Wedding Checklist & Step by Step Guide

These are the things an engaged couple must consider and prepare for a stress-free wedding day: 

A. Prepare for the things you will need one by one every pay day. 
If you are going to compute the receipts of these little things you will see it will cost you a LOT! 

a. Bride’s/grooms’ shoes/ bride’s purse/handker attire chief/casual
You might find this ridiculous but a signature shoes or lady’s purse might cost you your whole salary for a month especially, clothes to change-on when you are at the wedding reception. Some choose not to take-off the wedding attires but there are still others who feel comfortable changing, it depends on your personal preference. Handkerchief is a must! You might cry and got nothing to wipe on…just ask your groom to bring one for you and for him in his pocket you may return it afterwards, you will not want a hanky to hold while taking pictures!!! 

b. Bride’s accessories (head dress, gloves (optional), stockings, changing robe) 
You will need the robe while doing the make-up. A pair of necklace and earrings will do. Pearls always do the magic, just a suggestion.

c. Wedding Mementos/souvenirs 
 Some prefer to buy materials and make the souvenirs themselves for a matter of sentimental value, a personal touch. Others, the maid of honor shoulder the expenses and the acquisition of the souvenirs with of course the opinion of the bride. It should look special and appealing. 

d. Bridal Car 
If you do not own wheels, try to borrow from a friend or if your budget fits, look for a rent-a-car ahead of time. A wise client would not settle on the first shop, will always compare prices and services provided as well as time limitations and the like. 

e. Gowns and suits (the secondary sponsors) 
Some just buy the cloth to keep the motif and let the participants bring it to a dress shop on their own expense depends on your understanding (could be of any design or as agreed by the secondary sponsors/bride’s maids themselves). Others will rent on one shop so the design and color match, the bill as agreed; maybe shouldered by the couple. In the Filipino tradition, the Godparents (ninongs and ninangs) mind themselves whatever they wanted to wear as long as it is not against the church’s policies. 

f. Make-up, perfume, facial, manicure and pedicure 
You will want to look exceptional in your wedding day and you will also want to pamper yourself with the expensive perfume and make-up once in a lifetime on that special day. Buying these things earlier will lessen your load later. Facial, manicure and pedicure could be done days before the big day. Just choose light color, platinum, or maybe natural for pedicure and manicure, you don’t want them shouting in your pictures. 

g. Wedding Rings 
Putting it last on the list because you can set-aside your budget for the rings and buy it later on. Some couples lose pounds before the big day especially when you are planning your wedding months earlier . Others ordered an adjustable style. It depends on your choice. IMPT: And the ring bearer - be sure to pick not just a cute child but be sure this little guy does not have records of frequent temper-tantrums or else running after the ring bearer will ruin your big day..

 h. Wedding Gown/Groom’s Suit 
Others prefer a made to rent gown-these are gowns made from your measurements and you as its first client. This cost just a bit higher than already-used gowns for rent. It’s practical. Although I own my wedding gown, a friend’s mother to mention; she gave us a very nice deal. Referral couturier, a friend’s relative will give you a cheaper bargain following your specifications and preference too. The groom usually chooses a barong a Filipino suit or a tuxedo. Decide your choice considering the weather or the cooling condition of the church and the reception. 

B. Choose a color motiff
 In choosing a color motif, in my own experience what you really like will not always look good in pictures. Try to visit couturier shops, most of them got a picture of the gowns they have created. You will not copy the design, just try to figure out what color looks dull and what stands out. My personal choice is fuschia pink but there are a lot more colors you can choose from which is also terrific when photographed. 

Me and my bride's maids

  C. Marriage License 
Work out your marriage license and attend the necessary seminars prior to issuance. Now here in the Philippines, we are asked to acquire a CENOMAR (Certificate of No Marriage) from the National Statistics Office to avoid polygamous marriage. It takes two to three days for the CENOMAR results to be available. Try to find a wedding date a month or more ahead so the attendees and participants in the ceremony will have ample time to fix their schedule. Like my own, we started planning it June and we take the vow November. Time allowance would give you a lot of space to see even the smallest details and address the problems to come up ahead of time with a lot of time to think of the best solutions and remedy. 

D. Wedding Invitation 
Make a draft of the wedding invitation. 

 a. First, talk to the persons who you want to take special part in your wedding (the primary and secondary sponsors all the others whose name will be written in the invitation. Make sure that you get the correct spelling for each person’s name. Important: Ring bearer and flower girls should be tame enough to walk getting very very young and noted to be hyperactive brats might spoil your day no matter who’s child is it do not compromise, please… 

b. Choose a design and lay-out which is different from the usual. Some of the sentimental guests will treasure it especially if it looks pretty and one of a kind just the souvenirs. 

c. Make a sketch of the church and the wedding reception venue enclosed in the invitation. Be precise. 

d. Also put time as to when the reception starts and ends (some of the visitors who came from afar or due to unavoidable circumstances, might be late. They would not want to crash other people’s partying. 

E. Photo and Video Coverage 
Canvass/survey a photo and video coverage package which is of quality service but not so heavy in the pocket. A friend or relative’s referral (tried and tested and will surely give you a generous discount) might help. You need not sacrifice the quality for a few bucks difference. Rate it with your instinct, if you have doubts, do not make a deal yet. You could call them later on once you have visited three or four shops (referred to you or not) so you could make comparisons. Remember, photographs and video will be the only best remembrance of that day your future children could look at and for you to reminisce later on your married life. Important: It is better for you couple to go around each table on the reception for pictorials. Some of the guests do not bother to stand up and be pictured at all. 

F. Flowers and Arrangement 
 Since there is what we call “All Souls Day” in the Philippines that is Nov. 1, I got the best option in buying the flowers for my wedding. I chose the place where flowers from the growers are delivered directly- here in Dangwa, Philippines. Would you believe that the flowers cost just half of its original price in the place when compared to malls and the timing of the occasion, there are leftover flowers that are still in bud and will still absolutely look good after two days (Nov. 5, wedding day)- the price is even slashed in half again…what a timing indeed?! The roses that cost PhP 90.00 per dozen in malls as I remember, PhP 45.00 in Dangwa as regular price only costs me PhP 20.00! I bought the flowers I think two days earlier (Nov.3, if you are going to buy during the occasion it’s impossible to find a bargain) I just asked what to do to keep its freshness, voila! It pays to buy on the flower farmer than on the dealers. It so happened that the store I walked-in is the farmer too. The price is so amazing! I just paid an expert arranger (referred to me by a friend) to fix the flowers and it’s placement in the chapel. It saved me a lot of money than choosing a package from a flower shop inclusive of the arrangement and decorations. You may also have an option to look for packages if you want to save time and if you do not want to tired yourself days before the wedding. Always survey on cheaper prices but same quality services. 

G. Make-up Artist and/or Hairstylist 
You may look at your friend’s album and see who was made-up to look wonderful in her wedding day, again referrals work. After choosing, a series of dry-run make-up and hair style will give you the best choice and make you feel confident enough to walk the aisle. 

H. Officiating Minister 
Call the office for scheduling. And find another if not available. 

I. Wedding Place 
Others prefer a garden-wedding, beach-wedding etc. but it is still sacred and holy to asked His blessings in the church. Remember, wedding is asking God’s permission to make you lawful spouses. I believe must respect the vow and have it done in a holy place where we praise God. 

J. Reception Venue
Referrals. Compare. There comes a package with a lot of free items such as doves, cake etc. Just be diligent enough to find. There’s always a food tasting but if a friend guarantees and you already know the restaurant/hotel whatever, trust your instincts. These are things you must pay attention to on preparing for the venue:

* Cake A fondant cake looks good but costs expensive and since it is made-up of a lot of different kinds of sugar as I watched it prepared on a baking show and as I tasted one, it’s too sweet and just for a display. Although others take it as a status symbol, sign of elite it is up to you to consider. You May not need it too big, guests don’t usually get their share of it, it is just really some sort of decoration at all, being practical. Some goes with the reception package. 


*Music Repertoire (optional) 
You may burn a CD containing your favorite songs to be played as background music during the reception. An instrumental love songs work the best, why? You will be soothed and relax with the music without interfering talks around because of the lyrics… 

*Love Story Leaflet (distributed in the reception hall as the guest entered the venue)
I have made one for my wedding. You could ask a friend who you know has a writing talent just tell the story and she will do the rest. Most of your guests are unaware and curious how have you met sort of. 

Be present on outlining the program of events. Ask a friend to be the MC (master of ceremony).
Can be one of the bride’s or groom’s or two of them. 

Sample content -Invocation -Opening Remarks (Officiating Minister or anybody else of great importance to the couple) -Welcoming the Newly-weds (MC) 

This  is while waiting for the other guests to arrive. Telling something about the bride or groom which most of the guests did not know about, a simple words of advice, a congratulatory note. It may come from the immediate family, sponsors or whoever who wants to speak. 
-Dinner time 
-Pictorial per table 
-Cake cutting with pictorial -Freeing the Doves 
-Throwing the boquet 
-Gifts opening with pictorial 
  The Bride and Groom shall thank the people who made the event a success, the attendees. 

*message not intended to harm the reputation of the couple, good manners apply 

* Wedding Banner 
This is optional. It really looks good in video and on pictures. A Banner with the photo of the couple, wedding date and venue 

K. Accommodations 
Some reception package includes hotel accommodation for the couple. If not book for the nearest place around, you may want to retire early for the tiring day especially if your residence will be loads of traffic away… 

L. Assign some friends or relatives to take care of each important detail. 
-You may not want to be giving directions bothered for lost guests. 
-Supervising the church decoration although you can be called up to confirm some of the details. 
-Checking on the reception venue if everything’s alright or they need something. 
-Checking for the ring pillows, the rings 
-The wedding entourage and contacting them if they have not arrived yet Happy hassle free wedding day!!!

I have tried all these, and this is an advice based on experience from a trusted friend…hope to be of help :) I have posted it on my xomba RianaYsobel84 account wayback in 1999 :)

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Family, Daily Living & Style by Angelita Galiza-Madera is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.