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Vancouver Budget Wedding:
Ai + David

June 11th, 2012 by Jeannine

Vancouver Budget Wedding: Ai + David

I love David and Ai’s proposal story. It happened on the morning they were to leave for a relaxing Caribbean cruise. As soon as Ai woke up that day, she saw David kneeling beside the bed, asking her to marry him. Ai, still groggy from sleep, laughed it off and thought he was just joking. He proved her wrong by showing her the ring and mentioned that he had her parents’ blessing. She said yes but admits that she wasn’t expecting it at all! It turned out that David had planned to propose at a romantic setting sometime during the cruise, but was too excited to wait! How cute is that? I can definitely relate :P

Ai is no stranger to weddings. She has been beautifying brides under her company Makeup by Ai for over a decade. The couple originally wanted to have a destination wedding aboard a Caribbean cruise, but it proved difficult for guests to attend. Instead, they opted for a simple, intimate wedding… which they planned in 6 weeks, I might add! On December 28, 2008 she married David at La Terrazza restaurant in the company of only 22 guests.

Ai and David planned their wedding themselves, but with help from friends and family, their wedding easily stayed below $10k. Despite the low budget, everything chosen was very meaningful to them, which made their day even more special and unforgettable.

For starters, the wedding was photographed by one of the bride’s closest friends, Ellen Ho of Hong Photography. The bouquets and arrangements were made with love by Ai’s sister, a florist named Yuko Nagasawa. La Terrazza was chosen by the couple for sentimental reasons. At Ai’s side were 2 men of honour (her best friends since kindergarten), and the only ones who witnessed this beautiful union were their immediate families. You can imagine just how much love was in that room…

A Few Words With Ai…

What personal or unique touches did you have for your wedding?
“I wore a kimono for the ceremony to represent my heritage. The dress was borrowed from my mother’s good friend. I also did not  have a wedding gown as we had originally planned for a destination wedding in the tropics.  I had purchased a simple white dress for the destination wedding that i changed into after the ceremony as I knew eating with a kimono on would prove difficult.

We chose La Terrazza as our venue because it is our favorite Italian restaurant and the venue has a beautiful private dining room.  We chose to have our ceremony in there as well right before dinner as it was going to be quick and simple.”

Which wedding traditions did you stick with and why?
“The only tradition we kept was not seeing the groom before the wedding ceremony because he did not know i was wearing a kimono and wanted to surprise him. Besides that we had nothing else traditional as this was an intimate family affair.”

Did you have any games or extra activities for your guests?
“We had all the guests write a letter/memo to us as a keepsake to remember everyone’s thoughts and emotions from that night. It’s great to read them once in a while as it takes us back to that night.”

What did your guests think about your wedding?
“Everyone was so happy with our wedding. It was the perfect family dinner! There was so much love in the room as two families tied the knot.”

What did you splurge on, what did you save on and why?
“We splurged on the dinner and wine as we all LOVE to eat and drink!! David’s family is Italian/Greek so we wanted to embrace his culture and have a huge Italian dinner. I did want to order a wedding cake but since dessert was included in our menu we opted not to which saved us a good dime. David  had a custom suit made for him which even had his name embroidered on his inside pocket. That was a splurge for sure!

I did not spend much on my dress and shoes, together I spent only $400. We intended to splurge on our wedding photographer but Ellen Ho of Hong Photography is my very good friend so she was so very generous in giving us a discount on her services!! We were very lucky to have one of Vancouver’s top photographers shoot for us!! Also my sister who is a florist did all the flowers for us as a wedding gift to us as well. We definitely splurged on our 2-week Caribbean honeymoon as we love to travel and have a good time.”

If you could’ve done something differently, what would it be?
“NOTHING! everything was so perfect!”

After planning a wedding, what one advice would you give to future brides?
“Try to keep it emotionally intimate  as possible. Since our wedding attendees were immediate family only, you could just smell so much love in the air. During our speeches everyone was so present and crying and laughing. It was just beautiful. When a wedding becomes too large and out of hand,  the bride and groom may end up feeling like guests at their own wedding. Most times they barely get to spend enough time with family and close friends during the reception with all the craziness.”

Ai & David’s Vendors:

Ceremony Venue: La Terrazza
Reception Venue: La Terrazza
Dress: After Five
Suit: Samtani and Sons
Photographer: Hong Photography
Flowers: Yuko Nagasawa
Hair and Make-up: Makeup by Ai (the bride!)
Wedding Favors: Godiva chocolates in boxes from Michaels

All photos courtesy Hong Photography

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  • December 27th, 2015 at 9:26 pm
    Anima says:

    How wonderful the pictures are.


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