Category: wedding planning

le wedding mill’s most frequently asked questions

I get asked so many questions via Instagram, Facebook and email – I’ve rounded up the most common ones below. Some are wedding-specific, others are more personal. Enjoy!

Photo: Brent Calis Photography
What are the different services that you offer?

We offer 4 main services:

  1. Full Service Planning
  2. Design
  3. 60-Day Coordination
  4. Partial Planning (à la carte services)

For more information on each one, click here!

Do you offer Day-of Coordination?

We do not offer Day-of Coordination, simply because this role is a wedding industry myth and the term is misleading. Frankly, it’s impossible to show up on the day of your wedding and have all the necessary information to properly interpret your months of planning and execute it at a high quality standard.

As the wedding approaches, you’ll want to have a professional bring everything across the finish line and make sure that you’ve crossed the t’s and dotted the i’s. This is how our 60-Day Coordination service came to be. I find that 2 months before the wedding, emotions start to coming in to play and the confirmation emails start piling up. It’s the perfect timing for us to step in to make sure you have everything covered, adjust anything and have the proper knowledge to be fully aligned with your vision.

Do you have a preferred aesthetic?

My preferred aesthetic is one that is unique. Some of our weddings are modern, some are more classic. Some have a hint of boho, some have an elevated rustic feel. I love when couples come to me with a fresh concept – it allows me to play and use my creative muscles. 

More generally, I love weddings that are refined, understated and elegant – and naturally incorporate those vibes into each wedding. I think that there is so much beauty in simplicity. Our designs are carefully curated and pretty, but never over the top.

I value form and function and am constantly thinking of the guest experience when designing. Our couples want their weddings to look lovely on Instagram but they also want their guests to be comfortable in the moment.

Who are your typical clients?

We work with all types of couples, ranging from 25 to 65 years young! They are typically busy professionals with a refined taste. They enjoy both beautiful things and experiences and like me, value form and function. They want their weddings to have a wow factor and be an expression of their personalities.

What’s an average wedding budget?

There are so many factors to consider when determining your wedding budget – style, venue, location, guest count.

One of the first steps in our planning process is to create a personalized and realistic budget for our couples. While we work with all types of budgets, most of our clients spend anywhere between 40K to 100K on their wedding.

How much does it cost to hire a wedding planner?

There is a huge range because there is no industry standard. Every planner sets their own pricing based on factors like:

  • The number of weddings they take on per year
  • Their level of experience
  • Their level of involvement in the wedding
  • The scale/complexity of the wedding
What does your planning process look like?

le wedding mill’s planning process can be summarized in four words: streamlined, fun, simple and personable.

Wedding planning is stressful – that’s no secret. Our clients trust us to guide them through the challenging parts quickly and happily, so that we can focus on the fun stuff.

My venue has an on-site coordinator. Do I still need to hire a wedding planner?

Yes! For a few reasons:

  1. Wedding planners work alongside on-site coordinators to ensure that your wedding is a success. Oftentimes, on-site coordinators have more than one event taking place at the same time so aren’t always dedicated to your wedding.
  2. On-site coordinators are primarily responsible for making sure that the venue’s obligations are upheld. A wedding planner ensures that every vendor contract is respected.
  3. On-site coordinators won’t confirm your hotel room block, create your hair and makeup schedule, pick up your stationery, etc. Wedding planners step in much earlier on in the process and provide a wider range of support.

I work with so many incredible on-site coordinators and love them dearly! Our roles are just different.

Do your clients have to work with vendors on your preferred list?

Not at all! We love meeting new people in the industry and are open to working with the vendors that you choose.

However, while you are in no way obliged to work with our preferred vendors, I recommend doing so! They are preferred for a reason (or two, or many). I’ve worked with so many vendors throughout the years – these vendors have passed our thorough examination.

Think of it like this: When you get married, you hire vendors for one day, so you don’t know how they will actually perform. I’ve seen them in action and know that they’re the best of the best.

How many weddings do you take on every year?

Truthfully, it depends on the year and the types of inquiries. If we have many Full Service Planning clients, we will take on less Design and Coordination clients. We believe in balance!

What do you do when your wedding season is over? It must be nice to have a few months off!

I get asked this question so much, which proves that there is a lot of mystery surrounding the job of a wedding planner. When one wedding season ends, I’m usually already in the thick of planning weddings taking place in the next one.

There is so much to do for each wedding that the seasons overlap every year. The only difference is that during off-season, which is only 3 months long this year, our team has weekends off!

If you weren’t a wedding planner, what would you do for work?

I would be an interior designer. I love home renovation projects and dream of buying a big piece of land and building a house from scratch one day.

On that note

If you have any other questions about wedding planning or le wedding mill, please feel free to contact our team at hello@leweddingmill.ca!

3 tips for building an ironclad wedding timeline

In one of our recent Instagram polls, we asked our followers what part of the planning process was the most stressful to them. Participants overwhelmingly responded that the most difficult task was creating a perfect timeline. le wedding mill has your back! Today, I am sharing a few of our tips to building your wedding timeline.

1. PAD IT LIKE IT’S PRECIOUS CARGO

Even the most punctual people may still run late on their wedding day. Why? Because there are so many exterior factors involved in the timing of the day. For example, if you’re in Montreal, you know that summer = construction and road closures.

It’s always better to be safe than sorry. Here are a few key moments that get a little extra love in all of our timelines:

  • Glamming – If your makeup artist or hairstylist ask for 45 minutes per person, plan for at least ten minutes more than that. This leaves room for a hairstyle that took longer than expected or an eyelash emergency — and ensures that the last person getting glammed up won’t feel rushed.
  • Driving – If you’ve tested the drive and it takes you 25 minutes to get from your hotel to the ceremony, plan for 15 minutes more. Chances are, you’ll get to the ceremony right on time.
Photo: Emilie Olson Photography
2. SPEAK TO YOUR VENDORS

As a wedding planner, I consider myself the team captain of the vendors, emphasis on the word team.  I’m here to ensure that everyone has the right information and tools to achieve the common goal, creating a wonderful and happy experience for you, not to impose or dictate a schedule that doesn’t necessarily work for everyone. For that reason, I always make sure to run the timeline by the vendors involved in the wedding.

For instance, some photographers like to spend one hour with one soon-to-be-newlywed and an hour and a half with the other (to shoot details). Other photographers prefer to shoot details the day before. It’s best to work with them to ensure that everyone will be on the same page.

Another example is the caterer. The caterer is under an immense amount of pressure to ensure that the food will be served hot and quickly. I recommend that you run your timeline by them in advance so that they can suggest adjustments as needed, based on their expertise.

Photo: Dyade Photo
3. GO WITH THE FLOW

You’ve created a thorough timeline and it’s time to execute it! My last tip is to go with the flow. As counterintuitive as it may sound, it is very likely that the timing will shift and I’m here to tell you that that’s okay. The important thing is that all your vendors are kept in the loop so that they can adapt accordingly.

On that note

There is so much information out there on how to schedule your big day and if you don’t have a planner, this can feel overwhelming. I encourage you to create an order of events that works for you and that makes you happy. Not into reading your vows out loud? Really feeling a group dance-off? You do you.

5 tips for finding the perfect wedding venue

Venue: Polo Parc Farms – Photo: Emilie Olson Photography

Finding your wedding venue can be a daunting task. I always tell my clients that it’s the most difficult part of the entire planning process. Why? Because the venue choice will determine the date and style of your wedding. It also takes up the biggest portion of your overall budget. Here are 5 steps that will lead you to finding the perfect location for your dream wedding. 

1. Establish the style

There is an abundance of beautiful wedding venues in and around Montreal – how lucky are we! The flip side is that the choices seem endless. Before scheduling site visits at hundreds of venues and feeling even more overwhelmed, the first step is to jot down 3 words that describe the style of your wedding. This will help you stay focused and narrow the search to 3-5 venues.  Here are a few examples:

  • Elegant
  • Modern
  • Rustic 
  • Outdoor 
  • Garden
  • Industrial 
  • Casual
  • Classic

Choosing a venue that fits your style will save you money in the long run because you won’t have to change the vibe of the space. For example, if you choose a rustic venue but want a classic look, you’ll end up paying more for decor to transform the venue with draping as well as elegant linens and chairs. If you book a very modern space but want a garden-style wedding, you’ll have to spend a whole lot on florals to achieve that theme.

2. Set your guest list

A contender for the position of most daunting wedding planning task is setting your guest list. As uncomfortable as it is to determine who will be invited to celebrate the most special day of your life – and who will not make the cut, it’s a crucial step to take before you select a venue.

Couples often underestimate how many guests they will actually end up inviting to the wedding. By setting your guest list from the get-go, you will avoid disappointment and upset down the road. In other words, there is no need to visit and fall in love with a space that only seats 100 people if your list is at 150 guests.

Venue: Espace Canal – Photos: Lisa Renault Photographie

3. Determine your budget

Before visiting venues, I recommend establishing an overall budget for your wedding. The venue, including rental fee, catering and bar service, will take up anywhere from 45 – 55% of your overall wedding budget.

Some venues charge a rental fee, others charge per head. Some do both. Ideally, you should contact venues that you have in mind to get a sense of the costs before visiting. Maybe you’ve seen wedding photos on Instagram of a stunning space, only to find out that the rental fee alone is 50% of your overall budget. It’s best to find out sooner rather than later so that you can find a space that’s just as lovely but won’t break the bank.

Oftentimes, the price points are not listed on the venue’s website but the events team can send you information on their packages before you schedule a visit. Having an Google Sheet or Excel document to compare costs from each venue will help you remain objective and organized!

4. Consider the guest experience

In order for your guests to have a great time, being thoughtful about their overall experience is crucial! The first consideration is parking/transport; you’ll want to keep it simple for everyone. If the venue will be in a remote location, you may opt to rent shuttles that can transport guests so that they can get to and from the wedding safely. Is the space is in the heart of downtown? Find out if your venue provides a valet service to avoid parking frustrations (we all know how difficult it can be to find parking in the city!).

Another factor to consider within the guest experience is capacity. While some venues have a maximum capacity, I always make sure to know what the capacity is for the most comfortable layout so that guests don’t feel crammed.

If you’re planning on having an outdoor component to your wedding, be sure to ask the venue what the contingency plan is for inclement weather. You don’t want to force your guests to stand outside in the pouring rain because there isn’t any space for the ceremony indoors.

Venue: Auberge Willow Inn – Photo: 5 Pound Media
5. Trust your instincts

As a wedding planner, I’ve visited so many spaces with my clients. I always say that it’s like shopping for a house: you need to consider the style, size, cost and layout. One important factor, though, is how you feel when you first walk in the house.

The same goes for the venue. Can you picture yourself getting married there? Does it bring a smile to your face or are you instantly overwhelmed by the notion of the room having to be flipped mid-wedding? Trust your gut feeling!

On that note

If you are finding it difficult to select a venue, don’t be shy to seek the advice of a wedding planner! At le wedding mill, we offer consultation services for couples who need a little extra assistance with choosing their dream venue.