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Vancouver Budget Wedding:
Diana + LP

January 22nd, 2014 by Jeannine

 
Vancouver Budget Wedding: Diana + LP

It was an instant attraction on the Ultimate field for Diana and Louis-Philippe (LP) but it wasn’t meant to be at the time, as they were still in other relationships. A year later, things started to fall into place and they suddenly found themselves both single. After a few texts here and there and a memorable dinner date, Diana finally nabbed her blue-eyed beau and both knew it was the start of something special.

Diana + LP - photo by InTime Photography

At some point, Diana became seriously ill so LP, the sweet guy that he is, decided to cheer her up by booking a little getaway in Whistler. In front of a roaring fireplace, they curled up, watching as the snow came down. LP professed his love for Diana, in sickness and in health, and asked her to marry him. The couple eventually tied the knot on August 4, 2013 in front of 85 of their friends and family. They were wed at the beautiful Celebration Pavilion at Queen Elizabeth Park, a reception at Heritage Hall was held later that day.

Diana + LP - photo by InTime Photography

Diana and LP planned the wedding themselves, but unfortunately it was quite a rough road to the altar. People pressured Diana into thinking that she needed to spend lots to have a perfect wedding, in order to have a perfect marriage. As if that wasn’t enough stress, the unthinkable happened. One of her bridesmaids, Amy, suddenly passed away… It was devastating for everyone, especially Diana. With love and support from her friends and family, Diana was able to cope with her grief and muster up the strength to carry on with the wedding planning.

Diana + LP - photo by InTime Photography

Diana + LP - photo by InTime Photography These events put things in perspective. She tuned out all the critics and instead channeled her grief into what mattered most to her: Friends, Family, & Love. The perfect wedding wasn’t about spending a lot of money, but having the little touches that really mattered — crafted by hand. Her DIY/crafting list was extensive and it all started with a veil. She saw a gorgeous $250 veil and after taking a good look at it, she created a similar one for herself for $11! Impressive! The rest of the list includes their bouquets, boutonnieres, signs, seating chart, gift card and drink ticket boxes, wine cases for their centerpieces, flower boxes, wedding stationery, bridal hair piece, wedding favors, guestbook, pom pom décor, and a cake stand… oh wait her dad made that! ;) Now, for some eye candy because they deserve some time in the spotlight after all the work they put into these. All in, the wedding came into just under $14,000.

Diana + LP - photo by InTime Photography

Diana + LP - photo by InTime Photography

Diana + LP - photo by InTime Photography

Diana + LP - photo by InTime Photography

Diana + LP - photo by InTime Photography

Diana + LP - photo by InTime Photography

Diana + LP - photo by InTime Photography

Diana + LP - photo by InTime Photography

Diana + LP - photo by InTime Photography

Diana + LP - photo by InTime Photography

Diana + LP - photo by InTime Photography

A Few Words With Diana…

During the planning stages, how did you imagine your wedding?  Did the final result live up to expectations?
“I had never been the girl who imagined a wedding so I was very overwhelmed at first. I did a lot of research, looked at lots of pictures and styles, and then slowly started building an overall vision of {Friends.Family.Love}. As I progressed, I filled in the details to fit. The final result exceeded my expectations! My goal was to have a happy and fun day filled with love. It was all of that and more.”

Diana + LP - photo by InTime Photography

Diana + LP - photo by InTime Photography How did you overcome all the stress that you had to deal with… from the death of your friend to all the peer pressure on your wedding planning? How did this change your outlook towards your wedding planning?
“For the general stress, I just made a giant spreadsheet well in advance with due dates and kept knocking them down. A plan definitely helped me deal with the last minute headaches that cropped up. The worst event I experienced was being told that I wouldn’t have the perfect marriage if I didn’t have the perfect wedding-I was so shocked I just stood there agape. Lucky for me, my mom told the vendor that she had been married for 56 years without even a hint of a conventional wedding, so the vendor could shove it and we left. My mom definitely helped me sort out who wanted to contribute what was best for me versus who wanted their own way for their own reasons. When it became clear I didn’t want to break the bank on a wedding, I started searching unique or unconventional weddings and came across great websites (like Vancity Bride!) that really highlighted weddings featuring unique and personal styles. After that enlightenment, I just ignored people who told me should and listened to those who said could.

Diana + LP - photo by InTime Photography

Diana + LP - photo by InTime Photography For Amy, my husband was instrumental in talking me through what the day would look like and coming up with a plan that acknowledged the loss but let me focus on the happiness. My bridesmaids were incredible throughout the planning, the stag and the wedding day-recognizing when I needed a minute to breathe through some sadness alone and when I needed a distraction. They also recognized when someone needed to be kicked out of my space or redirected in their commentary. They definitely protected me. I didn’t replace Amy in the wedding party and that was my way of recognizing how much she meant to me. Also, carrying items that were hers made me feel that she was still there. I continuously worked on enjoying the day that will only happen once, acknowledging the depth of my loss and accepting my limits with grief (like selling the dress of my dreams and buying one that was fresh). It was NOT easy to go through that day without her.”

Diana + LP - photo by InTime Photography

What personal or unique touches did you have for your wedding?
“We hand wrote individual notes for each guest, thanking them for their presence in our lives. It was important to us that our guests knew how much we value them.”

Diana + LP - photo by InTime Photography

Was there a significance to the teacups? Were they your wedding favours?
“I gave teacup pendants to just the bridesmaids as Amy always wore a teacup necklace. Her family generously gave me her necklace and I attached it to my bridal bouquet along with a picture of her and a picture of my grandmother. As wedding favors, I canned peach chutney, applesauce, cranberry/pear chutney and rhubarb sauce into 250 ml jars. Our program printer had printed our program pages upside down TWICE so I crafted the wasted pages into boxes for the wedding favors.”

Diana + LP - photo by InTime Photography

Which wedding traditions did you stick with and why? Which did you leave out and why?
“We kept many but made them our own. When Amy passed away, I didn’t replace her so we had an uneven bridal party. We didn’t follow the traditional ceremony, leaving out a lot of the pomp and circumstance (unity candles etc). Part of our ceremony and reception was in French as well. We opted for brief toasts instead of speeches and we kept our speech very short as we had already written our most important thoughts in the guest cards.

Diana + LP - photo by InTime Photography

We did away with not seeing each other before the ceremony. We stayed at our house the night before and in the morning, we stopped at Amy’s ghost bike and left her a private note. I had wanted to keep that tradition originally, but when it came to someone supporting me while leaving a note for Amy, I wanted only him.”

Diana + LP - photo by InTime Photography

Diana + LP - photo by InTime Photography Did you have any games or extra activities for you or your guests?
“As a teacher, I couldn’t resist! I included a personalized crossword on our wedding program for guests at the ceremony. We had a multiple choice trivia game at the reception for order of dinner service. We were totally blown away by how into it our guests were! There was bargaining, haggling and betting! The ice was definitely broken as they all tried to figure us out! Our bar menu had a Sudoku game on the chalkboard, which was slowly solved over the night. We also left mad-libs for guests to fill in and we loved reading them later! My bridesmaids made up questions for us to answer in the shoe game about each other and that was hilarious.

Diana + LP - photo by InTime Photography

Also, I had to find my husband by feeling guest/his legs while I was blindfolded and that got a little out of hand when I missed the leg of one friend.  The photographer perfectly captured it! The guests also had to sing to us a love song or model a kiss for us to kiss-no glass clinking!”

Diana + LP - photo by InTime Photography

What did your guests think about your wedding?
“The guests raved about the activities, especially the trivia game. We got comments that they felt included in a small, intimate wedding-which was exactly what we wanted. Our goal was Friends. Family. Love.”

Diana + LP - photo by InTime Photography

Diana + LP - photo by InTime Photography What did you splurge on and what did you save on? Why?
“We splurged on food and the ceremony venue. We had previously enjoyed the fabulous food by our caterer at another wedding and we really wanted to share such amazing food with our guests. We splurged on the ceremony venue because it was a just show up venue and we didn’t want anything extra to coordinate for our ceremony. I inadvertently splurged on my dress. I had bought one with Amy and then when she passed away, I waited almost a year before I had the courage to try it on. When I put it on, I just cried and cried. So I sold it at a small loss, and bought another dress that didn’t carry such hard memories. If was good that we had a long engagement.

Diana + LP - photo by InTime Photography

We saved on decorations/accessories/favors etc by DIY. We saved on transportation. I/bridesmaids took the skytrain and it was so much fun! (and convenient!!) He drove himself/groomsmen to the ceremony and then us to the reception. We left his car there and picked it up the next morning.

Diana + LP - photo by InTime Photography

We saved on the reception venue by getting married on a Sunday. Our caterer and photographer were just starting their business and their prices were completely reasonable but their services OUTSTANDING. We saved a lot of money by booking early and paying early, which presented discounts. We saved on the bridesmaid dresses by chance as the color I wanted was discontinued so the dresses were $25!! We also saved through the generosity of our friends, who donated time and services to help us along the way. They were essential to our success.”

Diana + LP - photo by InTime Photography

If you could’ve done something differently, what would it be?
“It was so hot that my crinoline kept flattening my dress to my legs-I would’ve got a different crinoline so I could move around better! And not lost my speech sometime in the day-I missed thanking people and I felt awful!”

Diana + LP - photo by InTime Photography

Diana + LP - photo by InTime Photography How did you manage to keep everything below budget?
“We had the advantage of planning early so we were able to wait for deals on items, pay early to get discounts and shop around for competitive prices. (I extensively researched deals/prices on Vancity Bride at this point!) We were also graced with the amazing talents of our friends, who GENEROUSLY provided services like hair/makeup/cake at cost or less, from the goodness of their hearts. We were blessed by their generosity.”

After planning a wedding, what one advice would you give to future brides?
Have a vision that is YOURS and don’t engage with pushy people or vendors. It doesn’t matter how unconventional it seems, the day belongs to you and your partner. When you push go at the start of your big day, designate one or two people that you trust to solve any issues that arise, and then drop the controls to them. It’s your day to enjoy. Also, my husband told my bridesmaids to take my phone away the morning of the wedding and I am so glad. They answered guest questions and solved problems that I was completely, and happily, oblivious to.”

Thank you for sharing your story Diana – you’re a strong woman.

Diana + LP - photo by InTime Photography

Diana & LP’s Vendors:

Diana + LP - photo by InTime Photography Ceremony venue: Celebration Pavilion at Queen Elizabeth Park
Reception venue: Heritage Hall
Caterer: Cedar Feast House
Wedding Dress: Vera Wang
Bridesmaids Dresses: David’s Bridal
Jewelry: Stella & Dot (earrings); grandmother’s brooch ; Siba engagement ring, Zales wedding bands
Tux: Moore’s
Photographer: Wilson Luk & Vincent Koo at InTime Photography (no website, contact wilsonkhl@gmail.com to inquire)
Flowers:  DIY by Bride + Bridesmaids
Hair and Make-up: Bride’s friend Elena Gomon (Hair-Bella Garnet salon); Bride’s friend Stephanie Walker (MAC makeup)
Invitations: DIY by Bride, printed by VistaPrint
Cake: Cake Art by Rabia (Vancity Vendor profile)
Decorations: DIY by Bride
Wedding Favors: DIY by Bride
Music for ceremony/reception: Night Moves DJ (Dan Stanley)
Transportation: SkyTrain and own vehicles
Wedding planner/coordinator: Bride
Officiant: Kevan Dobsin (The Chapel Group)

Diana + LP - photo by InTime Photography

All photos courtesy InTime Photography (Wilson Luk & Vincent Koo - contact wilsonkhl@gmail.com to inquire)

Do you want your budget wedding featured? If your wedding was $20,000 or less and you’d like to share your story, email me at info [at] vancitybride [dot] com or apply here. Can’t wait to hear your story!

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Comments

  • January 26th, 2014 at 4:17 pm
    Beautiful Bridal says:

    Congratulations on doing the wedding favors, flowers and decorations yourself. They are so lovely. Bridesmaid dresses for $25? What a great unexpected gift to your best friends!

     

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