The Ultimate Wedding Ceremony Checklist

You won’t forget ANYTHING with this comprehensive wedding ceremony checklist!

 

Keep this valuable checklist in your wedding binder, check off items and tasks as you’ve completed them or omit items you don’t want to include. Created by our wedding pros as a helpful tool to minimize the stress brides often feel when planning their wedding because they didn’t have a thorough checklist for their ceremony. You’re guaranteed to eliminate hours of stress trying to remember every little detail for your ceremony, as well as improving the quality of your ceremony with this wedding ceremony checklist.

 

Begin with the Top 10 most critical wedding ceremony checklist items:

_____1) Once your date is chosen, set a total budget for your ceremony

_____2) Decide how many guests you will invite to the ceremony vs. reception

_____3) Choose a church or venue that best matches your dream ceremony – read the venue contract thoroughly so you know what you can & cannot do before signing

_____4) Set up a plan and outline for how you want your ceremony to flow, what décor you envision, and what, and who you want to be included:

  • Decide what time you want your ceremony to begin. Get advice from your venue.
  • Decide in advance if you will allow guests to photograph your ceremony; remember that you hired a professional photographer and you may not want everyone’s cell phone screens in all of your pictures.
  • Establish the flow of the ceremony – a beginning, middle and end
  • Choose the overall style, colors, and look and feel you want for decor
  • Decide on your music selections – don’t leave until the last minute
  • Processional and Recessional plans will need to be decided
  • Wedding party – who will be your best man, maid of honor, bridesmaids, groomsmen, flower girl(s), ring bearer(s), reader, etc.

_____5) Choose An Officiant / Celebrant, and pay their deposit to secure them

  • Friend or family member
  • Justice of the Peace
  • Minister
  • Pastor
  • Priest
  • Rabbi

_____6) Hire a Ceremony/Wedding Coordinator – may be included with your venue

_____7) Choose a set up & tear down crew & plan –chairs, tables, coordinator & décor

_____8) Meet with your officiant to get to know each other and plan out the details

_____9) Meet or talk with your DJ to discuss music; do not leave this to the last minute

_____10) Find out when rehearsal time options are from your venue so you can alert

your out of town wedding party members before making their flight plans

 

Comprehensive Ceremony Checklist

_____A Greeter at the door or ceremony entrance to greet guests and direct them

_____Aisle Decorations and aisle runner (include tape or weights to secure runner)

_____Altar decorations

  • Backdrop
  • Canopy
  • Chuppa
  • Fabric / Draping
  • Flowers, vines, greenery
  • Lighting

_____Attire for officiant – Remember, your officiant will be in all of your pictures; will they allow you to recommend certain attire and colors for them to wear?

_____Broom – for the jump the broom ritual

_____Bubbles, rice, confetti – find out what’s allowed

_____Chairs

  • Chair coverings for chairs

_____Delivery charges for any rental items that must be brought in

_____DJ – pay deposit, ask if they attend the rehearsal or if that is extra

  • Microphones – stand or lapel
  • Music during the ceremony (sand ceremony or unity candle or other)
  • Pre-ceremony music while guests are being seated
  • Processional and Recessional music (entrances and exits)

_____Flowers / Petals

  • Boutonnieres for fathers, stepfathers, grandfathers and groomsmen
  • Bride’s bouquet
  • Bridesmaids bouquets
  • Corsages for mothers, stepmothers and grandmothers
  • Fresh flower arrangements for aisle or aisle chairs
  • Fresh flower arrangements for altar
  • Petals for the flower girl(s)

_____Flower girl(s) (who will purchase their dresses?)

  • Flower girl basket(s)
  • Wagon and Décor for wagon (if pulling a baby down aisle)

_____Gift table

  • Card box or other item for cards from guests
  • Linen for gift table

_____Guest book table

  • Décor for guest book table – candles, pictures, flowers, programs, etc.
  • Escort cards or place cards (sometimes these are on this table)
  • Guest book, photo album, signature matt or other item for guests to sign
  • Linen for guest book table
  • Pen for guest book

_____Handicap accessibility plan and proper seating arrangement set up

_____Lighting – up lighting or romantic lighting

_____Marriage license

_____Memory table to honor those who have passed

  • Candles
  • Flowers
  • Pictures in frames
  • Linen for memory table
  • Signage

_____Microphone for officiant, singers, musicians

_____Monogram for the wall or floor

_____Musicians

  • Chairs, music stands, microphone, sound system or DJ, time for arrival

_____Parking – be sure there is plenty of parking for guests

_____Pen to sign the marriage license

_____Personal touches – other special and unique ideas you want to incorporate

_____Photographer

_____Podium for your officiant

_____Prayers or scriptures you choose to have read at the ceremony

_____Programs – can be formal or fun and entertaining also

_____Reader(s)

_____Rehearsal time, location and coordinator to practice the ceremony

_____Rental items – misc. items you choose to personalize your ceremony

_____Ring bearer(s) – (who will purchase their suit or tuxedo?)

  • Fake rings for the ring bearer pillow
  • Ring bearer pillow(s)
  • Signage “Here comes the bride”, etc.
  • Wagon and Décor for wagon (if pulling a baby down aisle)

_____Rings / wedding bands

_____Rituals and other spiritual items; what items are needed for those rituals?

_____Sand ceremony items

  • Colored sands
  • Main vase or decanter
  • Small vases for colored sands
  • Table for sand ceremony set up
  • Linen for table

_____Seating arrangements – family & reserved seats. Figure this out in advance to minimize stress, especially if parents are divorced and you want everyone to feel special

_____Shawls or blankets, if ceremony is held outside during fall and winter months

_____Signage – directing guests where to sit, coat closet, restrooms, or other

_____Signing the marriage license with 2 witnesses – during or after the ceremony

_____Singers

_____Stage or platform to slightly elevate you above guests

_____Tissue – for the couple, parents and grandparents

_____Transportation

  • Car
  • Horse & carriage
  • Limo

_____Umbrellas, Sunscreen, hand held fans for outdoor ceremonies

_____Unity candle ceremony items

  • Candles
  • Candle holders
  • Lighter
  • Linen for table
  • Table
  • Votive candle

_____Ushers

_____Videographer

_____Vows – you can write out your personal vows and read to each other or have your officiant read them for you to repeat; holding notecards is acceptable for reading.

_____Water or beverages for your guests

_____Wedding party, what order they will enter and stand, duties, etc.?

  • Best man to carry rings and Maid of honor to hold brides bouquet during ceremony and straighten bride’s train on her gown

_____Wow Factors – does your venue offer something unique that guests may have never experienced before, a décor item that will have them speechless, a fun program that educates and entertains them? Remember your ceremony and the rituals you choose are symbolic, represent who you are, and the reason for the celebration; spending time to create the type of ceremony you want will create lifetime memories.

 

 

Written by Elisabeth Montoya – Designer/Co-owner of The Bella Sera Event Center    

Brighton, CO    

www.TheBellaSera.com

Venue: The Bella Sera Event Center

Photo by Mark Alison Photography

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