Your Wedding

Your Wedding

by Annette Spence



Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780671635060
Publisher: Touchstone
Publication date: 02/15/1987
Edition description: SPIRAL
Pages: 144
Product dimensions: 4.80(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.50(d)

Read an Excerpt

Chapter 1

First Things First

Congratulations! You've just made what is believed to be the biggest decision of your life. You may feel as if you would just like to sit back and bask in the prewedding limelight, or perhaps you want to rush ahead with wedding preparation. One thing is certain. The minute you utter "engagement," the instant you flash a ring, the second they hear the news, everyone wants to know: Have you set the date? Before you know it, you'll have your wedding party lined up, the perfect reception in order, and your guests bidding you good luck. The ball is rolling now, and you dive headfirst into weeks, months of planning.

That's what this first section is all about. Here are the checkers that will help you get your decisions and plans in order. Before you brief the flower girl's mother on rehearsal time, before you begin packing for a Caribbean cruise, better dial a few numbers, ask a few questions, check off a few lists. First things first!

Take a look now at the first of your checkers; they're organized for you and for various members of the wedding party. First you'll consult the master checker for the entire process: a separate PLANNING SCHEDULE for the BRIDE and GROOM. Here are checkers to plan your every move from the moment you announce your engagement (six months or earlier) to one week before the wedding. As much as you may enjoy making decisions, as organized as you may be, everyone knows that two heads are better than one. Make sure the groom receives the PLANNING SCHEDULE right away, and then put your heads together to concoct the best of weddings.

Next is SETTING A BUDGET. You can't plan too far ahead without knowing how much money you will have to spend. Before you deal with real numbers, though, consult the traditional GUIDELINES. In a nutshell, the bride's parents take on most of the wedding expenses while the groom and his family handle the rehearsal dinner and honeymoon. However, feel free to improvise. Do not be limited by rules that seem unreasonable or are unrealistic for your particular situation. Then you must tackle the actual figures with the ESTIMATES checklist. In order to arrive at a rounded-off figure to aim for, you simply break down the ingredients. This checker does that for you; all you do is come up with the numbers.

The WEDDING & RECEPTION SITES checklist is not designed to slot you at the Waldorf for November 30 but to give you some novel ideas about types of ceremonies and receptions you can have. It also gives you a few tips on what to consider while you're deciding.

THE CEREMONY is more to the point. Since you'll probably have to meet with THE OFFICIANT early in the planning stages, there are a number of questions you should ask. This list gives you an idea of what to keep in mind. Then there's the little matter of VOWS and PERSONALIZING in your ceremony. Many couples are taking a second look at the traditional vows; some are rewriting them; others are altering them just a little; and still others are adding their own unique touches throughout. Here's a step-by-step rundown of where you might rewrite, alter, or add to your ceremony, plus a few new ideas.

Maybe you already know who you want to include in THE WEDDING PARTY or maybe you're in a dilemma. Follow your head. If you know that your best friend's going to be supportive all the way, then choose her as your maid of honor. Have your groom select his attendants too, and then enter everyone on your list.

Next on the agenda: The best man is at a total loss as to the obligations of his new title. No problem! The duties are spelled out for the MAID OF HONOR, BEST MAN, GROOMSMEN and USHERS in this section. Tear them out, copy extras for you and the different ushers, and distribute them.

Planning Schedule:



* Tell your family and friends about the engagement.

* Discuss wedding specifics with fiancé, and your parents.

Six Months Before

* Decide how many guests to invite; tell parents.

* Choose attendants.

* Choose women's wedding attire and accessories.

* Select florist and discuss your ideas.

* Choose caterer or make arrangements for reception food.

* Select china, crystal, and silver. Register in a wedding gift registry.

* Discuss honeymoon plans with fiancé.

* Visit clergymember with fiancé.

* Book ceremony and reception sites.

* Decide what kind of reception music you want. If necessary, begin interviewing musicians.

Three Months Before

* Set up appointment for blood test and examination.

* Complete guest list.

* Order stationery.

* Choose rings with fiancé.

* Confer reception details with professionals.

* Interview and select a photographer.

One Month Before

* Choose bridesmaids' and groom's gifts.

* Order wedding cake.

* Begin writing thank-you notes for gifts received.

* Discuss rehearsal party arrangements with host.

* Arrange bridesmaids' luncheon or party.

* Arrange lodging for out-of-town bridesmaids.

* Apply for marriage license with fiancé.

* Arrange wedding transportation.

* Schedule final fittings for the women's wedding attire, including your own. Check on delivery dates.

* Prepare for, schedule, and have formal portraits taken.

* Send wedding announcements and photos to papers.

Two Weeks Before

* Change your name and address on legal documents.

* Confirm details with florist, photographer, caterer,musicians, etc.

* Schedule rehearsal for one or two days before.

One Week Before

* Begin honeymoon packing.

* Set aside your wedding attire.

* Address and stamp wedding announcements to mail immediately after the reception.

* Wrap your bridesmaids' gifts for presentation at the luncheon or rehearsal dinner.

* Attend (or give) the bridesmaids' luncheon.

* Brief everyone on the rehearsal time.


Planning Schedule



* Tell your family and friends about the engagement.

* Discuss wedding specifics with fiancée and your parents.

* Decide how (and if) you'll split expenses.

Six Months Before

* Help fiancée decide on the guest list number.

* Start your own list; have your family do the same.

* Select best man and groomsmen.

* Help fiancée with general planning (florist, caterer, sites, etc.).

* Discuss and decide honeymoon plans; begin making arrangements.

* Visit clergymember with fiancée.

Three Months Before

* Complete guest list.

* Help select and order stationery.

* Select the men's attire with fiancée; consult attendants, then ask for sizes and arrange a fitting. Order your own wedding attire.

* Choose rings with your fiancée.

* Set up appointments for blood test and examination.

One Month Before

* Help fiancée finish mailing invitations.

* Talk to fiancée about her bouquet and going-away corsage. Order the bride's flowers along with the mothers' corsages and the men's boutonnieres.

* Choose attendants' and bride's gifts.

* Begin writing thank-you notes for gifts.

* Make arrangements for rehearsal dinner with your parents (or whoever is hosting it).

* Arrange the bachelor's party, if you're hosting.

* Arrange lodging for out-of-town attendants.

* Apply for marriage license with your fiancée.

* Pick up rings.

* Help arrange wedding transportation.

* Make sure the men's wedding attire has been ordered, fitted, and that delivery date is set.

Two Weeks Before

* Check all policies, deeds, and records, and make any necessary changes.

* Confirm details with all wedding consultants.

* Confirm honeymoon plans.

* Get a haircut.

One Week Before

* Begin your honeymoon packing.

* Pick up wedding attire at least two days ahead to correct any unforeseen problems.

* Wrap your attendants' gifts for presentation at rehearsal dinner or bachelor's party.

* Brief attendants on rehearsal time.

* Explain special seating arrangement to best man.

* Give the clergymember's fee in sealed envelope to best man, who will present it just before or after the ceremony.


Setting a Budget:


Before you make too many wedding plans, you should divide expenses and finalize the amount of money you're able to spend.

* Sit down with both sets of parents and discuss your ideas.

* Traditionally, the bride's parents handle all wedding costs while the groom's parents take care of the rehearsal dinner.

* However, the rules are more flexible now. The groom's parents may share expenses, or you and the groom may finance the wedding yourselves.

Here is the traditional breakdown. Extra lines allow you to make alterations.

The Bride and/or Her Family

* Invitations

* Engagement party

* Attendants' party

* Gifts: groom, maids

* Groom's ring

* Medical exam, blood test

* Lodging for out-of-town maids

* Wedding dress, veil, accessories

* Flowers: ceremony, reception

* Flowers: maids, flower girls

* Photographs: engagement, wedding

* Musicians, entertainment

* Rental fees: church, equipment

* Wedding gift book, guest book

* Transportation for wedding party to reception

* All reception costs

* Thank-you notes

The Groom and/or His Family

* Bride's engagement and wedding rings

* Marriage license

* Medical exam, blood test

* Gifts: bride, attendants

* Rehearsal dinner

* Groom's attire

* Lodging for out-of-town attendants

* Clergymember's fee

* Flowers: bride, mothers, special guests

* Boutonnieres: groom, attendants, fathers

* Honeymoon


* Transportation to wedding location

* Gift for the couple

* Own wedding attire

* Parties for the couple (shower, bachelor's party)

Helpful Hints

* If your groom's parents will be helping you with the costs, send them the bill for specific expenses, rather than asking for a percentage of the total cost.

* Some expenses are optional or set by local custom: The bride and groom may pay for attendants' attire: relatives or friends may host the rehearsal dinner; the groom may give his own bachelor's party; and the bride may buy her mother's and grandmothers' corsages.


Setting a Budget:


A little research — a few quick phone calls to a local photographer, dress shop, and the engravers, plus advice from consultants and newlywed friends — will help you keep your expenses in perspective, as well as to aim at an overall cost.

* Stationery
• Total $

* Invitations $
• Announcements $

* Thank-you notes $
• Matches $

* Napkins $
• $

* $
• $

* Parties
• Total $

* Engagement $
• Maids' $

* Bachelor's $
• Rehearsal $

* Flowers
• Total $

* Bride's $
• Maids' $

* Mothers' $
• Special guests $

* Groom's $
• Ushers' $

* Ceremony site $

* Reception site $

* $
• $

* Women's Wedding Attire
• Total $

* Bride's dress $

* Headpiece, veil $

* Accessories $
• $

* Men's Wedding Attire
• Total $

* Groom's formal wear $

* Accessories: $
• $

* Gifts
• Total $

* Bride's $
• Groom's $

* Rings $
• Maids' $

* Ushers' $
• $

* Fees
• Total $

* Ceremony site rental $

* Reception site rental $

* Equipment rental $

* Officiant $

* Medical $
• $

* Photography
• Total

* Formal portraits: engagement $

• Formal portraits: wedding $

* Candids $
• Extras $

* Food
• Total $

* Cake $
• Liquor $
* $
• $

* Music
• Total $

* Wedding $
• Reception $

* Transportation
• Total $

* Limousines $
• $

* Special Services
• Total $

* $
• $

* Grand Total $


Wedding & Reception Sites

Book your ceremony and reception site at least six months before the wedding date — nine months or more in a big city or in the popular wedding months of June, August, September, and December.

Find your ideal wedding site by answering these questions:

* Will the ceremony be religious or civil? Of course, this depends on how big a role religion plays in your life.

* Who will officiate? Your childhood minister at your own church or the Justice of the Peace in a local courthouse?

* Will it fit your guest list?. Don't try to cram 300 well-wishers in your parent's living room.

* Have you considered special settings? A military wedding in your academy chapel? The deck of a yacht?. The botanical gardens?

Before you select your reception site, you may want to consider one that offers a package deal, such as many clubs and reception halls do.

* Rental estimate includes:

* Food?

* Beverages?

* Wedding cake?

* Entertainment?

* Equipment (chairs, tables, etc.)

* Waiters, waitresses?

* Bartenders?

* Parking valets?

Now, see if you have coordinated your wedding and reception sites.

* Ceremony location

* Reception location

* Ceremony time

* Reception time

Reception style:

* Buffet

* Sit-down

* Brunch

* Cake and punch

* Cocktails/hors d'oeuvre

* Other

Helpful Hints

* If you plan to hold the reception at your ceremony site (say, in the basement of your church), consider whether any building restrictions or behavior codes fit in with your party plans.


The Ceremony:


Once you've decided who you would like to pronounce you husband and wife, you have many questions to ask him/her. You and your groom should schedule an appointment as soon as possible.

* Name

* Phone

* Address

* Date


* What restrictions should we be aware of?.

* Former divorce?

* Different faiths?

* Nonchurch member?.

* Age

* Other

* Could we have a copy of the traditional ceremony, and any newer services with modified wording?

* Are we permitted to rewrite our vows?

* What parts of the traditional vows may not be changed?

* Are we required to attend counseling classes before we can be married by you (or in your church)?

* Will you marry us in a nontraditional setting?

* Will we be permitted to carry out our wedding plans in your church (candles, extra chairs, photography, live or recorded music, dress, etc.)?

* What services can your church provide (organist, reception facilities)?

* Can we make an appointment with you for the rehearsal?

* What is your fee?

* What does it include?

* Church

* Organist?

* Custodial services?

* Other

* More questions:

Helpful Hints

A bride and groom of different faiths may marry in a ceremony that combines both services. Consult your clergymember for ideas and permission. You may, for example, alternate the religious readings and combine the vows; or have the clergymember of one faith perform the entire ceremony, then let the other give a short blessing at the end.


The Ceremony:

Vows & Personalizing

Your wedding vows don't have to be strictly by the book; you may wish to change a little or a lot of the ceremony. Consult your clergymember (See "The Ceremony: Officiator") for the denomination's requirements. Then:

* Study the vows and symbolism. What do you like and dislike?

* Gather more information. Research libraries for books on current wedding innovations, poems, prayers, and hymns.


* You might want to include other people in your ceremony, too, for special readings or performances-all for a "personal touch" in your wedding. Where do they belong? Here is the natural order of the ceremony.

* Procession

* Welcome

* Giving away

* Prayer/Reading

* Groom's vows

* Bride's vows

* Prayer/Reading

* Blessing the rings

* Exchanging the rings

* Prayer/Reading

* Pronouncement

* Kiss/Closing

* Recession

Helpful Hints

More "Personal" Ideas

* Have both your parents, one on each arm, escort you to the altar.

* Include children from a previous marriage in the wedding.

* Greet your guests at the entrance as they arrive.

The Wedding Party

You and your groom choose your own attendants, ideally, about six months before the wedding. Who's in the running? Cherished relatives and dear friends.

1. Formal: Choose four to twelve attendants (one usher for every fifty guests).

2. Semiformal: Select two to six attendants each.

3. Informal: Limit your choices to one honor attendant and maybe one extra maid or groomsman.

* Maid of honor



* Bridesmaid



* Bridesmaid



* Bridesmaid



* Bridesmaid


f0 Address

* Flower girl



* Ringbearer



* Trainbearer



* Best man



* Groomsman



* Groomsman



* Groomsman



* Groomsman



Helpful Hints

* Child attendants (flower girl, ringbearer, trainbearer) are usually between the ages of four and eight.

* Children should attend rehearsal to practice their parts, but they are not required to attend prewedding parties, although the adult attendants should.

* If you can't include all your friends in the wedding party, ask them to take charge of the guest book, give out wedding programs, serve punch, etc.

Maid of Honor

What are the official duties of the maid or matron of honor, and how can you really help the bride? Your chief responsibilities are as follows:

* Assemble and pay for your wedding attire.

* Attend all prewedding parties in the couple's honor.

* Sign the marriage license.

* Arrive early at the bride's house before the wedding to help her dress.

* Keep track of the time, and see that the other attendants arrive promptly at the wedding.

* Precede the bride and her father in the procession.

* Arrange the bride's train and veil during the ceremony, and hold the groom's ring.

* Stand next to the groom in the receiving line and sit on his left at the bride's table.

* Help the bride change into her traveling clothes before she leaves for the honeymoon.

* Most important: Give the bride all the support she needs, whether it be emotional or physical.

Now, for the support that isn't necessarily one of your responsibilities, but will certainly earn the bride's gratitude:

* Take charge of recording and displaying the gifts.

* Arrange to have the bridesmaids fitted, and make sure their dresses are in perfect condition for the wedding.

* Offer to babysit younger brothers and sisters while the bride and her mother run wedding errands.

* Help the bride select her wedding attire and other items of her trousseau.

* Return rented equipment and formal wear while the couple are on their honeymoon.

* Pick up any last-minute items.

* Suggest that the bridesmaids help with the wedding preparations.

* Sneak the bride away from the commotion of planning in the final weeks for a movie, dinner, or shopping.

* Wedding date

* Time

* Fittings

* Shower

Best Man

Sure, you're honored to be your buddy's best man, but now what? Here's what is customarily expected of you:

* Assemble and pay for your own wedding attire.

* Sign the marriage license.

* See that the groom is dressed properly before the wedding.

* Make sure that you have a check available for the clergymember's fee. (Give it to him just before or after the ceremony.)

* Enter the vestibule immediately after the groom during the procession. Then stand behind the groom, slightly to the left.

* Hold the bride's ring until the officiant asks for it.

* Walk out with the maid of honor after the ceremony. (Or you may leave through a side door while the recession goes down the aisle, according to the couple's wishes.)

* Help the bride and groom into their car once the ceremony is over.

* Drive the couple to the reception (unless there is a hired driver).

* Mingle with the guests at the reception.

* Propose the first toast to the new couple.

* See that the reception flows smoothly — without the practical jokes.

Help the groom get into his going-away clothes.

* Assist with the groom's last-minute packing.

* Take charge of the honeymoon luggage.

* Escort the couple to the exit and to the car. (You may even take them to the airport.)

* Handle keys, tickets, and other small details until just before the couple leave for the honeymoon.

* See that the men's rented clothing is returned in good condition.

* Wedding date

* Time

* Fittings

* Bachelor's party


Groomsmen & Ushers

You may be a groomsman, and usher, or both; the distinction is actually self-explanatory. It's just that some weddings are larger and require different people to fill both roles, while in other weddings, the groomsmen escort guests in, and then join the groom and best man in the vestibule.


* Assemble and pay for your own wedding outfit.

* Escort guests to their seats (optional).

* Participate in the procession and recession.

* Direct guests to parking, restroom facilities, and the reception site.

* Propose toasts during the reception.

* Mingle among the guests and dance with the single women. (Why? To keep the party alive!)


* Be at the ceremony site 45 minutes to an hour before the wedding.

* Line up on the left side of the entrance.

* As guests arrive, step forward and offer your right arm to each female.

* Escort bride's friends and relatives to seats at the left side of the aisle, groom's guests to the right.

* When a man and woman arrive together, take the woman's arm and let the man follow a step or two steps behind.

* When several women arrive together, escort the eldest first while the others follow.

* Simply escort (without the arm) single men to their seats.

* Make polite small talk with the guests as you're escorting.

* See the best man about any special seating arrangements (honored or handicapped guests).

* Wedding date

* Time

* Fittings

* Bachelor's party


Copyright © 1985 by Tern Enterprises

Table of Contents


How to Use This Book

1. First Things First

Planning Schedule: Bride

Planning Schedule: Groom

Setting a Budget: Guidelines

Setting a Budget: Estimates

Wedding & Reception Sites

The Ceremony: Officiant

The Ceremony: Vows & Personalizing

The Wedding Party

Maid of Honor

Best Man

Groomsmen & Ushers

2. Putting Together the Reception

Comparison Shopping & Contracts

Estimates: Caterer

Estimates: Baker

Estimates: Florist

Estimates: Musicians & Entertainment

Estimates: Photographer

3. For the Bride & Groom

Wedding Gown & Accessories

Groom's Attire

Engagement & Wedding Rings


Gift Registry

4. Outfitting the Wedding Party

Bridesmaids' Clothing

Men's Clothing

Flowers: Bouquets

Flowers: Corsages & Boutonnieres

Gifts for the Wedding Party

5. Tying Up the Ends


Rehearsal Dinner


Marriage License

Legal Name Change

Newspaper Announcements

The Bar

Candids List

Receiving Line & Seating Plan

6. Getting Ready


Schedule: Bride

Schedule: Groom

Schedule: Best Man

Schedule: Maid of Honor

Schedule: Parents

Invitations & RSVP List

Gift List


Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See All Customer Reviews