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This time of year is the premier time of year to get moving on your Spring & Summer wedding plans. If you got engaged over the holidays or if you popped the question months ago and have put off planning, firstly – congratulations! Secondly, it’s time to get that ball rolling! Most of us spend the Winter months cozied up in hibernation mode, so why not take advantage of the down time and plan the wedding of your dreams?!

Here are some tips for getting organized now so you can reap the rewards later (think less stress, less disappointment and fewer “day of” hiccups). After all, if you’re planning the most important day of your life, you want it to be just right!

1. Lists, lists and more lists!

The importance of list making when it comes to being organized, cannot be stressed enough. Keeping track of everything either in your phone, on your computer or in a tried & true wedding organizer, is imperative for stress free planning. One of the first things you should do is make lists for everything from guest count to the menu, décor requirements, transportation requirements, venue details and so on. Whether your ideal day is a small simple affair or a grand formal event, making lists will give you a succinct illustration of what needs to be done.

Once you have everything in front of you, you can then use this to move on to the ever-important “to-do lists”. From your transportation requirements list, your “to-do” may include “reserve party bus, arrange car for our parents, provide uber or taxi details to guests for safe way home”, etc. From your guest count list your “to-do” may include “order invitations, send out save the dates”. From your menu list, your “to-do” may include “book caterer, review guest dietary restrictions, order cake”. You get the idea. And don’t forget about the satisfaction that comes from crossing things off those “to-do” lists! You can’t beat it!

2. Book early!

One of the biggest mistakes you can make when wedding planning, is procrastinating, assuming all of the things on those precious lists will be there waiting for you when you’re ready to go. Each year it seems people are booking earlier and earlier. That goes for everything from banquet halls to flowers, wedding tents to portable washrooms. Always remember – it is NEVER too early to book! As soon as you know what you need – those non-negotiables, it’s best to get things ordered. In most cases, booking deposits are required by vendors, so be prepared to dish out some money in advance. It is absolutely worth the peace of mind, though, knowing you will get what you want. Use those aforementioned lists to prioritize which items you need to book first (i.e. venue, tent, caterer, flowers, music – aka the “big” things) and get those locked in. Once you have these larger items secured, you can confidently move down the list knowing your wedding date is firm. There’s no point in ordering the cake for a particular date if you can’t get the banquet hall you want or if the clear top tent you’ve had your eye on is already booked out for that date. Ensure all the bigger items of most importance are booked first and go down your list from there.

3. Have a backup plan

Having a Plan B is especially important when holding your wedding outdoors as weather can be a game changer but having backup plans for more than just weather will keep that wedding day moving along smoothly when a surprise presents itself. It’s safe to say the COVID-19 pandemic has certainly shown all of us that anything can happen at any time. Being prepared in advance for as many “what ifs” as you can be, and then also understanding that there’s only so much we can control, will work to minimize stress. Let’s face it, emotions can be high on the day of your wedding but thinking ahead and having some backup plans in place for different scenarios will work wonders for keeping those feelings of worry at bay. Do your best to ensure those high emotions are the good kind!

While there is obviously a lot more that goes into wedding planning than just these three things, these tips will go a long way as you navigate your way through the whole process. Don’t underestimate the value in being prepared and planning ahead. Consider the importance, as well, of choosing reputable people and businesses to work with along the way as you watch your vision come to life. And, most importantly, remember to have fun! This is an exciting time, and you want to be sure to enjoy it! Happy planning!