11 February 2017
Insider advice: where to begin planning your wedding
Planning a wedding can either bring loads of fun or a whole load of stress (likely a mix of both)! Once the initial fanfare of your engagement dies down you are left with a lot of decisions, and knowing where to start can be challenging. We spoke to Viviana Kohon, wedding planner and Partner, Director of Marketing for The Symes event venue, for some insider advice to get started planning your big day.
1) Set a realistic budget
The number one thing to nail down is a budget that will deliver on your vision for the day, but it must be balanced with what you can actually afford. "Most people have a lot of trouble setting their budget," says Viviana. "Budget ranges are so wide, until couples are clear on how much they are willing to spend, it's impossible to do anything else."
Viviana's advice to help nail down your budget is to tick off some key questions including how many people you want at your wedding, what season you want to be married in, what type of venue and food. Then you have to decide what you're willing to compromise on if your starting point lands you with a budget that you can't afford.
2) Book the venue, photographer, DJ and officiant first
"With these things, the good ones go fast," says Viviana. So plan on nailing down these elements swiftly. You can then take a bit longer to decide on other things where suppliers often do more than one wedding a day, such as caterers and florists.
3) Hiring a planner can actually save you money - and stress
Hiring a planner may seem like an extravagant expense to some, however you can actually find a lot of efficiencies by doing so. "We know how much things cost and we can help you make difficult decisions that will ensure your wedding delivers on your vision, within budget. It's about making sure your money goes towards the most important things," says Viviana. "We get married every weekend, so we have loads of contacts that can make things happen, when you might not be able to alone."
4) Focus on enjoying the biggest part of your wedding - the planning!
The excitement of a wedding goes far beyond the day itself. "The biggest part is actually the planning, so that should be enjoyable too," Viviana says. "The best piece of advice I can give couples is to enjoy the process and not let it take over your life." One way to help this happen is to have someone else play the bad guy if family members or friends get upset. As a wedding planner, Viviana plays that role for couples. "I tell my brides to just blame me if any difficult situations arise," says Viviana. But if you don't have a wedding planner, consider recruiting some other allies such as a sister or brother for moral support on matters of disagreement. And keep things in perspective - weddings are happy celebrations!
5) Buck the trends
Viviana's advice is to stay away from the latest wedding trends. "We hate cookie cutter weddings," she says. "It's a day to reflect you as a couple so it should be personal to who you are. The only trend to follow is customization," says Viviana. "Keep an open mind and explore different ideas."
"We love seeing the bride and groom interact and make decisions together," says Viviana. "The days of the bride being in sole charge are over, wedding planning now is a joint affair. We see lots of involved grooms which is really nice," she says. "There will always be compromise, but planning a day that captures you both as a couple gets the best result."
For those planning a Toronto wedding, check out the exciting new event space The Symes, opening Fall 2017.
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