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Vancouver Budget Wedding:
Cicy + Mike

August 27th, 2012 by Jeannine

Vancouver Budget Bride: Cicy + Mike

Cicy and Mike’s first date was far from a dream. It was pouring rain, the car broke down, and the restaurant they planned to go to was closed for renovations! Despite all of this, it was the best first date Cicy has ever been on. Having Mike by her side was all she needed to lighten up the mood. Less than two years later, Cicy came home one day to her dog in a bowtie, a dozen roses and a scavenger hunt. She knew something was up! The hunt revealed other letters containing many fond memories they had together. At the end of the line, it was Mike on one knee presenting her with a custom made princess cut diamond ring. How could she say no?

They were married this past summer on a rainy Saturday, June 16, 2012. They didn’t mind the poor weather, it was actually quite reminiscent of their first date! 63 of their friends and family gathered at Aberthau Mansion to witness this union. Their $17,000 travel-themed wedding was full of unique elements as well as DIY projects. Cicy was quite busy with it all but managed to spread out the work throughout the entire planning stages so as not to overwhelm herself.

Her card box was made from a repurposed vintage suitcase, spraypainted white and lined with maps. Check out her tutorial here!

The centerpieces were hot air balloons. Cicy and Mike wanted tall centerpieces and after scouring through many pins on Pinterest, she became inspired! Who says Pinterest is a time waster? ;) She and Mike made 6 of these in 2 hours just a couple days before the wedding. Check out how they did it here.

Her ceremony pom-poms were another Pinterest inspiration. Cicy made these because she wanted an affordable alternative to flowers to hang on her ceremony chairs.

I love that she made origami cranes as place cards. My husband and I did the same thing!

Her seating chart also represented their theme really well. She wrapped a canvas with a map and made luggage tags for each guest out of her old business cards. One thing though, if your guests will be ripping their tags off the chart, it’s probably best to use cardstock, unless you want everyone to have your contact info… Something Cicy learned after the fact!

Cicy and Mike had a guestbook at each table rather than just one that can easily be missed. Each guestbook had a different question like “what should we do on date nights?” Or “where should we go on vacation?” After passing and signing the book around the table, guests were encouraged to swap books among tables so they can answer the other questions. I love this idea!

They also spraypainted funky shaped wine bottles and made reserved seating signs to cap off their DIY endeavors. I think they did a fantastic job!

They only used one venue so they decided to do a “First Look.” They were able to take photos with the bridal party and family before guests arrived which made for an efficient use of time. They were also able to spend more time with their guests.

Instead of a cake, the couple had a cupcake tower made by Candice of Love Your Cake. There was a map of the world on every tier, with travel-themed details on every cupcake. Their names were spelled out with scrabble-like letters as a tribute to their love of board games. Their little dog even made it on as part of the cake topper, along with miniature versions of themselves! Super cute!

Cicy did her bouquet toss off the second floor. Her girlfriends were very keen on catching the bouquet so, by popular demand, Cicy decided to go through with the toss; however they decided to forego the garter toss.

Cicy loves to dance so the first dance was a big deal to her. Her mom gave them dance lessons for Christmas as a gift, to which Mike was skeptical about at first. Turns out he enjoyed the lesson and they were able to show off their new ballroom dance moves, all four of them!

A Few Words With Cicy…

During the planning stages, how did you imagine your wedding?  Did the final result live up to expectations?
“We knew we wanted a small wedding, but we didn’t really have a grand vision of what everything should be like. We just took little steps at a time, and we could not be happier with the final result.”

What personal or unique touches did you have for your wedding?
“A very special piece at the wedding was the white lace tablecloth on our gift table, which was made by Mike’s grandma, who unfortunately passed away the year before. She was very close to Mike and it was wonderful to have something at our wedding to remind us of her.”

Why did you decide to have a travel themed wedding?
“We started out with only a colour theme. Mike picked the colours – royal blue and white, based solely on the fact that he liked those colours. As we began our plans, I kept gravitating towards travel-themed decorations, and it only made sense because Mike and I both love to travel. Before the wedding, we had only travelled together around Canada and the US, but we went to Paris for our honeymoon, and will be going to Hong Kong later this year.”

What did you give away as favors? Was there a reason you picked it?
“We didn’t actually have favours – we did a donation to the Meals on Wheels program in lieu. Turns out, we forgot to mention it at the wedding, but I don’t think anyone noticed. We wanted to pick something local, and since my mom used to be a care aid, the services they provide lie close to my heart.”

What music did you use for the ceremony? Did it have special meaning to you?
“We hired a guitarist, Kris Schultz, for the ceremony, and I walked down the aisle to Canon in D. Since we were both music geeks (Mike was a percussionist in the school band, and I started playing piano at age 6), it was important to us to have live music. For the recessional, Kris played his own version of Life’s a Happy Song from the new Muppets movie, which Mike and I had seen shortly after our engagement. It just summarizes so perfectly the way we feel… life’s a happy song when there’s someone by your side to sing along.”

What’s your dog’s name and why did you choose him/her to be your ringbearer? How was it having a dog part of your ceremony and do you have any tips for those planning on doing the same thing?
“My dog’s name is Derry and he is my little ray of sunshine. There was never a question of not including him in the wedding because he has been such a big part of my life for the past 8 years. We had intended for an outdoor ceremony but the weather was not ideal, so thankfully the venue was very nice about allowing him in the house for the ceremony. The back of his tuxedo had a little chain which we thought would work as an anchor for the leash, but when my maid of honour tested it before the ceremony, it broke off so she wound up having to carry him – sorry and thank you, Genie! I would definitely advise any other brides to practice before the wedding, especially if their dog gets nervous around large audiences. My tip is to think through the process and make sure you always have someone looking after the dog, or a place for the dog to stay. For example, we had a chair just for Derry to sit on during the ceremony, and my mom took him home right after the ceremony before the dinner reception. Also, don’t give the real rings to the dog, because you never know!”

How did guests get you to kiss, the usual glass clink or something different?
“Our MCs actually suggested this on the day of – we played “the Kissing Game”. Every time a guest wanted us to kiss, they would clink their glasses and then demonstrate the kiss with another guest. We would then have to copy the kiss as closely as we could. My maid of honour in particular stood up and lifted her boyfriend off the floor during their kiss… I was not nearly as strong, but Mike pushed himself off the floor using a ledge, which is basically the same, right?”

What did your guests think about your wedding?
“We had a lot of positive feedback, and most people couldn’t believe I had planned everything, and the fact that I had never been to a wedding before. One guest even said I should consider a career in wedding planning.”

What did you splurge on and what did you save on? Why?
“Since we were funding the entire wedding, Mike and I sat down before the entire planning process and decided what our priorities were. Our biggest splurge would be the caterers, because we wanted to spend the bulk of our budget on something that all of our guests would enjoy – Savoury Chef did an impeccable job, and I am so happy with our choice to go with them. We also splurged on the wedding bands, because we’ll be wearing them forever. My personal big splurge was my Kate Spade blue glitter heels – I had always wanted a pair, but could not find an excuse.

A lot of our savings came from cutting down the guest list. We felt justified in keeping the invite count low, because we wanted those who came to actually have a chance to chat with us, and enjoy themselves. The DIY decorations also helped with savings, especially without using flowers for the centerpieces. While I love real flowers, I didn’t feel it was necessary to use them for more than the wedding party. My personal savings was in the dress, but that’s just because I’m more of a shoe girl.”


If you could’ve done something differently, what would it be?
“I would have scheduled more time to load the car when we were bringing decorations to the venue. Also, I probably would have told Mike not to get dressed into his suit until after the decorations were at the venue… he was soaked in the rain from bringing decorations to the car. We got to the venue about half an hour after the scheduled time, though thankfully I had planned more than enough time for everything else.”

After planning a wedding, what one advice would you give to future brides?
“Breathe. Enjoy the day because it will fly by, and don’t fuss about the details because in the end, nothing really matters as long as you’re married to the man of your dreams.”

Cicy & Mike’s Wedding Vendors:

Ceremony & Reception venue: Aberthau Mansion
Catering: Savoury Chef
Wedding Dress: Jonathan’s Formal Wear
Bridesmaids Dresses: BCBG
Tuxedo: Moores
Photographer: Wesley and Calista Chandler
Photographer (Engagement Photos): Tomasz Wagner | Mananetwork
Flowers: Mayhew-Sherwood Flowers
Hair and Make-up: Spa Utopia
Jewelry: Swarovski
Invitations: DIY
Cake: Love Your Cake (Candice)
Decorations: DIY by bride (with help from the groom)
Wedding Favors: Donation to Meals on Wheels in lieu of favors
Music for ceremony/reception: Kris Schultz from SideOne (Ceremony guitarist); DJ Eclectik (Reception DJ)
Wedding planner/coordinator: Bride
Photobooth: FaceBox Media
Dance Lessons: JC Dance Studio

All wedding photos courtesy Wesley and Calista Chandler
Photobooth photo by Facebox Media

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