You got engaged. You are excited. You are ready to start planning for your big day with your future spouse. But where do you start? There are so many things to consider: coming up with a guest list, picking a dress, choosing vendors and the list goes on. We spoke to Toronto-based certified wedding planner Rainbow Chan of Rainbow Chan Weddings. She shared a few simple yet practical tips to kick off your wedding planning process.
Step 1: Budgeting for your wedding
It is important to have a wedding budget at the outset of the planning stage, way before you begin looking at ceremony and reception venues or booking any services. When building the wedding budget, you will want to start by figuring out who is paying for the wedding. You may be paying for the wedding entirely or may be your family would like to help. It is important to know what the amount will be because it can help you set the priorities accordingly.
Step 2: Make your guest list
Once you have determined an optimal budget, the next step is to come up a tentative guest list and an estimated total number of guests that meet the financial constraints. Begin by making a wish list of people whom you would like to attend your wedding and ask both sides of the parents to do the same. Keep in mind, the smaller your guest list, the lower your catering costs will be. The size of the guest list may affect the choice of your reception.
Step 3: Setting your wedding date
It is best to come up with a preferred date and with a few alternatives. This will give you some flexibility as you search for venues. You will also think about what time of day you would like to have your wedding. The time of day will affect the formality of the wedding as well as your budget.
Step 4: Create an inspiration board
The style and theme of your wedding can determine the type of venues that you will look at. You will also choose the vendor for stationery, wedding cake, flowers and etc, that best match your style (and fit within your budget as well of course). It is a good idea to take the time to look for and gather inspiration for all of the details.
Step 5: Choose the location and venue
You can narrow down the venue choices once you have your estimated wedding budget, number of guests, and your wedding theme. Do lots of research before signing any agreements. Get all the information about what things really cost and be careful of any hidden service charges, location fee and etc!
Hire a wedding planner if desired
Wedding planning can be an overwhelming process. On average, it takes around 250 hours to plan a full wedding. It is almost like a second full time job itself. I would highly recommend couples to consider getting a professional wedding planner so you can save time, relax and enjoy the wedding planning experience.
About Rainbow Chan Weddings
Rainbow Chan steps into the wedding industry since 2011, and has worked with more than 100 couples for their wedding. She specializes in planning mix cultures weddings here in Toronto. She is also a professional wedding emcee, fluent in English and Cantonese. If you are interested to learn more about her services, check out her website at rainbowchan.com.