Getting from “I will” to “I do”
ou’ve said, “I will” but now there are a million decisions you have to make. What dress or what color tux do you buy? Where do you have the wedding? Wedding planning can be enjoyable but overwhelming. The first step is deciding whether you’re going to plan this wedding on your own or with help. If you choose to plan your wedding on your own, then you need to be ready for the stress that comes with it. You also need to remember whose wedding this is. Samantha Burrows will be marrying Gabe Ficca in June and says planning on her own was difficult because of everything a bride is expected to manage. “There are too many options,” says Burrows, referring to the dress, flowers and everything else that makes up a wedding.
Story and photos by Sean Previl
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Burrows did have help, but instead of it coming from the groom it came from his mother. This, according to Burrows, both added stress and decreased it at the same time. “(Planning was) at first a little overwhelming, but it has been very easy as I do have a lot of help from my mother-in-law to-be,” says Burrows. There can be issues when dealing with family members from the other side of the to-be family. “The key is to remember it is your day and you need to make executive decisions, even if you come off as a ‘bridezilla,’” Burrows says. Bradley Hotchkiss, who married Michelle in May, says help from the groom can be a great way of taking stress from a bride. “I just wanted to help out, I didn’t want Michelle to carry the entire stress of planning a wedding,” says Hotchkiss. Stress is often the biggest cause of “bridezillas” because they want everything perfect. By most standards, including that of wedding planners, that’s almost impossible. When it comes to planning, sometimes it’s a wedding planner who can solve a bride’s problems. Planners can provide a road map, a hand to hold, and even help with decisions about the dress, the flowers, the venue and other concerns. And because a planner is professionally detached, that help will continue throughout the wedding day. Brenee Ouellette, owner of Weddings by Brenee, enjoys helping couples prepare for the big day. “The wedding should be something fun, and an exciting time,” says Ouellette. “So many people get stressed planning their weddings because they don’t know exactly what details they should be focusing on, so I like to help bring back the fun in planning weddings.” Jennah Priestman, who is getting married next September, says hiring a wedding planner would have helped relieve how busy she has been in organizing her day.
“A wedding planner would have helped with the process because it would be his or her job to sit by the phone all day and chase down the florist and caterer,” says Priestman. “I’m a university student and don’t have time to be doing that all day.” Ouellette says a planner also helps couples on the big day because they don’t always know what the next step is. “The most stressful part is coordinating all the aspects into one day,” says Ouellette. “It’s organizing everybody so that everyone knows what they’re doing, where they’re going.“ Another big issue for couples is the high expectations people have for their weddings because of magazines, television and other forms of media. These can cause brides and grooms to create a perfect wedding in their mind that doesn’t always pan out the way they want. “A lot of brides plan their weddings based on pictures of things they’ve seen online but then when they come to me, by the time they actually see everything together it’s not exactly what they pictured,” says Ouellette. With Pinterest, Tumblr, and even Google searches providing multiple images and ideas, determining what a couple wants for their wedding becomes an endless source of confusion. Budget can be one of the most important parts and also the biggest obstacle in planning your dream wedding. You might want a ceremony at the most luxurious venue and have the most beautiful dress, but when that is going to cost you over $30,000 it may leave you wondering after the wedding what was the point? When costs are the problem you have to make compromises. Making your budget and your dreams work together can be as simple as putting it on paper and determining how much you’ll likely be spending.
Cake, flowers, invitations, venue so many things to consider and decide! 32 The HUB - November 2013
“It’s important to sit down and lay out a blueprint,” says Hotchkiss. “(Michelle and I) sat down and (asked) what do we need to do? Where do we have to go, and just laid everything out. Basically if you take the time to do that and then knock things off little by little...when it came to the wedding, we pretty much had it paid.” “We decided to be realistic and we didn’t feel we needed to go and spend thirty or forty thousand on a wedding when that money could be used for other things,” says Hotchkiss. An estimated 165,297 weddings will occur across Canada in 2013 and the cost of a wedding is expected to rise five per cent compared to 2012. Wedding planners can help couples manage their budget because of connections they have with other vendors. “The planner has a network of vendors and resources to reach out(to) and is able to quickly put into place all of the bookings,” says Rosemary Skinner, owner of Soiree Event
Extraordinaire. Priestman says the biggest difficulty she’s had has been the mixture of too many vendors and trying to balance her budget. “(Planning) can be overwhelming (because) there are so many choices. Food, dress, photographers, cake, linens, music, the list is never-ending and there can be upwards of a dozen companies to choose from, it’s difficult to know what the right one is for us,” says Priestman. “However, I have found that the smaller home based companies have been much easier to afford.” Whether you’re having a large upscale wedding or a small quiet ceremony, planning your wedding comes with stress. But the run up to the big day should be as happy as the day itself, and all the days to follow. If the planning process is making that hard to remember, it may be time to call in the experts or even just some super helpful friends and relatives.
Determining what a couple wants for their wedding can become a source of confusion and stress.
Traditional Wedding Not Your Style? The biggest issue of wedding planning often happens at the very beginning, when deciding whether to have a wedding or not. Not having a wedding can save you money, time and of course, stress. Yet many people still go through the process of having a wedding and Ouellette says this might be because of the dreams brides had when they were young. “It goes back to the girl’s dream of being a princess,” says Brenee Ouellette, owner of Weddings by Brenee. “It’s the only day you can be a princess for a day and have everything focused right on you and everyone joining together to celebrate your happiness.” But the reality is, it’s your day - and you and your betrothed can celebrate any way you want. There are companies that specialize in helping you plan a smaller, more intimate wedding, and officiants that will perform ceremonies in almost any setting you choose. This could be an opportunity to really express the happy couple’s personalities - get married in someone’s home, on an Essex County beach, or in a location that has meaning to you both. Or, try a theme wedding! The possibilities are only limited by your imagination. For ideas on venues, alternative and otherwise, check out the Windsor Wedding Venues board on Pinterest! November 2013 - The HUB 33
The good and bad times of the wedding planning process