EPI-Events

Top 4 Wedding Planning Mistakes to Avoid!

Planning a wedding? It’s a big job, and while there will certainly be some things unique to your big day, a whole lot of other things are universal to nearly every wedding. These things deal with budget, logistics, and general “best planning practices,” and are easy to handle – if you’re aware of them early on.

Whether you’ve just started the planning process for your wedding, or you’ve only got a few short weeks left, take a moment to make sure you’re not making any of these 4 common wedding planning mistakes!

1. Wasting Money

When it comes to setting your budget, there’s a lot of advice out there from people who will profit from you following it. You’ve got to be careful where you spend your money – and be sure to avoid paying for thing you don’t need, like an excessively expensive wedding dress, or a limo when your ceremony and reception are at the same wedding venue.

It all boils down to knowing your budget – both what is, and what is not, in it.

2. Forgetting a Rain Plan

While this may only be relevant if you’re throwing an outdoor or destination wedding, you may be surprised at how many couples simply count on luck alone when it comes to the weather for their big day.

Even if you believe planning for rain will jinx your celebration – do it.

3. Not Providing Enough Info

No one likes to be confused, and your wedding guests won’t have the same prior experience visiting your venue as you do. Remember to offer suggestions on local activities and transportation.

And if you’re planning a destination or weekend long event, hand out itineraries so everyone knows where and when they’re supposed to be. Get this information out to your guests months before your wedding, especially if it’s in some far away land.

4. Sweating the Small Stuff

Something will undoubtedly go slightly askew.

The wedding party might show up late. A groomsman may forget the programs you spent a week writing by hand. A family member may insist on leading a conga line.

None of it matters!

Far too often couples get caught up in the details and lose focus. Your wedding day should be a celebration of your marriage, and it’s hard to be present and enjoy yourself when you’re worried that the flowers don’t quite match the bridesmaids’ hair and makeup.

Now that you’re confident you won’t make these 4 common mistakes, it’s time to get cracking! Planning even a small wedding is a big job. An experienced and knowledgeable wedding planner can help make sure you avoid each of these mistakes, and a whole lot more! Get in touch with the EPI-Events team today, and let’s get started planning your perfect big day!

Planning a Winter Wedding: What You Need to Know

The holiday season may be little more than happy memories now, but here in Canada we’re just getting started with the winter wonderland! If frosty windows, gentle flurries, mulled wine, and cozy sweaters are your cup o’ tea, then a wintery wedding may be right up your (snow blanketed) alley!

Throwing a wedding during the colder parts of the year creates its own challenges. But it’s also an incredible opportunity to do something truly magical and unique.

Warm up to the idea with these winter wedding tips!

Weather

When planning a wedding during the winter months, it’s important to keep your guests’ comfort and experience in mind. Your guests will want to be warm! This might mean renting space heaters for large reception halls, keeping blankets on hand, or offering hot drinks like hot chocolate. Whatever the best option ends up being, you’ll want to keep potentially low temperatures or unruly weather in mind.

But your guests’ comfort shouldn’t be your only focus! If you’re planning on an outdoor wedding, or at least outdoor photos, you’ll want to carefully consider your own ensemble. Look for a wedding dress with long sleeves, a fabulous and warm wrap, or if you’re really going for glamour, a winter wedding cape to match your gown.

Give Plenty of Notice

Winter is often a busy – and expensive – time of year. When planning a wedding for the winter months you’ll need to keep your guests’ holiday commitments in mind. The best way to jump this hurdle is to get your Save the Dates out as early as you can. You’ll want to give your guests plenty of time to plan and budget for your big day.

But winter isn’t only busy for your guests – vendors are working hard too. There may be fewer weddings at this time of year, but the holiday season marks an incredibly busy time for the hospitality industry. Make sure you book your wedding venue, catering, bar, and entertainment early to get your first choice.

Timing is Everything

One of the challenges of a winter wedding is timing. After the winter equinox on December 21st, the light is lost after around 2:00 or 3:00 PM. This means you’ll need to be mindful of when you schedule your photos. The best way to handle this relatively small obstacle is to simply build time into your day to take wedding photos when the natural light is at its best.

This might mean an earlier ceremony, or perhaps photos before you say your vows.

Lighting

And lighting isn’t just important for photos – it’s critical to build ambience. Winter lighting usually means dinner is served after sunset, which offers the perfect opportunity for a romantic, magical atmosphere. Don’t fight it! Instead try candlelight and fairy lights with warm white tones.

With a bit of careful consideration, and some well-thought-out planning, a winter wedding offers endless opportunities to create a unique, memorable, and stylish wedding day! Do something different that your guests will not only appreciate but will talk about for years to come.

For more wedding day inspiration, or to discuss the possibility of a winter wedding with our wedding planners, contact the team at EPI-Events today!

What You Need to Know When Planning a Destination Wedding

Deciding to have a destination wedding can be one of the most exciting decisions you ever make! But it brings with it a unique set of stresses if you’re not sure what to expect. Throwing a destination wedding often means a more intimate ceremony, and something of a two-for-one wedding and honeymoon.

But, before you set sail for your personal paradise, there are a few important details you need to consider.

Location, Location, Location

Keep in mind that wherever you choose for your wedding location, it must have all the resources you need. That cute paradise village where you spent summers as a child simply won’t work if it has only one hotel and can’t accommodate all your guests.

Timing is Everything

Unfortunately, the best weather for a wedding ceremony in many popular destinations happens during tourist season. That means more crowds, fewer hotels and venues available, and higher costs all around. If you’re planning a wedding during this peak time, book your venue, hotel block, and vendors early!

Give Guests an Early Heads Up

When planning a destination wedding, it’s critical that you give you those on your guests list as much advanced notice as possible. That means sending out Save the Dates or a link to your wedding website at least 5 or 6 months before the big day, and invites going out 2-3 month before. Your friends and family will appreciate the extra time to make travel arrangement.

Factor in Unexpected Extras

If done right, a destination wedding can cost about the same as hosting your wedding day at home – maybe even less. That said, there are bound to be unexpected expenses you’ll need to factor in. These might include vendors and decor, gifts for guests, and travel costs for you, your family, and maybe a few vendors too. Make sure your budget is realistic and covers extra costs.

Pick Vendors Carefully

It’s always a good idea to vet your vendors carefully, but for a destination ceremony and reception, it’s critical. You’ll be leaving a lot in their hands, so it’s important that you trust them. It’s a good idea to make at least one planning trip to meet with your potential vendors beforehand. You might also bring trusted pros from home.

Visit the Venue in Person

If you have the time, and the means, you should plan a trip to visit your venue in person. Pictures can be misleading, and it can be a great help to put faces with the names you’ve been discussing details with for months.

Hire a Pro

If you’re set on a destination wedding, you should strongly consider hiring a wedding planner – especially one based in your chosen location. An experienced planner can help with everything from the wedding dress, to hair and makeup, and even crossing a language barrier.

So, you’re one of those couples who really wants the remote location and adventurous vibe for when you tie the knot! Before you jet off to a faraway land to marry your love, make sure you know what you’re getting into.

Need a little more advice or some help planning your destination wedding? Contact EPI Events today, and let’s make your special day unforgettable!

Why Should I Hire an Event Planner for My Wedding?

When it comes to the wedding planning process, you could be anywhere from “I have no idea what I’m doing,” all the way up to “I should quit my job and make planning weddings my career!” If you find yourself more at the confused end of the spectrum, hiring an event planner may seem like a no-brainer. But even if you’ve felt in control since the beginning, a planner can take your ceremony and reception to the next level.

Check out these 4 reasons you should hire a wedding planner for your wedding day!

1. Planners take a lot of responsibility off your plate

Wedding planning is stressful and takes a lot of time – far from the romantic experience everyone expects. There’s a lot to keep track of: vendors, catering, invitations, and more – to say nothing of meddling family. Hiring an event planner for your big day can help ease the pressure you may start to feel as things pile up. A planner can do the heavy lifting for you, leaving you stress free and enjoying the process.

2. Planners can help with budgets and contracts

A planner can help you make the most of your wedding budget, no matter how much you’re willing to spend. Their experience allows them to stretch your money because they know what’s important and what will get the most impact. What’s more, they deal with legal contracts on a daily basis and can take the guess work out of speaking with your vendors.

3. Planners have tons of insider knowledge & advice

Wedding planners are always talking to florists, caterers, DJs, hair stylists, and vendors of every variety. They can recommend the vendor cream-of-the-crop for your perfect day – so you don’t have to spend hours reading reviews on Google. Even better, thanks to these insider relationships, your planner may even be able to negotiate deals that wouldn’t otherwise be available to you.

4. Planners fight for your vision, and keep things on track

Possibly the most important perk of hiring a planner is having someone in your corner, who’ll fight for your vision. It’s common for vendors to tackle more than one wedding per day, or per weekend. But an event planner is focused only on your special day. They can bring it all together and will uphold your wedding vision start to finish – from the first days of planning to the day of the wedding.

Some couples are super creative and can do a lot of their own planning. Others have a strong vision and a flair for decorating. But some couples haven’t put a lot of thought into what they want, don’t have the time to devote to planning, or simply don’t know where to start.

Whether you need a full service wedding planner, or just some support with “day of” coordination, EPI Events can help! Contact us today, and let’s get to planning your special day!

Tips for Planning a Small Budget Wedding

Planning a wedding isn’t easy, and planning a cheap wedding can be even more difficult.

Wedding costs can get expensive, with budgets doubling or tripling if you’re not careful. But that doesn’t mean you can’t plan an elegant wedding on a small budget. Bride and groom will just need to be willing to compromise and work hard.

Try these tips to tie the knot without tightening your belt.

Venue

The venue is easily one of the priciest items in your budget. Choosing a less expensive venue for your ceremony and reception is an excellent way to keep your budget down. You can also try to find venues that provide catering themselves, which accounts for another large portion of your budget. Another low-cost option for your big day is a space provided by family or friends, like a large garden or cottage.

You could also try working with a restaurant, as they are likely to charge less than the combined cost of a traditional venue and caterer. They also already have a waitstaff, so you can save on servers as well.

Catering

Another item on your budget with a big price tag is catering. In general, you have two options: buffet and seated dinner. Though the cost for both options will depend on the number of people on your guest list, buffet tends to be cheaper. There are several options for drinks, including a BYO option, or providing drinks yourself to save money.

If your food and drink budget is a little tight, consider asking guests to help out in place of a gift.

Wedding Dress

One great option to help keep your dress budget down is to shop online. Otherwise, seek out the sales! With a little hunting, you can find a gorgeous discount dress on sale, sometimes up to 70% off.

Flowers & Décor

Work with your greatest asset when it comes to the flowers and decorations: friends and family! You can create stunning flower bouquets on your own, or buy some gently-used second-hand decorations. Keep in mind that you can resell many of your own decorations, provided they aren’t damaged. Renting décor is also an option to consider, but this can become expensive quickly.

Need a little more advice to help keep your wedding budget from spiraling out of control? Contact us today, and let’s make your affordable wedding dreams come true!

A Wedding Planning Checklist for a Perfect Wedding

Planning the perfect wedding isn’t an easy task – especially without a professional wedding planner to help you. In fact, the help of a wedding planner can make everything a lot easier!

However, if you’re determined to plan your wedding on your own, be sure to use a detailed wedding checklist to make sure you hit each of those important milestones on time!

You’ll need to be patient as you start planning, and you can’t let the stress get to you as your big day approaches. Just keep your beautiful day in your mind, and remember that when it’s all over you’ll be married to the love of your life!

To help make sure you get everything just right, try following this simplified wedding planning checklist:

 

1. Define a budget for the wedding that you won’t exceed

No one likes deciding on a budget for their big day, but it’s an important part of the planning process. Decide what’s most important to you for your wedding day, and how it may impact your budget. For example, do you need to balance a large guest list with affordable food?

2. Choose a theme

It’s wedding idea time! Your personalities, sense of style, and tastes should be on full display here. Will you throw an elegant party? Perhaps you want a Caribbean theme? Will you have your ceremony indoors or out?

Feel free to express yourselves. Let your creativity shine through every aspect, from colours to décor and beyond!

3. Choose a venue and catering

Wedding venues’ bookings fills up fast – especially if you’re interested in the more popular locations. Popular caterers’ schedules also fill up quickly during the wedding season. Do your research, but don’t wait too long. Be sure to allow about 50-60% of your budget for these expenses.

4. The wedding dress

Finding the perfect dress is about as personal an experience as there is. Take your time to find your dream dress. But be sure to leave enough lead time for dress fittings and alterations!

5. Book your photographer, cameraman, DJ or band, & any other entertainment

Just like with the venue and caterer, these sorts of wedding vendors book early. Waiting too long will see your options shrink and leave you without your top choices.

6. Send invitations

Everything begins to take shape as you meet with your venders; everyone is ready to deliver your vision for a perfect wedding. That means it’s time to send out those wedding invitations!

7. Choose your flowers and decor

With your theme firmly in mind, it’s time to decide on your flowers and decorations! Create a continuity with your theme, colours and décor to build a stunning atmosphere.

8. Coordinate all the little details

As your big day arrives, it will feel like there are a million little things that need to be taken care of. From who’s holding the wedding bands, to final payments, and everything in between. Work with your friends, family, and wedding party to make sure each of those small details are taken care of!

Want more informations? Please feel free to contact us for a free consultation.

How Much Does a Wedding Cost?

Many Canadian couples start hearing wedding bells and thinking about that big day early on in their relationship. Some even start saving as soon as things get serious. And why not? Your wedding is an important milestone worth celebrating!

But if you’ve never been exposed to the financial side of planning a wedding, it’s easy to be shocked by what you find. It turns out becoming “bride and groom” is a lot more complicated than simply saying “I do,” and those expenses add up quickly.

The final bill all depends on the couple’s vision, and their possible wedding budget. It can easily run from $10,000 to $100,000. In fact, according to The Knot’s 2018 Real Weddings Study, the average wedding cost is around $34,000!

A more useful question to ask yourself is “How much am I willing to spend?”

The best way to help yourself determine a realistic budget for your wedding is to create a list of costs – and stick to it. Just keep in mind that you may have to make compromises in certain areas to stay within your budget.

Get an idea of what you can expect with this breakdown of the most common wedding expenses and their average prices:

  • The most expensive items on your list will undoubtedly be the venue and caterer. Combined, these expenses will take up about 60% of your total budget. This will most likely include drinks, and a larger price tag for an open bar. But it won’t include the wedding cake or entertainment. When it comes to venues, high-end banquet halls will be more expensive than smaller locations. That said, the pricier locales usually include rentals, tableware, and basic amenities.
  • The wedding dress is another large purchase. On average, brides spend well over $1,500 for their dress. There’s a lot to keep in mind here: veil, handbag, shoes, alterations, etc. And remember, the more intricate your dress, the more expensive it will be to alter.
  • For vendors like the photographer, cameraman, DJ, and other entertainment, you should expect to pay between $2,500 and $3,000. An experienced DJ alone can cost upwards of $1,750.
  • Flowers and décor are a must for any wedding day. But with so many small details, it can be easy to lose track of your expenses here. Pay close attention and expect to pay between $1,000 and $2,000.
  • Many couples book hair and make-up professionals for both the bride and her bridesmaids. For just the bride this expense can start around $300 or $400. The cost only goes up as you add service for the bridesmaids.
  • Invitations, Save-the-Dates, programs, and other small details add up quickly. From determining how many you need, to having them printed, to factoring postage – and more – you can expect to pay $300 to $400. Of course, email invites are an inexpensive – and environmentally friendly – option as well.
  • Another expense you should consider, which can help save you time and money, is a wedding planner. With many service options to choose from, from full A-Z planning to day-of help, hiring a wedding planner takes the stress out of the day and just makes things easier.

One last bit of parting advice to leave you with: Be sure to allow yourself some wiggle-room in your budget. You never know what kind of incidental expenses may pop up!

If you’re ready for some help tying the knot, don’t hesitate to contact us today!