl basket I bought at Michael’s, for somewhere around $12.

The before image of the flower basket.

I did the same ribbon overlay here as I did for the pillow. Blue first, then purple. I used tacky glue rather than stitching. Glue one end to the middle of the bottom of the basket and let dry. Then pull tight and flush and glue the remaining end to the inside of the basket. (I glued mine close to the bottom on the inside, so when it was full of petals you could see the ribbon on the sides.) Do the same on the other side, and then repeat with the sheer ribbon, or whatever other ribbon you’ve chosen. I tied bows around the four ends of the handles to add a girly touch for my nieces.

Here are the finished products. Inexpensive, easy to make, and made to match our wedding perfectly.

The finished basket and pillow.

Your New BFF’s

Pinterest and Michael’s. If you don’t already, you’re going to love them.

My mother-in-law and one of my sister-in-laws turned me on to the whole Pinterest thing and oh my gosh it was a fast addiction. They have everything under the sun. I spent hours looking through pins in the Weddings and Events section, and I got a lot of my ideas from there (such as my centerpieces. I’ll post about those later). There are lots of centerpieces, decorating tips and ideas, and cute unique things you never would have thought of. They also have a Crafts pin section, which is where I spend more time nowadays. There you can find ideas for home crafts, things you can use for the wedding, and all kinds of accessory ideas. Pinterest also has recipes, ideas for the home and home decorating, useful crafts for home, and things for kids for when your happily-ever-after starts.

Michael’s proved to be a great help since I was so DIY for my wedding. They have weekly coupons on their website that I printed and used a lot. You can also just show them on your mobile phone if you have a smart phone. Very handy if you are there on an outing and find something you must have 😉 Michael’s has fake flowers, painting supplies, frames, baskets, jewelry making supplies, and some home decorations. Pretty much anything craft related you could ever need for your wedding.

Michael’s also has a couple aisles dedicated entirely to wedding things. They have centerpieces, gift boxes and satchels, invitations, stamps, stickers, candies, fun bride and bridesmaids t-shirts, and the list could go on and on. I got my flower girl basket, all of the ribbon I used, some wedding mints, bubbles, and a few other miscellaneous things there. Things can be a little spendy there, but it’s all nice quality and with the coupons it’s not so bad. I’m also planning on getting the paper and embellishments for our wedding scrapbook there when I get to do it. They have tons of stickers, albums, papers, punches, and accessories for scrapbookers (I definitely am one)!

I have posts with my flower girl basket, ring bearer pillow, and centerpieces in my DIY & Crafts category. Here is the link to my Pinterest profile. Check out my Ideas for Weddings & Parties board for inspiration. I also have a board for Recipes and a board for Crafts. Enjoy 🙂

 

 

“Delight yourself in the LORD and he will give you the desires of your heart.” (Psalm 37:4 NIV)

Invitations & Save The Dates

This is one of the most expensive parts of a wedding, and strangely also one of the easiest (perhaps cost and difficulty level have an inverse relationship…) Invitations can cost you hundreds of dollars, and combine that with RSVP cards, Save the Date’s, and registry cards, you could easily be looking at upwards of $1,000 or more in paper.

First, Save the Dates are definitely not a must. They are spendy, and there is little to no way around it. They are, however, very cute, very nice, and a great way to send a happy announcement to all your friends and family of your engagement and your chosen wedding date. If you choose to send Save the Dates, keep in mind that you should not send them to folks that will not be receiving a formal invitation. This should go without saying, but I stated it just in case…  A couple places to order them from are Wedding Paper Divas or Vistaprint. Wedding Paper Divas has hundreds of super cute designs. Vistaprint does too, and theirs are much cheaper (I’m a huge Vistaprint fan, you’ll find out shortly).

Your invitations should be mailed out about 2-3 months before the wedding. I mailed ours 3 months in advance, and asked people to RSVP by May 1. David’s Bridal, Wedding Paper Divas, Invitations By Dawn, and Vistaprint all have beautiful, unique invitations and matching RSVP cards. I went through Vistaprint for mine, and I was one extremely happy camper. I got 150 invitations and 150 RSVP cards both with white envelopes for $120.23, not counting shipping (which was $17.60 to Alaska). They were printed on card stock, the colors were perfect, and I was very impressed with the quality. Everywhere else I would have paid well over $300, maybe upwards of $500. For something most if not all people are just going to throw away? No thanks!

Wherever you choose to get them, the site should tell you what information to put on the invitation such as time and date (duh), address of the venue, address of the reception site, time of the reception, etc. On your RSVP cards, put a place for your guests to write down how many will be attending from that family or group. I also saw a neat idea (on Pinterest of course) to put a line for your guests to request a song they’d like played at your reception. It will help you get an idea of guests taste in music and it makes it kinda fun.

Here’s what our invitation package looked like:

The RSVP card goes in its own envelope, then that, a registry card, a photo, and the invitation all go inside the big envelope.

A tidbit of advice: buy a stamp with your address on it for this and for when you write all those thank you cards after the wedding. Your hand will thank you. I went through and stamped every RSVP envelope with our address on it so guests could just throw a stamp on it and drop it in the mail. Your choice though.

Since we didn’t do Save the Dates, I went to WalMart and printed wallet sized copies of one of our engagement pictures and put one in each invite packet. It was inexpensive, and it let everyone see our faces. The registry card I made myself. I went to WalMart and bought the perforated business cards by Avery, downloaded a free template from their website, and designed the cards in Microsoft Word. I was able to print them from my own printer, and I added the stores we registered at and the URL for our wedding website. This turned out to be an excellent idea and I highly suggest doing this yourself.

The registry cards. The bride and groom was a clip art picture off the internet, and the fonts are regular ones from Word. Very easy!

 

“Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters.” (Colossians 3:23)