Hello! Today marks another installment of my Wedding Planning 101 series! Can’t believe three months have gone by and soon I’ll be hitting the 6 month mark! I feel a wave of excitement and nervousness at the same time. Though I’ve been able to check many things off the list these first few months, but figuring out all the intricate details is the part that will consume most of my time, energy, AND brain power. However, I’m totally looking forward to it!
If you’re new to reading about my wedding planning journey, I urge you to start from the beginning and read my past posts on “Wedding Planning 101“.
Here are the items I was able to accomplish in this 3rd month of wedding planning (a reminder, I’m working from a 9 month plan)! Best of luck to you if you’re starting yours!
I had one task leftover from the previous month (2nd month), and glad to have knocked it off the list.
1) Block out Hotel Rooms for Out of Town Guests
Complete! Since our wedding venue is in a very central and accessible part of the city and many of our guests will be staying with family and friends, therefore our guess is that many won’t be needing a hotel room. However, it is always good to have options available for those who do want to stay at a nearby hotel and heck, give those new mommies and daddies a chance to make it a great date night out! Our wedding is just about a week prior to the start of the Pan-Am games in Toronto, we were warned ahead of time that it may be difficult finding a hotel room block with a reasonable rate.
I first contacted the closest hotel nearby and they were already not able to accommodate a flexible room block. Rather, they asked we guarantee a set number of rooms now! Last checked, we’re still 7-8 months out! There was no way we could commit to booking off a block of rooms now. Luckily, we were able to work out an arrangement with One King West Hotel, just a short 10 minute walk from the venue with extremely reasonable rates and terms. I had a great experience working with One King West and would recommend any of you hosting a wedding in the Downtown Toronto core to consider them as a hotel partner.
Important things to look for when working out your guest hotel arrangements:
- Flexible terms, i.e. no commitment on guaranteed room blocks required
- Upgrades for you and your fiance if you are choosing to stay with them
- A variety of room options/rates to accommodate couples or families
- Simple reservation steps and dedicated room block quote
2) Interview & Book Hair & Makeup
Complete! I actually booked hair and makeup for myself and the wedding party a while back! Quality and value were the key factors when it came to making my decision. I selected Hey Jolie for our make up services. I had the pleasure to work with Jen during my photo shoot with Shop for Jayu a few months ago. I really enjoyed working with her and her make up skills are impeccable (check out my photo shoot photos here and here)! As for hair, I’ve asked my regular hairstylist which also happens to be my colleague’s daughter to work on our hair. Due to the fact that she currently works at another salon, I’ll have to refrain from sharing her contact at this moment in time!
Here are a few things to consider/ask when choosing your hair and makeup artist for the big day:
- Set a total budget for Hair and Makeup (this includes you, your bridal party, moms, sisters, etc.)
- Ask for a full fees schedule and deposit requirements for the Bride, Mother, and Bridal Party
- Find someone that you feel really comfortable working with and not afraid to take risks and try new things!
- Any travel costs required
- Makeup/Hair touch up costs – it generally costs more to have them come back and do touch ups before the reception, etc.
- Makeup/Hair trial costs
- Have a few example photos ready to show before making your decision
3) Interview & Book Florists
Complete! This was likely the easiest decision we made! I already knew who I wanted to work with before I even got engaged! LOL I met Sarah from DeLight Floral + Design months ago. We worked on several events together and have always admired and adored her work. I have 100% trust in Sarah and know that with very little direction, she’s going to create some beautiful center pieces. Sarah and I are also hoping to work on a fun floral installation together for the wedding, hopefully, we’ll be able to come up with something unique and original!
When it comes to selecting a wedding florist, you have to set your mind on a budget. I can’t stress how important it is to decide on a budget together as there is a huge range of options and prices out there. Depending on your budget, your florist should be working with you in coming up with the perfect plan for your wedding that fits both your budget and your vision.
I am thrilled to not only be working with DeLight Floral + Design on our wedding, but also be hosting a super fun DIY Wreath Making Workshop next weekend (Nov 22) together! Our first session is completely SOLD OUT from 1-3 p.m. but we’ve opened up a second session from 4-6 p.m. I hope you can join us and see Sarah’s work in action!
4) Find Stationary Designers
Complete! I’ve been blessed to meet so many talented people from my blogging adventures, including Sarah (yes another Sarah!) of Love Love Me Do. I met Sarah at a Etsy event during the summer and was smitten by her artwork. I also recall sharing a love of DIY during our brief conversation and reached out to her shortly after our engagement to design our custom wedding stationary. I’m also super happy for Sarah as she will be getting married herself next year, on the same day as me!!!
I really enjoyed starting the design process with Sarah, she has been extremely collaborative and was happy to share her ideas when it came to coming up with the perfect design. We are so happy with our Save the Date (below) design and absolutely can not wait to work on our actual invitations and other stationary elements.
Some people prefer to be fairly involved with the process and others, fairly hands off… being the DIY-er that I am, I’d say I swing closer to the “involved” side (shocking right?!) and so glad that Sarah values my design opinion. There are so many options when it comes to designing your wedding invites, there are a variety of ready to order options, we just decided to go with a custom design, it was a personal preference.
If you’re looking for some ready to wedding invite options, here are a few for you to consider:
If you’re looking for a fun custom design, be sure to contact Love Love Me Do!
5) Find Cake Bakers and sample!
Complete! My sister has graciously offered to make our wedding cake! I’m so grateful to have her in my life and we’re looking forward to seeing her creation! I’ve sent her a few cake inspirations but ultimately speaking, she’s going to deliver us a big surprise! We waffled quite some time on whether we will be serving our wedding cake as a dessert course and finally landed with a no. However, we will be cutting the cake and making it available as an optional item to munch on, yum!
6) Book Photographers and Take Engagement Photos
Complete (and deferred)! Selecting our photographers was likely the most daunting task. Primarily due to so many recommendations we received and of all things … we were the most picky and choosy with deciding on this vendor. We really wanted to find a photographer that we felt comfortable with (trust me… unless you’re a natural model, there will be some awkward moments during your shoot) and also a style of photography that suit our style. Kyle and I really want the photos to capture and convey not only our personalities but also our relationship – which is lighthearted, fun, and full of love.
We are ecstatic to work with Afterglow Images! A friend of mine recommended Kirk and Angela (an adorable couple!) for our special day. We met with the lovely couple and discussed our wedding photography plans and we really enjoyed their approach, style, and work. When I browse through their website, I don’t only see photos, but the moments they have captured. It is extremely hard to describe the feeling their photos convey, but words like sweet, loving, cozy, and airy come to mind. That’s exactly what we are looking for!
We have decided to defer our engagement photo shoot to the Spring, as those of you in Toronto will understand, it’s already quite gloomy here! Though we’ve delayed this shoot till closer to the wedding date, Kirk and Angela have already started to brainstorm some ideas with us, and we’re totally looking forward to capturing some uber cool shots!
I highly recommend checking them out and if you’re interested, get in touch soon as they book up really quick!
I’ve actually managed to check a few more things off the list, but I won’t spend the time now to overwhelm you but rather share them in the months ahead! I hope you found this installment useful for your own wedding planning, and don’t hesitate to ask me any thing by leaving a comment below!