Annette Nay, PhD

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Wedding Do List
Annette Nay, PhD
Copyright © 2004

Dear Bride & Groom-to-be,

Planning and executing your plans for your wedding will be one of the hardest things you have ever done. It is because you are trying to please two sets of parents your fiancée and yourself and get it all done within budget and time. You must get everything to coordinate harmoniously and to happen all at the same time. This scenario is a major set up for monster problems and stress. It has lead many of wedding candidates to rethink getting married, because the stress becomes so unbearable. To cope see and use my article Coping Skills.

If you do not already know for sure that this guy or gal is the one, then make it a matter of prayer to find out. See my article How to Make Good Decisions.

After you know that this is the right person for you, the next best thing you can do to reduce stress is get organized. This is what the do list is all about. It removes some of the surprises and gives you the next step to take.

Be sure not to procrastinate, but instead do a s many of the things as you can as soon as possible. The later you wait to do these things, the more limited your choices become and the greater the problems and stress.

I wish you well in your journey.

Annette Nay, PhD


Wedding Do List

Reserving a Place for the Wedding

  • Agree upon a wedding date
  • What time is the wedding?
  • Is the reception right after?
  • What are the guidelines for using the place?
  • If it is in a church, be sure to reserve all areas you will be using. Example: The Cultural Hall/Gym & the Kitchen.
  • Reserve the place for set-up, the wedding, & reception

Getting an Officiator for the Wedding

  • Talk to the officiator about the wedding date
  • Finalize ceremony with officiate
  • Do you want to write your own vows?
  • Design and print the ceremony program.

Deciding the Attire for the Wedding

  • Decide on the wedding colors
  • Decide colors for the dress of the mothers, groom, groomsmen, and bride’s maids
  • Go to a hardware store and obtain a paint chip sample for everyone who needs the exact color for your wedding.
  • Find & purchase/rent your wedding dress. Include:
    • Comfortable shoes: white sneakers or house slippers – Flat shoes
    • Veil head piece o Necklace and earrings
    • Garter?
  • Assign others or you get bridesmaids dresses & mother’s dresses
  • Decide if suits or tuxes will be used for the following:
    • Groom & Groomsmen
    • Father of the Bride & Father-In-Law to be
  • Reserve the tuxes/suits for groom, groomsmen, & father of the bride & father-in-law
  • Pick up the suits/tuxes – The groom’s family is responsible for this expenditure.
  • Tradition: For good luck find:
    • Something Old
    • Something New
    • Something Borrowed
    • Something Blue

The Rings

  • Shop for rings
  • Order wedding rings & engraving
  • Pick up the rings

Engagement & Wedding/Reception Photos

  • Assign a friend or family member to take the pictures for the announcement and wedding or engage a photographer?
  • Make photographer list of pictures you want taken
  • Buy film for pictures if a friend or family member is taking the pictures.
  • Possible places to take the announcement pictures in Southern Utah are:
    • Zion’s Emerald Pools?
    • Fingers of Kolob
    • Ghost town
    • Old barn
    • Red Cliffs
    • A photo studio
    • A backdrop in your own home
  • What will you wear for the announcement pictures?
  • Take the announcement pictures.
  • Choose the picture for your announcement.
  • Order pictures from the photographer or get a picture made from your negatives or scan your favorite and include it as part of the announcement when printing the announcement yourself.
  • Pick up the pictures

Ordering Announcements, Thank You Cards, & Napkins

  • Get addresses and names for announcements from the bride and groom.
  • Who gets to come to the ceremony? Who gets to come to the reception? How many for each?
  • Decide on the type of announcement you want.
  • Do you want inclusion cards for the people invited to the wedding ceremony or a whole different card from those attending only the reception?
  • Decide on and order announcements & inclusion cards. Get the envelopes to address.
  • You can buy stationary & envelopes and you print them yourself along with the inclusion cards.
  • Get napkins in your colors or just white or order napkins with your names on them in your colors? Buy or order them.
  • Order thank you cards, or buy them, or print them yourself.
  • Pick up your orders: announcements, inclusion cards, napkins, and/or thank you cards.

Getting the Announcement Ready for Mailing

  • Divide the groom’s & bride’s list into two parts:
    • Those who are invited to the wedding & reception
    • Those who are invited to the reception
  • Print the envelopes on the computer.
  • Do maps and directions for out-of-town guests.
  • Call in-town hotels and get group rates for out of town guests.
  • Include hotel and city info in the announcement for out of town guests.
  • Buy stamps for announcements
  • Stamp envelopes
  • Stuff the envelopes with the announcement, inclusion cards for wedding &/or rehearsal dinner, maps & hotel information, as needed.
  • Mail announcements one month before the wedding date

Flower Arrangements

  • Are you going to make your own flowers or have them made?
  • Decide what flowers arrangement do you need?
  • The Bride is responsible for:
    • Bridal bouquet
    • Mother’s corsages
    • Maid/s or Matron of Honor corsages
    • Table centerpieces for reception
    • Flowers on the aisle seats for the wedding
    • Any other floral arrangements for the wedding area
  • The Groom’s family is responsible for:
    • Grooms & Best Man Boutonnières
    • The Father’s Boutonnières
  • Order the flowers you will need.
  • Pick-up flowers and refrigerate and/or take to set-up
  • Make up your floral corsages, boutonnières, & arrangements the day before the wedding.

The Wedding Cake

  • Decide whether to make or buy your wedding cake.
  • What do you want it to look like?
  • What flavor cake? Chocolate, Raspberry, Strawberry, or other?
  • What kind of icing? Shortening, cream cheese based or white chocolate fondant?
  • If buying your cake – Order it!
  • Choose & purchase a cake topper
  • If you are doing your own cake - make the wedding cake & freeze it 1 week before wedding.
  • Start the decoration of the wedding cake 5 days before wedding.
  • Between working times cover the cake and put it back in the freezer.
  • Make the perfect-fit cake cover out of coat hangers and cover with plastic wrap and packing tape.

Food for the Reception

  • Are you catering the food for your own reception or getting someone else to do it?
  • If you are having it catered – engage a caterer.
  • Decide what you will have served.
  • If you are catering it yourself – figure out:
    • When the food will be made?
    • Who will help?
    • Who will buy the food?
    • Where you put the food together?

For Your Wedding Day

  • Arrange for a day of wedding errand runner – a friend for last minute details.
  • Are you going to have your hair done? Make hairdresser appointment.
  • Break in bridal shoes - Wear them around house
  • Decide where you will dress for the wedding - at home or at the wedding place.
  • Pack your honeymoon suitcase and take it with you.
  • Set out the clothes you will change into when you leave the reception to go on your honeymoon.
  • Pick up the tux the day before the wedding or the day of.
  • Decide how you will get to the church the day of the wedding.
  • Get to the church on time! Better yet…get there early!

The Rehearsal Dinner

  • The groom’s family is responsible for the rehearsal dinner and its cost.
  • Decide when it should be – Usually one or two nights before the wedding
  • Who should attend
  • Where it will be held
  • Find out who can attend – RSVP on inclusion cards in the announcements Make reservations for the place and food served

The Reception

  • Planning Stage
    • Visit the site of the Wedding & Reception
    • Decide and sketch the way things will be set up in each allotted space. Include:
      • Dimensions of each area
      • The receiving line area & backdrop
      • Decorations, plants, & lights etc.
      • The serving table – Best set near the kitchen.
      • The gift table
      • The guest book table – Usually set outside the door to the reception hall.
      • The cake table o Guest tables
      • Where the musicians or music will set up. Check for electrical outlets
      • Dancing area, if applicable
      • How many guest tables can be put in the allotted area?
  • Rented or Borrowed Items
  • Tables
  • Linens
  • Table centerpieces
  • Backdrop
  • Greenery
  • Other things
    • No lit candles allowed in the LDS church!
    • Some churches have tables and linen you may be able to borrow!
  • The Set-Up
    • Who will set up for the reception and decorate wedding area?
    • Who is supervising your plans?
    • When is the set-up? (From when to when)
    • Who has the keys to the building?
    • How will the rented and/or borrowed items get to the reception/wedding place
  • The Wedding & Reception Music
    • Are you having taped or live music at the reception & wedding?
      • If the music is live - engage the musicians.
      • If it is taped, tape your music now or assign that to someone.
      • Give a song list with do's and don'ts
      • State when they should be there, where they should set-up, and when they should play what.
      • Will there be dancing? If so, where and when?
  • Helpers at the Reception
  • Assign who will serve the food.
  • Assign usher duty.
  • Assign someone to sit at the guest book or decide to leave it unattended.
  • Assign someone to take gifts.
    • Where are the gifts to be put at the reception.
    • Do you want the presents to be left wrapped or be unwrapped with cards firmly attached, at the reception?
    • Buy tape to affix cards to the packages; whether the packages are left wrapped or not.
    • Give the tape to the gift taker with your instructions.
  • Choose gifts for bridesmaids & groomsmen, ushers, guest book sitter, servers, gift receiver, who fixed and ran taped music, set-up and clean-up crews.
  • The Clean-Up
    • Arrange for your wedding dress to be cleaned.
    • Arrange for the bride’s bouquet to be preserved.
    • Arrange for the top of the wedding cake to be properly frozen for your 1 year anniversary.
    • Where does the rest of the cake go?
    • Assign who will return the tuxes?
    • Assign who will clean-up after the reception?
    • State what needs to be done:
      • Vacuuming & where the vacuum is
      • Sweeping & where the brooms & dust pan are
      • Cleaning off tables & where the linens and centerpieces should go
      • Cleaning and folding linens & where they should go
      • Who will clean and return borrowed or rented things?
      • Where are the gifts to be put after the reception?
      • Where the tables and chairs go
      • Where centerpieces and floral arrangements go?
      • Note: Centerpieces & floral arrangements can be used as gifts for your helpers.

Other Important Things to Shop For or Get

  • Get marriage license from County Clerk's Office
    • The County Clerk's Office for Iron County-Utah is:
    • 68 South 100 East, Parowan, UT 477-8340
    • Open 8:30 AM -5 PM, Monday-Friday
    • Bride & groom must be present with picture id (Driver’s License)
    • $50
    • The license is good for 30 days
  • Find out when your picture and wedding announcement and what the requirements are.
    • Here are the requirements to have a wedding announcement in St. George, UT's Daily News:
    • It is due the Wednesday before the Sunday you want the picture in the paper.
    • Bring in picture and fill in info.
    • The ad is free.
  • A Guest Book q Ribbon & Cake Knife & Server
  • An Apartment
    • Get a renters/homeowners insurance policy
  • Reserve honeymoon destination & lodgings.
  • Reserve wedding night lodgings if different from the destination.
  • Shop for your sweetheart’s wedding present
  • Shop for the wedding night bedroom apparel & condoms
  • Take dance lessons if desired

After the Honeymoon

  • Open your gifts.
  • Do thank you cards.
  • Send thank you cards before one month has passed since the wedding.
  • Do name change paperwork for license, banks, Social Security #, checking, checks, etc.
  • Make sure homeowner's insurance covers ring/gifts
  • Update life insurance policies
  • Update auto insurance policies
  • Get medical & dental insurance


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