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!
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
Our revised wedding venue has hosted several marriage ceremonies. It came with extraordinary wedding decorations that added a taste of royalty in the ceremony.
The guests were served cupcakes baked by the groom’s mother. Suffice to say, there were more than enough for everyone.
We chipped in with some of our decorations as well.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Grooms act tough and all that, but the reality is, they actually enjoy planning the wedding with you, their soon-to-be wives. Of course, there are some things that they are more likely to help on. The ten mentioned here are just the tip of the iceberg.
1. Planning the Honeymoon
Men love to spoil their fiancées. What better way to do that than with the honeymoon? Think of sun, sand, and just each other’s company—it’s your dream vacation. Trust that your fiancé won’t botch this up. Plus rewarding him early on with a fun job makes him more inclined to help in the more arduous tasks.
2. Food Tasting
Trying out different caterers is a guaranteed fun experience for both of you, maybe more so for him. Not only is there free food, but also the gourmet options are going to be as diverse as his appetite. With regard to the cake, the groom will probably not care what it looks like, but he wants to make sure that the taste is to his liking.
3. Stocking the Bar
You can bet that the groom will have a lot of opinions regarding the beverage and cocktail selections at the bar. Men love their booze. From wine to whiskey, it’s their social lubricant to celebrate the good times and to mull over the bad ones. He just wants to make sure that the bar serves up quality drinks to your guests.
4. Picking the Music
Choosing the musical act and curating the playlist for the reception is one of the easier tasks. Grooms only have to choose between a DJ or a wedding band and a list of songs to set the mood of the party. You never know—he just might surprise you with a special song from your past.
5. Creating the Registry
Grooms aren’t so much keen on shopping, but like most people, they love to receive gifts too. Registries help your guests know what kind of present you prefer. This could be furniture, kitchen supplies, or even a honeymoon fund. It’s totally up to you! Once you’ve reached a mutual decision as a couple, the groom can set the registry online and keep your guests updated.
6. Choosing the Bridal Car
When it comes to cars, you won’t even have to convince the groom. While he may not be a “car guy,” men are usually drawn to cars more than women. He would definitely want a say on this one. Think of this as the groom’s wedding gown. It’s white, shiny, and has to be the center of everyone’s attention.
7. Suiting Up
Men love to dress up too—maybe not as much as women, but they do enjoy it. Allow your groom to decide what he wants to wear on your wedding day. Give notes on the color and style of the suit, but give him the final say. He’ll also be in charge of making sure his entourage gets fitted and accessorized. The groom will have a good time since he’s in the company of his best buds.
8. Writing His Vows
If your man is a Casanova with words, crafting his wedding vows will be a walk in the park. This is a task that simply cannot be delegated to somebody else. Vows are deeply personal and therefore should be written by the groom alone. He will be baring his love in front of your family and friends. Prepare to be overcome with emotions.
9. Choosing His Groomsmen
Choosing the people who will stand by him in one of the biggest days of his life is a huge responsibility, but grooms welcome this challenge with a smile. They get to invite friends they’ve known for a long time and close relatives they haven’t seen in a while. The wedding becomes a reunion of sorts for him.
10. Buying Gifts
For his groomsmen, that is. Taking a break from work or some other responsibility to attend a wedding is a big task. The least that grooms can do is to make up for the time and effort with a simple token of appreciation. For some, getting groomsmen gifts is a cool way to poke fun at their entourage with some silly items.
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.