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The Bride

The Bride  |   The Groom  |   Best Man  |  Chief Bridesmaid  |  Bridesmaids  |  Ushers  |  Father of the Bride  |  Page Boy  |  Flower Girl

The Bride Make no mistake about it - this is her day!

Traditionally, the bride will be responsible for choosing the bridesmaids, the Maid of Honour (as well as the design & style of their dresses), the flower girl & the page boy.

She will (along with some input from the groom!) decide on the theme for the wedding (traditional English, African etc.) including both her & the groom's outfit.

The bride will also normally decide on the venue decor (flowers, balloons, place settings etc.) although again this may be a joint decision with the groom & quite possibly the Maid of Honour & someone else such as her mother). To prepare for your wedding ahead of time, requires being practical. It is critical to recognise, that as the bride, you cannot oversee all of the logistics to your wedding while it is occurring. Consider appointing someone to oversee the event for you. We recommend making this decision in advance so that any of the companies that you hire will be informed of who will be in charge on the wedding day.

Try to think of the responsibilities for each of your selected professional suppliers. This will help in adding to this checklist we've provided below.
  • Do I want the photographer to come to my home? If so when?
  • How will I get to the ceremony? To the reception?
  • Will I get dressed at home or mum's place?
  • How will the out of town guests get around? Where will they stay?
  • How, when, and where will the suppliers deliver their goods? Who do they report to?
  • What electrical or kitchen needs are there?
  • What kind of delivery needs do the musicians and caterer have and can we accommodate them?
  • Parking for the guests?
  • Where can the professionals store their equipment when it's not in use (i.e.photographers...)?
  • Who can I rely upon to act as a co-ordinator/facilitator for the day?

The Wedding Checklist

12 - 18 Months Before the Wedding
  • Set the Wedding Date. Take into account Holidays, School, Major Sporting Events, Honeymoon Plans
  • Discuss and decide on the style and type of wedding. Formal/Informal ~ Traditional/Unconventional
  • Choose a Wedding Motif, Colour theme and style
  • Decide type of wedding desired (traditional, big/small, etc.)
  • Determine what religion the service will be performed in, if any
  • Decide time of wedding and reception
  • Choose desired location for wedding ceremony
  • Choose desired location for reception
  • Set wedding budget and decide how wedding will be financed. Use our Budget planner to help you keep track of how your money is being spent.
  • Ensure your home insurance covers engagement ring or buy additional jewellery insurance
  • Determine a colour scheme for the wedding/reception if desired
  • Decide if all/part/any of vows will be written by bride/groom
  • Decide how large/small wedding party will be
  • Choose/order wedding dress and veil
  • Buy wedding shoes
  • Buy undergarments for wedding attire (need prior to fittings)
  • Begin looking at invitations
  • Set honeymoon budget
  • Announce engagement to friends and family
Six to Ten Months Before the Wedding
  • Choose the members of the Bridal Party
    • Maid of Honour
    • Attendants
    • Best Man - groom selects
    • Attendants - groom selects
  • Decide upon the number of invitees and select the accommodations for out of town:
    • Wedding Party
    • Family
    • Guests
  • Search and select a Wedding Gown and Veil
  • Search and select the Dresses for the Party
  • Begin making preliminary Honeymoon Plans
  • Phone and visit the Rental company to review and select options
  • Phone and visit the Caterer to review and select a menu.
  • Phone and visit the Florist to discuss Floral Arrangements.
  • Phone and visit the Reception location to discuss arrangements.
  • First meeting with vicar
  • Choose ceremony music (prelude, processional, solos)
  • Choose and hire soloist(s) for ceremony/reception/rehearsal
  • Choose wedding party and ask if they'll accept the position
  • Begin looking for bridesmaid dresses
  • Pick out tuxes for groom and escorts/ushers/fathers
  • Look for and book (reserve) block of rooms at nearby hotel for out-of-town guests
  • Choose invitations and send out
  • Decide if programs and/or personalised napkins will be purchased and select them
  • Make first draft of invite list
  • Get directions to church, from church to reception, and from church to rehearsal dinner
  • Plan honeymoon and book all lodgings/transportation/event tickets
  • Check passports/visas Four to Six Months in Advance
    • Make appointment for bridal portrait, optional
    • Make hair/nail appointment for bridal portrait
    • Choose poetry/scripture readings for ceremony
    • Choose readers for ceremony and ask if they'll accept the position
    • Ask vicar if it matters which version of the Bible (King James, Good News, etc.) you use for the scripture reading
    • Find out from vicar if flower girl can drop flower petals on floor.
    • Find out if confetti is allowed at the church/religious venue or registry office.
    • Decide how you want your exit at the reception/ceremony (guests throwing confetti, etc. or just a casual exit?)
    • Buy/make centrepieces for guest tables at reception
    • Order bridesmaid dresses
    • Hire limousine driver or arrange other transportation to/from ceremony and reception
    • Buy wedding attire accessories such as gloves, earrings, necklace, purse, shoes, cufflinks, etc.
    • Pick out/order wedding bands
    • Select reception decorations such as candles, flowers, balloons and arches.
    • Meet with florist to choose amount and type of flowers for ceremony and reception and any other accessories (ex. pew bows, candelabras.)
    • Decide if roses will be given to the mothers at the end of/during the ceremony
    • Buy/make basket for flower girl
    • Buy/make pillow for ring bearer
    • Meet with baker to choose flavour(s) and style of wedding cake
    • Decide if a groom's cake is desired; if so, choose flavour and style and inform baker
    • Make/print directions and map for ceremony and reception to include with all wedding invitations
    • Register gift preferences with one or more bridal registries at nearby and/or nation-wide store
    • Get measurements from groom/ushers/fathers/escorts for tuxedos or suits
    Three to Four Months in Advance
    • Confirm bridal portrait appointment
    • Confirm hair/nail appointments for bridal portrait
    • First wedding gown fitting
    • Decide on living arrangement once married
    Two to Four Months in Advance
    • Choose soloist's song(s) and get soloist's approval to perform them
    • Mail/take music to soloist
    • Get bridal portrait taken
    • Determine wedding band inscriptions
    • Choose reception food
    • Design program layout (or have a printer do it)
    • Determine reception layout (i.e. how many tables, chairs)
    • Determine seating arrangement at reception if it's a sit-down dinner
    • Determine how attendants will process and stand at ceremony
    • Find out if smoking is allowed at reception hall and how to prevent it if desired
    • Make rough draft of list of duties of all involved
    • Make sure flower girl dress is purchased
    • Make sure the mother's dresses are purchased and are complimentary
    • Determine length of bridesmaid dresses
    • Determine shoes for bridesmaids
    • Bride buy gifts for bridesmaids, parents, fiancee, personal attendant
    • Groom buy gifts for escorts, parents, fiancee, ushers
    • Schedule bride's hair appointment
    • Schedule nail appointment
    • Order programs
    Two Months in Advance
    • Schedule groom's hair appointment
    • Give soloist's music to organist (if he/she is accompanying)
    • Book rooms for out-of-town attendants at hotel
    • Go over rough draft of duties with all involved in wedding
    • Choose one person to whom the escorts/ushers can return their tuxes, and have that person return the tuxes to the rental place if desired
    • Determine who will return the groom's tuxedo to the rental place
    • Determine order/timing of events at reception (cake-cutting, garter toss, etc...)
    • Second wedding gown fitting
    • Buy honeymoon clothes and going away outfit if necessary
    • Determine the "something borrowed, blue, old, and new" to wear on wedding day
    • Call to inform all people who need to be at rehearsal
    • Obtain marriage certificate
    • Last meeting with vicar
    • Determine where bride and attendants will get dressed (at home/hotel or ceremony site?)
    • Determine where groom and attendants will get dressed (at hotel or ceremony site?)
    • Buy wrapping paper for attendant gifts
    • Make itinerary of wedding day for all involved
    • Choose songs for video (background music intro/pre-wedding)
    • Buy stamps for invitations, response cards, and some to get started on thank-you notes
    • Ensure formal-wear shop has all tuxedo measurements
    • Give addresses of rehearsal guests to groom's mother if she is mailing rehearsal invites
    One to One-and-a-Half Months in Advance
    • Address/mail wedding invitations
    One Month in Advance
    • Order flower arrangements for rehearsal dinner tables if desired
    • Find out if reception caterers will make a basket of food for you to take to your hotel after reception
    • Determine who will be in the limo (just newlyweds or attendants/parents too??)
    • Determine when items needed at reception (toasting glasses) will be taken there
    • Show final program to vicar and organist to check for accuracy
    • Box and wrap all gifts for attendants.
    • Decide if gown will be preserved and where
    • Decide if bouquet will be preserved and make arrangements
    • Ensure band/DJ has equipment/music needed to play your chosen reception music
    • Ensure home/renter's insurance covers wedding bands or buy additional jewellery insurance
    • Confirm honeymoon reservations
    • Record gifts as you receive them and send thank-you notes
    • Open joint checking and savings accounts
    • Change beneficiary to fiancees' will and life insurance policy
    • Inform car/home/renter's insurance of marriage (discounted rates may apply)
    • Make list of all places with whom bride needs to change name and submit changes
    Two Weeks in Advance
    • Final meeting with florist - overview and give him/her map to ceremony and reception sites
    • Final meeting with reception hall/caterer - overview and tell them names of florist, band or DJ, and baker (just in case!)
    • Final meeting with videographer - overview, give him/her music and map
    • Final meeting with photographer - tell him/her about any specific pictures you want, choose album style and colour, and give him/her map
    • Final conversation with band - overview of times & special songs, mail him/her/them map
    • Mail directions to limo driver and confirm times
    • Print programs
    • Finalise and print list of duties for each person involved
    • Print itinerary of wedding day (copies for all at rehearsal)
    • Confirm nail/hair appointments
    • Print list of reception dances for MC/band/DJ
    • Final wedding gown fitting
    • Confirm hotel reservations for wedding night
    • Confirm hotel reservations for attendants
    • Determine personal wedding morning itinerary (time to wake up, ... time to leave for church)
    • Groom's hair appointment
    • Submit wedding announcement to local newspaper for publishing day or weekend of wedding
    • Move belongings to new home
    One Week in Advance
    • Make bride's emergency kit
    • Pack for honeymoon
    • Get traveller's checks for honeymoon; exchange money to foreign currency now if desired
    • Fill out first page of guest book
    • Buy spare tights
    • Remind attendants about rehearsal time
    • Take marriage certificate to vicar/MinisterMinistere best man the clergyman's fee (if to be paid the day of ceremony, otherwise pay this week)
    • Finish centre pieces for guest tables at reception if it's a last minute duty (need fresh flowers)
    • Give final guest count to reception facility and/or caterer
    • Remind groom/fathers/ushers/escorts to pick up tuxedos on day before wedding
    • Ensure delivery of flower arrangements for wedding rehearsal dinner have been made
    Day Before Wedding
    • Pick up wedding gown and veil
    • Pick up tux
    • Take favours, disposable cameras, centrepieces, cake knife and server, toasting glasses, CD's, and birdseed roses to reception hall
    • Nail appointment
    • Give mum lipstick to keep in purse on wedding day for bride (or prepare bride's purse)
    • Rehearsal and rehearsal dinner
    Morning of Wedding
    • Bride's hair appointment
    • Give groom's wedding band to Maid of Honour and bride's wedding band to Best Man prior to ceremony
    • Relax and let it all sink in!!
    • Leave yourself off the things to do list today if there are any remaining items. You need to relax and enjoy the whole day, and in the long run, you won't remember the little things.
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