From selecting flowers and tasting cakes to finding the perfect wedding dress in Toronto, planning a wedding can feel like a daunting task. Couples can use a handy six month guide to wedding planning milestones to stay on track and keep a cool head. From scouring Toronto bridal shops for the perfect accessories to registering for the dream gifts used in starting a new life together, couples can take the stress out of wedding planning by being organized.
Five to Six Months
Couples should announce their engagement to friends and family and set a date six months prior to the wedding. Engagement photos can be taken if desired. A budget needs to be set and locations need to be reserved for both the ceremony and the reception. Save the date cards should be mailed. Wedding party members need to be chosen and the guest list needs to be compiled. The wedding theme needs to be chosen. Book the officiant for the ceremony. Find the groom’s attire and search bridal boutiques in Toronto for the dress. Clothing for the wedding party can also be found at bridal stores in Toronto and should be ordered. Caterers, florists, and DJs or bands need to be selected.
Three to Four Months
At three to four months prior to the wedding, couples should choose their invitations, order or print them, and have them mailed. The cake needs to be ordered and appointments should be made for any hair, makeup, nail and other beauty stylists. Food and beverage selections should be finalized with the caterer at this time. Wedding bands need to be purchased. Out-of-town flights and hotel stays for the honeymoon and out-of-town guests, as well as accommodations for the guests, should be made. Transportation should be arranged for the wedding day. The couple should plan and reserve their rehearsal dinner and add items to their gift registries.
One to Two Months
With only two months left before the wedding, couples need to make sure they obtain their marriage license. Vows should be written if the couple chooses to do so. Any accessories for the wedding, such as favors, ring pillows, bubbles and the guest book, need to be ordered at this time. RSVPs need to be received by this time. The couple should call anyone who has not yet replied. Final fittings should be completed for the bride and groom. Brides may wish to break in their wedding shoes to help ensure more comfort during the ceremony. A guest seating plan needs to be made for the ceremony and reception. Leaves from work, when necessary, should be arranged at this time.
During the final weeks leading up to the wedding, headcounts and seating plans should be finalized and confirmed with caterers. The wedding date and time should be confirmed a final time with vendors. Tips for vendors and packing for the honeymoon need to be complete, as does a final checklist for the big day itself. Once the showers and bachelor parties are thrown and the rehearsal dinner is complete, it is time to get married!
Sending wedding invitations may seem like lots of work, but there are plenty of ways to make the process smoother as well as more fun. Keeping traditional etiquette in mind helps ensure that invitations are timely, proper, and well received. Invite some friends to help address invitations while you enjoy some snacks and share some wedding etiquette dos and don’ts with them to make sure each invitation reflects the same style and courtesy.
Do Provide Complete Details
When addressing your invitations, invite single friends and family by name plus a guest instead of the name of a boyfriend or girlfriend, particularly regarding new relationships. This prevents tension and awkwardness following potential breakups before the wedding. Send invitations five to six weeks prior to the ceremony to give each guest enough time to reply. Provide guests with a date by which you would like them to respond to your invitation as a deadline. Be sure to include any inserts necessary, such as maps to the wedding location or hotel information for people arriving from out of town. Per traditional etiquette, spell out numbers on the invitations.
Don’t Commit Faux Pas
Although many couples include their wedding registry website links in invitations, the practice is considered improper etiquette. The proper place to put a registry link is on a wedding website, but feel free to send it to people who inquire about it. Refrain from using a standby guest list to help avoid hurting feelings as well as creating more work down the line while sending a second wave of invitations. Make sure to avoid printed address levels and address each envelope by hand if you wish to adhere by traditional wedding courtesy. Make sure to spell each name correctly and include all titles as they should be written to make each recipient feel welcomed and known.
Do Maintain Manners at the Wedding
When guests forget to bring their own manners to a ceremony, it can be difficult to maintain your own. Prepare for ill mannered guests in advance to help avoid losing composure. Designate an extra table or two for guests who fail to RSVP. Ask a member of the wedding party or another friend to help seat guests without place cards discreetly to avoid disrupting any other guests. For guests who bring unexpected children that were uninvited, have a small children’s or family table set up to give them a place to sit or to calm down if the children get loud. Bring spare place cards that read “Guest” to place by single friends and family who have not disclosed the names of their dates.
Remember to spell out each word on the initiations rather than abbreviating states, street names and titles. Remember to include the stamped response envelopes to help guests reply in a timely manner. Creating a system can also help alleviate stress from the process. Arrange piles to help organize envelopes, inserts and invitations. Create an assembly line to ensure that each envelope is properly filled, addressed and stamped before sending.
For many women, their wedding ceremony is one of the most important events of their lives. Not only does everything need to be perfect, but it needs to be a reflection of the personalities of the happy couple. This can be a daunting task, but there are many easy ways to personalize your wedding ceremony. Try some of the methods below, and you’ll have an experience like no other.
1: Choose a Great Wedding Dress
Almost all brides in North America wear white at their wedding but there’s still a lot of customization that you can add to a typical wedding dress. Do you go for a long train or a shorter cut that you can dance in? Do you want a veil? Should the dress have a beaded pattern in it? Your wedding dress is one of the defining features of your wedding and should be customized to fit your personality. It can also help inform part of your ceremony. For example, if you have a long train, you will need to choose your venue more carefully to make sure the dress doesn’t get damaged by your surroundings.
2: Send Out Stunning Invitations
The first impression your guests have regarding your wedding comes from the invitations you send out. Think about how you can customize your invitations to show off your history as a couple. This could include pictures of the two of you together or maybe a special design that has a lot of meaning to both of you. Even if you don’t have a professional design your invitations, you can create something interesting and unique.
3: Tell Your Story
Most people who attend your wedding have been through similar ceremonies before and know the general routine. You can provide them with something new that will keep them engaged while still celebrating your love if you take some time to tell the story behind your relationship. This can be worked into the ceremony or into your vows and gives your audience some memorable insight into the depths of your love.
4: Customize Your Vows
Wedding vows generally follow a format set by the religion that performs the wedding, but almost all traditions allow for some customization for the bride and groom. This can help to personalize your wedding and also gives you a chance to tell your future spouse exactly what he means to you. Additionally, it allows you time to insert lessons taught to you by your family and friends, making your vows truly one of a kind.
5: Present the Rings in a New Way
For most couples, the lasting symbols of their wedding ceremony are their wedding rings. These are the rings that the couple will wear on the fingers for the rest of their lives, and their presentation is a big part of the wedding ceremony. When it comes to the presentation of the rings, choose somebody who has a meaningful connection to you both. This could be a parent, friend, or even a child.
There are a million other small ways you can personalize your wedding, but these are key essentials. By taking these steps, you will be able to provide a wonderful ceremony that is life no other.