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“Will you marry me?”
Those four simple words begin a lifetime of happiness and memories. But they also serve as a starting pistol of sorts – the kickoff to a frenzied series of events involving planning sessions, meetings, tastings, invitation writing, and about a hundred other small tasks.
Let’s take a deep breath – you’ve got this. There are several ways to find help as you plan for your big day. Your partner will be right there by your side as the whole celebration comes together. You can delegate tasks to your family and future in-laws. And if you choose an excellent venue, you’ll never feel unsupported in the process.
To help coach you through the experience, we here at Le Tréport have compiled an authoritative guide to planning your wedding. As one of the premier event venues in Mississauga and Toronto, we’ve helped countless couples realize their wedding dreams. And we want to share some of that experience-born wisdom with you.
Here’s everything you can do after the “Will you marry me?”
First Steps: Budgeting and Timelines
Once the initial buzz of the proposal subsides (it never fully subsides), you will probably kick into planning mode. And the first place to start is with your budgets and timelines.
At Le Tréport, we’ve met the whole gamut of couples – some pre-plan with detailed intensity and others take a more laissez-faire approach. Ideally, you can strike a balance.
Start with an itemized spreadsheet or ledger for your budget, under which you can break down your budget into line items: venue, catering, photography, bar, DJing, décor (incl. floral arrangements), and dresses. Organize your categories by priority, with the most important at the top, then allocate your overall budget into the categories.
As for a timeline, choose whatever makes sense for you. Are you eager to get hitched in a tight, 6-month timeline? Or would you rather have a comfortable buffer to plan the wedding – one or even two years? Your decision will depend on how busy your schedule is, what season you prefer for the big day, and whether you “just want to be married already!”
Where to Start Your Journey Together: Booking a Wedding Venue
The next step is an important one: booking the wedding venue. Your wedding venue should be more than just a passive space; it should be an active participant in the celebration, augmenting the joy and elegance of the day. Moreover, the venue should be centrally located to accommodate geographically dispersed guests. And finally, your venue should boast an experienced team behind it, adept at planning and realizing your vision.
Le Tréport offers all of that and more. As one of the most experienced and respected wedding banquet halls in Mississauga, we go above and beyond to ensure that each of our clients enjoys a memorable wedding day. At the convergence of four major highways, our venues are centrally located. And our highly experienced team will work intimately with you to make your dream wedding a reality.
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Food for Thought: Planning a Wedding Menu
The guests come for the happy couple, but they stay for the excellent food.
Our advice is to sit down together as a couple and brainstorm your menu options. Throw out some words and phrases that you believe exemplify your connection with food. It can be anything: “Italian,” “comfort food,” “elegant fine dining,” “mixed grills,” “Indian feast.” This brainstorming session will help give shape to your wedding menu by revealing your shared tastes and priorities.
Once you’ve landed on a theme – “Italian fine dining,” for example – you can discuss specific dishes and service options with your venue’s in-house caterers. Le Tréport’s high-quality catering in Mississauga is well-versed in a range of cuisines and service styles. Our expert chefs will turn your ideas into an unforgettable wedding meal.
Adding Personality and Elegance: The Décor
Like your wedding menu, décor ideas benefit from a theme – albeit a looser one. Do you want to evoke the opulence and elegance of the roaring 20s with clinking crystal, white satin and gold accents? Or are you more interested in rustic, bespoke décor that plays on natural elements like wood, burlap and foraged arrangements?
As you did with your menu, brainstorm some big ideas, then narrow those ideas into a specific vision. Work with your wedding venue staff to coordinate décor elements, occasionally referencing your budget (see above) to ensure that you don’t overspend.
Ceremonial Considerations: Finding an Officiant
You’ve secured a venue, set a catering menu and outlined a vision for décor. Now, there’s just the small matter of the wedding itself. Every wedding needs an officiant (or a celebrant) to oversee the ceremony and legitimize the union.
For religious weddings, this process involves speaking to religious leaders who can officiate. And for non-religious weddings, the process starts with finding a licensed officiant or justice of the peace. Alternately (we’ve seen this a lot recently), you can complete a civil ceremony with a municipal clerk before your wedding, then choose whomever you wish (a family member or friend) to act as celebrant on your wedding day.
Spreading the Word: Drafting, Writing and Sending Invitations
As soon as you finalize a date with your venue, you can start sending invitations. If you’re offering plated dinner service (rather than buffet-style), you should wait to finalize a menu, too, so you can give guests a dinner option.
Modern couples have a couple of options for wedding invitations. You can follow the old-fashioned route: printing invites at a local print shop and then sending them via physical post to your guests. Or you can send e-vites through an online wedding invitation service. In the latter case, you can often choose from various templates, and program form fields like RSVPs, plus-ones and dinner options into your invitation.
Pics, Clicks and a Wedding Mix: Your Photographer, Website and Dancefloor
Finally, we’ve lumped together a few other key elements of wedding planning: finding a photographer/videographer, launching an optional website for information and registry links, and engineering the perfect dancefloor experience.
Let’s start with the wedding photographer. On average, a wedding photographer in Toronto or Mississauga will charge around $3,000 for the day (but the price range is highly varied). For many couples, it’s a worthwhile investment in lifelong memories. However, you can save money by buying or renting a quality DSLR camera and delegating the task to a camera-adept family member.
A website is optional, but it can be a convenient feature in a modern wedding. A website can contain links to your registries, portals for RSVPing, and space for well-wishers to leave the newlyweds a message. The cost here is relatively low – roughly $20 – 30$ to host the site for a year.
And last but not least, you can plan the entertainment. Some couples opt for traditional live bands, while others hire a DJ to keep the tunes spinning. Increasingly, we’re also seeing couples take the dancefloor into their own hands with a personally curated Spotify mix hooked into our sound system. The former options run anywhere from $700 to $4,000, while the latter doesn’t cost anything – except a few hours spent brainstorming songs.
Hopefully, this article inspires you to start planning your dream wedding. If you have any questions about venues, catering, décor or amenities, please don’t hesitate to contact the expert team at Le Tréport. We look forward to celebrating with you!