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Vancouver Budget Wedding:
Flora + Kristy

November 12th, 2012 by Jeannine

Vancouver Budget Wedding: Flora + Kristy

Flora and Kristy have been together for 3 years when Kristy decided it was time to pop the question. She did it in the most romantic way possible… By breaking out her guitar and performing a love song she wrote just for the woman of her dreams. How incredibly sweet is that? There was no chance that Flora would say no.

Just over a hundred of their closest friends and family witnessed Flora and Kristy’s union. They tied the knot this past summer on August 1st and only spent around $12,000 on their wedding over the water. Every single detail of their ceremony had special meaning, from the music to the words, and reflected their Celtic ancestry. This was very important to Flora and she was glad to be able to work so closely with their officiant to create the perfect ceremony, which included rituals that were important to her, like handfasting. Their guests thought it was very beautiful and poetic.

The theme of their wedding is “Fairy Tale By the Sea,” a combination of Flora’s love of fantasy and Kristy’s love of the beach.

To help cut costs and personalize their wedding, Flora and Kristy took on quite a few DIY projects including their gorgeous Treasure Chest Card Box.

In addition to the cardbox they also made flower crowns, heart strings, a custom guestbook, directional signs, petal cones, handfasting cords, and Flora’s bridal bouquet! The two were quite busy leading up to the wedding but as you can see… all their efforts were worth it!

A Few Words With Flora and Kristy…

Why did you choose to get married on a boat?
“Well, it was the closest thing we could get to having a beach wedding in Vancouver, Lol! And it has the best of both the outdoor space with the indoor facilities. Celebration on Water is such a fantastic venue, and all inclusive, and we fell in love immediately. After our first visit, every other venue paled in comparison. So we booked it!”

What did you give away as favors? Was there a reason you picked it?
“Favours weren’t really a big deal to us, so we just set out a big bowl of chocolate kisses and mini Reece’s peanut butter cups by the exit, with a funny little sign that said Eat Me! We either had way too many or some people missed them, because we had lots left over. They were a great choice for our budget, since we bought them using our PC points (free!).”

What music did you use for the ceremony? Did it have special meaning to you?
“Our processional song was At Last as sung by Eva Cassidy. While we were signing the register, we played One Hand, One Heart from West Side Story. Our recessional song was When You Find the One by Melissa Etheridge. Flora chose the processional and the signing song, and Kristy chose the recessional. Yes, they all have a special meaning to us because of the lyrics.”

Which wedding traditions did you stick with, which did you leave out and why?
“We did a first look and portraits before the ceremony, because our wedding was in the evening. It was one of the most memorable moments of the day, and we are so glad we did it! Also, it was great to get all the formal portraits done before the ceremony. We walked down the aisle together, hand in hand. That also felt right to us. We still had speeches, a first dance, the Father Daughter dance, and bouquet and garter toss (but both were for the ladies). We had cupcakes, so no cutting.”

Did you have any games or extra activities for your guests?
“We provided colouring books and crayons for the kids, plus some bubble wands. Since our wedding was all in the evening, it wasn’t a very long time for our guests. If anything our guestbook ended up being an extra activity- we didn’t realize that how we had designed it would take some people so long! It included space to write your wishes for the newlyweds, a spot to draw a picture, and a personalized mad libs section. Not everyone signed it, which is too bad, but the ones that did were great!”

What did you splurge on and what did you save on? Why?
“The venue rental and catering were the largest portion of our budget, so it felt like a splurge, even though we made some wise decisions that saved us a lot of money. First, having our wedding on a Wednesday evening, and second, not having a sit down dinner and having a buffet of food platters and desserts instead. All our décor was second hand, or had re-sale value (and I’ve already been selling a lot back through craigslist). Flora’s dress was purchased on sale ($225). Kristy’s outfit cost the same for her custom made shirt, new sandals and tan pants. We splurged on getting a professional photographer and that was the best investment we made!”

If you could’ve done something differently, what would it be?
“If we’d had more money, it would have been nice to have it on a weekend and have it last longer, you know, the typical timeline of a later afternoon ceremony, cocktail hour, then dinner, then dance party. It would have been nice to have more time to visit with everyone who came from all over to be there. But, really, in the end it was all perfect and we didn’t have any wedding debt!”

What did your guests think about your wedding?
“That is was the best wedding they had ever been to, of course! Lol!”

After planning a wedding, what one advice would you give to future brides?
“Be patient with your ideas and your purchases! Your plans will evolve, so expect things to change. Communicate well, and often, with your significant other- planning a wedding needs to be a team effort. And don’t let your self-consciousness of not wanting to come off as a Bridezilla stop you from being politely assertive on what’s really important to you both!”

Flora & Kristy’s Wedding Vendors:

Ceremony & Reception venue: Celebration on Water, North Vancouver
Catering: Celebration on Water
Flora’s Wedding Dress: Tiffany NY Bridal
Bridesmaids Dresses: various
Kristy’s tailed shirt: Custom-made
Photographer: Butterfly Photography
Flowers: Greenstems and Whole Foods
Hair and Make-up: Melanie and Michael at Clover Hair Salon
Jewelry: Etsy
Invitations: Sweet Invitations
Cupcakes: Whole Foods
Decorations: mostly DIY, except for Solar Shoji lanterns and Moroccan lanterns
Wedding Favors: Chocolate Kisses and mini Reese’s peanut butter cups
Music for ceremony/reception: DJ Terrantino
Wedding planner/coordinator: Flora
Officiant: Rev. Dorothy Blandford

All wedding photos courtesy Butterfly Photography

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