Where to Start?
Hello! My name is Kelli, and both planning and weddings happen to be two of my favourite things. I am currently planning my Okanagan wedding, and will be providing tips and insights I learn along the way.
First off, congratulations on your engagement! Planning a wedding can be simultaneously stressful and exciting. Luckily there are endless tools available to help you plan your wedding. At theweddingcafe.ca you will find:
- a budget sheet
- timeline guide
- suggested Okanagan vendors
- seating chart tools
- and more!
You may also choose to hire a Wedding Planner or Coordinator early in your planning stages. Even if you have a Wedding Coordinator taking care of the most of the details, it is helpful for both you and your fiancé to remain organized. Here are some initial steps you can take to start your planning on the right foot:
1. Create a Timeline & Divide Up the Tasks
Find a wedding timeline that works best for you (either online, in a magazine, or at theweddingcafe.ca). Adapt this timeline to fit the length of your engagement and customize it to make most sense for you and your fiancé.
Between you and your fiancé, there will be decisions that need to be made together; your wedding date and your guest list are two good examples. Even if input from one another is required, other decisions can be divided and conquered (such as choosing a wedding dress and a Groom’s suit/tuxedo).
Here are some of the tasks for your timeline:
- Guest List
- Wedding Schedule
- Recessional order
- Décor & signage
- additional roles
- music to be played
- seating (any reserved seating)
- Significant People
- Wedding Party, MC, Ushers/Greeters
- Coordinator or Planner
2. Make a Google Spreadsheet
Google spreadsheets allow you to access and edit your notes and information from any device – whether it’s your phone, laptop or tablet. Plus both you AND your fiancé can view and edit your plans at the same time.
My fiancé and I found it especially helpful to create one “Wedding Spreadsheet” with different topic tabs. Having a different tab dedicated to each topic helps us easily compare different vendor options, create a guest list, and keep an organized budget. If you want to bring a little colour to your spreadsheet, use a colour-coding system. For example, the venue options we love are highlighted in green, the maybes are in yellow and the most likely no’s are in red).
We find using tabs and colour-coding helps keep all the notes about each component in one place, but reminds us which options are still contenders.
3. Find a Binder or Notebook
With a binder, you can insert paper for notes, and transparent sheets to collect pamphlets, business cards, and signed contracts. Similarly, anytime I have a new wedding magazine, I cut out the ideas, themes or inspiration I like, and add them to a wedding vision page within my binder.
4. Involve Your Family
Keep your families updated on your wedding planning progress. They may be as excited about this event as you! You can involve your family by asking for advice, sharing which vendors you have booked, or requesting their help with DIY project.
It’s better to over-share, than learn later they wish they had been kept more in the loop. Who knows – they also may surprise you with additional support or chipping in to the wedding budget.
5. Seek Balance
Wedding planning can be an all-consuming activity, and it is important to strike a balance with your time. Whenever possible, focus on sorting out one aspect of the wedding at a time, instead of bouncing between all components.
Be flexible where you can. For example, if you had always envisioned a family-style dinner, but the caterer you land on only does buffet, be willing to adapt instead of letting it ruin your experience.
Set a monthly date in the calendar for you and your fiancé to spend quality time together without discussing wedding plans. Remember that your wedding is only one component of a lifelong journey. Use your engagement time not only to plan your wedding, but also to prepare for transitioning into the next stage of your lives as a married couple.
Above all – have so much fun with your planning and remember to breathe☺