serving couples from Fergus, Ontario, and beyond.

March 16, 2023

Wedding Planning Checklist: Top Tips for 2023 Brides 

Congratulations!  Now that you’re engaged, it’s time to start planning your wedding!  

There’s an endless stream of wedding advice that you can find online – but few guides give you the inside track on ways to save and perfect your wedding day vision.    Below, I’ve put together some simple wedding planning tips to help ease the pre-wedding planning jitters & help you to build the day of a lifetime.  We’ll dig deep into everything wedding – from wedding timeline tips to wedding financial help tips to make your day perfect on a budget. 

Read on to learn everything you need to know about planning the 2023 wedding of your dreams! 

How to Plan a Wedding in 2023 

Looking to plan your wedding in 2023? Whether you’re a destination bride or planning an intimate elopement, these wedding day tips are designed to give you the best big day possible. 

How to Plan Your Wedding Day Timeline 

You’re engaged – and there isn’t a second to waste!  There is no better time to start the ball rolling. After you buy your 2023 wedding planner, you’ll want to be thinking about your wedding day timeline. Every bride has a different amount of time between the present day and her walk down the aisle – which is why a wedding planning timeline is one of the first wedding tasks you should consider starting. 

Basically, your timeline breaks down exactly what needs to be done and when, helping give you confidence that all the little details are taken care of.  

Below is an example to get you started – but feel free to change this to suit your needs and personal timeline. 

12 Months Before The Wedding

  • Finalize your wedding date
  • Reserve your ceremony/reception location
  • Reserve your photographer
  • Shop for your wedding dress
  • Choose your bridal party

10 Months Before The Wedding

  • Book caterer and other vendors
  • Book entertainment
  • Finalize guest list
  • Reserve officiant
  • Purchase your wedding dress and plan  alteration appointments

8 Months Before The Wedding

  • Purchase all wedding accessories
  • Plan venue/reception decorations and music
  • Book honeymoon

6 Months  Before The Wedding

  • Order invitations
  • Reserve any rental equipment
  • Book honeymoon
  • Outfit your bridal party & solidify your choices

2 Months Before The Wedding 

  • Mail wedding invitations
  • Finalize all vendor details

Two Weeks Before The Wedding

  • Get wedding license (have your bans read off in church)
  • Finalize headcount with the caterer
  • Confirm details with vendors
  • Assign someone to pay vendors on the wedding day (for any outstanding payments) 

*By the way – this outline is meant to be basic. Your wedding day may be even more complex or have more moving parts. That’s OK, and that’s where a wedding planner can help you to keep everything straight! 

How to Make Your Wedding Budget in 2023

Setting a realistic wedding budget is the most important detail that will help launch you into planning mode.  The average cost for a traditional 2023 wedding ceremony is around $30k, but it is entirely up to the individual couple in what kind of wedding they want to have & how much they want to spend. 

Whether you decide to have a destination wedding or a small, intimate gathering, be confident in your choice and take charge of your planning process with an accurate wedding budget.

Below, I’ve listed some traditional budget guidelines associated with planning a wedding ceremony. Depending on your personal touches, percentages can be adjusted to fit your needs.    

5% of budget: Goes to  ceremony costs

5% of budget: Covers  invitations, stamps, and guest details (like favors)

10% of budget: Pays for your bridal accessories

10%  of budget: Covers photography and videography (and gives you memories for a lifetime!) 

10% of budget: Provides musical entertainment for the big day

10% of budget: Pays for your beautiful flowers and decorations

10% of budget: Covers your wedding dress & groom’s attire

50% of budget: Covers the reception & ceremony space and food/dessert

**Same here – these are rough estimates. Purchasing a wedding planner and tracking your purchases as you go is a great way to watch your vision come to life! 

How to Find Your Wedding Venue 

Finding the perfect space to host your wedding and reception is seriously magical. After all – you’ll hold this place in your memories forever! The first step in finding somewhere special is knowing how many guests will be invited to the big event. Your budget will likely inform your guest count, so be sure to connect with your partner and determine what works for your day! 

Consider reserving the venue 12 months before the wedding date for best results.  Taking notes on items included in the contract (tables, chairs, linens, decorations) will help you prepare for the extra expenses that might be needed. If you’re on a budget, you may also save money by choosing a weekday or “off-season” day for your wedding.

Choosing Your Wedding Vendors: Perfecting Your Day 

Once you have decided where you’ll be saying “I do,” it’s time to plan the details. Determining the overall vibe of your day will help align you with the perfect vendors of choice. Questions to ask include: 

  • What’s your wedding theme? 
  • Will you be booking a pro photographer/videographer? (Hint: I really recommend this! You’ll walk away with photos you’ll cherish forever…and you won’t be able to walk through this day again!)
  • Are you doing family-style or serving catered plates? 

Making a list of these types of questions helps you to truly perfect your big day & get ahead on booking your vendors. 

Book your destination wedding photography today 

Hey! It’s Lydia! I specialize in capturing the “perfectly imperfect,” candid, and unposed images you see on your Pinterest feed. If you’re a wild-hearted, adventurous soul, I would love to have the privilege to snap your special day. If you’re looking for affordable wedding photography near you, let’s book in for a time to chat–I would love to connect with you and see how we can make your special day reality through the lens! Congratulations!  Now that you’re engaged, it’s time to start planning your wedding!  

"Absolutely in love with our pictures!!!"

"I love my photos so much!

It's amazing! Even though there was hardly any snow for my winter wedding, Lydia still managed to capture some gorgeous off season shots of our big day! I'm absolutely in love with our pictures and we've received so many compliments from family and friends. When I was planning, one of the most common pieces of wedding advice I got from friends was "make sure you get a good photographer" and I'm so glad I listened!!"

-The Ingersol's

"It's worth it alone for the memories"

Lydia was truly amazing! We have never had our photos taken professionally, and she coached us through the whole thing. We have now received our photo gallery back and just breath taking! In tears looking at how beautiful they are! Would definitely recommend using her to capture any occasion! It’s worth it alone for the memories we have from our experience!

- Nicole & Jesse

"The BEST hands down"

Lydia is the BEST. Hands down. From doing pictures for our first pregnancy, to our engagement pictures, to our wedding; Lydia was along for the ride, and captured our love story and family perfectly. We love you so much! Thank you endlessly for everything!!!

- Brooke

"I knew I loved her"

After a very hectic wedding planning process, My husband and I never actually met Lydia in person before she shot our wedding. The minute she showed up I felt like I already knew her, and she made us all feel so at ease. Our wedding pictures are absolutely stunning, I still tear up when I look at them because Lydia really did such an amazing job capturing the whole day and all it’s special moments. I would 10/10 recommend Lydia to literally anybody for any occasion!

- Jamie

"She captured them perfectly"

Lydia captured the best moments during our shoot, we really wanted natural expressions and she captured them perfectly with our 3 boys. We love seeing their personalities shine in our photos!

- Kailey

Love notes