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Wedding Planning Timelines

Letters to the newly engaged bride.

Congratulations on your engagement! Such an exciting time and there can be so many questions. Not to worry, we’ve been helping brides find their wedding gowns, and have been involved in weddings for over 20 years. We’re here to answer all the questions you have – even if it isn’t related to bridal gowns!

Sinders Bridal House has been in it’s Ottawa, Ontario location since 1987 and over the years we have had the pleasure of working with so many wedding professionals. It’s common for us, once the wedding season is over, to get together, lean into our creative sides, and work on a styled shoot. This gives us the opportunity to meet new people in our industry, but it also lets us share beautiful pictures with our followers, all created from our own imaginations.

What should my first step be?

Often from talking with our brides we hear that the first step is picking your venue. This has split recently considering post-pandemic weddings have branched out to include all sorts of different venues. If you plan to use a popular venue, if you really want to get married on a peak day like a Saturday or Sunday, or if you have one specific date in mind that absolutely has to be your wedding day. Then you should expect at least a year wait before your wedding can happen and the venue will need to be the first thing you plan because that will be your main starting point.

If you’re open to alternate solutions, or always loved the idea of getting married in your own backyard, then the venue will not likely be your biggest time constraint. At this point, you already have a partially formed idea of where you plan to have your wedding so you know the vibe you’re aiming for. This means your timelines might be more restricted by which piece is more important to your wedding day – wedding photographer, florist, or entertainment. And you can move forward even with separate steps even if you don’t have an exact date booked.

Secondary first steps…

We believe that the most important pieces of your wedding day – other than you and your fiancée(e)! – are the wedding photographer and your wedding gown. After all, those are the pieces that will create your memories that you will see hanging on your walls or posted on your social media for the rest of your life. Always read reviews when choosing your wedding photographer, but even more so, look through their portfolio to make sure that they match the look you want to have in your memories. Each photographer has a certain way they capture their images and a certain colour spectrum they work within. Are you looking for crisp colourful photos? Or what about black and white? Or blown out, or editorial style, or a bigger emphasis on candids? Always do your research on the photographers in your area, find a few in your style, then make an appointment to meet them. Honestly, they want to know that you will be a match personally just as much as you do. You both want to be sure that you’re on the same page from day one, so take this one seriously and you’ll love the visual memories you come away with.

Florists have busier seasons like all wedding professionals, but they also work within the constraints of which flowers and greenery are available at any given season. If you have your heart set on a specific flower or a certain colour scheme then it’s best to get input from the experts in this field so that you can book your wedding day within the correct time frame.

Entertainment. Meaning anything from a DJ to a live band to aerialists. This can be a pivotal part of your wedding day, or something that is extremely special to you as a couple. The more particular you get the more it will impact your timeline so find out when they are available early on before booking other professionals.

How finding your wedding dress fits into the timeline you have available.

When a bride asks us about timelines the simplest answer is that we love to be able to order your gown 9-12 months ahead of your wedding day. This gives us room to breathe in the delivery process, as well as several months on the end for alterations to your wedding gown. Though that is the dream timing for us, we always have to mention that whatever timeline you have is the ideal timeline to find a gown. The shortest timeline we have ever worked with is one week. No, I’m not pulling your leg. We look at it as ‘where there’s a will, there’s a way’. Thankfully we also work with some incredible designers who have helped us out by working their magic to get a bride her gown on an impossible timeline. These are more stressful, not just for us, but for you (our bride) as well. We are nothing but grateful to the brides who place absolute trust in us in these situations. But please give as much time as you can to order your gown so that you know this vital piece is taken care of and will not be the cause of extra stress leading up to your wedding.

In the end, the best place to start is the part of your wedding that is the most important to you. Take some time to picture what you want your day to look like. Picture you in your gown, your groom in his suit, or your bride in her gown/suit. Picture your surroundings, and picture the overall plan of what you and your guests will do throughout the day or evening. Then discuss with your partner which aspects are the most important for both of you. From there you’ll have a short list of things to focus on – a starting point.

Good luck and remember. If you have questions or are looking for suggestions we love to help! It’s an honour for us to be involved in your wedding day and we love to share our knowledge and experience with our brides!

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