Congratulations you’re engaged! Now where do you start with the wedding planning? Is the idea of budgets, vendors and family feuds making you shiver? Then read on. We chat to event planner Stephanie Kersey about how to stay on budget and get the wedding you want using local vendors.
You recently married in Ottawa. How did you use local to stay in your budget?
Staying on budget is a challenge no matter what size your wedding is. It’s really easy to buy little things here or there without realizing how much they add up. Keeping an up to date spreadsheet, and buying everything with the same card (NO CASH!) makes keeping track of expenses easy. (Bonus if you collect points while doing it – we shaved almost $1300 off of our final bill!)
Where did you begin your research?
I hate to say it – Pinterest! I started collecting images as soon as we got engaged, and what quickly became apparent, was that I loved the vintage, intimate, country chic feel. It was so far from what I thought I would have wanted, I was genuinely surprised. Once I had an idea of what feel I was going for, Google Images actually became a quick go-to for specific references like “leaf themed decor”, or “rustic barn accents”.
How did you stay organized?
Whether it’s a pre-packaged wedding planner, a grade-school style binder, or a big notebook, finding somewhere to keep all the contracts, receipts, inspiration photos, business cards, etc is the key to keeping yourself organized. I made sure to set deadlines well before things were actually due, and put reminders on my phone for every deadline.
What local venders did you use?
We had such amazing suppliers. Ottawa Special Events went out of their way to work within our budget and really made our vision come to life. Jerome Photography did all of our photos and did an outrageously good job. W Flowers put together elegant custom made tent wraps and centrepieces, Coyote’s Run provided all of the wine, and Ice Culture made our ice luge.
What tips would you give local brides-to-be?
Take care of your guests. Whether it’s a basket of flip flops for tired dancers, bug spray and suntan lotion for an outdoor wedding, or umbrella’s for a rainy reception, your guests will appreciate it.
Have a rain plan.
Rent the expensive chairs if you can swing it – you wouldn’t believe the difference between a nice chair and folding chair.
Remember that your wedding is a family affair, so everyone gets a vote – but you and your fiancé are the final decision makers. Do what makes you happy!
image: Jerome Photography