The Planning Process

What to Expect

THE WEDDING PLANNING PROCESS

Congratulations! You’re engaged. Now what?  Here is a timeline of what to expect. Every couple has different needs and begin planning at various periods of time before the wedding date, therefore the schedule can vary from wedding to wedding. This is simply a guideline.

Upon Booking:

Once your wedding planning contract is signed and the initial payment has been made this is what needs to be done:

  • Schedule a monthly 30 min touch base phone call with your wedding planner
  • Select a wedding date(s) – in some cases flexibility in date will give you more options
  • Determine the approximate number of guests if you haven’t already
  • Decide on your wedding budget. Does it include wedding gown, rings, or planning services? Let us know and we will create a detailed budget for you
  • Decide on a colour scheme and/or theme or general aesthetic for your wedding. This could affect the types of venues we suggest. Having a Pinterest board can be very helpful or even a few inspirational photos. We will often create our own “Inspiration Board” to nail down a look

12 Months Prior:

  • Fusion Events will research venues that fit within your taste, theme, and budget. We will provide you with detailed spread sheets outlining all of our suggestions. This document will include: available date, pricing information, pros and cons, and all pertinent information about each venue. Accompanied with this will be a Dropbox folder with each venue’s packages, menus, and photos. Depending on the time of year expect this to take 2-3 weeks
  • After reviewing the suggested venues you will narrow down your choices to your top three venues. We will then set up meetings to go and visit each of your top 3 choices (with your wedding planner of course)! Don’t think 3 is enough? Don’t worry, if you don’t find the perfect venue right away we will determine why you didn’t like the venues and suggest alternatives. We do pride ourselves on listening to our clients needs and delivering great options so a venue can be chosen from the first round of suggestions. Depending on season and your availability, we can usually visit venues, receive proposals and estimates, and sign a contract with 1-2 weeks of visiting

Upon Booking A Venue:

  • Announce your engagement – If you haven’t already
  • Start collecting mail and e-mailing addresses from your guests
  • Decide if you will send out a save the date and how i.e. e-mail blast, paperless post, word of mouth, physical copy
  • Book appointments with bridal stores to go dress shopping
  • Once you have a date and venue(s) booked it’s time to find a photographer and videographer. Good photographers get booked early on, so in order to get you the best artists we will suggest some options upon checking availability and pricing for you. Once you have availability and pricing from your favourite photographers we will set up and attend each meeting with you. Loving your photographer’s images is one thing, but you also have to have a good rapport with the person behind the camera

8-10 Months Prior: 

  • We will suggest music and entertainment options for you i.e. musicians for the ceremony/cocktails, bands and DJ’s for reception, as well as alternative entertainment ideas i.e photobooth, dancers, aerialists etc. We will provide you with options, quotes and set up times for you to preview or meet with entertainers whenever possible
  • Book your wedding music/entertainment
  • We will suggest wedding officiants for you (if it isn’t a religious ceremony) and set up meetings with them
  • Book your wedding officiant
  • We will suggest and set up meetings with wedding decor companies (this can include but is no limited to: Florists, Event Designers, Rental Companies)
  • Book your wedding decor
  • Book your engagement photo session with your photographer
  • Decide on the start time for ceremony and reception
  • Finalize guest list and send out save the dates
  • Select your bridal party and MC
  • Shop for bridesmaids dresses/attire
  • Start pre-marital classes/counselling (if required by your religious institution
  • Create a wedding website – we do include a basic free website for you. Just give us some pictures and content and we will create it for you for no additional fee

5-8 Months Prior:

  • We will suggest caterers if your venue doesn’t have in-house catering. We will set up meetings and tastings
  • Book caterer (if required)
  • We will research accommodations for out of town guests and set up hotel room blocks
  • We will help you book all of your transportation needs for you and your bridal party (we are happy to organize shuttles to and from hotels for your guests as well)
  • Select bridal accessories i.e shoes, handbag, hosiery, headpieces to bring to fittings
  • Schedule fittings
  • Consider wedding insurance
  • Order wedding rings
  • Plan honeymoon
  • Decide what to do for invitations i.e. work with a “stationer”, order online, e-vites etc.
  • If using physical invitations we will recommend stationery companies that fit your aesthetic and budget
  • For a Jewish wedding order Yarmulkes and Ketubah
  • We will provide options for many established hair and make-up stylists for you and your bridal party. We highly suggest doing a trial before deciding. It’s also a great idea to plan this in conjunction with your engagement shoot so that your all dolled up for it
  • We will recommend great options and alternatives for wedding cakes. We will organize some tastings for you and you can book your wedding cake or alternative of choice

2-4 Months Prior:

  • Finalize menu with venue or caterer
  • Organize final menu tasting
  • Order wedding favours. Not sure what to do? Not to worry! We will give you some great ideas and where to buy them along with pricing information
  • Send out invitations
  • Groom and groomsmen select and order attire
  • Plan bridal shower
  • Decide on floor plan in order to finalize decor required. We will help you with this and also offer to scale floor plans in 2D and 3D
  • We will set up a final meeting with your decor team to do a mock up while making any required changes to decor
  • If your venue requires you to bring your own alcohol we will help you to obtain a special occasions permit.
  • Book wedding rehearsal and rehearsal dinner. We will conduct the rehearsal for you
  • Consider buying gifts for each other
  • Consider buying gifts for your bridal party
  • Decide who will be giving speeches and toasts and let them know
  • Decide on all wedding music i.e ceremony processional, signing, recessional, first dance, parental dances, cake cutting etc. We have lots of experience with this and can offer up some great suggestions if you are stuck

1-2 Months Prior:

  • We will set up a meeting with you to finalize the ceremony and reception itinerary. This includes everything from hair and make up schedule right until the end of the night when the bride and groom depart
  • We will communicate all timings and logistics with vendors
  • Purchase cake knife, singing book (or alternative), ring pillow, singing pens, flip flops (for your guests to dance in) etc
  • Finalize ceremony details with officiant and musicians. Select readings etc
  • Attend bridal shower
  • Get marriage license
  • Attend final fittings
  • Finalize transportation
  • Collect RSVP’s and start deciding on seating arrangement (not a very fun job so we recommend doing it over a bottle of wine). Decide if you are doing place cards, seating chart, or both. Some venues require place cards at each place setting with an indicator for which meal was selected i.e Chicken, Beef, Fish, Vegetarian etc

The Month of the Wedding:

  • Track down any missing RSVP’s
  • Give your final number to the venue and caterer (this is usually due 10-14 days in advance)
  • Have your place cards or seating chart printed
  • We will re-confirm all details with vendors and provide all parties involved a detailed itinerary. We don’t usually send this out until 1-2 weeks prior as there are often last minute changes
  • Groom book a hair cut for a few days before
  • Groom break in wedding shoes
  • Bride schedule all beauty appointments i.e mani/pedi, waxing etc
  • Create a shot list for the photographer of “must have” shots
  • Make sure you have the marriage license
  • Print wedding program (if desired)
  • We will schedule a final walkthrough with your venue the month of the wedding to go over everything one last time in great detail
  • Decide on welcome baskets for out of town guests (we are happy to help put these together for you)
  • Confirm groomsmen and bridesmaids all have their attire. Assign someone to return any rented formal wear
  • Write letters to each other to be read on the morning of the wedding (great photo/video op)
  • Write your wedding speech – Don’t forget to thank guests who travelled, acknowledge each other’s families…and most importantly don’t forget about your new spouse

What to Expect From Us on the Day Of:

  • Morning – We always like to stop in on our bride and groom in the morning whenever possible. We like to make sure that everyone is calm and having fun, and that everyone is eating and not drinking too much! We sometimes personally deliver your flowers and help pin boutonnieres on the gents. Once you depart to do your photos the assistant coordinator will be with you until you arrive at the ceremony. Simultaneously the lead planner will go to the ceremony/reception site to oversee the load in and set up of all items. We will set up your place cards/seating charts, table numbers, favours, and any little personal or DIY elements you may have
  • Ceremony – At the ceremony we will line up the bridal party, make sure everyone is looking their best, make sure nobody has their cell phone, is chewing gum and generally looks pristine. We will cue the officiant, photographers, and musicians when to start and will then cue everyone when to walk down the aisle. After the ceremony we like to ensure that there are refreshments and cocktails awaiting the bride and groom in their bridal suite
  • Cocktail Reception – During the cocktail reception there are sometimes additional photos taken of the bridal party and family. The assistant coordinator will be there with shot list in hand to help ensure that no shots are missed. At the same time the lead planner is making sure that the reception room is set up and ready to go and that the photographers and videographers have captured all of the details before allowing guests to enter. We will also ensure that guests are happy and that there is plenty of food and beverages flowing during cocktails
  • Reception – During the reception we will line up your bridal party for entrances. Cue band/DJ, MC, photographer/videographer, and venue. We will be communicating with the kitchen and all vendors to ensure that service is impeccable. We will cue any and all speakers before it is their turn to give a speech. We will be personally checking in on you to make sure you are having nothing but the best time. We will ensure that we stay on schedule as best as possible. We will be on site to avert any potential issues. If there is an issue our goal is to draw on our years of experience and to quietly and quickly find a solution so that you never even know about it
  • End of the Night – Unlike many other wedding planning companies we don’t leave until the bride and groom do. That means we stay until the very end. We want you to end the best night of your life on a high note. We don’t want you cleaning up, shlepping boxes and gifts or generally having to worry about anything at all. We will make sure all of your gifts and personal belongings make it into your limo.

Certified Event Coordinators, Wedding Planners, And Talent Management