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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Getting Organized

You’ve picked your date and all your friends and family are hyped up and excited about your wedding day. Now it’s time to get organized. It’s the easiest way to minimize your stress and keep you from ripping your pretty hair out (which I would not recommend prior to a wedding day. A bald bride is never a good look).

You by no means need a glorified, high tech, marketed wedding planner. They are expensive, and most of what is in them you can find for free on the internet such as countdowns, timelines, and checklists. I went to Barnes and Nobel and bought a regular day planner. I paid around $10-$15 I think, and it was the greatest investment I made! I’ll include a photo at the bottom for you. Maybe you can find the same one. It has a year and a half of calendar space in it, a ribbon place marker, about 15 pages of note space in the back, an address book section, and a magnetic close feature. It even so happened to match my main wedding color. Plus for me!

I also bought a separate address book, because the section in my planner isn’t very big and I wanted them all in one place. It was inexpensive, and I figure I’ll always have it until it falls apart. The address book I got from the Hallmark store. I carried my planner and address book with me in my purse just about everywhere I went for 6 whole months. Just in case I ran into someone or saw something in a store or anywhere that gave me a thought or idea. This is very smart, you should do it too.

I would also suggest buying a tote – you know, the big plastic ones you see at WalMart or Fred Meyer. I waited a little too long to do this, and I lived with wedding items cluttering up my apartment for quite a while before figuring it out. You can store every single wedding related item you purchase in it, and keep it under a table or in a spare room. Mine is big, really big. Like 3 feet long, 2.5 feet wide, and about 2.5 feet tall. Roughly. It fit just about all of our wedding items in it and it was easy to put in the back of the truck for the drive to Homer, AK and the ferry ride to Kodiak.

Lastly, finances. Paying for a wedding is expensive. And I’ll say it now, anyone who tries to tell you “the bride’s family traditionally pays for the wedding” or “[bride or grooms] family pays for [such and such]” is not a person you should talk to anymore. Walk away. It’s 2012, not 1952, and both families should decide what works best. We decided to divide the costs as equally as possible. And it worked out rather well (for the most part…) One of the best things you can do, to minimize “cost shock”, is buy a little at a time over your whole engagement (another reason why 6+ months is best). So maybe this paycheck order the invites, next paycheck pick up some decorations, paycheck after that… you get the picture.

Being extra organized will save you time and energy. Believe me, your body will thank you, because stress takes its toll and you’re going to have plenty of it.

My “wedding planner”. Served its purpose and then some.

The opened view of the planner. I kept important wedding related things in there too such as my color swatches, business cards for my bridal consultant, photographer, etc, and shopping lists and sticky notes. MUST DO!

You may notice the David’s Bridal color swatches sticking out. Please see my “The Brides Attire” post to see why I highly recommend David’s and why you should get those color cards.

I haven’t said this before, but if any of you have a question you don’t see answered or have a problem you need some help with, please please please leave me a comment. Don’t hesitate! Now go get organized!

 

“I will say of the Lord, ‘He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust’.” (Psalm 91:2 NIV84)

I’m Newly Engaged, Where Do I Start?

Congratulations on your engagement! This is where the fun begins leading up to your happily ever after.

No one should need to tell you this, but it’s good advice anyway: be sure to notify close family and maybe your best friends before making it Facebook official. This means a phone call, or a text message at the very least. Believe me, they will appreciate it and it will save you a lot of grief in the aftermath.

If you are planning a big wedding (and by big I mean the whole shebang – ceremony, photos, reception, food, guests…) you will want to give yourselves at least 6 whole months. The longer the better. Our engagement was about 6 and a half months, and I felt rather pressured. However, when I look back on it it was plenty of time and we didn’t want to wait a year or more. If you are not planning a big wedding (maybe you’re just having a few close friends and your family for a short and simple ceremony and party) then all this wedding stuff in this blog is probably not for you; skip ahead to my newly wed stuff.

Next is pick a date! You can’t do much more before this part! After you have a date, make a wedding website. TheKnot offers free wedding websites which are amazing and beautiful and did I mention helpful!? You can view ours here for inspiration: www.andrewandlynda.ourwedding.com. It was pretty time consuming, but believe me it will be more than worth it in the end. You can post photos, list all the information about your big day, and add your gift registries. Guests can view your site by going to your unique URL and can access your registries right off of it, without going to the website you registered on and searching for you.

TheKnot also has much, much more wedding tips for you like hair styles, bouquets, cake designs, and dresses. They even have a store you can order favors, gifts, and reception items from. You’ll love them as much as I did, I promise.

My last bit of advice: get a Pinterest account if you don’t already have one. More on Pinterest to come later.

This should be a decent start for you. When you’ve done this, come back and move on to the next thing. Remember, this is the very beginning of a long journey for you and your soon to be husband. Get used to thinking in terms of “we” and not “me”. Good luck!

“For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.” (Ephesians 5:31 NIV84)