It finally happened! My partner and I are engaged! It’s been a little over two months since he proposed and I am still in total shock! The proposal was perfect and everything I hoped for. It was done privately in the condo that we share together with roses and a huge teddy bear. I hyperventilated and cried, he forgot almost everything he was going to say. It was very us and I wouldn’t change a single thing. We’ve been dating for almost seven years now and I am so excited to call him my fiancé (although I still slip up and use boyfriend sometimes!). He is honestly my best friend and I can’t wait to enter into this next chapter of our lives together as Mr. and Mrs.
Over the past few weeks, I feel like I’ve started to find my footing and am navigating little by little through the large amount of information out there for new brides. I don’t know that I would classify it as “planning” just yet, but I can at least tell you the things I like and don’t like, the general vibe I’m going for and the time of year I’d like to be married (which for me is a huge improvement from *squinty face* ???…. *shrugs shoulders*).
In the hopes that I’m not the only one lost and confused, I thought I would start a new series of posts on my blog to share the successes, learnings, fails and frustrations that will undoubtedly come with planning a wedding. So if you’re a fellow new bride, friend or family of a new bride, or just love reading about weddings and wedding planning, I hope you’ll come along for the ride with me and share any words of encouragement or advice you might have. Trust me, I’ll need them all!
To kick things off, I thought I would share some of the things that have helped me get started.
Looking for Inspiration
One of the very first questions we were asked after we announced our engagement was when we planned to get married. While it was a question I had given some thought to, it wasn’t one I could respond to with even a specific season in mind at first. Did I want pastels and tulips for Spring? Maybe a brighter colour scheme and shorter bridesmaids dresses for the Summer? Or what about deep maroons and a more sultry vibe for Fall? They all sounded so beautiful! How was I ever going to pick one?!
All I can say is thank goodness for Pinterest! After days of searching colour pallets and pinning photo after photo of table arrangements, flowers, lighting and other decor, I discovered that I was drawn more towards the deep hues and sexy feeling of a Fall wedding. Pinterest also really helped me find an overall vibe for my wedding that I absolutely love! Super feminine laces, flower crowns and exposed woods really speak to me, so I’m pretty sure we’ll be going for a more boho, rustic kind of feel. For now I’m leaning more toward a deep maroon, grey and gold colour pallet, but there is a chance that could change as I get deeper into planning. For those interested, here is a link to my ever-growing Pinterest Wedding Board! I hope it will help you find some inspiration of your own!
I’ve also found loads of inspiration in the bridal magazines I’ve been gifted over the holidays (shout out to my friend Christine and my mom!). They have ideas for every kind of wedding – destination, bride on a budget, untraditional weddings and everything in between. The great thing is that bridal magazines help me discover things I never would have thought of on my own. I’m now thinking about more artisanal pottery and cookware for my wedding registry, have ideas of different outfits for engagement photos, and am officially on the hunt for the perfect perfume for my wedding day. I’ve been loving Brides magazine in particular because I feel like their style and vibe closely match what I have in mind for my own wedding. The feel throughout their whole magazine is very feminine and soft, which is right up my ally! I am looking for a few more bridal magazines to pull inspiration from, so let me know in the comments if you have a specific one you’re loving.
Investing in a Planner
Whether it’s a person, a book, or a website, I personally think a wedding planner of some kind is a must. A planner will help to keep you organized, tell you how many months before your wedding to do certain tasks, and help keep you on budget. Planners are also great for getting some helpful tips; everything from guest list etiquette to what questions to ask potential photographers.
For Christmas, I was fortunate enough to receive two wedding planning books as gifts from family and friends. The one of the left is Easy Wedding Planning Plus by Alex and Elizabeth Lluch and is a monster of a planner with over 300 pages. The one on the right is The Knot’s Ultimate Wedding Planner by Carley Roney and is filled with really helpful advice and tips to guide couples through each stage of wedding planning. Both planners contain fillable worksheets and checklists for me and my fiancé to look through and complete. The thing I like most is that they both have a fairly detailed budgeting chart to fill out that goes item by item, vendor by vendor. The Knot’s Ultimate Wedding Planner also has a section in their budgeting chapter that tells you in approximate percentages how much of your overall budget each vendor or item should cost on average. I feel like both of these tools will really allow me closely monitor my spending and help me determine when a vendor is too expensive for my budget. I plan to do a full post on budgeting for a wedding, so keep a look out for that in the near future! Overall, I’m really happy to have both of these planners. At first I thought I might find them repetitive of one another, but that turned out to not be the case at all. I feel like each offers their own unique take and advice on weddings and how to plan and I will definitely continue to use them in tandem.
I’ve also recently discovered weddingwire.ca, which is a free online wedding planning website. What I love about Weddingwire is that it provides a pretty extensive listing of local vendors and services. I can search venues, caterers, entertainment, florists and everything in-between. The best part? They have a mobile app too! I can do a bit of research and planning while I’m on my way to work or in my bed before going to sleep each night. It’s honestly amazing! I can put the vendors and services I’m interested in on a favourites list so that I can easily find them again in the future if I need to. What I love most about Weddingwire is that it usually provides some helpful details on each vendor or service. This feature has been incredibly helpful for me when researching venues. Most times I am able to see things like site capacity, services offered, approximate cost, availability of vendor, if there is an outdoor option, etc. I’ve included a screenshot of the listing for the Jam Factory in Eastern Toronto as an example. This will give you an idea of what level of information to expect from the Weddingwire. I find that having a bit of starting information is useful because it helps me determine if the vendor generally has what I am looking for at a cost that works for my budget. This has really been my starting point for deciding if I want to contact a vendor for more information instead of just blindly emailing. I’m still exploring Weddingwire, so I’m sure there are way more cool features than those I’ve discovered so far and discussed here. If you’ve used Weddingwire and have additional advice or tips, please be sure to leave them in a comment below!
Well, there you have it! My first wedding post in what I hope to be a helpful and interesting series of new blog posts. I hope what I’ve offered here will be inspiring and help set those who are just starting to plan a wedding off on the right foot. If I’ve learned anything through this process so far it is to plan at your own pace and not to be afraid to ask for help or advice.
Are you planning a wedding? What things have inspired you? Are there any tools or platforms that you’ve used that helped with the investigative process of wedding planning? Share your thoughts in the comments below!