Planning a 2021 Wedding in Niagara: 

Our Favourite New Trends (Plus Important Planning Strategies)

It’s been one year now since COVID-19 first changed your wedding plans. You’ve pivoted, you’ve rearranged, unscheduled, rescheduled, and then – waited as patiently as you could. With the end of winter upon us, we know that many of you have started feeling the pressure to make decisions about your wedding again in 2021. Whether you are planning or replanning your wedding this year, we want to help you feel good about the journey ahead with this blog.

In this blog you’ll find: 

  • Part I: Important advice about how to start planning your wedding
  • Part II: Fun, creative ideas to help you have fun planning your wedding again
Micro Weddings in Niagara

Part I: What to Do About Your 2021 Wedding (Best Practices for Planning)

To save the date, or unsave the date? 

This is the question. 

… a question that many of you are asking now, whether:

  • You had planned to get married in 2020 and postponed for 2021
  • You had planned to get married in 2020, still held a small intimate ceremony, but are now wondering what to do about the reception celebration in 2021
  • Or became newly engaged during the pandemic and are like, “soooo, how do we even begin planning for this? ….  Shot not doing guest list duty!” 

Now that signs of spring are starting to pop up, so is the anxiety around postponed weddings. 

Has COVID Affected Your Wedding Plans?

We know that the stress is starting to creep back up again. Your guests are starting to ask you what you’re going to do. You’re wondering if you should call your vendors. You’re wondering what in the heck you’re going to do about the guest list – preparing tiers of guests to message depending on what the gathering restrictions are at the time of your wedding is an overwhelming task. 

It’s okay guys, we totally get what you’re going through. There are so many questions, and so few answers. 

But here is something we really want you to remember: No matter what is going on in the world, no matter how many people can come to your wedding and no matter how long your journey has been to get to the aisle: your wedding is as important and special as ever. To you, to us, to your loved ones, to your vendors and to all the billions of love stories that have ever existed. 

Are you looking for a way to feel confident and excited about planning your 2021 wedding again? We’ve written a whole blog right here about how to get psyched up for your wedding again after this little break.  

Wedding Photos in Jordan Ontario

Planning (Or Replanning) Your Wedding This Year: 

Okay, we know it feels like there are a million unknowns right now, but there is one thing you can do today to get the ball rolling: Communicate. 

If you and your vendors haven’t been in touch for a while, starting the conversation again will help you do the hardest part – getting started! Here is what we recommend: 

  • Talk to your vendors and confirm that they still have your specific 2021 date booked.
  • Even if you’re sticking to the same weekend as last year, don’t assume it’s in the books– absolutely still reach out to the vendors to confirm the exact date with them (if they haven’t done so with you already).
  • If you’ve recently decided on a new date for this year, reach out to all your vendors immediately to make sure they can accommodate the change (remember that most vendors are now navigating last year’s crowds in addition to new clients, so it’s important to confirm your event dates, times and locations ASAP).
  • Drop your guest list a line – even if you don’t have a save-the-date yet, send a few words their way to give them an idea of when they can expect to hear back from you.
  • If new COVID restrictions are put in place during the spring or summer months, get back in touch with your vendors again – work together to see what your options are and make a pivot plan. 

Businesses and their customers have had to navigate an extraordinary change of plans – It is really important to be in clear conversation with your vendors so everyone is on the same page about your wedding this year. Strong piece of advice: don’t assume anything. Having vague postponed plans to “wait and see” with a vendor likely doesn’t mean you’ll have your pick of dates. Has there been a written agreement around dates, rescheduled bookings or postponement plans? If not, now is the time to touch base and make a plan with your vendors so you can still have your favourite florists, hair stylists, and wedding planner. 

Trust us, you’ll feel so much better after you reach out because it will change from an “unknown” in your mind to something you can work with. 

Emails to Send to Your Vendors and Guests: 

Sometimes it can be really difficult to send all those emails out and make sure you’re communicating everything that needs to be clarified. We created these emails to help stay organized, take the extra thinking work out of writing emails and also make sure you’re getting the specifics of your wedding day in writing (you will feel so much better knowing things are confirmed!)

We’ve left you three different email templates at the bottom of this blog – keep scrolling to read them!

Re-Planning Your Wedding:

Oh, and one more thing –  The only thing we know right now about the summer, is that we don’t know how it will go. We’re staying optimistic, but in this current reality, the best thing you can do for yourselves, your guests, and your vendors is to have some different scenarios worked out beforehand so you can pivot without loads of stress should it become necessary. If you’re in Ontario, probably the best thing to do is create a plan for each level of shut down.

Don’t hesitate to ask any of your vendors for help, and we’re definitely here to share our advice and recommendations with you as well! Reach out any time right here

That way you don’t have the stress and overwhelm of split-second decisions if the lockdown status changes – you can just calmly follow the plan. 

Let’s leave our worries behind for a little while and get to the FUN part of planning a wedding – decorating, food, fashion and fun! 

Don’t let the logistics burden you too much – wedding planning should still be fun!

Focusing on all the creativity that goes into your wedding day is an excellent way to add joy back into your wedding planning process. We’ve been doing some research for you so you can dream of all the beautiful things you want to bring to your 2021 wedding. 

  1. The Welcome Box –With masks and sanitizer now a part of wedding day festivities, couples are wanting to incorporate them more seamlessly into the day by wrapping up welcome boxes. Since wedding favours can no longer be in one big display, themed welcome boxes are a fun new way to deliver any goodies to your guests like: 
  • A mask
  • Hand sanitizer
  • A card and pen for them to write a greeting on (instead of everyone touching the same guest book)
  • Your wedding favour 
  • Peppermints to keep everyone feeling refreshed underneath those masks. These are some basics 

You can also get extra creative with themed items, or branding your items to be wedding-themed!

 

1. Outdoor Weddings – Check out some of Niagara’s best outdoor wedding venues here! Whether it’s in a forest, a field or your backyard, the already-popular outdoor wedding has climbed the ranks as an amazing option for many couples. *Fun side note: we love the way we are seeing people bring the indoors to the outdoors, with really cozy accents like couches, wardrobes, throw pillows and blankets and big comfy chairs. 

2. Intimate Weddings – Of course to keep numbers down, choosing an intimate wedding to allow for social distancing is a popular choice. (We wrote a whole blog about how much we love them right here). The number of people at your wedding is not a measure of how important the day is for you. A small group can still bring LOTS of love on your wedding day. 

Hernder Estate Intimate elopement wedding

3. Gorgeous New Colour Palettes – Perhaps it’s just evolving styles, but we think it’s a subconscious desire to bring extra cheer back into our lives, because, y’all – bright happy colours are back in! There are some really tasteful ways to integrate beautiful, bright colours into a neutral colour palette (like one of our most favourite of the season – tan and mauve). With shorter guest lists, we’ve definitely seen a huge focus on creating some next-level, breathtaking tablescapes which can really set the tone for your wedding theme, colour palettes and decor. 

4. Wedding Dresses – Whether it’s the dress you’ve spent a year dying to wear, or whether your Pinterest board has been filling up with wedding dresses, 2021 is going to be the year where you get to dawn the wedding dress of your dreams (made even more satisfying by the extra time you’ve had to wait for it!) If you’re still browsing for your favourite gown, we’re happy to report that 2020 and 2021 were both INCREDIBLE years on the wedding gown fashion front with  Capes, puffed sleeves, off-the-shoulder necklines and that gorgeous vintage Great Gatsby look we all can’t get enough of. Plus, if you have more of a casual, bohemian vibe, the rise of micro-weddings has brought along with it some complementary casual dress styles.

Bride putting wedding dress on with help of maid of honour

5. Floral Everything – Oh yes! Arches, aisles, headwear – everywhere! With more weddings moving outside, couples have been leaning into the natural, plant trends to decorate in a colourful, natural way that will absolutely delight you and your guests! Here is a great article to read for choosing your 2021 wedding floral arrangements.  

Conclusion

In this blog, we talked about: 

  • The importance of keeping up clear communications with your vendors
  • Confirming or asking as soon as possible whether your vendors have a certain date available
  • Some easy-peezy emails you can send out (see below for templates)
  • And some fun, creative ideas to help you feel excited about your wedding day

We hope this helps you walk back into your wedding planning process with less stress than last year, and more ease, creativity and joy! 

P.S. Here are your free email templates to help you get started communicating with your vendors again. 

Cheers!

Your Morning Light team 

Writing an Email to Your Vendors To Confirm a Date Already Set: 

Here are a few email templates you can use to easily get in touch with all your vendors to keep it calm and stress-free, if you haven’t done so already: 

Hi [vendor name], 

This is [first & last name] and [first & last name]. We hope you and your team are healthy and well. We had booked you to provide [name service – be specific about which service] on our original wedding date – [original date, 2020]. The last time we spoke, we agreed to reschedule our date to [new save-the-date for 2021] We’re getting in touch with you to confirm these details as we are now starting to make plans for a wedding on this new date. 

[If any changes are required to your booking]: Given the pandemic circumstances since we first booked with you, we would like to request a couple adjustments to our [order/package/rental/etc.]

  • List any updates or requests here

[Or if you’re sticking with your original plan, it wouldn’t hurt to review the details/cost etc. over again if it’s been a long time since you touched base] Since it’s been a little while, we wanted to quickly review the specifics of our booking so we can continue making official plans: 

  • [List details]

Do you require any next steps from us to put this plan in motion? 

Please confirm the date and details we’ve got here at your earliest convenience, and also let us know if you have any updates on your end that we should be aware of regarding COVID restrictions or protocol. 

Thank you very much! We look forward to hearing from you soon. 

Writing an Email to Vendors to Set a Date, or Reschedule A Date:

Hi [vendor name], 

This is [first & last name] and [first & last name]. We hope you and your team are healthy and well. We had booked you to provide [name service – be specific about which service] on our original wedding date – [original date, 2020]. We would like to start the process of rescheduling our wedding vendors for our new date of: [new date, 2021]. 

We are hoping you still have availability on this new date to provide [name of service] for us. Could you let us know if this works for you as soon as possible as we are ready to continue making plans. 

Since it’s been a little while, we wanted to quickly review the specifics of our booking so we can continue making official plans: 

  • [List details]

Please confirm the date and details we’ve got here at your earliest convenience, and also let us know if you have any updates on your end regarding COVID restrictions or protocol. 

Thank you very much! We look forward to hearing from you soon. 

Writing an Email to Your Guests:

This email will look so different from couple to couple, because making it look and sound like you is really important to keep people engaged in an authentic way. But we have put together a list of things to consider including when you send out that first email to your guest list after a long winter of quarantine: 

  • If you officially have a new date set – share the date with them
  • If you still don’t know, it’s not a bad idea to email them so that you stay top of mind as people start to make some summer plans – let them know that you are working with your vendors to find a new date and you will let everyone know as soon as possible, so stay tuned!
  • Give people any sense of what they might be able to expect at your wedding – ie. masks are required, we’re going to be changing dinner to a brunch meal, we’ll be moving to an outdoor venue now, etc. 
  • Share a few updates of your life during COVID
  • Share any photos if you held a small intimate wedding during COVID

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