The Ultimate Bridal Checklist For A White Wedding

Nelly Wadia , 22 Apr 2020
Bridal Checklist for the wedding couple. Black and white photo By Kostenko Maxim | www.shutterstock.com
Bridal Checklist for the wedding couple. Black and white photo By Kostenko Maxim | www.shutterstock.com

Recently I wrote a blog on the ultimate checklist for an Indian bride and it covered all the essentials. However, it didn’t cover some trends that other religions may follow. Since I am Catholic I thought it would be fun to make a bridal checklist for a white wedding. White weddings have always had an air of whimsy and fantasy attached to them. The bride in a sort of ball gown, sashaying down the aisle to her happily ever after. And of course, we buy into this thanks to Hollywood movies. These movies have set the bar so high that some brides try to replicate them. My favourite bridal moment on screen was from The Twilight Saga.

I really did enjoy the fantastic earthy decor and Kristen Stewart‘s Carolina Herrera wedding dress. I promise you my dreams are made of French Chantilly lace, you’ll notice this lace on the back of her dress. Don’t tell me you ladies haven’t dreamt of those Manolo Blahnik satin pumps because I sure as hell have. Anyway, I’ve gotten carried away enough so let’s get back to the topic at hand. A few pointers will remain the same as my last blog and I’m listing those here. Location, accommodation, catering, wedding cake, the theme, invitations, decor, photographer, videographer, musicians, hair and makeup artist, wedding lingerie, bridal jewellery, shoes, transportation and an emergency kit. Needless to say, you have to set a budget in place before venturing out and locking down any of these details.

Here’s a bridal checklist for your white wedding:

1) Shoot engagement photos

This is pretty much a recent fad and a step you can skip if you like to do low-key. But if you want to mark this day with a special memory for posterity then this is the best way to do it. You can also use these images for your Save The Dates if at all you are doing those. Although the best way to do those is by making them digitally, just to save paper and be more economical.

Engagement photo session By mpaniti | www.shutterstock.com
Engagement photo session By mpaniti | www.shutterstock.com

2) Choose a priest and church

Yes, you can choose the priest you like, if you already have one from your parish that you prefer then you can meet with him, lock the date and invite him to officiate the wedding. Ask your priest about intermarriage requirements if your partner is not Catholic. Choosing the church is also important, if you’re having a destination wedding then this will require a little research. Once you lock in these details, your Wedding Banns will be read out at mass—this is a public announcement of your upcoming wedding. The purpose of the banns is to enable anyone to raise an alarm with regards to any legal issues that could lead to the marriage being annulled in the future.

Priest celebrates wedding mass at a church By wideonet | www.shutterstock.com
Priest celebrates wedding mass at a church By wideonet | www.shutterstock.com

3) Get your marriage license in order

Make sure you do this 1-2 months before your wedding. You need to research all the documents that you need to take with you. Alternatively, you can also fill the form online or simply go down to the registrar’s office and register. This is an essential certificate if you want to open a joint account and even travel together. And, yes, it is mandatory to register your marriage under the Hindu Marriage Act or Special Marriage Act as per the government of India. This one should be at the top of your checklist ladies and gents.

Signing of the wedding license By sergiophoto | www.shutterstock.com
Signing of the wedding license By sergiophoto | www.shutterstock.com

4) Wedding preparation course

This course is mandatory if you are marrying a Christian, it helps develop the spiritual enrichment of the couple for the sacrament of marriage. It is necessary to attend this programme for 6 months or more.  People of all religions and faiths can participate in these workshops. Registration is on a first come first serve basis and you need to provide them with basic details, such as (Name, Address, educational qualification, etc.). Christians are required to provide a copy of their baptism certificate. Registration includes pre-course reading material, snacks, buffet lunch and other material supplied. The couple needs to be present for the whole course to be eligible for a certificate. This is a very important detail of your checklist.

Wedding Preparation Course where young priest reads from the Holy Bible By Yeti studio | www.shutterstock.com
Wedding Preparation Course where young priest reads from the Holy Bible By Yeti studio | www.shutterstock.com

5) Pick the maid of honour, your bridesmaids and groomsmen

Of course, your bridal party can be as large as you choose, but it must include a maid of honour and a best-man. It is important that one of these two is Catholic. The maid of honour serves as the chief bridesmaid and aims to reduce to brides stress by tending to her needs and helping out wherever required. Same with the best man for the groom.

Bridesmaids in pink dresses and groomsmen with bow ties and suspenders By Wedding and lifestyle | www.shutterstock.com
Bridesmaids in pink dresses and groomsmen with bow ties and suspenders By Wedding and lifestyle | www.shutterstock.com

6) Pick the flower girls and ring bearer

This one’s an easy one to cross off the checklist. Get the kids from your family to participate or get your friend’s kids to be flower girls and the ring bearer. Just make sure to give your flower girl a cute basket, so she can checker your path to Holy Matrimony with flowers.

Cute flower girl and ring bearer By Holly Mazour | www.shutterstock.com
Cute flower girl and ring bearer By Holly Mazour | www.shutterstock.com

7) Pick your toast-master

Generally, the best man, maid of honour or the bride’s father gives a speech and raises a toast to the newly married ones. This part is really heartwarming and lovely.

Best man giving speech to newlywed couple at wedding reception. By Jacob Lund | www.shutterstock.com
Best man giving speech to the newlywed couple at the wedding reception. By Jacob Lund | www.shutterstock.com

8) Write your thank you speech

Also, a super important one on the checklist. You want to publicly acknowledge anyone and everyone who played an instrumental role in putting your wedding together. Apart from gifts, kind words also go a long way and you want to hit your special peeps with a double whammy of love.

Bride and groom speech By IVASHstudio | www.shutterstock.com
Bride and groom speech By IVASHstudio | www.shutterstock.com

9) Write your vows

Normally, Catholic churches have pre-ordained vows that get exchanged but I’m pretty sure that you can request the priest to also add your own after the original ones are said. I would want to have personalised vows, I would want to reiterate to the love of my life, how and why he’s the centre of my universe and is going to remain there until death do us part and maybe even after.

Exchange of vows during the wedding ceremony By shevtsovy | www.shutterstock.com
Exchange of vows during the wedding ceremony By shevtsovy | www.shutterstock.com

10) Find the perfect wine and plum cake

So, this is like a classic or shall I say a typical part of a Catholic wedding. The wedding cake is only cut and then taken away to the back and essentially only distributed amongst family. But upon entering the venue, all guests are served with a rum plum cake and port wine. I know it doesn’t sound elegant and fancy but I promise you it is amazing.

Red wine and plum cake By sanandshaji | www.shutterstock.com
Red wine and plum cake By sanandshaji | www.shutterstock.com

11) Find a compère

Catholic weddings mostly have compare’s telling people what to do. They dictate and control the night and add a fantastic flow to the celebrations.  They also give everyone the push they need to get up on the dance floor. They continually make announcements about what’s coming up next so guests know what is happening. I genuinely enjoy these lads. Some of them can be really funny.

Compare with the microphone By VAKS-Stock Agency | www.shutterstock.com
Compare with the microphone By VAKS-Stock Agency | www.shutterstock.com

12) Pick the song for your first dance

I must have changed this track forever while growing up, I never knew who I was going to marry and it didn’t matter but I wanted to pick a song that told our story or just what I feel for my partner. Today’s day, I would most likely pick a song that people wouldn’t have heard and definitely has some form of melancholia. But, I don’t have a song anymore because I know now what I didn’t know then, is that this song should be something that both of you pick together.

Happy bride and groom and their first dance By Standret | www.shutterstock.com
Happy bride and groom and their first dance By Standret | www.shutterstock.com

13) Pick a song for your father-daughter dance

Argh, this one is going to make me cry my eyes out. I’m every bit a daddy’s girl and dad is going to cry, I know for a fact. But, imma try and be the goofball that I am and make him laugh instead. My dad almost always reminds me of Steve Martin from Father Of The Bride, not so extreme but just the underlying emotional sentiment.

Father and bride dancing By Svetlana Lazarenka | www.shutterstock.com
Father and bride dancing By Svetlana Lazarenka | www.shutterstock.com

14) Wedding bands

Plain and simple gold wedding rings is what you need. You can get them inscribed on the inside if you want of course.

Gold wedding ring with small blue flowers on wooden tabletop By LightField Studios | www.shutterstock.com
Gold wedding ring with small blue flowers on wooden tabletop By LightField Studios | www.shutterstock.com

15) Find your wedding gown

Find a good seamstress and designer who will understand your needs and execute your vision. A wedding dress is sort of the make or break of the night and most brides are almost always stressed about this. I know I would be going crazy until this one gets crossed off my checklist.

Wedding dress By Vladlen Abdullin | www.shutterstock.com
Wedding dress By Vladlen Abdullin | www.shutterstock.com

16) Get your veil

Traditionally, it was believed that the bride was susceptible to evil spirits and enchantment and hence the veil was used as a form of protection. But, the veil is also a sign of humility and respect before God, hence you will see some Catholics at church with their face and heads covered with a veil. Superstition has it that it is bad luck for the groom to see the bride prior to the wedding. Hence, you will find that Catholic brides and grooms spend the night before the wedding apart and don’t speak to or see each other until the ceremony.

Bridal Veil room By IVASHstudio | www.shutterstock.com
Bridal Veil room By IVASHstudio | www.shutterstock.com

17) Bridal jacket or wrap

So, when you’re getting married in church there are rules about no deep necklines and no shoulders showing. So it’s best to carry a wrap or a jacket for the service. And once the mass is done you can toss it aside and dance the night away.

Bridal accessories and lace jacket By ivkatefoto | www.shutterstock.com
Bridal accessories and lace jacket By ivkatefoto | www.shutterstock.com

18) Help the groom pick his tux

You know as well as I do that your man is going to need your help. Make sure you help him stay true to his vibe and not push to fit your ideal. Yes, give him your suggestions and tell him the truth but don’t force him.

Groom in his tuxedo By Viorel Sima | www.shutterstock.com
Groom in his tuxedo By Viorel Sima | www.shutterstock.com

19) Bridesmaids and groomsmen’s outfits

Once your theme is in place you can pick out the outfits and colours for your bridesmaids. Make sure you run the patterns by them to see what they would like. Alternatively, give them a budget to stick with and let them go out and buy what they like based on your theme. Another option would be to find a tailor that can stitch all their clothes if you’re a stickler for uniformity.

Groomsmen and bridesmaids By BUY THIS | www.shutterstock.com
Groomsmen and bridesmaids By BUY THIS | www.shutterstock.com

20) Bridal bouquet

Find a florist who understands your needs and gives you exactly you what you want from your bouquet. There’s an old tradition where the bride throws her bouquet into a circle full of single women. She’s blindfolded and then throws the bouquet. The lady who catches it is said to be the next in line to be married. I’ll tell you something I’ve been catching that bouquet since I was 13. I’m 31 now, so don’t get your hopes up. Also, let your florist know that you need supporting bouquets for your bridesmaids and boutonnières for your groomsmen. You might need wreaths and corsages for your flower girls. This completely depends on your needs.

Wedding bouquet By Svetlana Iakusheva | www.shutterstock.com
Wedding bouquet By Svetlana Iakusheva | www.shutterstock.com

21) Find a ring pillow

Your ring bearer will walk down the aisle with the wedding bands that are mostly carried on a wedding pillow. These are super cute items to DIY and a fun activity to do with your mums.

Gold wedding rings on a ring pillow By Bajneva | www.shutterstock.com
Gold wedding rings on a ring pillow By Bajneva | www.shutterstock.com

22) Get your something old, something new, something borrowed and something blue

This is quite a traditional one on the checklist and also a fun addition. I grew up hearing my mum remind all my cousins on their wedding day about this lil tradition. They’re usually small tokens of love from your friends or family. Something old is just a way to keep continuity and most likely given by the bride’s mother. Then there’s Something new that offers optimism of the future. Something borrowed is to bring good luck cause it is generally borrowed from a happily married friend or relative. And lastly, Something blue was originally meant to ward off the evil eye and the colour blue stands for love, purity and fidelity—key qualities to make a happy marriage.

Wedding tradition: something old, something new, something borrowed and something blue By Anneka | www.shutterstock.com
Wedding tradition: something old, something new, something borrowed and something blue By Anneka | www.shutterstock.com

23) Guest-list

I would like a very small and personal wedding, so I would be savage when making this guest-list. Not in a way that offends or should offend anyone. But weddings are personal and sometimes you just want those few important people that really count. I would definitely have a seating chart because I’d want my closest friends and family right beside me. Make sure you have an easel that has the table numbers for your guests to find their seats. Affix place-cards for their names as it is also a fun and personal way to make your guests feel welcomed. They also dress up a table quite beautifully.

Easel with guest list details By Ruslan_127 | www.shutterstock.com
Easel with guestlist details By Ruslan_127 | www.shutterstock.com

25) Church decorations

Remember this is a very important part of the checklist. You don’t want your guests to enter a barren church, of course, churches by themselves are very beautiful but they still need some decor. Maybe an aisle runner, some flowers on the church pews and some additional flower decorations would be adequate and just enough for a mass.

Christian church decorations for a wedding ceremony By Anna Ewa Bieniek | www.shutterstock.com
Christian church decorations for a wedding ceremony By Anna Ewa Bieniek | www.shutterstock.com

26) Wedding favors

At Catholic weddings, they get added as table centrepieces. Most times it’s a candle or a small curio. Make it simple and personal and something that will be of use to people and not yet another item for them to toss.

Plant Favors By AlexandriaBryjak | www.shutterstock.com
Plant Favors By AlexandriaBryjak | www.shutterstock.com

27) Wedding welcome sign

You obviously want people to know their walking into the right location. Often, I’m confused or lost and just bad at directions, but signage will help take care of that.

Wedding welcome signage By Studio Peace | www.shutterstock.com
Wedding welcome signage By Studio Peace | www.shutterstock.com

28) Wedding programs

This is not a necessity, if you’re conscious of the way you spend and use paper then this one can be avoided. But if you’re traditional and insist on having this then go for it. This pretty much covers the flow of events and how and what the mass will contain, in terms of readings from the bible and hymns etc.

Wedding ceremony programs in a basket By Jenaphotography | www.shutterstock.com
Wedding ceremony programs in a basket By Jenaphotography | www.shutterstock.com

29) Confetti

This is such a traditional must-have and get’s thrown on the bride and groom when they enter the location and especially during the bridal march. Another option people use is crazy string and spray-on snow which is also fun. Here’s a hack that is also helpful to the environment: Clip holes in dried up leaves, collect them and use as confetti. Cute and conscious, amirite?

Wedding party showered with confetti By Halfpoint | www.shutterstock.com
Wedding party showered with confetti By Halfpoint | www.shutterstock.com

30) Toasting flutes

I love the idea of personalised flutes, I’d definitely have the Mr & Mrs flutes to sip champagne or wine from. Traditionally, we drink wine but you can add what you prefer. Make sure to drink up cause you are not going to get enough time to eat or drink between greeting your guests.

Wedding Champagne Toast By MISHELLA | www.shutterstock.com
Wedding Champagne Toast By MISHELLA | www.shutterstock.com

31) Guest book

I’ve never been materialistic not that there’s anything wrong with being that way. I just prefer reading sweet and heart-warming messages from my friends and family. I’d cherish that over any physical gift. That being said, gifts in the form of money are always the best. I kid, of course.

Guest book for posterity By Paolo Bernardotti Studio | www.shutterstock.com
Guest book for posterity By Paolo Bernardotti Studio | www.shutterstock.com

32) Gifts for the bride and grooms parents

I’d want my future husband’s parents to know that they’ve raised a wonderful man. A man with a voice and a man who stands by me when the going gets tough. I would look for special presents that would reflect these emotions and add a lil note telling them that as well. This is such an important aspect of the checklist. I know it would reinforce their faith in your relationship too especially on the wedding day when emotions are running high.

Gifts for the bride and grooms parents By Liudmyla Guniavaia | www.shutterstock.com
Gifts for the bride and grooms parents By Liudmyla Guniavaia | www.shutterstock.com

33) Gifts for Bridal Party

A token of appreciation of all your family and friends that have taken the time out to prioritise your big day. Please acknowledge that weddings are tough on everyone and even your guests will be spending their money to be part of your day. Treat them with kindness and respect and make sure they know how special they are to you with these gifts.

Gifts for the Bridal party By allstars | www.shutterstock.com
Gifts for the Bridal party By allstars | www.shutterstock.com

34) Gift exchange between the bride and groom

This is my favourite part of my checklist, I would love to wake up on the day of my wedding to a letter, a keepsake from my best friend. Nothing would make me happier. I’m emo like that.

Gift exchange between bride and groom on the morning of the wedding By denis kalinichenko | www.shutterstock.com
Gift exchange between bride and groom on the morning of the wedding By denis kalinichenko | www.shutterstock.com

If you feel like there are more things that should get added to this list then definitely let me know in the comments below. Also, don’t forget that you will be dancing to some crazy-ass tunes at a Catholic function, for e.g. Maria Pita Che and the likes of Ya-Ya Maya Ya for sure.

Be sure to follow @missmalinifashion on Instagram for more updates.

Related Stories

Related Stories

More Style & Beauty