Hello, there! I'm Lauren, small town girl, dreamer, and lead planner/owner of Sinclair & Co Design. I'm so thrilled you've joined me here! Take a look around and explore some of my favourite moments.

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Pop the bubbly! You’re getting married!!!

We’d love to hear your proposal story! Were you surprised?! This is one of the most exciting times of your lives so soak in every moment, every congratulatory text or email, and indulge in the celebrations. Whether you’ve been dreaming of your wedding day since you were young, or you have no idea where to start, we are here to lend a guiding hand! Pinterest and Instagram can sometimes become overwhelming for couples that didn’t have a clear vision or venue in mind prior to being engaged. Therefore, we have compiled some helpful tips and advice for you newly engaged couples to begin your wedding planning journey. We believe that the wedding planning process should be fun for you both, while remaining as stress free as possible.

 

Photo by Stephanie Mason Photography & Co. 

 

It is true that many of you have been dreaming of this day since you were young, so soak it all in and keep dreaming. If you were to have an unlimited wedding budget, what would your wedding look like? Obviously, you will have to formulate a budget and prioritize different elements, but it is fun to dream.  To help find inspiration search online through wedding blogs, Pinterest, and Instagram for photos, some of you may already have a Pinterest board for your dream wedding, if so – is it consistent or is it all over the place? Start from scratch and choose 10-15 images you love, they can be anything – artwork, colors, ribbon, florals, fabric, wedding gowns, venues, etc.

 

Have you dreamed of a certain venue in your town or city? Or have you dreamed of having a destination wedding on a sandy beach or in the South of France? Would you prefer to elope or are you dreaming of being surrounded by your friends and family on your wedding day? Consider those family members that will be traveling in for your celebration and if they are able to get there with ease. If you’ve already got a venue in mind, reach out to them ASAP to inquire about available dates and their pricing/packages.

 

      Photo by Stephanie Mason Photography & Co. 

 

Have you always dreamed of getting married in the early summer? If you’re like me, I would plan my wedding strictly around peony season. Maybe you prefer fall colors and cooler temperatures? Or maybe you’re looking to have a more intimate, cozy wedding during the winter months. Each season has its pros and cons, especially when it comes to your venue/location and timeline. Check out our blog post about timeline tips to learn more details about planning your wedding during different seasons!

 

This is very important, and people hate doing it. Many couples put off creating a budget because they don’t want to have the “money” talk, but the sooner you do it, the easier it will be. Also discuss with your families if they are able to contribute to your wedding budget and then decide as a couple how much you are willing to contribute together to come up with an estimated total. Having a budget will allow you to explore the appropriate venues and prioritize different elements of your wedding, such as photography and florals. If you want an amazing photographer and huge floral installations, prioritize those categories vs. spending extra money on ordering wedding favours for each guest for example.

 

Photo by Stephanie Mason Photography & Co. 

 

It may seem crazy early to be doing this but compiling a rough guest list early on will be so helpful when you are viewing venues. It is necessary to ensure each venue is able to accommodate your guest count, but this will also give you a better estimate for your budget as well. Many venues price per guest, therefore if you know you are having 120 guests for example, they are able to provide you a quote based on your appropriate guest count.

If this seems overwhelming to you, make a spreadsheet and start with immediate family and work your way outwards to work friends and colleagues.

Tip: When it comes time to collect guest addresses or emails, there are a few different ways to do this easily! I love  Postable, as well Appy Couple for collecting all of your guest’s information and they are super user friendly and formatted so you can easily pass the information along to your stationery designer.

 

The sooner you can determine your desired location, estimated budget, and guest list count, the sooner you can look into specific venues. Think of the style of your wedding that you envision for your big day. Are you dreaming of a rustic, yet elegant barn venue? A romantic tented wedding? A glam, black tie hotel wedding? Are you able to hold your ceremony and reception at the same venue? Is the venue able to accommodate your desired guest count easily – you want your guests to be comfortable and have room for dancing later in the night!

There are many resources to assist you with researching venues in your area, check out The Knot or Wedding Wire to narrow down your search, read reviews, and view more photos of the venues. Once you have compiled a list of your venue options, call to inquire about availability. If they have options for a few of your desired dates, set up a viewing time, to tour the property and go over pricing and package options. When you have chosen a venue you love, be prepared to book your desired date ASAP!

For those of you who are still looking for your dream venue, stay tuned for next week’s blog post we put together about finding your wedding venue.

 

If you have been obsessing over a photographer on Instagram for a while, reach out and get their availability and pricing, be sure to ask to see full galleries from multiple wedding days to ensure you love their work and style. Remember Instagram is a highlight reel, so it is important you see the entire wedding day workflow. Photographers are among the vendors who book up the fastest, so the earlier you reach out, the better! Wedding planners also book in advance, sometimes couples book their wedding planner before choosing a venue or sometimes months after. Remember to go through their portfolio and Instagram account, look for great reviews, make sure your styles are similar, and grab a coffee with them to ensure you connect! This is very important as you will be working alongside this person for the duration of the planning process. We are so thankful for our couples that turn into friends throughout the planning process!

 

Photo by Candace Berry                                           Photo by Tracy Grace 

 

This journey is such an exciting experience for you both. These tips will get you started off and well on your way to planning your dream wedding day. If you would like to receive more wedding planning tips, inspiration, and advice, sign up for our email list! Or, if you’d like to schedule a consultation with us, please send us a message, we’d love to chat about your wedding plans!

Remember to enjoy the process, it will be over before you know it! Happy Planning!

 

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