Wedding Ceremony Checklist

Make Sure You Have Everything You'll Need for Your Wedding Ceremony

This wedding ceremony checklist is designed to help you keep track of all the things you'll need for your nuptials. Depending on your faith and wedding style, you may or may not require everything listed here. Disregard any unnecessary items that don't pertain to your wedding, then use the rest of the list to ensure the necessities get to your venue on time.

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    Couple signing their marriage certificate
    Couple signing their marriage certificate. Getty Images/Marianna Massey

    If you're getting legally married in the United States and many other countries, you'll need a marriage license.  Some officiants won't perform a ceremony without one, so make sure you have it with you.

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    Marriages are traditionally solemnized with an exchange of rings or other gifts.

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    If you've written your own vows, make sure you have a copy with you.  A suggestion is to copy them onto a small card and asking your officiant to keep that card until the appropriate moment.

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    Even if you've given your selections to your readers, it's a good idea to have an extra copy of your wedding readings with you, just in case. Even the most responsible friend can sometimes be absent minded or have an emergency.

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    Whether you're using CDs, Mp3s, or live musicians with sheet music, make sure you have a copy with you.

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    Not everyone chooses to have a program, but they are helpful for guests to understand the rituals and know who's who in the wedding party.

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    If your flower girl is scattering petals, she'll need a basket to keep them in. You could instead opt for a pomander, especially for younger girls.

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    Similarly, if you're having a ring bearer, you'll need a pillow for him to carry.  It's a good idea to have a way to secure the rings to the pillow so they won't roll away. You could instead give the rings to the best man to put in his breast pocket.

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    A tradition that started in Christian wedding ceremonies, the unity candle is a ritual now performed by people of many faiths.  There are many other rituals to express unity, such as jumping the broom in African-American weddings. These are certainly optional but if you're having one, you'll want to make sure you have all the accessories you need.

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    For a Jewish wedding, make sure you have your ketubah or wedding contract, a chuppah or canopy, the glass or lightbulb wrapped in a cloth, and the kiddush cup or ritual glass.

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    You'll need to have the bride's bouquet, bridesmaid flowers, petals for the flower girl, boutonnieres for the groom, groomsmen, ushers, fathers, and grandfathers, corsages for mothers and grandmothers, and any decorative flowers. See the full flower checklist.

    Another optional accessory is an aisle runner, which protects the bride's dress, and adds drama.

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    If you owe any final payments to your officiant, venue, musicians, or other vendors, you'll want to have that money with you. Pay by check or bring receipts they can sign to show that they received the payments.