How to Choose Your Wedding Theme

Aside from some overall financial and logistical planning, you'll want to choose a wedding theme in the early stages of planning your wedding.

If you already have a location selected, design your theme around its existing character. If you're still open to a variety of venues, you can use your theme to eliminate any venues it wouldn't jive with.

A well designed wedding balances colour, texture, and mood to create an overall theme. That theme extends into every detail from the venue to itineraries, to flower varieties and linen texture, to stationery fonts and tableware. There becomes so many opportunities for personalization with the theme that consistency is absolutely key.

You may find it surprisingly difficult to narrow down a theme you are going to be happy sticking with in the long run. With Pinterest, Instagram, blogs and publications, there is so much inspiration out there to get caught up in and flip flop you from one theme to the next.

So, how do you choose your theme? Make it your own!

Find inspiration from:

  • Your venue (this is important!)
  • Favourite colours
  • Hobbies and interests
  • Places you love
  • An era you wish you could travel back (or forward!) in time to
  • Seasonal surroundings
  • Your personalities
  • Your style
  • Trends in fashion, pop culture and interior design

When you've struck inspiration, take a moment to elaborate on it. Brainstorm the colours, textures, mood, era, objects, and experiences associated with it. Create a new Pinterest board and save items from your list to visualize it all together. Now you have a wedding style to work off of!

If you still don't know where to start, or you've found inspiration but are stuck when it comes to turning it into a complete wedding style, get in touch with me. I'll work with you to create your very own visual mood board and pull together the perfect team of vendors for your one-of-a-kind wedding.

Let's chat about your wedding style!

Why I Didn't Hire a Wedding Planner

Thinking back to when we were planning our wedding, I'm not even sure that I knew there was such a thing as a wedding planner in Winnipeg. Regardless, I was more than happy to take on the tasks of researching and selecting vendors and sourcing all the decor.

Planning our wedding would be fun and my fiancé and I would get to make all the decisions, down to the tiniest detail. I had an hour or two free every week to chip away at our big day that was yet a year and a half away, and this way a planner wasn't another expense to save up for.

Rose Gold Wedding Rings at Fort Garry Hotel Wedding Winnipeg Manitoba

Why I Wish We Had

Being the host and planner is hard. It means you don't get to fully appreciate all the little details and surprises from your own party. I find great pleasure in planning beautiful celebrations, including our family's, but honestly, there are times when even the planner wishes they had a planner.

1. Wedding planning takes time. Evenings and weekends were spent building our wedding website, designing and proofreading stationery, responding to vendor emails that I didn't yet know the answers to (my only source of information for planning a wedding at the time was from magazines), reviewing contracts, managing our budget, and spending countless hours on DIY items that I now know much faster and cheaper ways to do. If you have a demanding job, children, or hobbies that you'd rather not get pulled away from, planners are your personal assistant for all things wedding.

2. It's not always fun. Sure, browsing Pinterest for ideas, eating cake, and flouncing around in sample dresses is fun; but there's not much to smile about when building a budget and tracking payments in Excel, reviewing vendor contracts, and going down a list of rental companies to call for that one thing you need. Turns out that handing your wedding over to a professional doesn't take the fun away, it makes it more fun. Wedding planners are a filter for keeping the process of planning a wedding enjoyable while still leaving you in control with final decisions.

3. Someone needs to be the main point of contact on your wedding day. Without a wedding planner, it will (most likely) be the bride. I remember running to the reception hall to make sure the centrepieces were in place and the cake had arrived, being asked where cables were for the DJ, and getting pulled off the dance floor to respond to questions from the venue coordinator. Thankfully we had a great MC and venue coordinator that kept to my carefully plotted evening itinerary, but needing to be involved in everything distracted me from fully enjoying the day.

Newspaper Wedding Program at Fort Garry Hotel Winnipeg Manitoba
Winnipeg Winter Groom in Tiger of Sweden Suit at Fort Garry Hotel Winnipeg Manitoba
Winnipeg Winter Bride in Justin Alexander at Fort Garry Hotel Winnipeg Manitoba
Winnipeg Winter Wedding at Fort Garry Hotel

4. A wedding planner can save you money. When we got engaged we didn't know what things cost. We started with a budget of $18,000 and later realized our vision needed a budget of something more like $30,000. Since some details were already booked, we ended up locked in on spending more than we hoped. A professional planner is another line item on the budget, but a good one will cater their services to fit within your budget, start you off right with a realistic budget that balances what you want with what you can afford, pass along exclusive vendor discounts, and avoid costly mistakes.

5. Something will go wrong. On our wedding day I scheduled bridal portraits to finish half an hour before the ceremony (which is fine), but we ended up doing the photos close to where guests began arriving and some saw me before I walked the aisle. It was stressful trying to escape through an excited, small crowd with a 10' veil and 5' train, something a wedding planner would have calmly assisted with in sneaking me away. Thankfully nothing major went wrong on our wedding day, but what if something had? There are always last minute decisions to be made and often little emergencies. If something goes wrong, a planner will deal with it and it's likely that you (or your guests) will never even know of those little emergencies that went on behind the scenes on your perfect day.

White Groom Boutonniere by Fache Floral Design Winnipeg
White Cascading Bouquet by Fache Floral Design
Winter Wedding wtih White Dress Bridesmaids

6. Help is limited. The helpful venue coordinator included in your reception rental fee often isn't available to go beyond managing the logistics of the venue. They are there to ensure all aspects of the contract between you and the venue are executed, and that the venue's policies are followed. They may supply a list of preferred third party vendors, but they will not advise on vendors that fit your budget or style, schedule and attend vendor meetings, review resulting contracts and ensure they are adhered to on the day of the wedding, setup wedding decor, create a timeline, ensure your meticulously planned wedding day itinerary is followed, or quickly stitch up a tear in your groom's suit. That's what wedding planners are for!

First Dance at Fort Garry Hotel Crystal Ballroom

7. It's a big day for family and friends, too. And you probably want them to enjoy celebrating, right? Our family and wedding party worked their bums off the night before our wedding, hauling rentals and decor to the venue, setting it all up and then taking it all back down at the end of the night. In hindsight, I wish we had just left it to a professional to oversee our day. Loved ones play an incredibly important role in the wedding, and that is to be 100% present in supporting your life-long commitment.

Your wedding day can't be repeated and having a professional on hand can be a real lifesaver in so many ways. If you're considering tackling your big day all on your own, take some time to meet with a professional wedding planner. I always recommend, at the very least, hiring a wedding planner for month-of coordination (also known as day-of). It's one of the best investments you can make. You deserve an amazing, stress-free wedding day.

Feast & Festivities offers everything from full-service planning and design to month-of coordination and hourly consulting. Wherever you are in your planning stages, get in touch with us for a free initial meeting. Let's chat!

 

Photos by Sugar & Soul Photography

[FAQ]: Difference between Wedding Planning, Design and Coordination

As a full-service wedding planner, offering planning/coordination and design/styling all in one package, I am often asked what the difference is between wedding planning, wedding design, and wedding coordination, so I am going to clear things up real quick: each is such an important layer in organizing a wedding!

Image captured by  Sugar & Soul Photography

Image captured by Sugar & Soul Photography

Wedding Planning is the most mainstream, well-rounded approach of all services. It is a service that can begin as early as the moment you are engaged and will always include full assistance on the wedding day. A wedding planner is your advocate throughout the entire planning process.

Some examples of Wedding Planning assistance include:

  • Budgeting
  • Vendor recommendations and scheduling meetings
  • Bookings and contract review
  • Creation of timelines
  • Assistance in etiquette
  • Full assistance on wedding day (Wedding Coordination)

Wedding Design is visual and focused on making your wedding beautiful. Design services can begin right away, considerably sooner than later in the engagement, and include decor styling on your wedding day.

Wedding Design includes, but is not limited to:

  • Defining style, colour and theme of your wedding day
  • Sourcing details to bring the desired look to life, including working closely with the florist, cake artist, decor, and rentals
  • Creating your personal brand
  • Transformation of ceremony and reception spaces on wedding day (Styling)

Wedding Coordination service assumes all the planning and design details have been taken care of. We jump in the month leading up to your wedding to confirm details and guide you, your guests, and vendors on the wedding day to ensure everything runs as planned.

Wedding Coordination includes:

  • Week-of and Day-of timelines and task lists
  • Direction of ceremony, reception, and rehearsal
  • Point of contact for vendors, wedding party, and close family
  • Management of any issues that arise on the wedding day
  • Access to emergency kit

Full-service wedding planning and design includes all of the above. I am thrilled to guide wedding day plans in any way I am most needed and adore working with couples who want a personalized wedding through full-service planning and design. Taking a step back and looking at the whole wedding, we can pull together a seamless wedding experience in both the look and feel.

How do you choose the right service for you? Let's get together and chat! There are so many more details included in each of the services listed above to go over, and we'll review where you want help most to determine the best custom fit package.

Hello Feast & Festivities

It's been over one year in the making and I'm so thrilled to finally introduce Feast & Festivities Event Planning and Design Studio. I have always had an entrepreneurial spirit and Feast & Festivities is finally the perfect outlet to express my creativity and independence. Inspired by planning my own wedding (thank you, love!) and the fond memories and friendships created through feasts and festivities with family and friends, I wanted to help everyday hosts craft their own genuine experiences for guests.

My first Feast & Festivities signage and in-home studio after a fresh coat of white paint in 2014. The studio now doubles as our son's bedroom.

My first Feast & Festivities signage and in-home studio after a fresh coat of white paint in 2014. The studio now doubles as our son's bedroom.

I believe a true work life balance can only be achieved by loving what you do, that a business is only as good as its team and their passion behind it, and to always plan ahead in order to be successful. I place an intense amount of focus on researching, planning, evaluating, and re-evaluating, and that is what I've spent much time on over the past year. I am pleased to say I am now a Certified Wedding Planner by the Wedding Planner Institute of Canada as well as a Certified Event Designer through the Wedding & Event Institute. And, I am proud to share with you one of the very first projects I began with in defining Feast & Festivities: its mission and vision.


Our mission at Feast & Festivities is to support and inspire everyday hosts and their guests in the creation of memorable occasions.

Our vision is to craft personalized modern, elegant occasions through contributing inspiration, genuine ideas, and unique solutions that engage hosts and their guests in emotional ways.


When I began laying the groundwork for Feast & Festivities, there were three things I knew I wanted to focus on. One, to provide creative (design) support in addition to logistical (planning) support. With so many local beautiful venues and creative vendors to choose from already, I focus on pulling the right team of vendors together and share the direction and overall vision needed to tie each element together into one seamles occassion.

Second, to specialize in intimate and bespoke gatherings. I believe that the sharing of milestones, big or small, with close friends and family is one of life's greatest privileges. I work closely with hosts to create timeless, elegant, and whimsical occasions that engage and entertain guests in ways characteristic to the host.

Lastly, to identify a dream to chase. I envision growing Feast & Festivities into a larger passionate and creative team and continuing services through a retail storefront that offers a beautiful collection of event and home entertaining objects and supplies.

I am so ecstatic you have stopped by to learn a little bit about Feast & Festivities. The blog will be updated regularly with tips for everyday hosts, DIYs, our favourite recipes, workshop opportunities, family life, and featured special occasions. Stay connected by joining Feast & Festivities on Instagram and Facebook for all the latest.

Cheers!

Em

P.S. If you'd like to chat more about what F&F is here to do, please send me an email! I'd love to hear from you.