Question from Carrie:
We are planning a May 2010 wedding in Toronto Ontario and have no idea where to start. My church is covering the cost of the service and we are looking into reception halls but can’t find one that suits our needs and budget. Once we do find one, what is the next step? How early is to early to send out invitations? How much time do I have before the vendors will expect payment? Our budget is not very high and since we are paying for everything ourselves we are looking for all the help we can get.
Answer from Wedding Expert Angela:
Hi Carrie, and congratulations on your upcoming wedding. Check out this article I wrote on how to choose your wedding reception site. It will give you points and tips on what you should be looking for. Usually, when you book a site, you are expected to put some money down to confirm your booking. Each venue has it’s own rules for when they want the rest of the payment, so you will need to ask them what their payment policy is.
One of the important things to decide, especially on a limited budget, is what kind of wedding reception you want. You have a choice of a meal reception or a non-meal reception.
MEAL WEDDING RECEPTIONS
Your typical choices for meal wedding receptions are: Breakfast (9 am to 11 am), Lunch (11 am to 2 pm), Brunch (10 am to 3 pm) and Dinner (6 pm to 9 pm). Sunrise weddings or early morning weddings are gaining popularity because it allows a full day for activities from the formal breakfast or lunch reception, flowing into unique ways to celebrate the wedding that flow into the evening. Depending upon the character of the couple, other activities range from a theme park romp in the evening, to more classic events like a opera or musical, to a home-style fire pit complete with musicians, dancing and a sing-a-long.
NON MEAL WEDDING RECEPTIONS
Then you have your non-meal wedding receptions which is the easiest way to save money on your wedding, and still enjoy a great celebration. Some couples might choose a Tea or High Tea Reception (3 pm to 5 pm), a Cocktail Reception (5 pm to 7 pm), or a Dessert Reception (9 pm to midnight). The evening wedding at 7 pm, followed by a “Champagne and Dessert Reception” with dancing well into the night has become much more popular, and is less costly than a meal reception.
WEDDING PLANNING TIMELINE
The most important thing you can do with your fiance is to sit down a talk about your wedding vision—how you’ve both always thought your wedding would be. Yes, men have wedding dreams too, so be sure to ask what he has always dreamed of. If you plan your wedding vision thoroughly, it will make the rest of your wedding plans so much easier because the major decisions will have already been made. The wedding planning checklist above gives you the timeline for ordering wedding invitations, and mailing them out.
Good luck, and if you have further questions, feel free to ask.
Angela Fiebelkorn, Wedding Planner