If you’re reading this, congratulations are in order. You’ve found the person you want to spend the rest of your life with! As you bask in the glow of newly engaged bliss, unable to take your eyes off the beautiful ring on your finger, it’s easy to get caught up in the romance of it all—until the questions start to trickle in. Family and friends will immediately want to know dates, colour schemes, and dress designers, all while you’re still tripping over the word “fiancé.”
Planning the happiest day of your life should be filled with as much excitement and joy as your relationship, but brides and grooms alike often feel the pressure when it comes to planning their nuptials. With the help of a few experienced industry professionals, we’ve put together a comprehensive wedding checklist to make sure your perfect day goes off without a hitch.
12 MONTHS TO GO
Pick Your Wedding Parties
Decide on a Wedding Planner
Set a Budget
When it comes to agreeing on a budget, wedding planner Jeannie Yeoh, owner of A Blush Moment in Newmarket recommends all couples leave themselves a buffer for the little things that pop-up along the way to the altar. “There are a lot of things you can add to a wedding and you never know what ideas you may fall in love with on Pinterest,” she explains.
Find a Venue for Your Ceremony and Reception, and Book a Date
Though many brides-to-be may disagree, your venue is hands down the most important factor in planning your wedding. Without a venue, there would be no wedding! Options are varied when it comes to venue with some providing room only or perhaps room plus a few a-la-carte services. At the other end of the spectrum are venues like The Hartman in Mount Albert which can offer a complete, turnkey solution for bespoke weddings. Keep in mind also that popular venues are often booked 2-3 years in advance. Holland Marsh Wineries, a popular local choice for rustic weddings, is already booking into 2020.
10 MONTHS TO GO
Book Your Main Vendors
The unspoken rule of wedding planning: Once you’ve booked a venue, book your photographer—especially if you have someone in mind whose work you love. The added bonus to booking your photographer early? Many will include engagement photos as part of your overall wedding package. Not only does this serve as an important way for your photographer to get to know you, it will lead to better pictures on your wedding day.
“Engagement photos allow me to see how the couple interacts. Do they joke a lot, are they more posed, are they natural in front of the camera?” says local wedding photographer Maranda Elysse. “It also takes away the stress of being professionally photographed—especially for grooms who have apprehension about being photographed.”
Find Your Perfect Dress
Emily Suk, Assistant Manager at Newmarket bridal gown boutique The Gown suggests that brides give themselves at least 8 to 10 months for the entire process of finding and ordering a gown. That accounts for booking an appointment to shop, 4 to 5 months for the dress to come in, and 2 months for alterations.
“I always tell girls to bring the people who are most important to them to the appointment, because often times they won’t want to say yes without those people there. We love to surprise brides who pick their dress on the first visit—and you wouldn’t want to miss out on that,” Suk says.
6-8 MONTHS TO GO
Book Additional Vendors
Hair & Makeup Artists, Entertainment, Florist
Arrange Accommodation for Out of Town Guests and Book Your Wedding Suite
Choose a Wedding Cake
It may seem a little far in advance to break your pre-wedding diet for cake tastings, but most bakeries require 6 to 8 months for special orders. Newmarket’s Nutmeg Bake Shop’s signature naked cakes have become a favourite of local couples.
Finalize Your Guest List and Invitations
Experts recommend you send your invitations 6 to 8 weeks before your wedding. If you have guests traveling from far and wide to attend, you may want to consider sending them earlier.
Organize the finishing touches (gift for the wedding party, favours for guests, extra décor and diy projects to complement your theme)
Buy Wedding Bands
No matter the size of your budget or guest list, your theme, or our idea of the “perfect wedding,” remember to enjoy this time.
After all, planning a wedding is all about building anticipation for a life together
Jeannie Yeoh, Newmarket ablushmoment.ca
Holland Marsh Wineries, Newmarket hmwineries.ca
The Hartman, Mount Albert thehartman.ca
Aurora Party Rentals, Oak Ridges aurorapartyrentals.ca
Maranda Elysse, Everett marandaelyssephotography.com
Navy Nhum Photography, Newmarket navynhum.com
The Gown, Newmarket thegown.ca
Nutmeg Bakeshop, Newmarket nutmegbakeshop.com
Cassidy’s Flowers, Newmarket cassidysflowersandgifts.com