Wedding Checklist, Desk. Office space of a wedding photographer, creative entrepreneur

I thought I would write out some tips for those of you planning your weddings right now. These tips are categorized by the stages of planning. Some may help you a lot and some may not at all! Hopefully they give you a bit of insight.

Aquatopia, Greenhouse Wedding Ottawa, Ontario
Aquatopia Water Garden Conservatory Wedding
Outdoor adventure photographer. Bride & Groom on a dock on River hugging, moody skies.
Ontario Elopement Photographer

Early On

  • Think of 3 descriptive words that you want your wedding to embody. Write them down and stick it somewhere you can see at all times. Don’t lose sight of those three words while planning. Doing this will help keep your eye on the prize. If you need more visual representation, create a vision board to match these 3 words. Know that you’re not going to create your exact vision board but have it for inspiration and motivation!
  • Create a mood/vision board. Use images on Instagram, Pinterest, or other sources and keep the top 10 in a folder on your phone. This will be used specifically for inspiration so make sure the images convey your wedding goals clearly.
  • Each makes your own top 5 list of things you want from your wedding/elopement. 1-Must have all the way to 5-Would love if doable.
  • Then make a second list of 1-5 things you would be willing to sacrifice. ⁠These lists will help keep your priorities straight as you face those tough decisions.
  • If you don’t have any around your house, go buy some organizational folders. Keep things like contracts, timelines, questionnaires, checklists and any other documents organized in these folders. Don’t let all those papers stack up all over the place!
  • Download a checklist and print it out. Clean your desk and keep that list front and centre at all times. This will help you feel prepared, organized and not distracted by all the million minor tasks. (I made a wedding checklist to those subscribed to my newsletter a couple of years ago and have rebranded and re-vamped it up for you. It’s attached below for you to download! Remember lots of wedding sites have their own versions as well, so it’s ok to compare and contrast and create your own or use the one that best fits your needs.)
  • Try to only focus on one task at a time. It might not always be do-able but it can help prevent you from getting disorganized, distracted and confused as to what needs to be done.
  • You may be a super decisive person, or you may be incredibly indecisive. It’s time to pep talk yourself into a more decisive mindset. Know what you want and don’t be afraid to ask for it. This is what that list and those 3 words will help with. Being indecisive will cause more stress for everyone involved, especially yourself!
  • Ditch the traditions you genuinely don’t care about! Leave what your great aunt wants behind… If it’s not true to you, say goodbye! I know this one can be tricky so maybe allow for a couple of traditions that your closest family members would like to see, but do it your way and on your terms, so you’re still ultimately happy! If your a little weary of ditching traditions check out my blog post on the Anti-Bride and how to channel her to help ease your planning process.
Brewery wedding ceremony, Last Best Brewery Calgary Alberta.
Last Best Brewery – Calgary Wedding
Outdoor intimate jewish ceremony, Ottawa Ontario
Wilderness Tours Wedding Ontario

Halfway There

  • Add personal touches. If you and your fiancé love poutine, consider getting poutine for late-night food. If you’re obsessed with scotch, have a mini scotch tasting bar with your 4 favourites. Think of something you two love/do together and incorporate it into your reception or ceremony. It will mean so much more to you and your guests. If you need some fun ideas head to my blog post Fun & Unique Wedding Ideas!
  • Confirm with the caterer/venue that those working your wedding will eat at the same time you do. (Photographer, DJ, MC, organizer, planner, videographer…) Nothing crazy is going to happen while you’re eating, so it’s best to have those people eating at the same time as you. That way you ensure they’re fuelled and prepped for speeches, toasts, kisses and all the fun things that happen during the reception!
  • Create a timeline for the day and fill in what you have already confirmed. Add to it as you finalize more details. You can create a really simple easy one on google or excel! It’ll be done most likely the week of your wedding, and once it’s done you can then send it to everyone who will need it. This includes venue, caterer, photographer, videographer, DJ, officiant, bridal party, parents, organizers/MC, and anyone else that it may apply to.
Birds eye view of a cocktail reception at an outdoor wedding. Ottawa river wedding
Wilderness Tours Wedding Ontario
Bride and Groom on wedding day, downtown calgary alberta.
The Blues Can – Calgary Wedding Photographer
Jabulani Vineyard Wedding

The Month Of

  • Relax, please for the love!!! Maybe you’ve been ditching junk food, working out, not drinking alcohol, drinking double your regular amount of coffee, you’ve for sure been busy planning, organizing, going to appointments, and a lot more these past 6-12 months… So go get a massage with your fiancé and remember this process is a part of the fun! It helps build up the anticipation and excitement, so take a day off to enjoy some downtime! Get some bubbly, get facials together, go to your favourite restaurant or bar… Whatever you need to relax, do it!
  • Create a getting ready playlist. It should be personalized to what you want to hear one your wedding day morning, pump up the jams or chill out, either way, curate your perfect getting ready playlist because that part of the day is actually pretty lengthy and you’ll be thankful for it later!
  • Break in your shoes! No explanation needed.
  • Create an emergency bag. There are tons of resources online for what to have in this bag (Like this one!). It really does help ease stress in the event that something does come up. This is also a good task to delegate to your bridal party or the groomsmen if you’re already stressed and have a lot on your plate. Pro tip from personal experience, have a sewing kit in there! I always have one with me and it has come in hand almost every single wedding I’ve done!
Hotel Arts Wedding – Calgary
Getting ready moment with the bride and bridal party. Bride doing makeup in a mirror laughing.
Aquatopia Water Garden Conservatory
2018-05-21_0011.jpg
Jabulani Vineyard Wedding
Guests celebrating the surprise arrival of the bride and groom pulling up in a canoe.
Wilderness Tours Wedding Ontario

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