March 4, 2024

How To Plan A Simple Wedding in Toronto?

Best Wedding Photographer in Toronto

How To Plan A Simple Wedding in Toronto?

 

A few months back, we were approached by a couple who had been engaged for quite some time. They were finally ready to tie the knot but wanted to do it in just 3 months. You might wonder, how on earth can anyone plan a wedding in Toronto in such a short timeframe? Believe it or not, it’s entirely achievable, particularly if you aim for a simple celebration. In this post we take you step-by-step to show you how.

Planning a simple wedding is all about focusing on what truly matters to you as a couple and creating a meaningful and memorable day that reflects you as a couple.

Planning a simple wedding may take off a lot of pressure from you when preparing for this beautiful day. A simple wedding doesn’t mean sacrificing style or elegance; it’s about focusing on what truly matters to you as a couple. After photographing weddings in Toronto for nearly 10 years, we’ve seen all sorts of trends, untraditional solutions, and interesting ideas come to life which we are happy to share. Here are some handy tips and ideas for planning a wedding that’s both simple and beautiful.

DECIDE ON YOUR WEDDING TYPE

  • Elopement
  • Micro Wedding
  • Backyard Wedding
  • Civil Ceremony

ELOPEMENT

An elopement is a modern twist on traditional weddings. It’s a great and more affordable way to get married. With an elopement, you can skip the elaborate planning and large guest list that often come with traditional weddings. One of the advantages of an elopement is that it requires much less planning. Since only few people are involved, you don’t need to worry about coordinating with a large group of guests or vendors. This can make the entire process much simpler and less stressful.

Eloping also allows you to choose a location that is meaningful to you as a couple. Whether it’s a natural setting somewhere in Ontario or your friend’s backyard, you can exchange vows in a place that holds special significance for your relationship.

Another benefit of elopement is that it can be a more intimate and personal experience. Without the distractions of a large wedding, you can focus on each other and the commitment you are making. This can make the ceremony more meaningful and memorable. Eloping in a different country can add an element of adventure to your wedding. However, it’s important to be aware of the legal requirements of the country you choose. Some countries may require blood tests or residency before the marriage can be considered legal. Whether you choose to elope in a different country or stay closer to home, it can be a wonderful way to plan a simple wedding without all the extra bells and whistles. Elopement allows you to focus on what truly matters – your love for each other.
Check this beautiful elopement captured by us in Toronto “A Red Carpet Elopement in the Yorkville District, Toronto – Mariam and Christopher“.

elopement downtown toronto photo session

destination wedding photographer Aruba

MICRO WEDDING

Micro weddings are an ideal form of a simple wedding in Toronto. These intimate celebrations typically involve fewer than 50 guests, focusing on creating a meaningful and personal experience for the couple and their loved ones. In Toronto, where large weddings can be costly and complex to organize, micro weddings offer a more manageable and budget-friendly alternative.

With a smaller guest list, couples can choose from a variety of unique and affordable venues in Toronto, such as cozy restaurants, boutique hotels, or scenic outdoor locations. This not only reduces the cost of renting a large venue but also allows for more flexibility in terms of customization and personalization. For inspiration you can check our blog post “6 Top Restaurant Wedding Venues in Toronto For A Small Wedding”.

Peter Pan wedding ceremony

BACKYARD WEDDING

Do you have friends with a nice cottage or backyard? That might be a solution for you to keep the wedding simple. Backyard weddings and cottage weddings are two great options for a simple and intimate wedding in Toronto.

A backyard wedding lets you customize everything, from decorations to the ceremony setup, to match your unique style and preferences. In Toronto, where affordable wedding venues can be hard to find, a backyard wedding can be a cost-effective alternative. You save money on venue rental and have more flexibility with guest count, catering, and timing.

A cottage wedding offers a picturesque and peaceful backdrop for a simple and intimate celebration. Many cottages in Muskoka, Ontario, offer beautiful natural settings, like lakeside views or lush forests, perfect for your wedding ceremony and photos. Renting a cottage for your wedding lets you enjoy a weekend getaway while celebrating your marriage, creating lasting memories for you and your guests.

backyard wedding toronto

CIVIL CEREMONY

A civil ceremony at city hall followed by a small reception is a straightforward and no-fuss way to get married. It’s all about making your marriage official and can be wrapped up with a amazing get-together at a favourite eatery, your home, or a place that means a lot to you both. The thing that makes any wedding beautiful isn’t how fancy it is, but the love shared and the little personal touches that show who you are as a couple. A civil ceremony keeps the spotlight on the promise you’re making to each other, turning it into a deeply memorable moment.

toronto city hall wedding

PLANNING YOUR SIMPLE WEDDING

DON’T TRY TO IMPRESS

Striving to impress can lead to added stress as you try to meet high expectations. By setting a realistic expectation and simplifying wedding invitation or decoration, you can enjoy the planning process and the wedding day itself more fully. Trying to create a lavish wedding to impress others often comes with a hefty price tag. Opting for a simpler celebration can help you save money and avoid going into debt, allowing you to start your marriage on a more stable financial footing.

A simple wedding often feels more authentic and true to the couple’s values. Instead of focusing on impressing others, you can prioritize what is meaningful to you as a couple, creating a more personal and intimate experience.

Feeling the pressure to outdo previous weddings you’ve attended, such as your closest friends’ lavish ceremony last year, can be overwhelming. But there’s no need to compete. Instead, embrace the opportunity to celebrate your love in a way that truly resonates with you and your partner. After all, the most memorable weddings aren’t about how much was spent but about the love shared and the memories created.

SET A BUDGET 

To create a budget for a simple wedding in Toronto, start by determining the total amount you can comfortably spend. Be realistic. Next, allocate your budget to all essential items such as venue, food, and officiant fees and then that which brings you joy, like photography or videography. Consider cost-saving measures such as DIY decorations, opting for a buffet or food stations instead of a sit-down meal, and choosing a non-traditional venue. Don’t forget to budget for unexpected expenses and add a buffer for flexibility. Track your spending carefully throughout the planning process to ensure you stay within your budget.

GUESTS

Guest list considerations can be a sensitive topic, as you’ll need to make some tough decisions. However, if you’re truly committed to having a very simple wedding, this is an important aspect to consider.

Having a small, intimate gathering may be more meaningful to you than inviting a large number of acquaintances. Sometimes, having only your parents and siblings present can mean the world to you. Think about who you really want by your side on your wedding day.

LOCATION

By carefully choosing the right location for your wedding, you can simplify your planning process and create a beautiful and memorable day without all the stress and complications.

Look for venues that offer multiple services in one location, such as catering, ceremony and reception spaces, and accommodation if needed. This can streamline your planning process and reduce the number of vendors you need to coordinate with.

If you prefer natural surrounding choose a venue that is naturally beautiful, so you don’t have to spend a lot on decorations. Outdoor locations like parks, gardens, or beaches can provide a stunning backdrop for your ceremony and photos. Maybe renting a cottage in Muskoka or using your friend’s backyard would work? If you love good food, an option might be finding a nice local restaurant, that can accommodate small or larger group of guests.

Even the simplest settings have the potential to create stunning wedding photos when we make the most of the surrounding area and landscape.

If you’re concerned that your backyard or a park won’t provide a picturesque backdrop for your wedding photos, we’ve got some great news for you. With years of experience, we as photographers have learned to embrace and enhance the natural beauty of any venue or location. Even the simplest settings have the potential to create stunning wedding photos when we make the most of the surrounding area and landscape.

muskoka wedding photographer

Jewish Wedding Hora Dance

FOOD SERVING

Consider saving on food costs by opting for catering appetizers with larger portions. These heartier appetizers can serve as a substantial part of the meal, reducing the need for a full sit-down dinner. Additionally, adopting a cocktail-style serving approach allows guests to interact more freely, as they are not confined to their seats at a table. This not only creates a more dynamic and social atmosphere but also eliminates the need for elaborate table settings and formal dining arrangements, further simplifying your wedding plans.

KEEP DECORATIONS SIMPLE

Flowers, invitations, central pieces that may feel overwhelming when you dream of having a simple wedding. Keeping decorations simple can significantly help with planning a simple wedding by reducing stress, saving time, and minimizing costs. Instead of elaborate floral arrangements, consider using seasonal flowers or greenery for a natural and budget-friendly touch.

One of the trends we’ve seen is using dry flowers, which are a perfect choice for a fall wedding. Additionally, faux flowers or cotton wedding flowers can be a stylish and sustainable alternative.

For invitations, opt for digital or printable options to save on printing and postage. When it comes to centrepieces, simple and elegant options like candles, lanterns, or single-stem flowers can create a beautiful and cohesive look without breaking the bank. By focusing on minimalistic decorations, you can achieve a stylish and understated aesthetic while keeping your wedding planning process smooth and straightforward.

If you choose an outdoor venue for your wedding, make the most of the natural surroundings. Getting married in a garden or greenhouse can significantly reduce spending on flowers and other decorations. The natural backdrop of a forest or lake creates a beautiful setting for your special day.

AMAZON IS YOUR FRIEND

Confession time: how many times have you bought something on Amazon only to return it later? You’re not alone! Many couples have discovered that Amazon can be a convenient rental platform. There’s no need to feel guilty; it’s a practical option if you’re looking for centerpiece items or decorations that you’ll only use once. Simply return them after the event and enjoy the savings!

In Toronto, you can also find places to rent decorations without actually hiring a wedding planner. Local rental companies offer a wide range of items, from table linens to lighting fixtures, allowing you to create your dream wedding without the hassle of purchasing and storing everything. This way, you can save both money and time, making your wedding planning process much simpler.

For example, companies like Event Rental Group and Higgins Event Rentals offer a variety of wedding decor items for rent, including chairs, tables, linens, and more. These rental options provide a cost-effective way to achieve your desired look without the need to purchase and store items you may only use once.

ASK FOR HELP

Don’t try to be a super-hero. Every good manager knows that success of the project depends on delegating tasks to the Team. Whether you are planning a small celebration or a grand event asking for help will eliviate stress and prevent burnout. Delegating tasks to friends, family members, or professionals can help lighten the load and ensure that everything gets done without causing undue strain.

Everyone has different skills and talents, and by involving others in the planning process, you can benefit from their expertise. Whether it’s a friend who is great at DIY projects or a family member who has experience with event planning, tapping into their knowledge can lead to creative solutions and better results.

WEDDING DRESS

You don’t have to spend a fortune on a wedding dress. Consider shopping off the rack or looking for secondhand or pre-owned dresses to save money. Explore non-bridal boutiques for white or ivory dresses that can double as wedding gowns. Look for dresses with clean lines and minimal embellishments, as these can be elegant and sophisticated. Choose lightweight fabrics like chiffon or organza for comfort and affordability. Keep an open mind when trying on dresses and accessorize thoughtfully to add personality to your look. The key is to choose a dress that makes you feel beautiful and confident on your wedding day, regardless of its simplicity or cost.

Here are some options for you where to find affordable wedding dresses in Toronto:

  • Poshmark, Marketplace – if you consider a pre-owned dress
  • David’s Bridal – wedding dresses selection below $1,000
  • Some bridal stores like The Fitzroy offer a wedding dress rental
  • Hunt for sales. Some bridal boutiques like Best for Bride have many offers for brides
  • Consider Non-traditional wedding dresses

wedding dress inspiration

OFF-SEASON WEDDING

Planning an off-season wedding can be a savvy choice for a simple and cost-effective wedding. Venues and vendors often offer discounted packages during less popular times of the year, such as early spring, late autumn, or winter. By choosing an off-season date, you can take advantage of these lower prices and potentially save a significant amount of money. However, it’s important to do your research and book early, as popular venues and vendors may still get booked up quickly, sometimes even two years in advance.

Another option to consider is a mid-day wedding. Saturdays are always the most popular and expensive. Sunday, Friday, or other weekday weddings can bring you significant savings. Also, you do not compete for vendors. Usually, venues, photographers, or videographers have way more availability. However, it’s important to do your research and book early, as popular venues and vendors may still get booked up quickly, sometimes even two years in advance.

LUNCH TIME MICRO WEDDING SAMPLE SCHEDULE

Hosting your wedding during the day can significantly reduce costs. Venues and vendors often charge less for daytime events, and you can opt for a lighter meal rather than a full dinner. Here’s an example of a timeline for a daytime wedding that wraps up by the late afternoon, allowing you and your guests to enjoy the rest of the evening freely.

Morning Preparation

  • 8:00 AM – 10:00 AM: Bride, groom, and wedding party get ready. This includes hair, makeup, and dressing. Consider having a light breakfast with your bridal party to start the day off right.
  • 10:00 AM – 11:00 AM: First look and couple photos. Opting for a first look before the ceremony can save time later in the day and capture a beautifully private moment between the bride and groom.

Ceremony

  • 11:30 AM – 12:00 PM: Wedding ceremony. Keeping the ceremony around midday allows for beautiful natural light for your photographs even when planning a wedding on a day with a short amount of daylight.

Post-Ceremony and Reception

  • 12:00 PM – 12:30 PM: Post-ceremony photos. This includes family portraits and additional couple photos if needed.
  • 12:00 PM – 1:00 PM: Cocktail hours. This is a great time for guests to mingle and for you to have a few candid moments captured.
  • 1:00 PM – 2:30 PM: Lunch is served. Whether you choose a sit-down meal, buffet, or family-style serving, ensure the menu reflects the daytime setting with lighter fare.
  • 1:30 PM – 2:30 PM: Speeches and toasts. While guests are still seated and enjoying their meals, it’s a good time for speeches from the bridal party, family, or the couple themselves.
  • 2:30PM– Cake cutting and dessert. Offering a sweet conclusion to the meal can also serve as a signal to guests that the formal part of the celebration is winding down.
  • 2:45PM Final thank you speech from the couple
  • 3:00 PM: First dance followed by open dance floor. Starting the dance portion earlier in the day ensures that even guests who might not stay into the evening can enjoy this part of the celebration.
  • 4:30PM-5:00 PM: Official end of the wedding reception. Guests can begin to depart at their leisure.

wedding at the park

CONCLUSION

We are Toronto-based wedding photographers who have had the privilege of witnessing beautiful yet simple celebrations over the years. Planning a simple wedding in Toronto can be a breeze if you focus on what truly matters to you as a couple. You don’t need to spend a fortune or stress over every detail to have a beautiful and meaningful wedding day. By setting a realistic budget, choosing a venue that speaks to your style, and keeping decorations simple, you can create a memorable celebration without breaking the bank.

So, take a deep breath, relax, and savor the journey as you plan your simple and stunning Toronto wedding.

 

Best Wedding Photographer in Toronto

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How To Plan A Simple Wedding in Toronto created by Ever After Photographers. Voted as Best Wedding Photographers in Toronto, Canada.

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Best Wedding Photographer in Toronto