Congratulations! You are now engaged and looking forward to planning your wedding. With great enthusiasm you choose a date together and start looking at vendors. Here are three things that can alter your wedding plans.
Style Me Pretty ran a survey a few weeks ago asking their Facebook readers which vendors brides seek out first after getting engaged. Topping the list was selecting a venue followed by photographers, planners and ceremony celebrants (church or officiants). What these four have in common is that these vendors must be physically available for your wedding day. They need to be there for your day. Their availability becomes a major planning issue for you.
There are three things that can determine your selection and may alter the plans you’ve made for your day.
Size of Wedding: The total size of your wedding may limit what venue you can select. For example, in Ottawa, there are a limited number of venues that can handle over 150 guests. If you want such a venue you will need to book well in advance. If you have a small wedding of less than twenty people, then many restaurants can accommodate you with ease.
Timing: The most popular time for weddings is a Saturday afternoon around 4pm. These time slots fill up quickly. Case in point is that I have nearly all my Saturdays for 2012 already booked for this time. The second most popular time is Friday at 5pm followed by Sunday at 4pm. More people are starting to book late morning weddings with a lunch or late evening wedding (ie 7pm) with a cocktail reception. Because of venue availability issues in Ottawa, I am starting to see Thursday and Monday weddings as well.
The time of year is an important consideration. The heavy wedding season is loosely defined as Victoria Day to Thanksgiving weekends. If you want a wedding during that time, then you need to book early. With off-season weddings it is easier to get availability.
Best Vendors: The top notch vendors are booked very early. So if you want that popular photographer, you need to reserved them 12-18 months in advance. This is especially true if you are wanting them for the popular Saturday spot. I really feel bad when a couple calls me in May for an August wedding and I must decline them because I am already booked.
In chatting with many of the vendors, we are all seeing couples reserving now for a date 12 months in the future. I used to see a flurry of bookings in the new year. This seems to have changed. My advice is that once you have selected your date, you need to quickly decide and reserve the four main categories of venue, photographer, planner and ceremony celebrant.