As our beautiful province starts to open up again, I am starting to see couples buzzing around with wedding planning excitement and deciding whether or not to plan a 2021 wedding this fall. As an Ottawa wedding planner, I wanted to take a moment to put together a list of a few last minute wedding planning tips for couples planning 2021 weddings.
Despite what you fear, if you work with an experienced wedding planner you have more than enough time to plan an incredible fall wedding. Personally, I always love fall weddings because the leaves and colours are just beautiful here in Canada. We can never guarantee the weather but our fall seasons have been absolutely beautiful the last few years as well. If you are ready to marry the one that you love and don’t want to wait another year, contact me here to get started planning your Ottawa wedding! Now, let’s dive in and talk about what you need to do first!
Book Your Ottawa Wedding Planner
Even if you weren’t planning a last-minute wedding I would encourage you to hire an Ottawa wedding planner. The truth is, you really can’t put a value on working with someone who has done this before (and has all of the inside tips & inspiration to take your wedding vision from good to once-in-a-lifetime). When you’re planning your wedding, whether your budget is $50,000 or $500,000, it is an investment. Don’t spend that kind of money without the guidance of a professional. It goes quicker than you think.
If you’re on a tight timeline (looking for wedding dates in fall 2021 or early 2022), hiring the right Ottawa wedding planner becomes even more important. Because of all of the postponements and reschedules last year, the availability of experienced vendors is more limited than ever. You might think that you love staying organized and researching all of the intricacies that go into a wedding day but the reality is, it can quickly become stressful and overwhelming for even the most Type A couples. As a wedding planner, that breaks my heart.
I am passionate about making sure all of my couples enjoy the process! If all your wedding planner gives you is peace of mind and allows you to enjoy the wedding planning process, I believe it would be worth every penny (and we do a lot more than that). If you are planning a wedding in Ottawa or Prince Edward County, make sure to check out my wedding planning packages here. There are a few options depending on the level of service and support you are looking for!
Find a Wedding Venue (Or Have a Backyard Wedding)
Once you have a wedding planner, we can help you find a venue that fits your ideal guest count and budget (more on choosing an Ottawa wedding venue here). Especially if you were looking for a last minute wedding date, you might start to find that availability is limited (or there is a higher price placed on the select few Saturday dates that remain).
I have a few pieces of advice here. Firstly, you can choose another weekend date (like a Friday or a Sunday). Or, you can build your own wedding venue at a family property. I absolutely love building wedding venues from the ground up. All we need is an abundance of outdoor space and a tent in case it rains. Don’t worry, I will be with you every step of the way. Plus, if you choose a family property, the venue will have a sense of nostalgia and sentimental meaning that can never be taken away.
Focus on Your Priorities
When you are planning a last-minute wedding, you can’t use the month-to-month wedding checklist you find online. Those checklists are often generic and aren’t suitable for most weddings. That’s why I like to customize my couples’ checklists based on their unique wedding plans and their priorities.
During your next steps, focus on what is most important to you and your fiance(e). Start booking your vendors (and ordering decor and rentals) in order of importance and as soon as possible. Keep in mind, your wedding planner also might have access to exclusive rentals that aren’t otherwise available to you. This can help with any potential availability issues as well!
Invite Your Guests!
Last but certainly not least, invite your guests as soon as you have a wedding date. So many of us in Ontario are eager for our province to (safely) start opening up again. Consequently, your guests will be making plans for their weekends and holiday days. Whether you are planning a larger wedding (50+ depending on restrictions) or still choosing to keep your wedding guest list intimate (up to 50 guests), you are going to want to invite those most important to you as soon as possible (or at least as soon as you can get in with a custom wedding invitation designer – something I always recommend splurging on). Your invitation is your guests’ first impression and we are all ready to have something to look forward to.
With a last minute wedding, you are going to want to get your numbers confirmed ASAP. Some caterers require confirmed guest counts 14-21 days before the wedding and some venues require 30 days. This is because special orders need to be placed in order for the proper food quantities to arrive in time.
Last Minute Wedding Planning
A lot of other information online will encourage you to plan your wedding with a longer planning timeline. I actually think that there are so many benefits to a shorter timeline that often go overlooked. First, you tend to save money because you don’t overspend out of pure boredom. I don’t recommend pinching pennies when planning such a milestone event, but I do encourage my couples to be thoughtful with their spending. You don’t want to spend more money on your wedding out of boredom or worse, impulse.
More than that, I also find that towards the end of a longer planning timeline (2+ years), couples are ready for the planning to be over. It’s easy to get stuck in a cycle of indecisiveness as well, because there is no timeline pressure. Although it might be fun to weigh all of your options at first, it gets overwhelming quickly. On a shorter timeline, you can enjoy the planning process and remain focused without spreading each decision over a timeline of a several months. If that resonates you, I would love for you to get in touch. Let’s set up a call and we can talk all about making your wedding day vision a reality (really soon!). I only have a couple dates left for 2021 so let’s connect.