When planning your own wedding it is important to keep track of the many little bits and pieces. Even the best wedding planners can overlook a few items until the last moment, when it may be too late. With that in mind, here is my guide to the ultimate list of things to buy for your wedding day.
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1) Bridal Veil / Hair Accessory
I ended up wearing a fingertip length drop veil for my wedding, but now wonder if I should have worn a floor-length veil instead. I strongly suggest choosing your veil and hair accessory long before your wedding day so that you know exactly which one you want to wear.
Try on the veil a few times throughout the process, take photos wearing it with your gown, and get a feel for how you will wear your hair. Only then will you know for sure which veil accessory is right for you, giving yourself plenty of time to purchase a different one. Read my complete guide to wedding veil styles to help you find the right veil length.
And if you need help, check out my e-commerce store at ClassicVeils.com. I’ve assembled a collection of ready-to-wear veils as well as custom bridal veils at an affordable price. Work directly with me to get the perfect veil!
Okay, sales plug over, now back to the ultimate list.
2) Bridal Jewelry
Just like your bridal veil and hair accessories, bridal jewelry should be chosen long before the wedding day!
Knowing what goes best with your dress is worthy of a whole other post. Some gowns with a high neckline might only call for chandelier earrings, whereas a sweetheart neckline looks stunning sans earrings, but rather a chunky necklace.
Do you homework. For example, Etsy has a large selection of stunning bridal jewelry and reasonably priced costume jewelry.
3) Bridal Emergency Kit
A bridal emergency kit is likely not high on your bridal buy radar. Rather, its a safety precaution in case something unexpected happens on your wedding day.
For example, a button can fall off last minute, you forgot to brush your teeth after rushing out the door into the waiting limo, or perhaps your wedding dress turns out to be a lot hotter than you thought and you would love to add a little extra deodorant.
A Bridal Emergency Kit will come in handy for just those moments.
4) Bridal Lingerie
A proper lingerie themed bridal shower or bachelorette party is a great way to receive some lovely lingerie pieces. Otherwise, don’t forget to buy a piece of lingerie (online or in store) for you and your special somebody.
A sexy little chemise from Nordstoms‘ bridal boutique is the perfect honeymoon negligee that is pretty and looks good on all body types.
5) Bridal Garter
The hidden item that carries a fun tradition, can easily be forgotten.
I actually ended up wearing my mother’s garter from her wedding as my something old. In the end, I didn’t end up doing a garter toss, probably because I didn’t want to give up my mom’s garter.
This is why you will sometime see garters sold in pairs – one is to throw and one is to keep.
6) Bridal Shoes
A staple that every women should have in her wardrobe is designer shoes. What better reason to splurge than your wedding day attire!?
Below are a beautiful pair of Badgley Mischka Salsa peep toes that I simply adore. There are many other amazing designers to choose from when it comes to buying bridal shoes.s!
7) Bridal Jacket or Wrap
Some brides forget that even summer evenings can cool down. A bridal jacket is a good accessory to cover up and stay warm, and can be a very luxurious compliment to your overall look.
8) Dress Garment Bag
Whether you are going to your final dress fitting or the big day has finally arrived and you need to transport your gown to the ceremony, a sturdy garment bag helps keeep your white dress looking pristine.
9) Wedding Direction Signs
As one of my best girl friends reminded me on the eve of my first wedding anniversary, “This time last year, I was on your computer room floor making wedding signs using gold pens and a black sharpie!”
Direction signs could include:
To save you and/or your friends from scrambling the night before the wedding, be sure to either buy or DIY your wedding direction signs long before the big day. That way everyone can enjoy the rehearsal dinner and evening without gold pen all over their fingers
10) Wedding Welcome Sign
As with wedding ceremony direction signs, make sure to either buy or create your welcome signs long before the big day.
My ornate gold chalkboards welcome signs were complete before my wedding day, but still needed to be written out with chalk the night before.
11) Easels for Signs
An Easel comes in handy for all sorts of signs such as welcome signs, seating charts, or menus. You can always use easels at your wedding reception. Before you go out and buy easels, however, I suggest the beg, borrow or steal from friends or family approach!
If you need to buy any easels for your wedding, try ones similar to below from Displays2go.
Displays2go 71.25 inches Tall Floor Standing Easel Stand with Decorative Embellishments and Adjustable Hooks, Steel Construction, Black…
12) Wedding Programs
Not a necessity, but a fun way to let your guest know who’s who in the wedding party, along with a schedule of events. Another cute idea if you are marrying in the hot summer sun are wedding program fans. We guarantee your guests will appreciate them!
13) Family Reserved Seating Signs
Usually the first few rows at the wedding ceremony are reserved for family members. At my wedding, I accidentally created too many signs for the number of people in my small family. I ended up having an overflow of guests standing near the back when there was perfectly good seating at the front!
Learn from my mistake: calculate and create reserved seating signs for your family long before your wedding day.
14) Wedding Aisle Chair Decor
Line the wedding ceremony aisle with a little bit of decor to tie your wedding theme and colors together quite nicely.
15) Ceremony Aisle Runner
An aisle runner is a quintessential ceremony item that adds a bit of drama. All eyes anticipating the bride, watching the ushers roll it out just before the bride walks down the aisle.
16) Unity Candle
A unity candle is a more recent tradition that is sometimes performed to symbolize the joining together of the two families into one united family. More often, a unity candle symbolizes the union of two individuals becoming one in commitment.
17) Sand Ceremony Set
An alternative to the unity candle is the popular sand ceremony. It offers a visually poignant moment that can be personalized and kept for years to come as a whimsical keepsake.
18) Flower Girl Basket
Another item that can be easily overlooked is the flower girl’s basket. I love the cute rustic nature of the one below, which can be used after the wedding as a decor item in your home.
19) Loose Silk Rose Petals
Once you have the flower girl’s basket, don’t forget to fill it up with loose silk rose petals. For venues that don’t allow real rose petals to be scattered, they are a great alternative.
20) Ring Bearer Pillow
A burlap and twine ring bearer pillow is such an adorable keepsake.
Note: You can always use fake rings if there is the slightest worry that the rings could go missing.
21) Ring Box
We chose not to have a ring bearer for our wedding ceremony, mainly because we didn’t know any younger boys to give the position to at the time. The next best thing is to find a pretty ring box and utilize the best man.
22) Bubble Favors
Some wedding venues don’t allow guests to throw rice or confetti in the air after the ceremony. A great alternative is blowing bubbles!
23) Wedding Card Box or Basket
A card box or basket is a good idea to hold any loose cards. Although one would hope everyone attending your wedding is honest, leaving easy-to-snatch envelopes full of money in plain view on a table is never a good thing. You are better off enclosing cards in a box or cage.
Once all the gifts are collected, make sure you have a trusted friend or family member lock them away in a safe spot.
24) Guestbook Sign
Guestbook signs come in all shapes and forms. They are an easy DIY project for those who have a creative penchant, or else you can buy a premade sign like the one pictured below.
25) Wedding Guest Book
Guestbooks can be a fun way to get creative and let your imagination run wild.
We used a double magnum wine bottle at our wedding, which was signed using a gold felt pen by all our guests. We plan to pop the cork on our 5th wedding anniversary.
There are all sorts of unique guestbooks to choose from. Below is a personal picture that is framed with your wedding day, signed with guests messages.
26) Pens for Guest Book
Make sure you have a pretty pen for both the wedding ceremony and guestbook
27) Seating Chart
A sit down wedding reception with assigned seating calls for a seating chart to guide guests to their proper table. Professionally designed custom seating charts are a luxurious finishing touch that adds to the overall look and feel of your wedding reception.
28) Table Numbers
Along with a seating chart, table numbers are needed so that your guests can find their corresponding table. The designs and ideas are endless when it comes to table numbers.
I love the look of these acrylic table numbers from Mulberry Market Design.
29) Place Cards
Sometimes certain guests need special seating arrangements. A strategically placed name card that assigns an exact spot at a table is a good idea.
30) Place Card Holders
Some place cards come in a tent fold design and can hold themselves up. If the ones you choose are just a flat card, you might want to consider a holder. These simple yet effective wood place card stands will do just the trick. Etsy has loads of different choices!
31) Wedding Menu Cards
Whether or not you need menu cards is a question to ask your caterer. If all the guests will have the same thing for dinner or you are having a buffet, menu cards won’t be necessary.
However, if you are planning a sit down meal with options, guests will have an easier time selecting what they want if menu cards are available. Plus, any servers will thank you for not having to repeat themselves over and over to each table.
32) Cake Platter
A beautiful wedding cake resembles a piece of art to be admired. Be sure to have a beautiful matching cake platter to show off your wedding cake.
Silver Square Cake Stand, 12-Inch
33) Cake Topper
Some couples choose to just have matching florals on their wedding cake from their bouquets. Others choose fun and personal wedding cake toppers.
34) Cake Knife and Server
Find out if your venue already has a cake knife and server that you can use. If not, make sure to buy a nice set for the perfect cut.
35) Toasting Flutes
There are going to be lots of toasts at your wedding. Personalized toasting flutes are a nice touch to go along with the special cheers.
36) Wedding Favor Sign
Love is sweet sign is a cute way to signal to your guests to take your sweet wedding favors.
37) Wedding Favors
Don’t forget a little token for your guests to take home as a thank you for coming and celebrating your big day.
Favors are another great DIY option that you can do solo, with you future spouse, or as part of a pre-wedding party with friends/family.
(Can I just say, I want a s’more right now!)
38) Battery Tea Lights
Tea lights come in handy for most occasions. If your wedding venue does not allow real candles, choose battery operated tea lights instead.
Tea Lights, 24pcs Flameless LED Tea Lights Candles, Flickering Warm Yellow, 100 Hours Battery-Powered Tea Light, Ideal Party, Wedding,…
39) Photo Booth Backdrop
For some fun photo ops, don’t forget to create your very own photo booth with a backdrop.
Read my Custom Wedding Photo Booth Backdrops article to help find an appropriate backdrop for your wedding.
40) Polaroid Cameras or Disposable Cameras
As the bride and groom, you won’t be able to be everywhere at once to celebrate with all your guests. Place disposable cameras on each reception table so that guests can capture moments throughout the night. Or create your own photo booth and provide a Polaroid camera. Relive all the fun and crazy moments from your wedding reception for years to come.
41) Sparklers and Sparkler Tags
A common grand exit for brides and grooms is the sparkler send-off. We still see these often in real weddings featured on the blog.
42) Gifts for Bridal Party
A fun photo I see from featured real weddings all the time is the bride and her bridesmaids each wearing matching robes while they get ready.
If you’re not the type who enjoys silk robes, there are lots of different gifts you can buy for your ladies.
43) Gifts for the Bride
I don’t know about you, but crying bucket loads on my wedding day was to be expected — and I did!
With a ball of tissues in hand, it turned out I was pretty good at fighting through the tears. For those bride’s who need an extra tissue to wipe away happy tears, this personalised handkerchief would make a good gift.
44) Gifts for the Groom
It isn’t necessary, but the unofficial gift exchange on the morning of the wedding between the bride and groom can be a sweet surprise. It doesn’t have to be an expensive gift – a keepsake token like a love letter or something silly like these socks.
Phew! That’s all for now. We update this list from time to time, so you can be sure you’ve always got the best list of things that you need for your wedding day!