So, you have decided to host your wedding in the Hamilton area – what a great choice! Planning a wedding is a big job, there are so many things you are going to need to do! Luckily, I have just the resource for you! My step-by-step guide takes you through the recommended process for planning a wedding in Hamilton and includes everything from great local vendors to the best spots in the area to get married!
But before you start, make sure to also check out my detailed 12-Month Wedding Planning Checklist to keep track of everything during your wedding planning journey!
1) Choosing Your Wedding Date
The first thing you need to consider before you start ticking off items on your to-do list is your wedding date. As simple as it may seem, it is something that you should put some thought into. I usually recommend having the date set in stone before you start reaching out to other vendors as well. That way you can figure out their availability and move forward with the booking process as soon as you are ready! That is unless you are really hoping for a specific vendor, in which case, you should get their availability first and select your date based on when they are free!
Some other key things to keep in mind when choosing your wedding date are the season you prefer, the amount of time your will need to plan the wedding, the availability of your friends and family, and your budget. To learn more about this in detail, make sure to join my wedding planning mailing list!
2) Finding Your Ideal Wedding Venue
When it comes to choosing a wedding venue, people typically tell you to think about the basics, such as rates and capacity. But choosing a good wedding venue can really make or break your planning experience! The venue sets the tone for your entire wedding and should be a place that leaves you feeling totally confident about your big day. Everything and everyone come together and center around the wedding venue.
There are SO many great spots in Hamilton and the surrounding area. That’s why I actually have a separate guide that goes through all of my favourite Hamilton Wedding Venues in more detail that covers all of the information you will need!
3) Booking Your Photographer
Wedding Photographers are typically the first to book up after the venue itself, booking out 1-2 years in advance. That’s why I recommend starting your photography research as you are finalizing your venue booking.
Choosing your photographer is also a big deal and something you should not take lightly! A few things you should keep in mind when choosing a wedding photographer is the style of images they take, whether that be more documentary-styled and candid or editorial and more posed; the look of the edited image they produce, common styles included bright and airy, dark and moody, warm imagery, or true to life; and of course, the photographer themselves! Your wedding photographer will spend a lot of time with you on your wedding day so you want to make sure your personalities mesh and you work well together!
As a wedding photographer myself my photography style is geared towards couples that may not have much experience in front of the camera and value those in-the-moment shots – that’s those candid authentic images that document the special moments of your day. And as you can see from the imagery on this page, my custom editing process produces a stylized image that preserves the essential colours of the day while also producing a warm inviting look that is pleasing to skin tones. If this is something that interested you, feel free to contact me so we can make sure we would work well together as well!
4) Booking Your Videographer
If you’re thinking of having a videographer for your wedding day, this is also something you should look to book early on! Just like the photographer, videographers can book out 1-2 years in advance.
If you would like to learn more about wedding videography and view my top picks for Wedding Videographers in the area check out my blog on the Best Wedding Videographers in Hamilton, Ontario linked below!
5) Making Bridal Boutique Appointments
Next on the list of high-priority items is your wedding dress. If you are looking for the full bridal experience, I recommend reaching out to Bridal Boutiques in advance. Almost all require you to set up an appointment ahead of time for you to get the opportunity to try on some dresses. To learn about some of my top recommendations for Bridal Boutiques in the Hamilton Area visit my blog linked below!
6) Selecting your Officiant
Another important, but commonly overlooked vendor, is your wedding officiant. As the person that is literally in charge of marrying you, the wedding officiant is a big deal! Their face will be in many of your wedding photos and their approach to your ceremony will remain in your memory forever. That’s why I recommend you take the time to find a wedding officiant that you connect with and that will make your wedding ceremony personally catered to you and your partner. To get you started I have listed some of my top Hamilton Wedding Officiant recommendations below!
7) Choosing the DJ or Musician
Looking to dance the night away at your wedding? Then this section is for you! Your wedding DJ is key to having a night to remember. Their ability to read the crowd, follow your song list suggestions, and create a space where people can celebrate with you is something that is insanely important to have a great party. Below I have listed two independent DJs that I have worked with in the past that do great work that I think you should check out!
8) Selecting a Florist
Next, we have the wedding florals. This can include everything from floral décor that lines the isle of the ceremony or bouquets that embellish the tables throughout your reception hall, to purely the all-important bridal bouquet. Either way, flowers have a huge impact on how incredible your wedding will look and should not be disregarded! Again I have listed some of my favourite wedding florists in the area that I encourage you to reach out to for your day!
9) Picking out the Wedding Cake
Woohoo - let's talk deserts! The wedding cake is a special traditional treat that many couples like the incorporate into their day. But if that's not your style you can always opt for a dessert display or donut tower! There are many Wedding Cake Bakeries in Hamilton so to help you out I have composed a list of my top picks in my blog, Top Wedding Cake Bakery's in Hamilton, Ontario for you to check out!
10) Nailing Down the Timeline
When it comes to wedding day logistics, one of the main things you will need to get sorted is your timeline of events. This can definitely be overwhelming since there are so many variables! Luckily for you, I have been to plenty of weddings and know what works and what doesn't! To learn more I encourage you to check out my Wedding Day Timeline blog. It goes over some essential tips that will help you as you plan your day including sample timelines and photography coverage time estimates you can use to structure your day.
11) Choosing Locations for Photos
In some cases your wedding venue may not have the greatest backdrops for photography - and that's ok!
Times I will typically encourage a secondary location for wedding photos when your wedding is hosted at a church + a reception hall in an urban area without any local scenery onsite. But most wedding venues now-a-days have stunning backdrops for your photos - and if you are ever not sure feel free to reach out to your photographer! Anyway, if this is the case, I have a great list of locations in the Hamilton area that look great for both your couple session and/or wedding party photos! Check them out in my Location Blog post here. It was originally written for engagement sessions, but the same spots apply for wedding photos!
Hi, I'm Geoff!About the Author
After growing up in Hamilton and photographing countless weddings in the area, I know a lot about this place and would love to help you on your wedding day!
My photography style is geared towards couples that may not have much experience in front of the camera and value those in-the-moment shots. I promise, getting your picture taken doesn't have to be scary anymore!