You’re engaged! What now? Even though we go to hundreds of weddings each year, we don’t have as much wisdom as our past brides when it comes to the planning process itself. Yes, we know it can be overwhelming and even stressful along the way, but in the end, our couples are all smiles during their special day as if planning didn’t take an ounce of effort. What’s their secret??
We’re so lucky to work with so many lovely couples who have stunning celebrations that were once dreams turned into reality. Who’s more qualified to give advice to future brides than past brides? Check out what they have to share!
1. START EARLY
Sylvia: My concern when planning our wedding was that I would fall behind or not book something far enough in advance. By having a planning book with deadlines I was able to keep on top of my tasks within the right time frames so that I wouldn’t feel stressed!
Laina: Plan everything earlier than you think it needs to be planned – oh and have fun!
Joy: Plan as much as you can ahead because although there will be last minute tasks, it makes the planning part fun and less stressful.
Kelly: Always overestimate your budget! Give yourselves a little breathing room. Saving every penny is always something you should be conscious about, but if you’re going to have a wedding, make it one you’ll remember for the rest of your lives!
Sharon: I think like everything else in life, you need to know what you want. Spend the money on things that is most important to you.
3. BE ORGANIZED
Chantelle: Start early. Use a spreadsheet. To keep things sane and organized at home, we also leveraged a lot of sticky notes and a whiteboard to keep track of what was completed and what still needed to be done. It’s very easy to be overwhelmed by all the tasks and small details when you try to think about it in your head. Once it’s down on paper, you can more easily see the big picture, figure out what you need to do, and see that it’s really not that bad!
4. DON’T STRESS THE DETAILS
Maya: Try not to stress too much about the small details on the wedding day. Everything may not be perfect but the most important thing is to enjoy the day and savour the moments!
Shannon: Don’t stress going into your wedding day expecting everything to go perfectly – there is a very small group of people attending who actually know if a wedding sign is ‘out of place’ or the colour of a ribbon wasn’t what you pinned or envisioned originally. If you don’t make a big deal out of something, people will be none the wiser as well :) Enjoy the day from start to finish, spend time with friends and loved ones, and look back with no regrets on how you spent the day.
Lindsay: Don’t get overwhelmed by the little details (no one will notice anyways!) just remember the day is about pledging your love for each other while being surrounded by family and friends. That’s all that matters – the rest will fall into place :)
5. STAY TRUE
Kyra: Stay true to your vision and beliefs. Don’t let others sway you in what you want to do. It’s your day and goes by quick, so be sure you make the choices for you.
Emily: Go with your gut, don’t choose a style that isn’t generally you. And stop looking at Pinterest! Know your limits.
Ally: If you are feeling conflicted about something … do whatever makes YOU happy! It is your wedding and you should enjoy it to the absolute fullest
6. STAY FOCUSED
Victoria: Stay focused on the reason why you are getting married. At the end of the day, your guests will remember the feeling they had when they witnessed you begin your life together. While the food, music, decor and all of the little details go along with a beautiful wedding day, what our guests comment most on is the feeling of the day, the love they witnessed and felt between us and among our family through our vows, our speeches and our overall energy.
Tanya: Focus on what is important to you as a couple, and follow your heart.
Marika: Make sure to put your needs and wants first before everyone else’s because it’s your special day and your guests should be there to support you. There will be a lot of opinions, but in the end, yours are the only two that matter, so do what makes you happy.
7. ENJOY THE PROCESS
Cristina: Just enjoy being engaged and really remember the whole reason behind even having your wedding. Sometimes couples get really caught up in the wedding itself, and seem to not enjoy the engagement due to stress and stuff. We found that just keeping in mind that we are finally going to be married really helped us remain calm during the entire process, and enjoy it.
Laura: Have fun with it! Don’t worry too much about other people’s opinions and what they want. At the end of the day, your wedding is about you as a couple. Just make it fun!!
Suzanne: Have fun with the process and let it be a way build teamwork skills with your future life partner to create an amazing day together and with your loved ones.
Jenya: Make sure the process of planning is as fun as possible: dim lights, light candles, drink wine; We slow danced, we listened to a lot of music, cried, laughed; Enjoy the year of planning, you won’t get it back!
8. ASK FOR HELP
Alvina: Have a vision, share your vision with your vendors (I.e. Florist, Musician, photographer…) and let them do their magic.
Erin: Having a wedding planner is crucial. There are so many small details you forget or don’t even think of.
Nina: Pick only the vendors you immediately click with. If you don’t feel confident upon introduction, keep looking. The last thing you want to be nervous about is vendor reliability.
Ashley: Think about hiring day of coordinator if you’re having a bigger wedding so on the day of you have no stress & on wedding day enjoy each moment instead of thinking what is coming next in the day
9. BE FLEXIBLE
Alisa: You really can plan out everything, but weeks or days before – things will go wrong. They did for us! But, remember to work together as a team to solve it – this is your first true test as a couple – use each other to make it through any hiccups nearing the event!
Jessica: Things will go wrong but let it go, be present in the moment and enjoy your day.
Emily: Don’t sweat the small stuff (even if your veil falls down during your ceremony) and enjoy every single second of your wedding day. Oh! and take pictures with your guests!!
10. PRIORITIZE EACH OTHER
Raquel: Support each other through the decisions leading up to your wedding. Your relationship comes first. On the day of the wedding, remember to make time for each other. You can get overwhelmed and lost in the excitement of the day and before you know it, the day is gone. Find each other through the “noise” and share in the joy of the day.
Veronica: Make it a fun experience for both of you! Don’t make it into a “chore” or a “task” that’s daunting for the bride. While planning – bounce ideas together, make decisions together, and go to as many meetings with vendors together as you can! During the day – I highly encourage you to unplug and not have your phone on your or schedule in front of you for the entire day. Just go with the flow, let things slide, and bask in the bliss of your wedding day. It honestly goes by so fast, so be present!!
Loise: Work on planning the wedding, but most importantly, prioritize preparing for your marriage. It will be your love for each other that will carry you through the ups and downs of wedding planning.