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Best Wedding Planners in Toronto and GTA 2021

Best Wedding Planner Badge

Having a talented and dedicated wedding planner is crucial for your special day. The pressure of planning your own wedding is insane and it is always helpful to have someone help you implement your ideas and create new ones to make your wedding day perfect. From venues to florists and themes, every decision you make has to be meticulous and thoroughly thought of. We compiled a list in alphabetical order of the Top Wedding Planners in Toronto and GTA to help you find an event planner that will bring your dream wedding to life! We have also created a 12 Month Wedding Planning Checklist you can find at the bottom!

Amavi Event Planning + Design

Amavi Event Planning + Design: proficient planning for busy brides and grooms!

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Amavi is a boutique wedding and event planning company specializing in creating bespoke, romantic, and unforgettable experiences for couples in Hamilton, the GTA, Niagara, and beyond.  With a collaborative planning style, heartfelt passion for little details, and devotion to going above and beyond for each and every couple, your special day will be nothing short of a perfect reflection of you.

With a focus on full-service planning for busy brides and grooms, Amavi takes on a limited number of clients per year, offering an exclusive experience for our clients.  Come and be swept away in dreaming about every detail of your perfect wedding day with us – we want to know what makes your heart soar!  Allow us to assist you in creating an event that makes you weak in the knees and evokes every wonderful emotion to create a memorable experience for you as well as your guests.

Life is made of moments worth celebrating – don’t get caught up in the stress of planning.  With Amavi, you’ll enjoy every moment leading up to your special day, while we take care of the details! 

Website: http://www.amavievents.ca
Instagram: http://www.instagram.com/amaviplanning
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/amaviplanning

Beth Jacobs Weddings & Events

Beth Jacobs Weddings & Events  is a boutique event planning and design firm that specializes in all things weddings, social and corporate events. We strive to advocate for our client’s needs with the utmost amount of empathy, treating each event as if it’s our very own. 

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From getting to know our clients, we find what their passions are, what drives them in business, their relationships, or the particular celebration under the microscope. From there we use our expertise to really drill into how we can make each event exude their essence in a way that creates all the happy tears to cherish for a lifetime. I, Beth Olatunji, the owner and creative director, started this business as a way to regain myself through my passions. With a lot of hard work, buckets of sweat, and a few tears too, we can all proudly stand behind our mission and our purpose within this industry. 

We have been fortunate to have been published in multiple bridal editorial magazines such as Today’s Bride, Lavish Dulhan, Elegant Wedding Magazine, The Bridal Affair Canada, The Bridal Guide Canada, and more. We are also proud members of the WedLuxe Glitterati which stands to be the global authority in luxury weddings worldwide.We could not have gotten this far without our dedication and perseverance through each challenge and obstacle that has come our way. As we continue to push forward in uncertain times, we remain faithful that we will continue to rise above each hurdle and press onward to continued success.

Website: www.bethjacobsevents.com
Instagram: www.instagram.com/bethjacobsevents
Facebook: www.facebook.com/bethjacobsevents

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How I Had a Socially Distant Wedding during COVID-19

bridal dress

2020 has created some extraordinary tales. Following is the story of how the pandemic affected my wedding.

March 2020 was supposed to be the most important month of my life. It was the month where I’d get hitched with the man I love. The man that makes me whole.  

Daniel popped the question in the last week of January. Today, it seems like a memory from another world. The bar was buzzing with people, there were no social distancing protocols in place. People weren’t afraid to shake hands, hug and kiss one another. 

That day, Daniel drove me to a local bar in what I assumed would be a casual Wednesday night date. 

It was our favorite place in town that we regularly visited. This was also the bar where Daniel slipped me a napkin that said, “I like you”. We were friends who liked each other but never dared to express it. Daniel took the initiative in the only way he could. 

Five years later, he once again handed me a napkin. Only this time, the text read, “Will you marry me?”. It got awkward real quick. He jammed the ring in the wrong finger. Just as I was putting it right, our friend showed up to congratulate. I am sure someone spilled a drink too. 

The Wedding is delayed 

We had planned the wedding on 21st of March. Everything was going according to plan. I spent weeks picking what I think was the perfect wedding dress. The venue was booked. Invitations were sent out. All that was left to do was for us to walk down the aisle, exchange vows and begin our lives as a married couple. 

A week before all this, the pandemic caused the whole country to go in isolation. Businesses started closing and states issued stay-at-home orders. We knew our dream wedding couldn’t go on as planned and had to be postponed. 

As a couple, Daniel and I had seen our fair share of tough times. But never in a million year did we think a pandemic would come our way. The worst thing was not knowing when things will go back to normal and we would be able to wed in front of our loved ones. 

Unfortunately, things never went back to normal. At least not the normal we were expecting. 

Our Wedding in the “New Normal”

Knowing the pandemic will not be over anytime soon, Daniel and I decided to go ahead with the wedding. Fortunately, the COVID-19 outbreak in our state is under control and the government is allowing people to go on with their lives while advising some precautions. 

Keeping this in mind, we changed the venue of our wedding from a local church to a getaway house in the countryside. It was a large enough establishment to host a socially distant wedding. 

The pandemic didn’t adversely affect our financial situation. We had it better than most people. But still, we made a conscious decision to reduce the wedding expenses. Having an extravagant wedding while many others are struggling to make ends meet just didn’t sit right with us. 

It’s hard to have a wedding on a budget. However, I was able to find online guides that help me significantly reduce my wedding expenditure. Meanwhile, I also utilized websites such RetailMeNot and EMUCoupon to find discounts on everything from decorations to the drinks that were to be served. 

We also made sure to keep everyone safe. The list of guests was cut down to only our immediate families. Our friends watched via live stream. There were sanitizers on every table and all guests were asked to wear masks. 

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Some tables were left deliberately empty to remind people they needed to exercise precaution. Looking back, these empty tables did make the atmosphere a bit gloomy. 

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Our revised wedding venue has hosted several marriage ceremonies. It came with extraordinary wedding decorations that added a taste of royalty in the ceremony. 

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The guests were served cupcakes baked by the groom’s mother. Suffice to say, there were more than enough for everyone.

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We chipped in with some of our decorations as well. 

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It’s not easy to be the bride when you’re trying to interact with as little people as possible. Since I’m not that skilled with a makeup brush, I had to take my chances with a stylist. She did a swell job though.

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Being all dressed up for my big day, all I wanted was to be surrounded by my best friends. Unfortunately, the bridesmaids were not there physically but joined in via Zoom.

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A bride is not a bride without some pearl in her hair. This is the same accessory my mom wore at her wedding. I think I have started a nice little family tradition here.

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Finally, the bride and the groom, bridal dress. Despite everything that has transpired in the last few months, I have held onto my sanity thanks to my now-husband. He has been my rock through every up and down. Even though the wedding wasn’t as big as we planned —what matters is that it happened and now, I am one with my true love.

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Do’s and Don’ts when planning a Large Wedding

A wedding, whether small or large, is an affair that involves hundreds of details. Even an intimate wedding, in which just the couple and their close family and circle of friends participate, has its fair share of challenges. So, you can imagine how much more complicated it is when you must plan a bigger wedding.

Typically, a large wedding is one where the guest count exceeds 200. If your guest count touches this number, you will have more work planning your wedding. Here are the Do’s and Don’ts to keep in mind when you intend to have a large wedding of this nature.

DO book a venue that can accommodate your guests comfortably

While you still have the challenge of finding a venue that fits your budget, it is also important to find one that will fit your guests. Not only should the venue have space to hold so many people, but it should also have adequate facilities to make them comfortable during their stay there.

The venue should have enough space to seat all the guests during the wedding and reception. It should also have a sufficient number of washrooms to meet the needs of your guests. Apart from the ample parking space, the dance floor should be large enough so your guests can dance comfortably.

Ideal choices are banquet halls, museums, castles, and outdoor venues like parks or beaches. You should visit the venue before you commit to it. Seeing it is the only way to recognize whether it is right for your needs.

DO analyze and fix issues which can cause queues at the venue

Always consider the likelihood of long lines at the bar or bathroom. Analyze whether your venue has enough facilities to meet the needs of the number of guests attending your wedding. Your guests will find it inconvenient if it takes them forever for their turn at the washroom. Similarly, they won’t appreciate waiting indefinitely to get their chosen drink, at the bar.

Consider these factors in detail when you plan your wedding. If the venue has limited facilities, consider how you can alleviate issues. Simply arranging an extra lot of portable restrooms at an outdoor facility will help you overcome these issues. You can also have two separate bar setups at either end of your reception space to distribute the crowd evenly. Discuss your options with the venue manager and figure out the right fixes before the event.

DON’T cut down on what is most important to you

There is no question that a big wedding will be more expensive than a small one. However, this doesn’t mean you should cut down on what you love. Instead, redistribute your budget to include what you must have at your wedding. You can always let go of certain factors or choose cheaper options for what is less important.

Here is an interesting idea on this post on A Practical Wedding. This couple decided to save on centerpieces and elaborate florals, which can quickly add up to several hundreds of dollars. Instead, they had a cocktail-style party, where everyone could move around and socialize throughout the evening. Since there was no need for a strict seating arrangement, in this case, they went with simple tabletop arrangements and saved a huge amount of their budget this way.

DO remember that you still have to meet and greet all your guests

Whether it is a big wedding or a small one, you have to abide by some etiquette rules. This includes how essential it is to say hello to all the people who made the effort to participate in your wedding. Schedule enough buffer time in your wedding day timeline to accommodate this need. Set aside at least two minutes per guest, and it should work well.

Since waiting at a receiving line isn’t usually practical for this huge number of guests, it is a better idea to plan the day so you have opportunities to socialize and meet and greet everyone. Well-wishing guests will understand the practical problems you face with meeting all your guests. So, they shouldn’t complain if you couldn’t meet them personally. Nonetheless, it is best if you try to greet all there and avoid such a situation.

DO consider hiring help

While you can always attempt to pull off a big wedding by yourself, it is a Herculean task. With the number of details involved, you need plenty of time to do this right. Also, remember that even small tasks will involve time because of the sheer volume of work involved. Imagine addressing your invitations to 200 guests, and you will realize the time that it will require. Similarly, every small detail will quickly add up in terms of time and energy.

Professional wedding planners have enough resources and staff to handle such weddings. They can make your job much easier, and save you a lot of stress. Even if you intend to do everything yourself, consider hiring a day-of bridal planner. While he or she tackles the numerous responsibilities of the day, you can sit back and actually enjoy your wedding. Additionally, wedding planners can get you valuable vendor discounts, which is a big win in the case of a large wedding. More details on how you can make the most of their expertise to snag a bargain are here on this Brides website article. 

DO try to skip the little extras

Unless you have a budget that cannot be extinguished easily, it is wise to skip the little extras when planning a big wedding. Although these items will help make your wedding unique, they can also quickly add up with the extended headcount. For instance, you will run up several extra dollars if you decide to send out Save-the-date cards in addition to wedding invitations. Similarly, special touches like calligraphy, monograms and personalized wedding favors will be expensive unless you DIY.

Rather than splurging on these items, it is better to save your budget for the more essential parts of the wedding. Better quality food and drinks, for example, will be more appreciated than these elements.

DO consider repurposing and reusing items to take your budget further

Certain items at a wedding are non-negotiable, like flowers. However, they are expensive as well. To get the best bargain on such items, we suggest that you consider using them to the greatest extent possible.

Take the advice of event planner Kristen in this article on the She Knows website.  You can get your money’s worth for the flowers at your wedding by putting them to more than just one use. Take the flowers off your arbor and use them in centerpieces. Or put your bridesmaids bouquets into vases and use them at your cocktail table after the ceremony.

All you need is an organized friend or professional planner to handle these details. It will save you more money than if you have to use more flowers for the purpose. And, more importantly, it will also lessen scope for wastage of wedding resources. Other options are to choose centerpieces that double up as wedding favors and choosing non-perishable décor items that you can reuse after the wedding.

DO consider a bigger bridal party

Consider yourself lucky if you have a number of friends and family members who want to be closely involved in the wedding. With a little tact and foresight, you can use their help to the most at your wedding. The benefits of having a bigger bridal party are immense. This gives you more people who will assist you on and before the wedding day. For a bigger wedding party, this means you have many hands to help you handle the various details.

Your bridesmaids and ushers will be valuable in helping guests find their way around, on the day of the wedding. They can also assist with tasks like helping the photographer round up the right people for each wedding shot. You can request their assistance with setting up the venue, distributing favors and meeting and greeting guests. Nonetheless, the extent of success will also depend on the personalities of the people in your party. Choose wisely, and enlist the help of each person for tasks they are best suited for.

DO allow enough time between events

The logistics of planning a successful wedding timeline can be challenging when you have a huge wedding party. The flow of the event will be affected by the number of people there. Although this can be sorted out to a great extent by making multiple arrangements for dining and washroom facilities, it may not be enough.

We also suggest you plan your wedding timeline at a relaxed pace, with more buffer time for special moments. This will allow people to move to settle in comfortably and be ready for the next event on the timeline. Avoid packing in a tight schedule and make sure you consider the distance and space they have to maneuver to be in place for the next important part of the day. This will ensure your wedding timeline progresses as expected and that the day winds up on time.

DON’T risk booking unreliable vendors

Whether your wedding is big or small, unreliable vendors can totally ruin the show. Nonetheless, the chance of fixing a goof-up is tougher when the guest count is higher. It is simply impossible to find a replacement at short notice who can cater to such a large crowd without prior notice. This can end up as an emotional and stressful disaster, and spoil all the fun of your special day.

Hence, make sure that every vendor you hire for your wedding is reliable and has always delivered the service they promise to. Apart from online reviews, also ask for references before you commit to a contract. If you have a wedding planner, he or she will be able to suggest reliable vendors for various jobs. They will also have likely alternatives if any of the plans go south. Finally, ensure your vendor contracts contain practical solutions as emergency plans, in case of cancellations at the last minute. Make sure you can work with their solutions before you decide to be optimistic and sign up for the service.

DON’T forget to account for all the extras

There are many extras that you may miss adding to your budget. Many couples overlook factors like tipping and gratuity, wedding dress alteration charges, extra costs at the venue for service, etc, when planning their budget. Although some of these may seem insignificant, it can quickly add up when you consider the headcount at your wedding.

So, make sure you discuss all overheads before you book a service. Also, calculate these factors so you can create a practical budget. When booking a service, mention to the vendor what your total budget is, so they can direct you to the service accordingly. Also, don’t hesitate to cross-check and ask whether you will have to pay anything above and over the mentioned amount to get the service you book.

All said and done, your wedding is a special celebration of the day you and your partner become husband and wife! It is a special moment, that should be celebrated with all those who matter in your life. If this means having a big wedding, so be it! The challenges pale in comparison with the joy of the celebration. Just make sure that every moment counts, you stand by every decision you make and enjoy this special day in your life.

For all that you need for your wedding day, from your all-important wedding dress to dress alterations, attires for the bridal party, wedding favors and more, come visit our Best for Bride shop. With four locations and an impressive inventory of everything wedding-related, every modern bride can find all that she needs for her special day. Find more details about our wedding dress collections, services, and more at the Best for Bride website here.

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Biggest mistakes to avoid when planning a wedding

Wedding planning involves so many details that it can be compared to a big, complex project formed of many smaller ones. Once you begin planning your wedding, you will have to make several decisions and choices. These include plans for a sensible budget, meeting deadlines and getting everything done right. So, it is no surprise that your chances for mistakes along the way are high. While some of these can be rectified quickly, others may cost you dearly in terms of time and money.

Unless you have planned a wedding before, it isn’t going to be easy. However, forewarned is forearmed! Here is a compilation of the biggest mistakes we have seen brides make when planning their wedding. Keep them in mind and you can avoid similar issues.

Not setting the budget first

Never overlook the importance of planning your wedding budget first. Wedding expenses can quickly eat into your bank balance. Unless you have a allocated a fixed amount to each aspect, you can quickly go overboard with your expenses. With a little planning, you can choose the venue, catering and wedding dress so that it stays within budget. Since you have more options in these areas, you have the flexibility of choosing them based on your available funds.

However, smaller aspects can quickly add up to a big amount. This article on The Bridal Guide will help you understand what these costs are. Unfortunately, you cannot be too thrifty with these. Plan the budget before you do anything else, and you will have better control over your wedding decisions. You can allocate funds to the bigger expenses after setting aside the amount for the inevitable smaller expenses.

Not hiring a planner till it is too late

Some brides can stand the stress of wedding planning. While these brides can efficiently handle wedding planning tasks, it isn’t as easy for others. We believe the majority of brides quickly buckle under the pressure and lose sleep over wedding planning. It is sad that the rest of their engagement is usually ruined by all the planning. And in the end, it is likely that these brides end up dissatisfied with the overall experience.

If you belong to the latter group, realize it early and seek the services of a planner. If you are already pressed for time, have a demanding job or simply can’t take the stress of wedding planning, don’t wait till it is too late. Wedding planners are experts at negotiating deals with venue managers and vendors. So, don’t wait till you book the venue or hire vendors to hire your planner.

Becoming overwhelmed with inspiration

The internet is a maze of wedding planning inspiration. There are so many wonderful ideas on the wedding scene that it can become a problem when you have to choose. Pinterest-addicts are usually the first to become overwhelmed and confused with this information overload. Don’t be surprised if you lose sense of time or get side-tracked when searching for ideas.

Instead, understand what will work for your wedding and what you can afford to have. Use ideas you see online as inspiration and incorporate only those that actually make sense. Stop once you find what you were looking for and get on with other tasks.

Not prioritizing the guest experience

Your wedding is not just about the two of you. Remember that many of guests take great pains to come and participate in your big celebration. Appreciate their efforts and make plans to engage them and feel comfortable.

The guest experience is greatly affected by the number of people there. Nobody really enjoys a crowded affair. So, think twice about incorporating everyone you know into the guest list. YOu shouldn’t regret having a mediocre party when you could plan one much better. So, include those who really need to be there at your wedding, and plan a wonderful event that all can enjoy.

Going shopping before you know what you want

Wedding shopping for your dress, favors or even accessories shouldn’t be undertaken without prior research. You may be tempted to just do a trial run. However, there is a good chance of your liking something at that time. You may feel it is right and go ahead with the purchase.

Sadly, such impulse buys may turn out to be a decision you later regret. First plan the important aspects of the wedding like the venue, wedding style and time. Then research your options in each area for what would be appropriate. Look for sensible choices that are suitable for your wedding. Only then should you proceed with wedding shopping.

Sharing insufficient or too much information

It is best to keep your wedding planning details under wraps at least till it is finalized. This will help to avoid confusion if you change your ideas along the way. Reveal only what is necessary. Nevertheless, do not skimp on supplying necessary information to your guests. They will appreciate any additional help you can provide on certain aspects, like how to find their way to the venue.

If there are out-of-town guests, you can share information regarding hotels near the venue. Also don’t forget to provide any other relevant information that will make their trip easier to plan. Do the same with vendors. Share as much information as is necessary to let them do their job well.

Pondering too long over a plan

While it is necessary to take your time to make important decisions, don’t delay your choices for too long. Everything is time-bound and most wedding planning decisions involve related tasks. This is why we suggest you set up a wedding planning timeline right at the beginning. Make your wedding plans as per this timeline, and you will know if you fall behind.

When choosing vendors, make your decisions quickly and efficiently. Good vendors tend to get booked quickly during wedding seasons. If you delay your decision, the vendor you like may get booked by another couple. You may then end up having to look for another service provider.

Worrying too much about the little details

There are many big and small decisions to make in a wedding. Although every one of them is important, you should prioritize each depending on their significance in the wedding. Remember that it is nearly impossible to get every single big and small detail perfect. Be open to accepting small imperfections and compromise where necessary. This will make your life a lot easier and reduce your wedding planning stress.

Spend more time on the more important factors and dedicate time and resources to making these perfect. Don’t obsess over the finer details of the smaller elements. Go with what you think is the best possible option and it will all fall into place.

Not paying enough attention to your vendor contracts

We don’t not even want to mention how risky it is to book a vendor without first signing a contract. Now, when there is a contract, it is important you understand everything on it. If there are gray areas, make sure you clarify your doubts before signing it. Read every single contract from end to end. Check whether it comprehensively covers every relevant aspect.

There should be clauses and Plan B suggestions in case of last minute cancellations or emergencies. Include details on all additional charges in the plan. Also add whatever you think hasn’t been explicitly mentioned. This will help to eliminate cause conflicts later.

Trying to appease everyone

The very word “wedding” is enough to have people flocking to you with ideas, suggestions and offers to help. Deal with this situation cautiously. Family and friends may have good intentions, but don’t let anyone take over your wedding. You shouldn’t have to bow to a choice or move with plans you aren’t convinced about, because someone said so.

Remember that this is your wedding day and you should have the last say. Although you can welcome suggestions and opinions, let everyone know that the final decision will be yours. You do not have to do everything as per tradition, unless you are agreeable to it. On your special day, you should be able to enjoy and not regret it later. Stay away from trying to satisfy everyone. This is simply impossible.

Not letting the small mistakes go

As long as you do not have enough experience at wedding planning, mistakes are bound to happen. You cannot plan everything to the last detail and expect everyone to stick to plan. There may be issues with vendors, guests who cancel at the last minute and bridesmaids who show their true colors. Set yourself up to deal with such disappointments and don’t be too harsh on yourself.

On your wedding day, simply focus on the great things that happen. Don’t mull over mistakes or spoil your mood wishing things happened differently. Enjoy the moment as it will never return. Stress on the things that went wrong and you will be making a big mistake missing out on your actual wedding experience.

Expecting the worst

Things may and do go wrong at weddings. While you can try to avoid them as much as is possible, there is no guarantee everything will progress as per plan. However, this doesn’t mean you should only expect the worst. Research and plan your decisions carefully. This alone will reduce the likelihood of errors. Leave the rest to happen as it will.

Simply worrying about what may or may not go wrong will not help in any way. All that it does is add to your stress and spoil the fun of your engagement. Be optimistic and handle issues with confidence. Believe in your abilities to find a solution to any problem, and you will come up with the best possible solution.

Making plans without thinking it through

Dreaming up a wedding is fun, but doing it right can be tough. Before you set your mind on something different and unique, think it through. Consider the funds you have, the practicality of the situation and all the other aspects that will determine the success of your plan.

If you have a destination wedding in mind, make sure you check the legal aspects before you go ahead with plans. Similarly, when picking your wedding dress, try to first understand what would be practical in your venue. Also set your budget before you go shopping.

You assume your vendors understand you perfectly

Whether it is your makeup and hair artist, or your caterer, give clear-cut descriptions for what you want. Don’t just assume that they have understood or you may be in for a nasty surprise later. Whenever possible, share pictures that depict exactly what you have in mind. Ask them to repeat or illustrate what you shared with them.

If there is any confusion, it is best to get it out of the way as early as possible. While it isn’t a good idea to micromanage your vendors, don’t leave everything to them entirely. Keep tabs on their progress and inspect at the right time to find out if things proceed as per your expectations. Find all you must know about your vendor contracts on this article at the Martha Stewart Website.

Planning a wedding is a momentous task. It is not easy whether you have a year to plan or just few weeks. Unless you hire a wedding planner to handle the lion’s share of tasks, you will have to dedicate considerable time and effort to doing it right. Approach the task in a systematic and organized fashion, and it will be easier to carry out.

While you busy yourself with wedding planning, don’t forget to research and choose the right dress for the occasion. Take a close look at our inventory of wedding dress collections and you should be able to find dresses that meet your expectations. For more details, visit our bridal dress gallery at Best for Bride.