Wedding Planning Tips
1) Guest List & Budget: The first thing to do, before making any major decisions, is decide how big (or intimate) you want your reception to be, and how much room you have in your “Piggy Bank”. Be realistic with what you are comfortable spending, and try to base your guest list accordingly. On average, the cost for catering (food, rentals, and service staff) can range anywhere from $50.00 per person – $150.00 per person, depending on the style of menu, etc. The cost for the venue, florist, photographer, dress, beverages, honeymoon, etc will add to the overall budget. Do your research, and make sure you are comfortable with the costs before you book anything.
2) Venue: it is best to book a venue about 6 months to a year before your date. As most venues can only do one wedding a day, the most popular venues in Vancouver do tend to book up quickly. Note that some places will also not rent out their space more than a year in advance.
3) Caterer: once the venue has been booked, now is the time to start contacting caterers. As each venue has different requirements, the estimates will vary depending on where your reception is (and some venues have in house food service that you must use. Make sure you are happy with this option before you pay your deposit!).
4) Photographer, DJ’s, Decorator and Wedding Cake: This is the next step. Ask for referrals and references from friends, family, your caterer… there are many wedding vendors in Vancouver and word of mouth is the best way to start your search. Ask people you trust, and you will be sure to find a company that you are excited to work with. You want to start looking about 6 months or so in advance, as again the most popular vendors may book out quickly.
5) Date: You have decided to plan a wedding in less than a year – and the venue you want is sold out on every Saturday! Why not consider a Friday or Sunday wedding? As Saturdays are the most popular days for weddings, this also means that the other vendors you are interested in may be sold out as well. Rather than booking the date you want & sacrificing where it is and who you want to be a part of it, find a date where you can book your dream team. You will want to look back on your wedding as the best day in your life – not the day that you went with the second best!
6) When you hire the “Butler Did It”: We don’t just put the menu together for you. We book your rentals, work with the venue and coordinate with your other vendors. We execute the load in, set up, strike and load out at the end of the night. We can help with the time line, floor plan, and colour scheme and have many excellent referrals to make sure that your wedding day is everything you want it to be!
Checklist and Time Line:
You have said, “Yes!” What is next? Planning a wedding should be one of the most exciting times in your life ~ it certainly does not have to be the most stressful! Below is a time line to help you know what important things need to happen when:
10- 12 Months Before:
- Announce engagement
- Determine date for wedding
- Draw up guest list – how many people will you invite? (Make sure you budget for everyone you invite, to keep your budget on track)
- Decide on style of reception
- Determine Budget. Try to separate it into categories: catering, dresses, photography, honeymoon, etc. This way if you find that one area is higher than expected, you can try to take that from another category.
- Book your reception and ceremony venues
- Book your caterer
- Decide on your wedding party, and confirm their availability
6 – 9 Months Before:
- Book your photographer, DJ, wedding cake, videographer, florist, decorators, and marriage Ccmmissioner
- Order your wedding dress
- Order brides maids dresses
- Choose your wedding rings
- Book honeymoon
- Choose where you will register for gifts
- Decide on your menu
- Order invitations
3-6 Months Before:
- Order wedding favors for guests
- Finilize guest list
- Send “Out of Town” Invites (& send them accommodation info, and any fun things to do in Vancouver that you think they may be interested in)
1-2 Months before:
- Send the rest of your invitations
- Make appointments for hair and makeup
- Book final dress fitting
- Order Men’s tux’s
- Purchase gifts for bridal party and parents, etc.
- Apply for marriage license
- Book site inspection with all your vendors at your venue
- Start working on time line
Last Two Weeks:
- Get Special Occasion Liquor License (if required by the venue)
- Plan rehearsal dinner
- Draft speeches and vows
- Call any guests who have not replied
- Book “trial” hair appointment, and remember to bring your veil!
- Finilize seating plan
- Arrange who is going to deliver beverages to the venue, decorations, guest book, etc.
- Ask caterer when they need final head count
- Finilize time line (order for procession, speeches, etc.)
- Have rehearsal dinner – give gifts to wedding party and parents.
- Deliver Marriage License to your officiant
- Pack for your honeymoon!
Last 48 hours:
- Write any cheques needed for the wedding day
- Give rings to Best Man or Maid of Honour
- Give cheques to Best Man or MOH (for any payments due that day)
On the Day:
- Relax – and Have fun!!! You should not have to do anything on this day, except enjoy the day!
After the Wedding/Honeymoon:
- Send out thank you notes to guests, wedding party, and vendors