Table & Cookware Checklist

Casual Dining

___ Dinnerware
___ Dinnerware Completer Set
___ Salad Bowl
___ Dessert Plates/Bowls
___ Glassware
___ Margarita Glasses
___ Beer Mugs
___ Wine Glasses
___ Champagne Flutes
___ Stainless Flatware
___ Flatware Serving & Hostess Set

Formal Dining

___ China
___ China Completer Set
___ Crystal Wine Glasses
___ Crystal Water Goblets
___ Crystal Champagne Flutes
___ Sterling Flatware
___ Sterling Hostess Set
___ Flatware Chest

Table Top & More

___ Candlesticks/Candle Holders
___ Serving Trays
___ Decorative Bowls (Crystal, Silver, etc)
___ Vases
___ Pitcher
___ Chafing Dish
___ Serving & Casserole Dishes
___ Hot Plates
___ Champagne Bucket/Wine Cooler
___ Cake Stand
___ Punch Bowl Set

Kitchen Equipment

___ Blender
___ Coffee Maker
___ Expresso/Cappuccino Maker
___ Coffee Grinder
___ Microwave Oven
___Toaster Oven
___ Mixer/Hand Mixer
___ Food Processor
___ Pasta Machine
___ Bread Maker
___ Wok
___ Cutting Boards
___ Food Storage Containers
___ Pizza Pan
___ Cutlery Set
___ Steak Knives
___ Wine Rack


___ Cookie Sheets
___ Cake Pan
___ Muffin Pan
___ Mixing Bowls
___ Measuring Cups

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Flower Checklist

With all the flowers you have to purchase, you don’t want to forget any… Here’s a helpful checklist:

* ____ Bride
* ____ Bride’s Throw Away
* ____ Bridesmaids #____
* ____ Maid/Matron of Honor
* ____ Flower Girl Bouquet or Basket


* ____ Groom
* ____ Best Man
* ____ Ushers # ____
* ____ Ring Bearer
* ____ Bride’s Father
* ____ Groom’s Father
* ____ Grandfathers


* ____ Bride’s Mother
* ____ Groom’s Mother
* ____ Grandmothers

Ceremony Flowers

* ____ Main Altar
* ____ Aisle or Pew Decorations

Reception Flowers

* ____ Head Table Centerpiece
* ____ Table Centerpieces #____
* ____ Gift Table Centerpiece
* ____ Buffet Table Centerpiece
* ____ Bar Centerpiece
* ____ Fresh Flowers for Cake
* ____ Arrangement next to Seating Cards

Rehearsal Dinner

* ____ Table Centerpieces #____


* ____ Aisle Runner
* ____ Floral Headpieces

Also Consider

* ____ Thank-you Bouquet for Bride’s Parents
* ____ Thank-you Bouquet for Groom’s Parents
* ____ Arrangements for Out-of-Town Guests

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The Wedding Planning Emergency Kit

We all know Murphy’s law! Therefore, the best way to handle the unexpected is to be prepared! Here’s a list of what you should bring with you on your wedding day, just in case!

* ____ Aspirin
* ____ Breath mints
* ____ Bottled water
* ____ Snacks (crackers, cheese, grapes)
* ____ Extra make-up (cover-up, lipstick)
* ____ Hand mirror
* ____ Hair spray
* ____ Hand lotion
* ____ Q-tips
* ____ Tissues
* ____ Tampons
* ____ Clear Nail Polish
* ____ Nail File
* ____ Extra pairs of nylons
* ____ Safety Pins
* ____ Masking Tape
* ____ Stapler

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After the Honeymoon Checklist

All the excitement from the wedding is finally over. You’ve just come back from your honeymoon… is there something you need to do?

Here are a list of things you should attend to within a few weeks after the honeymoon:

*Send announcements & picture to newspaper

*Choose prints for photo album

*Write and mail thank you notes

*Have wedding gown cleaned preserved

*Returned any borrowed items

*If you are changing your name, obtain a new social security card and then change all other forms of identification.

*Update financial records

*Select wedding photographs from proofs

*Visit USABride’s – The Best Thing About My Wedding and What I Would Do Differently and tell us about your wedding!

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A Sample Wedding Reception Itinerary

Here is an example of an itinerary for a four hour reception that begins at 5:00pm:

1-2 Hours Before Reception

3:00p Caterer arrives.

3:15p Florist arrives to set up table centerpieces and other floral decorations.

3:30p DJ arrives and sets up equipment.

3:40p Wedding Coordinator, or designated person, arrives to set up place place cards, favors, toasting flutes, cake knife, guest book with pen and basket or other holder for the money envelopes.

3:45p Wedding cake arrives and is set up. Florist to provide flowers and greenery to the cake designer, who will arrange flowers on and around the wedding cake.
First Hour of Reception

5:00p Wedding guests arrive & Cocktail hour begins. Waiters serve trays of champagne and hors d’oeuvres to guests.

5:15p Bride & Groom arrive and are escorted outside to take formal photographs on the lawn. All family members and wedding party gather outside for photographs.

Make sure all the family members and wedding attendants know where and when! You don’t want to waste any time trying to track down people to be in pictures.

5:20p Bride, Groom and family members take formal photographs.
Second Hour of Reception

6:00p Bride and Groom, wedding party and parents of bride and groom gather in side room to “line up” for announcements.

Line up in order: Groom’s parents first, then Bride’s parents, flower girl and ring bearer, bridesmaids escorted by ushers, maid of honor escorted by best man and then the bride and groom.

6:05p DJ will make formal announcements. List names:

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Personalizing Your Ceremony

Great ideas on how to personalize your wedding ceremony with music, readings and prayers, wedding vows, wedding programs and lots more!

Ceremony Music
1.Hire musicians for your ceremony such as a trumpeter, violinist, flautist or harpist. You could also use a string quartet, bells, chimes, or even bagpipes.

Hint: You can hire musicians without it costing a fortune – check with your church and at the local colleges.

2.If you hire a trumpeter, there are a few pieces that are written especially for the trumpet and the organ, such as “Trumpet Voluntary” and “Trumpet Tune” by Jeremiah Clark. It can make for a truly majestic and grand entrance.

3.Walk down the aisle (the recessional) to the same song as your mother did. This is a nice tribute to your parents and can be a real sentimental “tear jerker”.

4.Sing a hymn during your ceremony. This creates a feeling of “unity” and gives your guests the feeling that they are participating in your ceremony. It also may help to ease any jitters before the actual ceremony begins. A nice hymn suggestion… “For the Beauty of the Earth”.

5.If you’re having a receiving line after the ceremony, you might want to ask your musicians to play while you greet your guests. It makes for wonderful background music.

Down the Aisle

1.Traditionally, the bride’s father escorts the bride down the aisle. Today, there are many other variations. Some brides are being escorted by two fathers (father and step father) each holding one arm of the bride. Some brides are even walking down, hand and hand with their mother.

2.Give a rose to your mother and groom’s mother as you walk down the aisle. Talk to your florist and have them place the two roses in your bouquet (unfastened) and then pull them out when you reach the front of the church.

or, prior to the ceremony, place a personalized handkerchief and a rose at both mothers’ seats. The handkerchief will be a wonderful keepsake and remembrance.

Wedding Vows

1. Many couples are personalizing their wedding ceremony by writing their own vows. You may want to pick up a book about wedding vows to help you get started. Read over a large selection of vows and pick out words and phrases that “feel right” and incorporate them into your own vows. One good rule – keep your vows short, simple and from the heart.

If you’re having a religious ceremony, check with your Officiant first to see if you are allowed to deviate from the traditional wedding vows.

2. You can choose to memorize your wedding vows and recite them to each other. A word of caution – you’re likely to be a little nervous before and during the ceremony, so you may not want the added pressure of trying to remember your vows.

An Alternative: write out your vows and bring them with you. You can hide them in your glove or hold them with your bouquet.

If you do choose to recite them from memory, make sure that either you or the Officiant has a copy – just in case!

Candle Lighting

1. Lighting the unity candle symbolizes the union of two lives into one. To include others into your ceremony, you could ask the mothers, grandmothers or other guests to go to the altar to light the two candles that you and the groom use to light your unity candle.

2. Have a candlelit service. The bride and groom light their candles and then the ushers walk down and light the candles of everyone sitting at the end of the pews and then those guests turn and light the candle of the person sitting next to them and so on. Next, the lights are dimmed and the entire church is lit by candle light and the most warm and romantic glow transcends over the church.

Many churches have restrictions about candlelit services due to the potential fire hazard, so be sure to check with your Officiant, before you start buying any candles!

Children in Weddings

1. Including children in your wedding always adds a special touch. Generally, it’s best (or at least more predictable) to have children ages four and above, but it always depends on the child too.

2. If the bride or groom already have children, vows can be written to include them in the ceremony. It’s a nice way for any children from previous marriages to feel accepted, loved and part of the new family.

For an example of a wedding vow written especially for a child, check out USABride’s Interview with Diane Warner.

3. Another way to include children from previous marriages is to have them take part in the candle lighting ceremony. After the bride and groom light their unity candle, the children can participate by lighting a candle too.

Read more tips about children in weddings.

Reader Tip: I have 2 children from my previous marriage and we wanted to include them in our ceremony to show that we are all in this together and that we are (will be) a family. Instead of a unity candle that just 2 people light, I found a large candle with 4 wicks that we can all light. I think the kids will understand the symbolism in this the best. (Soon to be, Mrs. Madsen)

Wedding Program

1. Design your own wedding program. You can have them printed or you can make them at home on your computer – just buy a nice stock of paper and tie with a pretty ribbon. Inside, write the names of all the members of the wedding party and the music played. Be sure to include the names of your musicians and names of any readers and passages read.

2. As part of your wedding program, you can include special poems about love or family or write a special message to your guests. Here’s an example of a special dedication to a bride and groom’s parents:

“We would like to dedicate this ceremony to our parents.
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Questions to Ask Your Officiant

Just as with all your other wedding vendors, the Officiant you choose should match your personal style and the type of wedding ceremony that you’d like to have. For instance, you may not choose the same Officiant for an informal wedding in the park versus a formal religious ceremony in a church.

Your Officiant may ask to meet with you several times before the wedding to discuss your feelings about love, marriage, commitment and sometimes religious beliefs. Now, we can’t help you with that, but we can give you a list of questions to ask your Officiant to help work out the details of the ceremony:
Religious Issues

* Will you marry us if we are of different faiths?
* Will you marry us if one or both of us have been previously divorced?
* Will you marry us if we are not current members of your church? If not, can we inquire about becoming a member?
* Do you require pre-marital or religious counseling before getting married? If so, what does that entail?
* Would you allow another Officiant (possibly of a different religion or a relative) to take part in the ceremony?

Wedding Vows

* Are we allowed to write our own wedding vows or must we use the traditional vows?


* Are there any restrictions on the types of readings that can be used?
* Can we use contemporary readings or are they required to be religious or scripture readings?

Ceremony Music

* Are there any restrictions on the type of music that can be played?
* Can we use contemporary songs?
* Can we bring our own musicians or must they be affiliated with the church?

Wedding Attire

* Are there any restrictions on wedding attire? Some churches may have rules about bare shoulders or skirt lengths.


* Are there any restrictions on photography? Some churches may limit or may not allow ANY flash photography. Others may have restrictions on where the photographer may and may not stand.
* Is it permissible to videotape the ceremony? Are there any restrictions for the videographer?


* Are there any items or decorations that would be included? Such as candles, candelabras or pew decorations?
* Can we use an aisle runner?
* Is a candle light service permitted?
* Are we allowed to take the floral arrangements to the reception?
* Are we allowed to throw rice or birdseed outside the church? What about rose petals or bubbles?


* Is the wedding date we’ve chosen available? What time can we hold the ceremony?
* How many guests will the church hold?
* Is there another wedding scheduled on the same day?
* Is there a room for the bride and her attendants to stay “out of sight” or “freshen up” before the ceremony begins?
* Can we hold a receiving line outside the church? What happens if it rains?
* What about the timing and logistics of obtaining the marriage license? Officiants are usually well versed in the rules for their state.


* Ask about the Officiant’s fee.
* Is there a fee for the organist?
* Ask if there are any other fees or “donations” that should be given to the church.

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Personalize Your Wedding Vows

In the past few years, the popularity of personalizing the wedding ceremony has increased dramatically. By putting their own personal touches into their wedding ceremony, couples can ensure that their personalities are fully incorporated into their wedding day.

What many couples don’t know, is that your personal feelings can even be included into the legal parts of your wedding day. Adding your own views and thoughts of your love, and of your future life together, will give a touching intimacy to your ceremony.

If you would like to write your own vows, you should first meet with your Officiant to find out what must be legally kept in the ceremony, and what can be written by you. It is a good idea to make a list of what you would both like to say to your family and friends about your relationship and future life together, your hopes and dreams. You may want to say something about your feelings for each other, your views on commitment and trust, or simply read a poem.

Couples often find that their own words can be more meaningful than traditional vows. Some couples feel that the traditional vows are chauvinistic, and because of this, reciting these vows may be inappropriate if you have strong views on equality. Such couples are frequently omitting the word “obey” from their vows. Instead, they substitute such words as: “I promise to love you, comfort and encourage you, to be open and honest with you, and stay with you as long as we both shall live”

An Example of a Personally Written Vow:

…Today we make a commitment to one another. I want you to know that you are a precious gift and that you bring so much joy into my life. I affirm the special bond between us, and promise to keep it alive always. I promise to be your confidante, your best friend and to share in your hopes and dreams. In recognition of this, I, __________, take you, __________, to be my husband. With this vow we face new responsibilities together. I will be trustworthy as your wife, and to love you in all circumstances.

You may like to keep certain elements of the traditional wedding ceremony, or to completely change the ceremony with assistance from your celebrant.

However, most couples still choose to follow a standard
order of service:

*The Greeting
*The Declaration of Intentions (Wedding Vows)
*The Exchange of rings
*The Pronouncement

The service usually begins with the Officiant introducing the couple to the guests, and explaining that they are here to witness the wedding of yourself and the groom. This may be followed by a reading, poem or song. After this, there is an exchange of rings and vows, after which the couple sign the marriage register. The couple are then pronounced married by the Officiant.

Once you have decided what you would like to include in the ceremony, and have written this up, you should meet again with the Officiant, as your vows will have to be approved. The vows you have written will need to be practiced a number of times before the wedding. You will need to be relaxed in reciting them, and familiar with the words.

Take the time to talk with your Officiant and discuss the options you have. This will give you time to plan ahead, write your vows and to become comfortable in reciting them.

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The Recessional Order

The following is a typical order to a wedding Recessional. It can certainly be modified based on your particular situation.

1. Bride and Groom exit
2. Flower girl & Ring bearer exit
3. Maid of Honor & Best Man exit
4. Bridesmaids (each accompanied by an usher) exit
5. Bride’s parents exit
6. Groom’s parents exit
7. Bride’s grandparents exit
8. Groom’s grandparents exit
9. Wedding guests exit

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