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We Celebrate You: Wedding Workbook N
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Wedding Workbook

Printer Friendly: Wedding Workbook

Wedding Workbook

Congratulations on your engagement! All of us at Celebration Events look forward to working with you and your fiancé during this special time in your lives.

Our team of professionals has created this Wedding Workbook to assist you in planning your perfect wedding. At first, planning a wedding may seem like a daunting task, but with our support it doesn’t have to be. We have created this workbook, filled with many useful tools, to help you through the entire process, making it easy and stress-free!

Above all, please remember to never allow the details involved in the planning process to overshadow the true meaning and joy of the affair.

Section 1 – Ideal Wedding Planning Timeline

Please see our suggested timeline of events that should happen prior to the big day! This timeline is intended to give you an idea of specific details involved in planning your wedding and to keep you on track. As there are so many details and vendors to arrange when planning a wedding, you will see noted when applicable services that Celebration Events can handle directly on your behalf. Good luck and let’s start planning!

18 to 12 Months Before
(or After booking with Celebration Events!)

__ Visit a bookstore and buy a wedding planner or organizer.

This is where you will make lists, file pictures of ideas, and scribble notes. Look for one with space for guest names, extensive to-do charts, plus pockets for contracts, receipts and photos.

__ Discuss with your fiancé and all parents the big picture.
Address the budget, overall style and size of the wedding, possible dates, sites, participants, etc.

__ Decide on the ceremony and reception sites and reserve both.
Keep in mind that wedding venues in destination locations, like Hilton Head Island, book up a year or more in advance, especially on summer, fall and holiday weekends. Adjust your calendar accordingly.

__ Start shopping for your wedding dress.

You will want to have a good idea of the time and place, in order to search for something appropriate (organza for an afternoon outdoor wedding, etc.).

__ Choose your attendants.

__ Mail save-the-date cards.

This is especially important if you’re marrying over a holiday weekend or hosting a destination wedding. Keep in mind Hilton Head Island is a major location for destination weddings on the East Coast. This is a good time to provide your invited guests with information regarding accommodations, airlines, rental cars, etc., so they have sufficient time to make arrangements.

__ Discuss the guest list with your fiancé and families.

Determine how many guests you wish to invite. Consolidate guest lists and organize as follows:

  1. must invite
  2. should invite
  3. nice to invite.

Compile the complete guest list and organize addresses.

__ Send your engagement announcement to the newspapers where both families live.

10 Months Before

__ Start scouting for a baker, florist, musicians for both ceremony and reception, transportation services, photographer and videographer.

__ Celebration Events can book all vendors direct for you. We will secure each vendor, sign contracts, pay deposits and arrange all details direct with each vendor on your behalf. Let us handle the legwork for you!

In the event you wish to book all vendors on your own, please refer to our Suggested Vendor List for a complete and reputable listing. Due to logistical challenges, Celebration Events must arrange all rental equipment.

__ Decide on a ceremony officiant. South Carolina requires either a Notary Public, or Members of the Clergy to officiate a ceremony.

__ Discuss vows or begin writing them if you are writing your own. If you are marrying in a house of worship, see if there are any requirements for premarital counseling.

__ Let Celebration Events make arrangements for a Minister or Officiant directly for you.

8 Months Before

__ Choose and order your wedding dress and accessories.

Research dresses for maid of honor and bridesmaids, attire for groom, best man and ushers (Please remember the location of your ceremony & reception to select appropriate attire for your attendants and the setting).

Start researching honeymoon destinations.

__ Consult books, magazines, and the Internet. Wait to visit a travel agent until you have a general idea of the destination or type of honeymoon you want.

__ Obtain passport, visa(s) and birth certificate, if needed for marriage license or honeymoon.

__ Continue compiling the guest list (inform your families to do the same).

__ Book all vendors to include baker, florist, musicians for both ceremony and reception, transportation services, photographer and videographer.

__ Remember, Celebration Events can book all vendors for you – relax and let our staff handle all of these details for you!

__ Complete bridal registry.

Choose items in price ranges that can fit every guest’s pocketbook. Check your registry periodically, and, if necessary, add to it as items are purchased. Do a last-minute update (the bulk of items are purchased within the last 48 hours before the wedding).

6 Months Before

__ Research and reserve blocks of hotel/motel rooms for out-of-town guests.

Offer budget and luxury options. Celebration Events can provide many suggestions for accommodations on Hilton Head Island.

__ Order all wedding stationery.

Select invitations, response cards, maps, announcements, programs, and thank-you notes. Proofread them carefully upon delivery for spelling, times and dates. Continue to compile guest list and collecting addresses. Book a calligrapher if you plan to have the invitations professionally addressed.

__ Choose bridesmaids’ dresses.

Ask just one attendant, whose taste you trust, to accompany you. If you’re concerned about outfitting a physically diverse group, choose a manufacturer that offers a line of basic dress shapes with variations. This will allow each attendant to select a flattering style.

4 Months Before

__ Finalize honeymoon plans and make bookings.

Reserve air, hotel, rental car, cruise ships, etc. Note all reservation numbers. Apply for passports if needed for travel.

__ Finalize the guest list.

If you are using a calligrapher, give complete names, with addresses and zip codes.

__ Choose and order favors.

__ Book a hotel room for the wedding night.

__ Shop for and order wedding rings.

__ Schedule the rehearsal and rehearsal dinner.

The evening is traditionally hosted by the groom and his family.

__ Celebration Events is also able to cater the rehearsal dinner – ask us how!

__ Make appointment with hairdresser for wedding day hairstyle.

Remember to bring the headpiece for the practice run. Also discuss nails and make-up for bride, bridesmaids and mothers.

__ Finalize all vendor details for the florist, photographer, videographer, musicians, etc.

__ If Celebration Events is arranging the vendors for you, we will finalize all details with each vendor on your behalf!

__ Confirm the wedding cake details with the baker.

__ Celebration Events will make these arrangements if we secure the wedding cake for you.

__ Continue writing thank-you notes as gifts arrive.

2 months Before

__ Select wedding guest book

Framed wedding pictures of your parents, grandparents and the wedding invitation make a wonderful display when guests enter the reception or ceremony area.

__ Obtain information on how to change your name, should you choose to do so.

__ Determine your resources for designing and printing the program for the ceremony.

__ Purchase gifts for parents, attendants and each other.

__ Have bridal formal portrait taken.

__ Mail your invitations.

Before stuffing, addressing, stamping and mailing invitations make sure all spelling and information is correct. Include hotel choices and map/directions to the ceremony and reception sites. If using a calligrapher, order an additional 10-15% of outer envelopes. Keep a record of all guests and responses.

__ Confirm and reserve attire for the groom, groomsmen, and fathers of the bride and groom.

__ Continue writing thank-you notes as gifts arrive.

6 weeks before

__ Schedule the final dress fitting.

Bring the shoes and lingerie you’ll wear on the wedding day.

__ Make sure your bridesmaids have their dresses altered and ready.

__ Confirm date, time of arrival and extent of services with all of the vendors you have contracted directly and send deposits to them as needed.

__ Celebration Events will finalize all details with the vendors we handle directly for you.

__ Pick up your wedding rings.

If they’ve been engraved, check the spelling and date.

__ Purchase or borrow wedding accessories.

This may include ring bearer pillows, flower girl baskets, champagne flutes, cake knive & server, etc.

__ Create and print a wedding program.

Information to include: names of the bride, groom, parents, and bridal party; order of the ceremony; music and readings; explanations of any cultural or ethnic traditions.

__ Order and plan in-room welcome baskets for out-of-town guests.

__ Confirm appointment for hair and makeup on wedding day.

__ If you intend to change your name, prepare the necessary documents.

__ Obtain marriage license.

__ Finalize the menu, beverage, and alcohol order with Celebration Events.

All menus are required at least 30 days prior to the wedding.

__ Continue writing thank-you notes as gifts arrive.

__ Send your announcements to the newspapers.

__ Make copies of the ceremony readings.

This will give participants time to practice.

2 Weeks Before

__ Send change-of-address information to post office.

__ Reconfirm your honeymoon reservations.

Give your itinerary to a friend or family member in case of emergency. Pack for honeymoon and purchase any traveler’s checks. Notify the post office to hold your mail while you are gone.

__ Arrange seating plan.

Write out table cards to direct guests to their seats, as well as place cards. If you will not have assigned seating we recommend to have reserved tables for Bridal Party, Parents & Grandparents.

__ Review final RSVP list and call any guests who have not yet sent a response.

__ Confirm the music for your ceremony and reception.

First dance, parent dances, and party and give information to band, dj, or other musicians.

__ Celebration Events will finalize all details with the vendors we handle directly for you.

__ Confirm with photographer and confirm special photos you want taken.
Include who should be in formal portraits and determine when portraits will be taken.

__ Celebration Events will finalize all details with the vendors we handle directly for you.

__ Confirm with videographer and confirm special events and people you want videotaped.

__ Celebration Events will finalize all details with the vendors we handle directly for you.

__ Get your last pre-wedding haircut and color and facial.

__ Confirm with florist to finalize flowers.

__ Celebration Events will finalize all details with the vendors we handle directly for you.

__ Confirm groomsmen have picked up formal wear.

__ Decide if you want a receiving line

If so, decide when and where at the ceremony or reception.

Continue to write those thank-you notes.

1 Week Before

__ Give Celebration Events final guest head count and handle final payment.

__ Print place and table cards, or finalize list with the calligrapher you have hired to do so.

__ Call all wedding vendors and re-confirm arrangements.

__ Celebration Events will finalize all details with the vendors we handle directly for you.

__ Arrange for someone to return tuxedos and anything else that needs returning after the wedding.

__ Attend bachelor/bachelorette party.

__ Assign specific responsibilities, such as handing out corsages and boutonnieres, to friends or family members.

__ Assign family member to take all gifts and accessories with them following the reception.

3 to 5 Days Before

__ Determine ceremony seating for special guests and give the list to the ushers.

__ Write checks for any vendors with final balances to be paid at the end of the reception.

__ Celebration Events will finalize all details with the vendors we handle directly for you.

__ Bride gets a manicure and pedicure.

__ Pack everything you’ll need at the ceremony site
Include everything you will need while getting dressed.

__ Deliver welcome baskets to the hotel concierge.
Make sure to include names and delivery instructions.

__ Confirm transportation arrangements for ceremony and reception.

__ Celebration Events will finalize all details with the vendors we handle directly for you.

__ Prepare tip and payment envelopes for officiant and vendors.

Make arrangements for the best man or maid of honor to distribute them.

1 Day Before

__ Recommendation: Bride & Groom stay with family the night before for a good night’s sleep.

__ Attend rehearsal.

Meet with officiant, wedding party, ceremony readers and immediate family to iron out ceremony details. Bring programs and ceremony or reception accessories to the site. Give your marriage license to your officiant.

__ Bring all accessories needed for the ceremony and reception to Celebration Events.

This may include place cards, table cards, menus, disposable cameras, favors, champagne flutes, cake knive & server, etc.

__ Attend rehearsal dinner.

Give gifts to wedding party and parents.

The Big Day


__ Review the list of items to bring to the ceremony.

__ Allow yourself plenty of time for hair, make up and getting dressed.

__ Give best man the officiant’s fee envelope, to be handed to the officiant just before the ceremony.

__ Celebration Events will finalize all details with the vendors we handle directly for you.

__ Give the grooms ring to the maid of honor and the brides ring to the best man.

__ Enjoy your wonderful wedding and cherish each and every moment!

Section 2 – Wedding Budget Planner

Before you start planning your wedding, decide how much you can spend and what you want to spend it on for the wedding. As a general guideline, allot approximately 50 percent of your budget to the reception (location, food, and beverages). Then allot about 10 percent each to flowers, photography, attire, and music. The final 10 percent goes to stationery, favors, and other details.

  • Ceremony Site Fees
  • Officiant’s Fee
  • Ceremony Music
  • Marriage License
  • Save-the-Date Cards
  • Ceremony Programs
  • Invitations
  • Announcements
  • Calligraphy
  • Thank You Notes
  • Postage Stamps
  • Bar (Wine, Champagne, Beer, Liquor)
  • Reception Centerpieces & Decorations
  • Photographer’s Fee
  • Formal Portraits
  • Wedding Album
  • Parents’ Albums
  • Bride’s & Groom’s Rings
  • Bride’s Parents’ Gifts
  • Groom’s Parents’ Gifts
  • Guest-Room Welcome Gifts/Baskets
  • Guest Book for Reception
  • Seating Cards
  • Wedding Favors
  • Reception Site Fees
  • Caterer
  • Wedding Cake
  • Wedding Consultant
  • Hair and Makeup
  • Bridal Attire (Dress, Headpiece,
  • Veil, Shoes, Jewelry, Accessories)
  • Groom’s Attire
  • Videography
  • Reception Music
  • Ceremony Flowers
  • Corsages/Bouquets (Bride,
  • Bridesmaids, Mothers, Grandmothers)
  • Boutonnieres (Groom, Groomsmen,
  • Fathers, Grandfathers)
  • Flowers for Wedding Site
  • Cake Knife, Ring Pillow
  • Flowers for Reception Site
  • Transportation (Couple, Bridal
  • Party, Out of Town Guests)
  • Attendants Gifts
  • Honeymoon
  • Rental Equipment (Tables, Chairs,
  • Chair Covers, Tents, etc.)
  • Extras


Section 3 – Guest List Planner

This planner will be useful in keeping track of pertinent information such as phone numbers, addresses, who has responded, and how many thank-you notes you owe. Copy this page as many times as needed.

  • Name(s)
  • Address
  • Telephone Number
  • Save-the-Date Sent
  • Invitation Sent
  • R.S.V.P. Received
  • Number Attending
  • Gift Received
  • Thank-You Sent

Section 4 – Photographer’s Shot List

To ensure all the most important moments of your wedding are captured on film, provide your photographer with a list of specific events and names of important guests to photograph. Discuss which shots should be in color and which in black and white.


Bride and attendants getting ready ___
Reception site being set up ___
Groom and attendants getting ready ___
Bride leaving for ceremony ___
Mother of Bride helping bride get ready ___
Groom leaving for ceremony ___


  • Wedding Programs ___
  • Special guests watching ceremony ___
  • Ceremony site, with guests arriving ___
  • Wedding kiss ___
  • Ushers escorting special guests ___
  • Bride & groom leading recessional ___
  • Both sets of parents entering ___
  • Guests throwing flower petals ___
  • Groom awaiting bride ___
  • Signing of wedding certificate ___
  • Bridal party awaiting bride ___
  • Bride’s & groom’s hands displaying rings
  • Bride & Father walking down the aisle ___


  • Bride ___
  • Groom ___
  • Bride and groom ___
  • Bride, with detail of back of dress ___
  • Groom with best man ___
  • Groom with groomsmen ___
  • Bride with maid of honor ___
  • Bride with bridesmaids ___
  • Ring bearer with flower girl ___
  • Entire wedding party ___
  • Bride with parents’ ___
  • Groom with parents ___
  • Bride and groom w/bride’s parents ___
  • Bride and groom w/bride’s family ___
  • Bride and groom w/groom’s parents ___
  • Bride and groom w/groom’s family ___
  • Bride and groom w/both sets of parents _

Reception Ceremony

  • Friends signing guest book ___
  • Guests at cocktail hour ___
  • Reception site, set for dinner ___
  • Seating-cards display ___
  • Centerpieces ___
  • Place settings ___
  • People giving toasts ___
  • Bride & groom listening to toasts ___
  • Group pictures of guests at each table ___
  • Bride and groom’s first dance ___
  • Bride dancing with her father ___
  • Groom dancing with his mother ___
  • Guests dancing ___
  • Wedding cake ___
  • Bride & groom cutting the cake ___
  • Bride and groom departing ___

Section 5 – Suggested Ceremony Processional

Seating of the Grandmothers

Groom’s Grandmother
escorted by ________________________

Groom’s Grandmother
escorted by ________________________

Bride’s Grandmother
escorted by ________________________

Bride’s Grandmother
escorted by ________________________

Seating of the Mothers

Groom’s Mother
escorted by ________________________

Bride’s Mother
escorted by ________________________

Minister/Officiant, Groom, Bestman & Attendants take position

Order of the Bridesmaids

________________________(Maid/Matron of Honor)

  • Ring Bearer
  • Flower Girl
  • Bride’s Processional

Section 6 – Ceremony & Reception Music

Please complete the following information for the ceremony & reception music.

Ceremony Selections


Reception Music Selections

Cocktail hour:

Couple’s first dance:

Dinner music:

Bride & father’s dance:

Groom & mother’s dance:

Guests’ first dance:

Dance music:

Last dance:

“Don’t play” list:

Section 7 – Suggested Reception Timeline

  • 1 Hour Cocktail & Hors d’ oeuvres Party for Guests while Bride, Groom, Wedding Party & Families take pictures
  • Formal Introduction of Wedding Party and Bride & Groom
  • Couple’s First Dance
  • Welcome by Host of the Reception
  • Blessing by Minister or Officiant
  • Dinner Service
  • Cake Cutting
  • Toasts by Bestman & Maid of Honor
  • Dance for Bride & Parent
  • Dance for Groom & Parent
  • 1st Dance for all invited Guests
  • Bouquet & Garter Toss
  • Last Dance
  • Farewell

Section 8 – Ceremony & Reception Flower Checklist

It’s easier to talk with your florist and stay within your budget for flowers if you begin with a complete list of the arrangements you want. Below is a list of flowers you might want for your wedding day.


Bride’s headpiece ___
Bride’s Bouquet ___
Bridal Go-Away Corsage/Bouquet ___
Bridal Throw-Away Bouquet ___
Maid/Matron of Honor Bouquet ___
Bridesmaids’ Bouquets ___
Flower Girl’s Bouquet, Basket, Headpiece ___
Groom’s Boutonniere ___
Best Man’s Boutonniere ___
Groomsmens’ Boutonniere ___
Ring Bearer’s Pillow & Boutonniere ___
Ushers’ Boutonniere ___


Bride’s Mother/Step-Mother ___
Bride’s Grandmothers/Great Grandmothers ___
Godmothers’ ___
Groom’s Grandmothers/Great Grandmothers___
Groom’s Mother/Step-Mother ___
Readers’ ___
Soloists ___


Bride’s Father/Step-Father ___
Bride’s Grandfathers/Great Grandfathers ___
Godfathers ___
Groom’s Father/Step-Father
Groom’s Grandfathers/Great Grandfathers ___
Readers ___
Soloists ___


Aisle runner ___
Altar decorations ___
Arch ___
Candelabras ___
Chuppah ___
Main Entrance___
Pew Bows ___


Buffet Table ___
Cake Table ___
Head Table Centerpieces ___
Guests Centerpieces ___
Guestbook/Sign-In Table ___
Gift Table ___
Place Card Table ___
Rest Rooms ___


Decorations for Bride or Groom’s House ___
Rehearsal Dinner ___
Thank You Arrangements ___

Section 9 – Applying for a Marriage License in Beaufort County, South Carolina

Both parties must appear in person at one of the Probate Courts listed below:


Hilton Head Probate Office
539 William Hilton Parkway
(843) 341-8413 Information Recording (843) 470- 5322
Wednesday & Friday BY APPOINTMENT 9 AM – 2:30 PM (closed for lunch 11:45 AM – 12:45 PM)

Beaufort Office
Multi-Government Building
102 Ribaut Road, Room 100
Beaufort, SC 29901
(843) 470-5319 Information Recording (843) 470-5322
Monday – Friday 9 AM – 4 PM (Closed on holidays and weekends)

$50 for Beaufort County Residents $75 for South Carolina Residents
$95 for out of State visitors Couples need to have exact CASH – Change will not be made

No blood tests or physical exams are required to get married in South Carolina. The bride and groom must be 18 years or older and provide at least one form of identification: a valid driver’s license, state I.D., military I.D., passport or Visa.

Who Can Perform a Marriage in South Carolina? South Carolina state law says that only officers authorized to administer oaths in the state can perform marriages. Ministers of the gospel, Jewish Rabbis, and other religious officials are authorized to perform marriages, as well as Justices of the Peace and Notary Publics. Under South Carolina law, commissioned military officers in active service of the Armed Forces have notarial powers over other military officers and their dependents. Unfortunately, unless the friend you would like to perform your marriage is already a Notary Public, he or she would have to become one, which in South Carolina requires the endorsement of county legislators or the state senator. No online ordainments in this state. For information on the duties and powers of a Notary Public and on how to become one, call the Office of the Secretary of State, Notary Public Division, (800) 734-2119.

Legal Age: 18
Blood Test: None
Other Test/Requirements: None
Residency Requirements: None
ID: Birth certificate, valid photo ID & Social Security card.
Who Must Be Present to Apply: Both bride and groom together
Who Signs: Bride and groom
Waiting Period: 24 hours
Valid for: 30 days
Valid Out of Municipality: Anywhere in South Carolina
If Previously Married: Divorce decree and death certificate required (if within 1 year)

Section 10 – Wedding “Survival Kit”

It is a nice touch to place a basket of emergency items that your guests may need during the Reception. These items can be placed in a basket in the Ladies & Gentlemen’s Rooms.

Ladies Room

  • Aspirin
  • Band Aids
  • Bobby Pins
  • Breath Mints/Gum
  • Extra Stockings
  • Hair Spray
  • Hand Mirror
  • Kleenex
  • Masking Tape
  • Mouthwash
  • Nail Glue
  • Needle/Thread
  • Pain Reliever
  • Polish Remover
  • Safety Pins
  • Scented Body Spray
  • Scissors
  • Spray Deodorant
  • Stain Remover Pens
  • Straight Pins
  • Tampons / Kotex

Men’s Room

  • Band Aids
  • Breath Mints/Gum
  • Kleenex
  • Mouthwash
  • Pain Reliever
  • Safety Pins
  • Spray Deodorant
  • Stain Remover Pens

Section 11 – Changing Your Name

Changing your name? Here’s much of the information you’ll need to do this easily. All you need to do is follow the necessary steps below to make it official.

  1. Order extra certified copies of your marriage certificate for agencies that require originals before allowing you to change your name on documents, such as the department of motor vehicles.
  2. Request a new Social Security card reflecting the name change. Call the Social Security Administration at (800) 772-1213 for forms and instructions.
  3. Visit the department of motor vehicles for a new driver’s license. Ask in advance which documents you’ll need to bring in order to certify the validity of your name change.
  4. Obtain and complete a Passport Amendment/Validation Application. Send this along with appropriate fees, your current passport(s), and a certified documentation of your name change (such as a certified copy of a marriage certificate or court papers) to the nearest passport agency.
  5. Order replacements for checks, business cards, credit cards and other documents that contain your old name.
  6. Call employers and schools (if you are a student) to let them know your new name, and ask them to change it in their records.
  7. Change your name on your car registration and insurance, mortgage companies, and with your frequent-flier program.
  8. Contact the post office, utility companies and registrar of voters.

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