5 Expert Tips to Help You Plan Your Dream Wedding


There must be something about the holiday spirit that really makes people want to get married. It could be something to do with the holiday magic we all feel in December, or with the fact that the holidays allow us to spend some much-needed time with the ones we love most. Or it could be that the summer is just a really good time to have a wedding. Whatever the reason, January and February are always the biggest months for wedding planners.

If you’ve ever organized a major event before, you’ll know that it pays to start planning early. So if a summer wedding is on your mind, the time to get ready is now. To get you started off on the right foot, here are a few helpful tips from professionals who know a thing or two about how to organize the perfect wedding.

Make It Your Own

“When you get engaged it’s a very overwhelming feeling,” says Sofia Morgadinho, creative director of Awespiring Weddings in Edmonton. Many of the couples she works with face a lot of pressure to do things a certain way, she says. “Everybody has an opinion about this or that.” Her main piece of advice for brides and grooms to be? “Take a breath and make sure you know what’s important.”

“Take a breath and make sure you know what’s important” - Sofia Morgadinho, Awespring Weddings

While you might want to design your wedding around other people’s wishes, Morgadinho points out that “[your wedding] is not about pleasing everybody because you can’t please everybody, but at the end of the day it’s about staying true to yourselves.” If a couple is facing a lot of pressure to organize their wedding in a particular way, a wedding planner can act as an intermediary between the couple and their friends and family. “We’re an outside source so we have a little bit more perspective,” Morgadinho says.

Look for Ways to Personalize the Event

Many couples in 2016 are looking to do something different than the standard cookie-cutter wedding. To accomplish this, Toronto-based wedding planner and Huffington Post contributor Whitney Pizale recommends making a list of all the things you like to do as a couple and as individuals to start off the planning process. “Don't worry if you can't see how something will fit into your wedding,” she says, “just brainstorm and talk it out. It's amazing how one small item can snowball into to something amazing.” Once you have your list, you can focus in on a few ideas and talk about how they could influence your wedding. For example, if you love to go salsa dancing together, you could include a salsa dancing lesson as part of your reception. Or if you love Jane Austen books, you could include some English Georgian-era influences in your décor or even your wedding dress.

Don’t Overlook the Small Things

While it can be hard to think about all of the tiny details of what your wedding day will look like when you’re just beginning the planning process, it can be a good idea to start thinking about these details early, especially if you’re interested in keeping costs down. For example, by looking for ways to re-use certain elements, you can keep costs down and create a sense of continuity throughout the day. “Using your centerpieces in your ceremony is a great way to save some money,” Morgadinho says. Another tip she offers is to have a monogram plate made up for your invitations, and to use that same plate to create different pieces such as place settings or thank-you cards.

“Using your centerpieces in your ceremony is a great way to save some money,” - Sofia Morgadinho

Think Beyond Your Wedding Day

When you’re in the midst of wedding planning, it can sometimes be hard to imagine a future that exists beyond your wedding day. To give yourself some perspective, try to imagine how you’ll remember the wedding five, ten, or even 50 years from now. Jenn Taylor, co-owner of Kelowna B.C.’s Wedding Café says that one of the biggest regrets she hears from couples after their wedding is: “The day went by so fast! We don't remember the speeches, funny moments, etc.” For this reason, she strongly recommends hiring a professional photographer or videographer. Even if the price of a photographer or videographer seems like a lot right now, you’ll be glad you hired a professional when you’re looking back years from now at each beautifully captured moment.

Set a Wedding Budget

One of the hardest parts of wedding planning is staying on budget. Two surveys conducted in 2014 found that while Canadians on average expected to spend less than $15,000 on their wedding, the actual average cost of a wedding was $23,048 that year, and when a honeymoon and engagement rings were factored in, the total cost went up to $31,685. For this reason, Morgadinho recommends setting a budget before you approach venues and vendors. “If you don’t have [a budget] in place first you’re going to end up going over budget and you’re going to quite honestly be disappointed.” Setting a realistic budget and making a plan to stick to it will go a long way toward ensuring you a happy and stress-free wedding day.

Not sure what your financial future will look like with a wedding on the horizon? Our Certified Financial Planners can help you with everything from budgeting and saving up for the big day to combining your finances post-wedding and even planning for major life purchases like a new home. Contact us to find out more about how you can grow your financial future as newlyweds and beyond.

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