Congratulations! You are engaged; the question has been popped (and hopefully some bubbly) but now what? For many couples determining next steps in their wedding planning journey can be daunting. South Pond is here to help! Take a deep breath and grab a pen because we are about to launch our 2017 wedding series! That’s right, through a series of original blogs, guest blogs from vendors and blogs from past South Pond Brides, we are going to help you navigate your way through, the sometimes weedy, waters of wedding planning! We speak from experience - Christine a newly married bride and Danielle host of countless weddings at at the farm. Between the two, so many experiences, so many tips, so many thoughts to share. To kick off the series, we thought we would help you outline the first few steps that you should take towards planning your wedding after getting engaged:
Step one – Enjoy the moment. This is a very special time for you and your fiancé and it will go by quickly. For my husband and I, the seven months between when we got engaged and when we tied the knot flew by - life happens, weeks pass and suddenly your big day is upon you. Your engagement lasts a very short time in the scheme of things, relish it.
Step two- Set a budget. Trust us when we say you do not want to skip this step- we have placed it at the top for a reason! Failing to set realistic parameters around your spending is sure to cause you unwarranted stress and frustration. Not all factors are equal on your wedding day- make sure to reserve larger sums of money for the elements that are most important to you and your partner. Setting a clear budget from the beginning will keep you on track and ensure smooth sailing from the onset.
Step three- Research your venue. This is step is paramount! Before deciding to move forward put on your specs and determine what's included in the space. What are some important questions for you:
- Does it meet your budget and requirements as a setting?
- Is it an all in one venue?
- Is it a DYI venue?
- Are there supplementary fees/ what are the parameters around these fees?
- What are the regulations around timing and shut down?
- Are there noise regulations?
- How is the food service executed?
- How could weather impact your special day?
Be honest about the pros and cons and what you are willing to concede. Each wedding has different requirements – if the space does not fit yours then move on, there will be a venue that does. When you do find the perfect spot to celebrate your nuptials, book fast to avoid disappointment. Weekends are limited and booking dates fill up quickly. For example, at South Pond we often book 18 months in advance.
Step four - Research Vendors. Start collecting the names of photographers, DJ’s officiants, transportation companies, caterers (if not included in your venue) and start setting up meetings. This might seem like a tedious process but it is important to see what each vendor can offer. For example, make sure your officiant is properly licensed. Last year, we witnessed a bride bring in her own officiant (not one vetted by us) and it was later revealed he was not licensed to perform weddings in Ontario (yikes). During this stage, you will likely need to refer back to your budget to see which vendors fit the bill and where you need to adjust your costing. For me, photography was an important element- I had picked my photographer even before I was engaged because I loved her work. For me, her ability to capture candid moments and little details is what made her photography incredibly unique. The photo below is of my mom and I on my wedding day, she had just attached my veil... it is an incredibly special shot, when I look at it I can still feel the excitement of the moment.
To avoid nasty surprises on your big day make sure to ask for realistic estimates, customer reviews and updated invoices throughout the planning process. Stay tuned for more on this! We have some great information coming in the form of guest blogs from some of our preferred vendors!
This season is an exciting time to be planning your wedding! Take in the moment, appreciate the little things and remember we are always here for our Brides so please don't hesitate to reach out.