Wedding Ceremony Checklist

couple signing marriage license

 Getty Images/Marianna Massey

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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    Marriage License

    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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    Wedding Rings

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

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    Personalized Wedding Vows

    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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    Wedding Readings

    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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    Ceremony Music

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

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    Wedding Programs

    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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    Flower Girl Basket

    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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    Ring Pillow

    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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    Unity Candle, Broom, or Other Unity Ceremony Accessories

    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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    Ketubah, Chuppah, and other Jewish Ceremony Needs

    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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    Bouquets, Boutonnieres, and Other Flowers

    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.

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

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    Final Payments and Tips

    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.