Wedding planning has never been easy. However, in recent years it seems to have become far more complicated than it needs to be. Demand for expensive, unusual weddings puts pressure on couples to find new ways to impress their guests. This translates into added stress.

Since this is meant to be one of the happiest times of your life, it makes sense to find ways to enjoy the process. So here we offer five steps to help make your wedding planning a bit easier.

1. Work together

Often the planning falls on the shoulders of one person. This is a time of commitment and it should start with a commitment to help each other plan this momentous occasion.

Although one of you might be more creative and organized than the other, make sure if your partner is leading the charge, you are there to offer assistance. When you work together it becomes easier to manage all the little details.

2. Budget smart

As we already mentioned, it seems everyone is obsessed with overly extravagant weddings that cost a fortune. Hey, if you’ve got the budget, go for it. But most people don’t. Think of all the other things you can use that money for in your lives together and soon you’ll see budgeting smart makes sense.

So look at either what you’ve saved, what you can afford and what family might pitch in and set an amount slightly below that as your ideal budget. You want to have about 10% set aside as a contingency plan in case things don’t work out here and there. This makes your planning easier because it helps narrow down your choices which can, at first, seem overwhelming.

3. Prioritize

Once you have your budget set, make a list starting from your ‘absolute musts’ to your ‘nice to haves’ for your vision of the perfect wedding. This includes everything from your engagement photos or party to your honeymoon.

Consider every aspect and what you can’t live without, and then use this list as a reality check when you find yourself heading into over-budget territory.

4. Choose a venue that does it all

To make planning easier, choose a wedding venue that does it all. A venue that offers food and drink, wedding planners, florists, expert décor etc. will help manage everything for you.

Ideally, you want a place with a diverse menu offering options that allow you to choose a range of enticing foods as well as some fun serving options. For example, an antipasto bar when guests arrive, a signature cocktail hour, a humorous dessert bar, serving stations with an eclectic selection of foods etc.

The menu is important because the standard three-course meal isn’t the only choice. Discuss all of your options and look for fun, affordable ways to create a more memorable experience.

5. Use a schedule

If you set up a schedule you can use it to keep yourself on track. Once you’ve set a date, work backwards with these timelines as your guide:

A year out:

  • Make a guest list to get a rough number
  • Find and book your venue
  • Book your ceremony spot if separate from your venue
  • Open a savings account to cover wedding costs
  • Consider hiring a wedding planner

11 Months Out

  • Find and book a photographer
  • Start the dress shopping process
  • Finalize your wedding party
  • Find wedding invitations
  • Send out your ‘save the dates’

10 Months Out

  • Start looking for entertainment and book as soon as you can
  • Do your engagement photos if you want them
  • Consider the menu
  • Consider themes or colours

9 Months Out

  • Find a florist and book your order
  • Shop and confirm wedding party outfits
  • Grooms look at suits for you and the groomsmen

8 Months Out

  • Consider décor items you need to rent and book them soon
  • Consider your honeymoon plans and book when you decide
  • Order rings
  • Order the cake

7 Months Out

  • Get travel needs such as passports in order
  • Book your vacation time
  • Book your limo/transportation for wedding day
  • Book hair and makeup for wedding party
  • Register for gifts

6 Months Out

  • Send out wedding invitations
  • Confirm and make all down payments for venues
  • Shop for and buy accessories
  • Start any DIY projects for décor or favours

5 Months Out

  • Finalize groom and party clothes rentals
  • Finalize reception venue décor ideas and order anything that needs to be rented

4 Months Out

  • Book a wedding night hotel if you’re not flying out after the wedding
  • Finalize favours
  • Finalize ceremony music
  • Buy gifts for spouse and wedding party

3 Months Out

  • Prepare a guest book
  • Set up a seating plan
  • Decide on the type of box for cards/money gifts
  • Finalize readings and people to participate in the ceremony including hymns etc.
  • Do a semifinal fitting for wedding party clothes

2 Months Out

  • Print your wedding “program”
  • Finalize unconfirmed RSVPs
  • Finalize the seating plan
  • Print place cards
  • Book a practice hair and makeup appointment

1 Month Out

  • Finalize vows
  • Double check every single detail and booking including honeymoon reservations
  • Pick up wedding rings
  • Assign wedding day tasks to family and friends
  • Confirm numbers and menu
  • Write speeches

2 Weeks Out

  • Finalize music needs with the entertainment for reception and ceremony
  • Do a final walk-through with your venue and wedding planner if you have one

1 Week Out

  • Confirm everything from family and friends who are supposed to help to all your suppliers
  • Pack for your honeymoon and exchange money if needed

2-3 Days Out

  • Have rehearsal and dinner
  • Pick up clothes and any last minute beauty treatment items etc.
  • Hand over anything you were to supply to the venue or ceremony site
  • Finalize pickup times for limos

The Day Before

  • Sort out payments

On Your Wedding Day

  • Make sure you have someone to provide any last minute payments
  • Review plans for photography
  • Get hair and makeup done
  • Check on the flowers
  • Enjoy the day!

These tips will help you focus on the fun and avoid the stress.

If you are looking for Toronto’s ideal wedding venue, call Château Le Jardin at 1-800-533-3009 or contact us here.