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Kathryn
Newbie July 2024 Alberta

Where do i start?

Kathryn, on November 15, 2021 at 14:18 Posted in Plan a wedding 0 22
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Hi Smiley smile I got engaged in September of this year and I am slowly starting to plan little things here and there and get new ideas. We are getting married in 2023 but don’t have an official date yet. I am feeling like I am not sure where to start with all the planning and how early it is to plan certain things or when to just start looking at dresses and try on to see what I like. I would really appreciate some bridal guidance!!

22 Comments

Latest activity by Tunisha, on December 12, 2021 at 12:11
  • Tunisha
    Featured October 2021 Ontario
    Tunisha ·
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    Oh yes! And you definitely can, I believe in this! You’re so welcome!! Aww 🥰 thank you so much! Really appreciate this so much!! 🙏🏾💕😁 Same to you and your SO.
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  • Megan
    Frequent user July 2023 Ontario
    Megan ·
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    Hey! July 2023 bride here. I got engaged in April 2021 and dove in head first. Mainly because I am a major planner but I'm glad I did. I would at least start booking your main vendors. You can't do too many details yet but the big things you should do sooner rather than later. 2023 prices are skyrocketing. The sooner you get in, the better rate you'll lock in. Plus, with all of the cancelled COVID weddings, you don't want to have slim pickings for vendors. The main things I've booked are: Venue/catering/bar, DJ, officiant, makeup (only because it's my fiancé's cousin - I don't think you would normally book that this early) and photographer. I'm not going to be doing my dress for a while as I want to make sure it fits (I'm mid-weight loss right now). We also did an engagement party which was a nice way to scratch the itch of doing some wedding stuff early. We selected our wedding party and have planned some broad ideas of decor, etc.

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  • Monica
    Beginner August 2022 British Columbia
    Monica ·
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    Of course! Always happy to help!

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  • Kathryn
    Newbie July 2024 Alberta
    Kathryn ·
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    Thanks! We love the idea too Smiley smile And yes, honestly, we are hoping to plan this wedding as cheap as we can! Kijiji is awesome! Thank you so much for all of your help! Smiley smile Wishing you a lifetime of happiness and love!
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  • Tunisha
    Featured October 2021 Ontario
    Tunisha ·
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    Awww that’s so amazing about the theatre idea. Love it! I would say try to see what decor they have and what you can use from them while you figure out what is missing and what you need.


    Yes, you can buy off Kijiji if it works or second hand. Wishing you all the best in the planning.
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  • Kathryn
    Newbie July 2024 Alberta
    Kathryn ·
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    Hi Meghan! Smiley smile Thank you so much!! I asked my best friend to be my maid of honour on her birthday and it was so special! I can’t wait to ask the rest of my friends and my sisters to be my bridesmaids! Smiley smile 2023 has filled up quite fast for sure, so we have decided to push our wedding date a year ahead to 2024 so that we don’t have to rush as much Smiley smile Thanks again for the tips!
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  • Kathryn
    Newbie July 2024 Alberta
    Kathryn ·
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    Hi Lily! Oh my goodness, congratulations to you and your fiancé as well!! Very exciting! Smiley smile Thank you for the tips! We have pushed our wedding to 2024 just cause yes, things do fill up quickly, so not in so so much of a rush anymore but yes I have started to look into those things. I am excited for you to go dress shopping!! Smiley smile I am stoked to do that and still a little iffy on when it’s too early or too late. Thanks again!
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  • Kathryn
    Newbie July 2024 Alberta
    Kathryn ·
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    Hi Cassandra! Smiley smile Thank you!! I am so excited to start this planning journey! I am finding that it is nice to slowly enjoy the process and make sure to secure what we want/need for our day! I am all about the Pinterest boards lol!! I have been getting lots of ideas and inspiration from there Smiley smile Thank you so much!
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  • Kathryn
    Newbie July 2024 Alberta
    Kathryn ·
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    Hi Tunisha! Smiley smile Thank you so much! We have been starting to look at a couple of venues! We live in Alberta, Canada so we have been looking in Canmore and/or Banff and we have looked at a golf course venue and a theatre venue. My fiancé and I met in our high school theatre so that would just be the cherry on top of the ice cream i think Smiley smile We are not yet sure about decor, the theatre venue explained that they have some decor we can use/rent but also bring in our own stuff too! Super nice to have both options I think! Thanks again!
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  • Kathryn
    Newbie July 2024 Alberta
    Kathryn ·
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    Hi Kelly! Smiley smile Thank you for your advice!! My fiancé and I have already looked at a couple of venues and our guest list is pretty finalized now! I am so grateful we got an idea of our guest list before we went to see the venues because as you said, yes, they do ask you a lot of questions lol! Smiley smile Thank you again!
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  • Kathryn
    Newbie July 2024 Alberta
    Kathryn ·
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    Hi Monica Smiley smile Thank you for sharing this great tip! I definitely agree with you about talking about each other’s values and what each other wants. I am so excited to share this idea with my fiancé and hopefully after doing so, a whole bunch of ideas and plans will start falling into place Smiley smile Thanks again!!
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  • Monica
    Beginner August 2022 British Columbia
    Monica ·
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    Hello Kathryn,

    Congratulations on your engagement! We had this very question too, where to start. We tried starting at different points, budget, guest list, setting a date...etc. but I wish someone had told me to start with values.

    We are a very values-driven couple so for us, it just made sense. We sat down and identified our shared values for what we wanted our wedding day to be. We ended up with: ease, connection, fun & play, environmentally low-impact, comfort, appreciation of loved ones, and aesthetic & beauty. For us it has been a saving grace. When we feel torn between option a) vs. option b) we look back at our values and usually the answer is clear. I'm biased but I do believe that identifying your values as a couple gives you a great framework for making decisions during the planning season.

    Remember that there is no right or wrong value to have, they just are! Wishing you all the best during your wedding planning season!

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  • KELLY
    Featured October 2023 Ontario
    KELLY ·
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    Congratulations on your engagement!

    In my opinion, the best place to start is your guest list, work with your fiancé and decide on the number of people you may have. With that done, book your venue! Most vendors will want the venue details when you book with them.

    Best of luck!

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  • Tunisha
    Featured October 2021 Ontario
    Tunisha ·
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    Congratulations on your engagement Kathryn! 🎉🍾🥂 Welcome to WeddingWire.
    You can start as early as you like since there are lots of wedding taking place in next year, 2023 and 2024. You want to make sure that you secure certain vendors for your wedding or make sure they are available. Start with a budget for your vendors and items you need.

    Are you planning on decorating yourself or have a decorating vendor? And what’s your idea on venue?
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  • Cassandra
    Beginner August 2022 Ontario
    Cassandra ·
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    Congratulations on your recent engagement! I had 2 years between my engagement and wedding so I started my planning almost right away by securing a venue and date. Once I had that locked down I kinda let things simmer for 6 months or so, just looking at pinterest boards etc and decided on what "style, colors etc I wanted for my big day. Then I started really digging in and looking for photographer, officiant, catering etc .
    I was going to look for my dress about 6-8 months out from my wedding, but there was a huge sale at one of my local bridal shops so I went in to curiously try on some dresses and ended up saying yes that day! Because I have slowly planned the wedding I have found it to be a very enjoyable experience and have been able to secure all the vendors we wanted for our special day without any issues (whereas I have friends who waited too long and missed their chance at their preferred vendors)
    Good luck and enjoy the process! It should be fun! Not stressful
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  • Lily
    Curious August 2023 Ontario
    Lily ·
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    Congrats! My fiance and I got engaged in September and are planning a 2023 wedding, too! I started planning right away as I have noticed things for 2023 are filling up fast. So, we started by planning out a budget (we're using Google Sheets to break everything down in terms of pricing). After figuring out a budget, we made a rough guest list and then started searching up venues. Once we secured a venue we then booked a photographer, videographer and florist/decorator. These four things are, to me, the biggest things to get booked first. I'm hoping to find an officiant, makeup/hairstylist, and band within the new year (I'll probably start contacting people Feb/March).

    I'm planning getting a dress sometime in the summer as I'll have to travel to Toronto in order to find one.

    Again. congrats! And good luck!

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  • Meghan
    Featured September 2022 Ontario
    Meghan ·
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    First of all Congrats and welcome to wedding wire Smiley smile It's never too early to start planning a wedding I started planning right are we got engaged and we planned our we planned on getting married to years away that way we could some what take our time and be able to pay for things and not rush! Venues and wedding date is definitely where you'd want to start your planning can't book any vendors until you have a wedding date and when you have a ball park of what date you want to get married on you have to make sure the venue you choose has the date available! Also if you don't feel ready to book a venue yet, you can start by brainstorming how you picture your wedding ie. colours, theme, style, settings etc. once you have an idea of what you're looking for it might help you more with the planning process cause you'll have that visual of what want. Lastly you can also figure out who you both want in your wedding parties and ask them to be in it! Hope this helps Smiley smile Good Luck and Happy Planning

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  • Vinod
    Featured August 2017 Ontario
    Vinod ·
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    Wedding planning under tools is a good guide for a starting point of what to do months wise. A few things that can guide you to getting the start:

    Set a budget for everything you want to envision for the wedding day

    Create a guest list to know many guests as a count

    Choose a date and based on the venue, a closer date if available if not the actual date possible to get

    Compare the 3 most venues you two like and get the best package deal to book

    Vendors following to book would be videographer (optional), photographer, DJ, Florist (if going with real flowers), and decor rental (less expensive than purchasing to keep)

    The Checklist under tools will help with checking every task off as its completed and know what is left to do. The budget is also a great source to input your cost of budget and shows the actual rather than writing it down yourself.

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  • Amanda
    Featured August 2022 British Columbia
    Amanda ·
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    I would figure out a budget first and how many people you would want at your wedding. How many guests will determine what kind of venue since some venues are small then others.

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  • Carmel
    Featured December 2020 Ontario
    Carmel ·
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    After venue I would book a photographer and videographer if you plan to have one. After that everyone else is next haha. Start shopping for a dress a year out.
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  • Brittany
    Frequent user August 2023 Alberta
    Brittany ·
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    I agree with Hank on figuring out your budget first. Afterwards, I would suggest booking a venue.

    With so many weddings postponed in 2020 and 2021, venues are already booking well into 2023 with limited dates.

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  • Hank
    Featured September 2021 Ontario
    Hank ·
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    I would start with a budget. Figure out how much money you can part with for the wedding or how much you are able to save by Jan 2023. This will determine pretty much a lot of things for you like what style of wedding, what venue, etc.

    A good idea to keep in mind for budgeting is spending roughly $150/guest for a typical multi-course meal with open bar. You can certainly spend less if you're willing to compromise on certain things (cocktail wedding instead of seated plated meal, lunch reception vs dinner, casual food vs formal, different bar options etc).

    Once you have a budget, you'll know approx how many people you can invite and how much to spend on the meal. Start looking for venues that fit that criteria. You can also narrow that search further with geographical specifications and the type of venue (barn vs banquet hall etc).

    If you find a great deal on your dress, it doesn't hurt to shop early but it's not something you need to be looking at right away. Bridesmaid dresses can wait until end of next year. Same with suits.

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