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Weddings
Wedding planning tips and guides

Before You Begin Planning the Wedding

Know your wedding day style

From a traditional country club wedding to a modern loft affair, there are many ways to define your wedding day. Your reception site, colors and time of day or season will help shape your wedding vision. Once you have defined your wedding style and formality then décor and menu decisions will be easier to make.

Traditional

The traditional wedding will include elegant yet conservative choices for dining tables, centerpieces and room décor. There are an infinite number of traditional options and this classic style of décor is guaranteed to work in many venues. Traditional does not have to be routine. A risk free reception is a perfect fit for many of today’s sophisticated couples.

Contemporary

A contemporary wedding is best suited to a couple that prefers monochromatic color schemes and minimalist designs. Create a sleek and dramatic effect that is unsurpassed by selecting colors that are unique and not seasonal. Sharper edges, sculptural centerpieces and a touch of sparkle make up an architectural environment that is pleasing to the more contemporary bride and groom. Your choice of venue may include an open and airy art gallery or loft.

Simple but Elegant

When in doubt, “Less is Best”! Yes, it is possible to keep your wedding simple without sacrificing style. You can achieve a beautiful reception on a limited budget but it will force you to be definitive in your decision making. Clean lines and fewer frills will create will give your wedding a sophisticated edge.

Glamorous

A glamorous wedding encompasses the “more is more” wedding style. Opulent tabletop designs, black tie dress code and multi course meals makes up the anatomy of a glamorous wedding. Beautifully tailored designs are executed keeping every detail in mind.

Theme Weddings

Use a favourite city, space or hobby to inspire you. A theme wedding will always be unique and allows you to think outside the box – no limitations! Patterned or textured linens create a “vibe” that is more entertaining for you and your guests. Add a pop of color to define your reception area.

Know your total wedding budget

You will need to ask all contributing parties (bride’s parents, groom's parents, yourselves) how much they are willing to put into your wedding fund. Ultimately your total budget will dictate all of your wedding decisions. You can use this average % breakdown as a guideline to assist in preparing your initial budget:

  • Reception and Rentals 48%
  • Ceremony 3%
  • Stationary 3%
  • Wedding Rings 3%
  • Flowers 8%
  • Photography and Videography 12%
  • Wedding Attire 10%
  • Entertainment 8%
  • Transportation and Accomodations 2%
  • Gifts 3%
  • **Wedding Planner 10%

If you use an event consultant add an extra 10-15% of your total wedding budget to cover complete wedding coordination services. 

Consider using a “fantasize then prioritize” approach to your wedding budget. Think about all of the things that you would like to see in your fantasy wedding assuming no budgetary or logistical constraints exist. Most couples will not have the luxury of executing this fantasy in its entirety but it will eliminate the feeling that you cannot afford your dream wedding in any way shape or form. Once you have created a list of the all of the elements that exist in your fantasy wedding then you can go ahead and prioritize those items. You may be willing to eliminate the couture wedding dress in order to have the live band you have always dreamed of.

Consider opening a wedding account in order to manage your wedding budget. If you have parties contributing to the wedding expenses then try to get this money in a lump sum up front. Keep checking your bottom line to avoid overspending. If you exceed your budget in one area look for another area where you can reduce expenses so your budget remains balanced.

Know your guest count

Some of your wedding costs will be fixed (officiant fees, music, wedding attire) but there will be many costs that will fluctuate with the number of guests (menu, bar, rentals and centerpieces). Take the time to create a tentative guest list on paper. Ask the parents of the bride and groom to contribute their lists as well so you can check for names that appear on multiple lists and begin trimming immediately if necessary. In many cases the size of the guest list will dictate the reception and or ceremony site.

Know your wedding date

Start with a season that appeals to you and then narrow it down to a month. Once you have a date you can begin to research availability of wedding planners, reception and ceremony sites. The date is another item to prioritize – you may need to change your date in order to secure the reception site you had hoped for.