Congrats you’re engaged! Now What? Here is our top 10 list to help you with wedding planning in Ottawa
Get your nails done, everyone will ask to see the ring when they learn you just got engaged. They will also ask how he proposed 🙂 so get ready to tell the story over and over again.
Before starting to look at venues and vendors, it is a good idea to have a good chat about the location and season of the wedding. Plans can change, but knowing the City, season and year you want to get married in will help you make other decisions.
For example, we initially wanted to get married in England where we met on our 10thdating anniversary, but revised our plans after our parents would not have been able to attend. Instead we got married closer to Ottawa in the Thousand Islands at the Ivy Lea Club.
Once you have an idea on the city and timeline, you should decide on a budget. Choosing a wedding budget can seams arbitrary when you have no idea what wedding things cost. A good way to start is to talk about each other’s priorities and things that are less important. It is very likely that you both have different priorities, and ensuring you build the non-negotiables into your budget is a good idea.
If you are already overwhelmed, you should probably hire a wedding planner. They will take care of everything and help you prioritise your budget and ensure you have a stress-free wedding planning and wedding day. Your planner will be able to guide you through the process and recommend amazing vendors. If you love planning and decide against a wedding planner, we highly recommend you at least get a day-of coordinator to ensure you have a smooth carefree wedding day.
Here is the name of a few amazing wedding planner that will make your wedding day unforgettable:
In Ottawa, wedding venues often book one to two years early for peak dates. For the best venues like Le Belvedere and Stonefields, they are often booked every Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays, and sometimes booked on Mondays-Wednesdays as well! So it is a good idea to keep your wedding date flexible until you choose a venue. More often than not in Ottawa, the wedding venue dictates the wedding date.
Here is a small list of the best wedding venues in Ottawa to start to venue search:
Since venues book really early in Ottawa, so does photographers. Calendars gets booked up often over a year early. So once you have a date, it is a good idea to secure your dream photographer right away. Loving the photographic style of your wedding photographer is so important, because after your wedding, the only thing you are left with before an amazing husband and wedding bands is your wedding photographs. If you LOVE your wedding photographs you will want to have them on your walls and in albums to relive the great memories from your dream wedding day.
There are many different style of photography and typically you either LOVE one or the other. Our style is Light and Airy, where the colours are true to life and the images are filled with life and light (go through our portfolio to see what we mean). At the other end of the spectrum you will find Dark and Moody photography. The images are rich in emotion and are filled with rich dark tones and warm skin tones, they are gorgeous images and currently pretty popular. Finally, you have the in between, nor light and airy, nor dark and moody. In order to find what you love best, I recommend you look on Instagram under #ottawaweddingphotographer and start following the account of photographers you love. If you see a trend on what you love most, then it is likely the type of photography for you.
In addition to the photographic style, it is so important to choose a photographer that feels like a bridesmaid and that you are looking forward to spending time with on your wedding day. Many brides spend more time with their wedding photographer on their wedding day than their new husband.
Little known fact about wedding dresses is the earlier you order it, the cheaper it will be. It takes months and months to order the dress and some stores will charge express fees if you order your dress between within 6 or 8 months of your wedding day. You also want to keep in mind that once your boutique receives the dress, you will have to go for a few rounds of alterations before it is fully ready for your wedding day.
There are a few great bridal stores in Ottawa which will give you an amazing experience.
Wedding planning is likely over taking your life right about now. You should plan a date night where it is forbidden to talk about the wedding. It will likely be hard since it may be the only thing you’ve been talking about for months, but it will be a much-needed time to reconnect with your fiancé.
Most couples wait too long before booking their wedding vendors and end up scrambling at the last minute to find a sub-par vendor who is still available. Don’t make this mistake friend, I did as a bride and it caused me stress and headaches!
All vendors book quickly for peak dates and you will want to have your first pick in vendors. Plus, once all your wedding vendors are booked, it will alleviate so much stress!
I know it can be hard to find amazing vendors for your day. There are many ways you can go about finding them, you can ask Facebook groups and get flooded with a million responses and remain with where you’ve started not sure how to differentiate between a newbie vendor with friends or an amazing vendor with grateful clients. You could look on Google, but again, it only scape the surface and there are often hidden gems that would be an amazing fit that are not on the first page. I find that the best way to find amazing wedding vendors recommendation is by asking friends you value their opinion or the vendors you have already booked for recommendations. Wedding venues and wedding photographers in Ottawa have worked with many vendors over the years and would be able to share their favourite with you!
To get you started, I am sharing some of my favourites with you. Go check them out!!
The engagement session is so important to get to know your wedding photographer and learn their photographic style. All our couples are nervous and worry that they will feel awkward during the session. But within 15 minutes of the photography session, they start to relax, feel at ease and enjoy themselves so much more than they initially thought they would! After their session, they had fun and loved their images so much that they are looking forward to their wedding even more! Having the engagement session with the same photographer that will photograph you wedding is one of the key to having a relaxed stress-free wedding!
Here is what some of our couples had to say about their engagement session.
“Our photos are absolutely phenomenal! We couldn’t have dreamed for better!!!! We think your work is so incredibly gorgeous. We are not ones for being in front of the camera (we both had so much anxiety about it), but you made us feel so relaxed. It was actually a lot of fun! The engagement shoot was definitely worth it. We can’t wait to work with you again soon!” Meg & Will
“WE LOVE THE PICTURES! We are obsessed with the pictures. We really love how they turned out and the fact that you caught us in our natural, happy, silly state. We can’t wait to have you photograph our wedding and capture all the memories from it. You are amazing at what you do and we are so happy to have you by our side.” Chelsea and James
“We had an amazing time 🙂 The whole way home we talked about how fun it was and how amazing you were. It was such a perfect night. I’m blown away with the photos, you got them edited so fast! We are so blessed to have had the chance to meet you. You are a gem 🙂 We love love love the photos! We will certainly be highly recommending you to everyone we know!” Melinda and Jamie
Let us know if you want to chat about your wedding photography or comment below if you think something else should be added to the wedding planning list!