Top 5 Most Important Items for planning a wedding without a wedding planner

This article was written on August 12, 2020


Your budget sets the course for your wedding day. It determines whether you will have the most luxurious wedding with everything your dreamed of or you will have an average to below average wedding. We recommend that you start with making a list of what are the most important things and the those you could do without. Ideally, you want to start planning your wedding 12 months in advance, you could do it in 6 months but be ready to start compromising with the availability of your preferred venues and vendors.


Your wedding venue comes next and is arguably the second most important item on your checklist. Like your budget, it affects practically everything. The size of the venue determines the size of your guest list, it affects your photographer significantly as lighting can be the difference between amazing photos that you will cherish for a lifetime or will be underwhelmed by. A great venue can also make your to-do list significantly shorter. We recommend you find a venue that offers on the spot catering and that offers a diverse menu. Some venues will allow you to customize your entire menu but that comes at added cost. Other venues will lump the venue cost, the food and the entertainment into a complete package.

Guest List

Next is the guest list. This is going be the item that is going to tug at your emotional strings and can introduce strife in your relationship, not just with your spouse but your parents and your future in-laws. Depending on who is footing the bill, you could allow your parents to invite guests but their list should not exceed more than 30% of the complete guest list. It is your wedding regardless of how much they are contributing to the wedding party. The next step you want to plan for are those that are not going to make the list. You want to trim the fat and expense if you can; this is good place to do that. You can start with old friends you haven’t talked to in years, neighbors, co-workers and kids. A good way to trim a guest list is to make it an adult only party. Most parents will thank you for the night off.

The photographer

When your wedding day passes, no matter how great the day was, in a couple of years you will have mostly forgotten about all the little details but your wedding album will serve as opportunity to turn back the hands of time. Wedding photography is highly important and the old cliché is ever true. “You get what you pay for”. This is one of the areas that you cannot cut corners or will have regular reminders for decades to come. A reasonable amount to allocate would be approximately 10-15% of your wedding budget. You should be able to secure a quality photographer that will provide you with 10 hours wedding coverage, 500-700 professionally edited images, a wedding album and a large print at the minimum. Some photographers will also add a complimentary engagement photo shoot. An engagement photo shoot is the perfect opportunity to get to know your wedding day photographer and it will give the chance to opt out, if the qualities of the images are not up to your standard.


When it comes to transportation, you can go about it two ways, and I always believed that the simplest solution is usually the best one and often the cheaper option. Option 1, if you book your wedding venue at a high-end hotel, you could stay at the same hotel, it saves you the late-night drive after an energy taxing day. Several venues will offer you a complimentary night stay when you spend a fortune hosting your wedding event at their location. Option 2, you could rent a limo and put a beautiful finishing touch on your wedding day, with your loved one in one hand and a glass of champagne in the other.

In summary, planning for your wedding day can be a highly stressful exercise but with the right strategy you can take the stress out. We are happy to provide you a 12-month wedding-planning checklist. In there you will find monthly breakdown of every items you must prepare for; from the venue, to the dress, the cake and the honeymoon.

Please click on the link below to download the free wedding planning checklist and start planning the most epic party of your life.

Samatar David

B&D Photography

Published by Samatar David

Ottawa-Gatineau Wedding Photographer

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