I was interviewed earlier this week by Johnna Ruocco of Metro Ottawa for an article about the first steps in wedding planning. After reading it in print I realized it was the makings of the first top 10 list of wedding planning tips on my Blog! Well, in this case a Top 5 list! Although my recommendations are based on wedding planning experiences here in Ottawa, anyone could benefit from these 5 wedding planning tips.

1. HIRE A PLANNER

If you’re thinking of hiring a Wedding Planner, do it right away. Let a planner show you how to take great ideas and actually make them work in your community! If you already have a Pinterest list, great! But realize it’s not always easy to bring those ideas to life.

Couples start planning on their own and then come to me when they are overwhelmed, frustrated and have already booked a couple of items on their list.  Had they come to me right away I could have laid out a plan, shown them options they maybe didn’t know about, and possibly saved them money through some of my discounts.

2. SET A BUDGET

Set a budget or at least a draft budget so you have an idea of what’s ahead. Many couples just haven’t thought about all of the different pieces that need to come together on their wedding day, and almost all of these pieces have a cost.

Many of my clients may say “I have a budget of $25,000.” Then when I ask, does this include your dress, the groom’s suit, hair, makeup, attendant gifts, transportation, etc. many times they say “No, just the food and alcohol at the reception.” I always lay out a detailed budget for my clients so there are no surprises later on.

3. MAKE A GUEST LIST

It’s difficult to say “We want 120 guests at our wedding” until you actually make a list. Couples can be surprised at how quickly the guest count grows, especially because many friends, relatives, or colleagues have partners.

When my clients aren’t sure if they should add a particular guest to the list, I tell them to ask themselves this important question: “Would I invite this person/couple out for dinner at a nice restaurant and offer to pay the bill?” If the answer is no, then you may want to reconsider if they make your guest list.

4. BOOK THE VENUE

Booking the venue will also determine your wedding date, which everything in your wedding planning process will revolve around.

Booking your venue may be difficult if you’re set on a particular date or location. Some venues in your local community may require you book up to two years in advance!

5. CONTRACT WITH YOUR KEY VENDORS

When I work with clients I always recommend finding their photographer first since many of the best photographers can be scheduling one year in advance.

An experienced local wedding planner will have a long list of great vendors they trust, making it easy to check “to-dos” off the list. You’ll quickly be able to fill in the blanks with confidence next to the bridal gown, florist, decorator, music, hair, makeup, invitations etc.

 

SOME FINAL ADVICE

Don’t procrastinate!

The best advice I can give is to not procrastinate. Of course you should enjoy your engagement! But, that doesn’t mean you cannot enjoy planning your wedding too. I always tell my clients that planning your wedding should be easy, fun and stress-free. I want to help you host the best party you’ll ever throw and make sure you enjoy every minute of it!

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Photo Credits: AMBphoto

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