Want to become a featured bride or vendor on Vancity Bride? You can submit an application on our contribute page, or contact us for more info!


Victoria Budget Wedding:
Kelsey + Cameron

February 20th, 2013 by Jeannine

Victoria Budget Wedding: Kelsey + Cam

Kelsey and Cameron have been together for over 10 years, ever since he first laid eyes on her at a fundraiser. They met through mutual friends and have been inseparable ever since. This couple is very special to us… after all Kelsey is one of my husband’s good friends since high school. So when we found out they got engaged in December of 2010, we thought FINALLY! And we were ecstatic! So how did it happen? Cam and Kelsey were spending some time with family in Victoria. He took her to Saxe Point Park, to an area that overlooks his grandparents’ house. That’s where he finally popped the question.

I was honoured that Kelsey asked me to coordinate their wedding so we hopped on a ferry, ready to help out and celebrate. They held their ceremony at the same park where Cam proposed. One of Cam’s groomsmen, Greg, played the guitar as Kelsey and her bridesmaids walked down the aisle.

Meanwhile, one of the groomsmen, Jeff, was videotaping the ceremony from his point of view at the front, while a second camera was set up in the back. You see, Cam and Jeff are business partners at New View Studios and they took it upon themselves to film the wedding instead of hiring someone else. 83 guests watched as Kelsey and Cam finally said their vows and were pronounced husband and wife. The ceremony was followed by a reception at the Coast Harbourside Hotel where they laughed, cried (happy tears only!), danced and partied all night long!

Believe me when I say that this wedding was truly a team effort. Family and friends worked together to give this couple the best wedding day they could possibly have. The bride and groom planned the majority of the wedding on their own but relied on Pinterest and Etsy for inspiration (well… Kelsey did anyway!), as well as consulted myself and their families for advice and a helping hand.

Kelsey’s wedding dress and all the bridesmaids’ dresses were made by Cam’s mother. Cam’s sister Deanna handmade all the necklaces the bridal party wore. One of Kelsey’s childhood friends made a gorgeous wedding cake and cupcakes, which were displayed on 3 handmade wooden cupcake stands made by the mother of the bride’s boyfriend. The place cards were made by Cam’s sister Allison and their dad, who wrote out the names on each card. Kelsey’s mom and her boyfriend made all the wine for the wedding favors, as winemaking is already a favourite pastime of theirs. To top it all off, the night before the wedding, friends and family gathered at the hotel and worked for hours transforming the banquet room into Kelsey’s dream reception. Now don’t get me wrong, the bride and groom did not just sit around, they were busy with their own projects, which you’ll see later on in this post.

They incorporated a lot of neat details in their wedding, making it the most unique wedding I’ve ever been to. For starters, all her bridesmaids wore black, custom dresses but each got their own colour of bouquet…

… that matched their shoes! To protect from sinking in the grass, Kelsey had little wood platforms made for each of them!

After the couple signed the registry, they wrote messages on balloons and let it float up into the sky. They are messages for Kelsey’s dad who is no longer with us, it’s a long-running tradition in her family.

At the reception, they named each table after a place that they’ve been to together. While on vacation, they took photos of themselves holding a chalkboard with the name of a place written on it. The vases and flowers used on each table were also different, which really livened up the room. It was very colourful, bright, and looked great in photos, don’t you think?

They also remembered family by setting up a memorial table off to the side…

… and also honoured their parents and grandparents by having their wedding photos displayed on their cake and cupcake table.

Kelsey is a teacher, which is well represented by some of their decor, like their chalkboard signs, which they also used to create their table numbers!

They even had a little candy buffet for those craving something sweet.

Kelsey and Cam love kids, especially the children in their lives so they weren’t neglected! The kids’ table was covered in kraft paper and decked out with buckets of coloured markers and crayons, in case they were feeling a little creative!

Each also had their own disposable camera so they can go around taking photos. It was a great idea and I’m sure they all loved it and had fun with it!

Most of their guests hopped on a ferry to Victoria for their wedding but one particular family member travelled all the way from New Zealand to celebrate with them. They presented her with a t-shirt that read: “I travelled 11,357.32 km’s and all I got was this boring t-shirt!” It was a riot!

It seems that surprises run in the family as there were a few on this day. Kelsey’s mom surprised the bridal party by ordering a limo so they can travel in style. She also asked Greg, the groomsman, to play them another song at the reception, so he sang a rendition of Norah Jones’ “Come Away With Me” – a song that moved the bride to tears.

Kelsey then surprised her groom with a hilarious video she made with the help of his groomsman Jeff, that showed who really took  charge of planning this wedding :P

The couple spent their $17,500 budget wisely on the things that meant most to them, including a very talented DJ who was the life of the party. I’m telling you it was rocking all the way to the end. This wedding was a wonderful start to their new life together and it’ll be a day that neither the couple nor their guests will ever forget. I sure won’t!

A Few Words With Kelsey…

During the planning stages, how did you imagine your wedding?  Did the final result live up to expectations?
“I imagined our wedding to be simple, but elegant, a lot of fun and with many personal touches.  The final result lived up to all of my expectations.”

How many DIY projects did you have? What were they and why did you decide to take all of these on?
“We did quite a few DIY projects, we chose to take them on to either save money, add a personal touch or because we ran out of time: Invitations (because Cam is a graphic designer), centerpieces (I took on because I got a deal on all the glassware from my Hairdressers reception), wood cupcake stands (way too expensive to buy)… They did take an entire day to make though!

Guestbook (I wanted it to be a photobook, but there wasn’t enough time)

Seating Chart and Signs (Sign-here, Candy, In Memory)  Easy to do with foam board, chalkboard paint and chalk!

Why did you choose to give away wine as favors?
“I knew for sure that I wanted a consumable, whether it be cookies, candies or wine, and people  tend to leave behind little knick knacks.  My Mom and her boyfriend always make their own wine and offered to do this for us and we were so happy we did! It  was also something a friend had done and it was a real hit, Plus we are saving a bottle for our 1st wedding anniversary, as wine gets better with age and cake does not.”

Did you have any games or extra activities for your guests?
“Right before dinner we played the shoe game, and did intend to play it with guests afterwards but never got to it. My sister, Kati, and I also created a surprise video for Cam, with the help of Jeff an amazing film editor.  We poked fun at all girls need to prepare for the big day and how guys get off a little easier.  Cam was a big part in planning the wedding, but the filming was not staged and all occurred a week before the wedding.”

What did your guests think about your wedding?
“I think the guests got to see how in love we are, as we are not a PDA kind of couple and got to have a lot of fun! Everyone is still talking about how much fun they had, and how great the cupcakes were!”

What did you splurge on and what did you save on? Why?
“We splurged on food, alcohol and the DJ.  We really wanted our wedding reception to be a party and I think it was a success! We saved on dresses, with Cam’s mom, Cynthia spending endless hours sewing all of the dresses we saved a large amount of money, but also made the Dress the dreams and made it very personal. We also saved on ceremony decorations, as friends who were married two weeks before lent and set up their ceremony decorations… thanks Noel and Tanya! We saved on Cupcakes and the Cake as it was a gift from our friend, Brittany, and they were honestly the best cupcakes I have ever had, guest are still talking about them. We saved on centerpieces, because I bought all the glassware off my Hairdresser, who used them for her wedding reception, the wood slices were made by Paul for free, and all of the flowers, gems and lights were purchased from Michael’s with 40% and 50% coupons.”

If you could’ve done something differently, what would it be?
“There is nothing I would have changed about that day.”

After planning a wedding, what one advice would you give to future brides?
“In the planning stages I think it is most important to have a vision set in your mind, so when all the decisions, opinions and ideas come your way, you will know right away if it is a fit for your “vision” or not.  There are endless ideas and it is very overwhelming so get your vision and budget set and then everything else has to work around that.

The most important thing, the day of, is having a Wedding Coordinator.  I think of myself as organized and on top of things, but never have I planned an entire wedding and without you (Jeannine) I would not have stayed to my timetable, remembered and thought through all of the details and been able to pull it all together in the remaining days.  To have a go to person the day of took all the stress and pressure off and the day of the wedding was way least stressful than any day building up to the wedding.” Aww… thanks :) You’re welcome! ~ Jeannine

Kelsey & Cameron’s Wedding Vendors:

Ceremony venue: Saxe Point Park, Esquimalt, BC
Reception venue: The Coast Harbourside Hotel, Victoria
Catering: Blue Crab Bar & Grill (at The Coast Harbourside Hotel)
Wedding Dress & Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Cynthia Fligg (Mother-in-Law)
Tuxedo: Black and Lee
Photographer: Christa Nicole Photography
Flowers: Cheryl Taggart
Hair: Kati Harris (Kelsey’s Sister)
Make-up:  Hollie, Makeup Artist
Jewelry: Deanna Artforms
Bride’s Wedding Band: Spence Diamonds
Groom’s Wedding Band: Brent and Jess Fingerprint Wedding Bands
Ceremony Chair Rentals:
Gala-Van Rentals
Chair Covers: Tie the Knot Events
Invitations: DIY by Cameron
Cake and Cupcakes: Brittany Dimmock (Friend of the Bride)
Decorations: DIY
Wedding Favors: Wine made by Kelsey’s family, labels made by Cameron
Ceremony Music: Greg Drummond (Friend of the Bride & Groom)
DJ: Sound Choice
Marriage Commissioner: Sharon Russell
Wedding planner/coordinator: Jeannine Fehr

All photos courtesy Christa Nicole Photography

Brides, would you like your budget wedding featured? Contact me here!
I’m accepting submissions from photographers & wedding planners too!
Contact me for more info!

You may also like...

Support Local Vendors


  • February 21st, 2013 at 8:07 am
    Sukey (Dress For The Wedding) says:

    Love the bridesmaids with the different colored bouquets and shoes to match! Cute as can be!


Leave a comment