On Friday January 14, my then boyfriend Nick and I went to dinner at my favorite restaurant in Yorkville, Panorama. For those who may not be familiar with the restaurant, Panorama is set atop the 51st floor of the Manulife Centre at Bay and Bloor (Toronto). I love Panorama not only for its delicious food and drinks, but also for its view. Go to Panorama at night and see the city shine. The city just lights up and it creates the most romantic setting.
Nick happened to agree with me as well. Little did I know that this restaurant would become my favorite for a whole new reason.
We walked outside on the patio, admiring the city and basking in its glow, then all of a sudden, Nick gets down on bended knee and asks me to marry him.
How sweet is that? Of course I said YES! I mean after six years, if I said no, I’d just be leading the guy on.
Since that day, I have been working on planning my wedding. Opps… my mistake, we’ve been planning our wedding. It’s a joint effort.
I’ve attended wedding shows, bridal shows, bought wedding magazines, read through wedding blogs, created a wedding folder, organized a wedding budget on excel and talked to my closest friends (some married, some single, some dating, some wondering if they’d ever get married) just to get further advice.
Thanks to all my research, I can say that the best way for you to start planning your wedding is not by looking at every magazine available to you, but to get opinions from your family and friends and actually going out and talking to the professionals. Talk to photographers, talk to the reception manager, talk to your mother, your sister, your brother and father.
But again, use them as sources for inspiration because the person who opinions matter the most our those of the bride and groom to be.
So, as I’m currently immersed in the planning process, I decided to offer my loyal readers and casual visitors my non-expert advice on planning.
I am not a wedding consultant, I do not write for any wedding magazines or blogs, in no way am I a wedding professional. I merely just want to share my advice with you. You may or may not be planning your wedding at the moment, either way this hopefully will make for a good read.
Here is my BS free advice, suggestions, opinions on wedding planning.
Let the advising session begin!
Relax…its just one day
I’ve heard this all to often, mainly from my dad when I make suggestions on how I want my big day to be the talk of the town. But in reality, he’s right. It’s one day, don’t sweat it.
As soon as the engagement ring is placed on your finger, I know many brides start thinking about what there going to do next (I’m guilty of this). But, please take this time to enjoy being engaged and getting used to calling the mister fiancée, instead of my boyfriend or BF.
You’ll also have to start getting used to wearing your engagement ring. I’m still getting used to it.
The first month of your engagement is meant to be enjoyed. You’re friends will ask to see your ring, you’ll have to notify everyone in your family….this should take some time.
It’s all about transitioning from boyfriend and girlfriend to husband and wife. Just enjoy and don’t overwhelm yourselves.
You Know you have Options, Right?!
Okay so let’s fast-forward to the second month of your engagement…the planning period is about to begin.
First things first, decide on a date. Got it? Good!
Moving on, find a hall that meets your needs and budget and book it as soon as possible.
Shop around. It’s usually a good idea to look at least three different banquet halls. But once a choice has been made, make sure you get out your chequebook and reserve the date. Many couples book their reception venues anywhere from a year to a year and a half in advance.
Spaces do fill up quickly.
Not going to a hall? Thinking of going to a restaurant? The same applies.
Shop around and book in advance. Just a side note, make sure you’re fully aware of how many people the hall/restaurant can accommodate before signing the contract.
Another thing to note, plates can be expensive, so think of how much you’re willing to spend. It’s not uncommon to pay $100 per person when dealing with the food at your reception.
Options do not only apply to your reception venue, they also apply to anything from the limos you choose to the invitations you send. Shop around!!!
Know What You Can and Cannot Do
Create an excel spreadsheet and list all the necessary requirements. From your bridal gown to your honeymoon, know what you want to spend. Establish a budget and make sure your list is categorized by a) Description (i.e. Bridal Gown), b) Estimated Cost (i.e. $2,000), c) Actual Cost (i.e. $1,750) d) Difference ($250) e) Notes (write down the name of the vendor and your deposit).
This is honestly the best way for you to keep track of your budget and it will help you stay organized.
It’s Not All About You
Hollywood lied. Big surprise!
Listen, this day does focus on you…for the most part. True be told, you’re not the sole focus. It’s also about the groom, don’t forget the day is not complete without him.
It’s also about the guests who you invite to take part in your special day. It’s about pleasing them. Have a menu, which can be enjoyed by many, not just you and your significant other. You may love Greek food, but you’re having an Indian wedding. Try finding a middle ground. Have some Greek salad to compliment your Tandoori Chicken? It’s worth a shot.
Just make sure you give everyone the attention that they deserve.
For starters, during the dinner, make sure you go to each table and thank everyone individually for coming.
Don’t solely dance with your groom, dance with your mom, your dad, your siblings, your cousins, your best from elementary.
Thank your friends and family in your speech. It’s not only meant for you to gush about your first date or how you two met and how you can’t wait to spend the rest of your lives together.
Don’t forget to send out thank you cards. This not only displays your gratitude, it also is a sign of acknowledgement. Plus, it also makes you seem less greedy…just kidding.
This is a celebration. Make sure everyone has a memorable day.
And that concludes my advising session. If you want more advice or would like my opinion on something, please comment on this post or send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org
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