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The Bride Who Had It All… For Less!

May 4th, 2011 by Jeannine

 
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After almost 3 years into the relationship, Andrew Grose knew it was time to give his girlfriend, Bailey Henderson, the surprise of her life. In 2009, they went to Bailey’s hometown of New Hazelton for Thanksgiving weekend. There was a waterfall nearby where she frequented when she was growing up. While Bailey was distracted, Andrew sneaked away and headed for the waterfall where he hid the ring, a couple of champagne flutes and a bottle of bubbly on a rock in the middle of the water. He took her for a walk, brought her to the rock (miraculously everything was still there), and got down on one knee and asked her to marry him. Naturally, she said yes!

Nine months later, on July 24, 2010, they were married at the Chapel of Epiphany at UBC. Flanked by their 4 bridesmaids and 4 groomsmen, they vowed to love each other in front of a hundred friends and family. It was a beautiful wedding with all the bells and whistles, including a limousine ride, a DJ, open bar, candy buffet, and photobooth… how much do you think this wedding cost?

Would you believe $11,000? That’s right, Bailey and Andrew only spent $11,000 on their wedding, $4,000 less than what they were willing to spend. What helped was doing a lot of the work themselves and putting their trust into new wedding businesses. They had free wedding videography because the company they hired had never done a wedding before. Their cake and cupcakes were also from a vendor still building clientele at the time, so it was very affordable. Flowers were ordered from Craigslist and the bridesmaid dresses were only $99 from Bryan’s. For everything else, she DIY’ed as much as she could. She did, however, splurge on a dress for herself and a limo for Andrew. It was worth every penny, I’m sure :)

Bailey and Andrew knew how to throw a party. They incorporated some fun little games that their guests enjoyed. First, as an alternative to the usual “glass clink,” guests had to show the newlyweds how they want them to kiss, and Bailey and Andrew would oblige, like so…

They also played the shoe game. Bailey and Andrew each held one of their shoes and questions were asked by a bridesmaid and a groomsman, such as “who will take out the trash?” They would then raise the appropriate shoe (his or hers) to answer the question. (For the record, Bailey raised Andrew’s shoe for the trash question ;) ) It’s a fun way to see if the couple sees eye to eye… or in this case, shoe to shoe!

As a twist to the bouquet toss, Bailey decided to buy a silk bouquet and attached lottery tickets to it and invited those who wanted to “get lucky” onto the dance floor to catch the bouquet. Andrew did the same for the guys with the garter ;)

Since they couldn’t afford to rent an actual photobooth, they made her own ”faux-tobooth” by pinning some sheets that matched their wedding colours onto a wall and having props available for her guests to take their own pictures. She collected fun props, like big glasses and pom poms, from the dollar store over the 9 months of planning, but she also made some props like fake moustaches on sticks. It was a great idea to make their own photobooth, but unfortunately, it was set up in an area that wasn’t very well lit or accessible, which explained why nobody seemed to use it, even with the encouragement of the DJ. A lesson she hopes that future brides will learn from, in case they want to set up their own “faux-tobooth.”

A Few Words With Bailey…

During the planning stages, how did you imagine your wedding?  Did it live up to your expectations?
“I loved the idea of weddings when I grew up so I thought for sure I would have this vivid image in my head of what my day would look like. After I got engaged I wanted one thing for my wedding…the reception right after the ceremony, a lot of ‘natural’ looks and love, love, love. I imagined my wedding having a low key feel but still having the upscale look of a Vancouver wedding. The results absolutely lived up to my expectations (mostly because I feel like I had very little). We had the theme ‘All you need is love’ through out the wedding. On the invites, candy bags and at the ceremony. It was one of my favorite things.”

Did you make or do anything yourselves for the wedding? Did it save you money?
“We made all the centerpieces, bathroom baskets, DIY photobooth and candy buffet ourselves. Doing it ourselves saved us tons of money. Our centerpieces ended up costing around $3.00 each, the candy buffet came to 60.00 (we had more then enough candy…with TONS left overs), and hand stamped the candy bags.”

What personal or unique touches did you have for your wedding?
“At the ceremony we had my mother and Andrews mother light memorial candles for all the family who could not make it. I thought it was important to remember them. At the reception we had wedding photos of all our parents, grandparents and even great grandparents.”

What did your guests think about your wedding?
“I like to think they loved it! It was very very hot that day so the room was unfortunately very stuffy. This actually resulted in our bridal party and myself walking around in the fountain outside. Everyone loved the personal touches and danced right till the closing time!”

Why did you choose to have a candy buffet? Was it affordable?
“We chose one because we wanted to use it as a favour. I bought the dishes off a girl on craigslist and then bought all the candy from Costco, Wal Mart and Superstore. I was not particular about having it all colour coordinated which saved me a ton of money. I bought all mine and Andrews favorite candies instead. The total cost for Candy came to about $60.00.”

How did you manage to “have it all” but at the same time be below budget?
“I sacrificed in flexibility. I borrowed vases for centerpieces, bought the fake cherry blossoms from craiglist, and had to take risks with new vendors. It was really scary at times but it was worth it. Instead of being specific about what flowers I HAD to have I was more specific about the colours I HAD to have. This way the florist had flexibility over the flowers/cost.”

What is the significance of the rifle in one of your wedding photos?
“When we were in Gastown a gentleman owning a local business there gave the boys some cowboy hats to wear. He also had a shot gun. At the time it was just fun and I got caught up in the moment. But now when I look back at it I find it endearing. I grew up in a small town and my Dad used to go hunting and fishing all the time and he wore a cowboy hat. I feel the pictures now are a little homeage to my hometown.”

After planning a wedding, what one advice would you give to future brides?
“Don’t get to caught up in the wedding world. I feel a budget will explode when you get caught up in the should have instead of what you actually need. Stay grounded and focused on what is actually really important to you.”

Andrew and Bailey’s Vendors:

Ceremony venue: Chapel of Epiphany
Reception venue: Thea’s Lounge, UBC
Dress: Bridal Gallery
Tuxedo: Bridal Gallery
Photographer: Carolyn Egerszegi Photography, Second Shooter Sean Norman Photography
Flowers: Sandy’s Flowers, New Westminster
Hair and Make-up: Andrew’s cousin and Bailey’s sister
Invitations: Handmade by Bailey
Cake: Anna Elizabeth Cakes
Decorations: Lonsdale Event Rentals
Wedding Favors: Candy buffet by Bailey
Music for ceremony/reception: Studio G for ceremony and Absolute Entertainment for Reception
Transportation: Ace of Spades
Wedding planner/coordinator: Bailey

All Photos Courtesy Carolyn Egerszegi Photography & Sean Norman Photography

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