How long after your got engaged did you begin planning the wedding?
We got engaged in October and were married a little over nine months later in July. I have to add that I was not a “pre-planning” bride. I had no idea what dress I loved, or style or theme, or venues, or anything so when I got engaged we started from scratch and planned from top to bottom with what the wedding world determines as “very little time”.
How did you determine the wedding’s budget and who contributed what?
My parents contributed money, my husband’s parents matched that, and then Andrew and I proceeded to match that amount as well. Totaling 15,000.00… I think that’s a lot for a wedding (I mean…for ONE DAY) so we chose to get that number down!
How did you keep track of your wedding planning (book, planner, Excel, other)?
I used theknot.com to keep track of all my budgeting. I also had a million scrap pieces of paper with random numbers written on it and my husband started an Excel spreadsheet!
When you discussed the wedding, what 5 things where most important to the two of you?
- Convienice (aka location and accessibility) for our guests.
- Cost effective.
- We wanted alcohol to make dancing fun.
How did you incorporate those 5 things into your wedding?
- We chose to have our wedding at UBC in Vancouver, BC. The initial location was not very convenient for our guests as most were from up north in BC or from Calgary in Alberta, but once they were here I think it was very pleasant. We looked up hotels/residence buildings on campus that our guests could stay at, most even had kitchens so they were able to eat in their room. We got married at the Chapel on Campus at 5:00 pm and then went straight from the church to the reception. We made it so that there was no lull time for all our guests by taking all our wedding pictures before the wedding. This way, we walked with all our guests (a 3 minute walk) to our reception and started the party right away.
- I scoured the internet for people just starting out in their business and thought outside the box. Craigslist became my best friend. I got a baker to do my cake and cupcakes who was still in pastry school, our videographer was free because they were trying to break into the business, my silk flowers for the centerpieces were off craigslist from another bride, the vases were borrowed from work, rocks are FREE , the crystals were from a friend’s old chandelier, and my flowers were from craigslist as well! This made everything MUCH cheaper. It was definitely a risk but everything worked out and it was WELL worth it. I converted programs from Michaels into invites and bought jars from craigslist for my candy buffet.
- Our one minor splurge was a DJ, he worked as our MC as well – and he was amazing!
- Our venue technically had to do the alcohol when we booked it but over the nine months that we were engaged they lost their liquor license, which was a bonus for us. We got to apply for our own license and serve our own booze. To have an open bar for 100 people with a variety of beers and coolers cost us about 600.00 (and we had leftovers!)!
- Our motto was “All you need is love” and it was everywhere. We incorporated our family and friends into everything, including our vows. The pastor asked the congregation if they promise to love and support us, to care for us when we make mistakes, and to be there for us always…..everyone said “I do.”
Did you register for gifts and was it a good experience?
We registered at The Bay, the experience was not the best and the service was slow. We registered there as it was convenient for everyone to get access to. Some of our gifts though did not arrive till well over three months after our wedding (even though they were purchased before our wedding) and in general everything there was overpriced. We also registered at honeyfund.com, some of the “younger” guests “bought” us some adventures from that, but in general the “older” crowd I found was not comfortable with giving money.
Could you share some wedding planning advice for newly engaged couples?
Take it slow. When you first get engaged you feel on top of the world, just enjoy that high before you start asking people to be in your party or nailing down venues and colours. There is tons of time to plan stuff. Be wise and do not fall in to the wraps of what the wedding world says you need to have or do at your wedding. Remember its YOUR DAY (and it truly is) so make sure it reflects you and it makes you happy.
Where did you splurge and where did you save?
My husband’s only request was a limo, so it became a bit of a splurge. It was $600.00 for 4 hours. My dress ended up being a splurge as well at 1,200.00 and we had a string trio for the ceremony $400.00.
Image Courtesy of: Anna Elizabeth Cakes
We saved with our cake, $100.00 for 50 cupcakes and a 6” cake, with our centerpieces at about $3.50 a piece, flowers for myself, the bridal party, grandparents, parents etc. at $275.00. The videographer was our biggest save coming in at $ZERO$
What specific cost surprised you (pleasantly or unpleasantly)?
The cost of a reception venue can really add up. I was shocked at what they can get away with charging (corkage fees? Cake cutting fees…REALLY?). I was so happy when I found my venue and they did not charge any of that.
Could you share a favorite DIY project from your wedding?
My favorite DIY were my centerpieces. I loved them! Tall glass vases with rocks in the bottom, curly witch hazel picked by dear hubby and I in the rain and ivory silk cherry blossoms. I’m a sucker for glitter and anything vintage so I loved the antique crystals from an old chandelier hanging off of them!
Did you have to handle any tricky or delicate issues while planning your wedding and how did you cope with them?
My in-laws really, really wanted us to get married in a church. I was very set on having my reception and ceremony in the same place so I knew this would not work. (drinking and dancing in a church… I think not!) We ended up meeting in the middle. I was able to find a gorgeous church that was right next to a venue that fit my theme and budget perfectly.
Could you share your favorite photo from the day and tell us why you love it?
My favorite photo is of me hugging my husband during our first look. I feel like it just captures so much emotion!
I love this wedding SO much that I just had to share this video from the event with y'all:
Thank you, Bailey! I loved your thoughts on working to find a reception venue that doesn't require all those ridiculous add-ons! Would you like to ask Bailey any questions about her wedding experience (or, if you're planning a wedding – email her)? Leave a comment and we'll try to get back with you!