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Tofino Budget Wedding:
Marcee & Christian

July 9th, 2012 by Jeannine

Tofino Budget Wedding: Marcee + Christian

There was lots of love in the air on June 26, 2010. I was busy marrying my husband when, across the water, a lucky girl was getting engaged. It was Marcee’s 30th birthday so Christian, her boyfriend of 3 years, decided to take her to their special place. It was at Lighthouse Park, at their favourite bench overlooking the water, where Christian got down on one knee and asked her to be his wife.

Marcee was 26 when they first started dating, she was engaged on the 26th, so it was only fitting that their wedding day would be on the 26th as well. They were married in Tofino on October 26, 2011 in front of 62 of their closest friends and family. The couple planned their $15k wedding themselves, although Marcee took charge and enjoyed every bit of the planning process. She sought help from her friends and family who were more than happy to help make her dream day come true. Kari Heese of Boutique Studios, her friend and colleague, captured all the memories of their special day.

Marcee channeled her inner Martha Stewart and, together with her best girls, created a lot of the wedding decor up until the night before the wedding. That’s dedication! For the bride’s entrance music, Christian’s uncle and brother-in-law played U2′s “All I Want Is You” on the violin and piano.

The wedding favours meant a lot to the couple as well. Christian is from Victoria and every time they’d visit, they would get a box of Rogers’ Chocolates Victoria Creams. They decided to give their guests a piece of chocolate tied onto a small piece of driftwood picked from the beach at Lighthouse Park, near where they got engaged.

Christian’s wardrobe staples were his Adidas sneakers, so there was no question they were going to be part of his wedding attire. They decided to get all the groomsmen and bridesman to wear them too, with some funky socks of course! It was a unique element and, at the same time, kept the guys comfortable all day.

A Few Words With Marcee…

During the planning stages, how did you imagine your wedding? Did the final result live up to expectations?
“I think every girl has a vision of how she wants her wedding to be, and when you get engaged your mind starts to go crazy with all the ideas of what you can do. We knew that we wanted a small wedding, and to be honest I was just so excited to marry Christian, I would have been happy to run away to Vegas and wear a sequin mini dress! Everything came together so beautifully, and the day was magical.”

Why did you choose to have a destination wedding, and why Tofino?
“We had originally wanted to get married in Maui, and keep the wedding even smaller. In the planning stages we found out that some family members might not be able to fly there, so we started looking for somewhere more local and easy enough for people to get to. Christian and I have a soft spot for Tofino, and love everything about the West Coast. The fist time we walked into the Black Rock we both got goosebumps. We knew that it was the perfect place for us to get married.”

As a wedding photographer, you’ve been a part of countless weddings. Were you inspired by any of your past brides when you were planning your wedding? Did it contribute to your choice of having/wanting a smaller wedding?
“I think with going to so many wedding, I definitely got a sense of what I liked and didn’t like. I come from a larger family, and Christian’s is quite small. Even with only inviting immediate family, it definitely turned into the Marcee show with all of my family members there. It’s really hard to choose who to invite and who to not. We just wanted everyone to have a good time, and enjoy a little mini holiday while they were there.”

What personal or unique touches did you have for your wedding? Did you DIY anything for the wedding?
“I DIY everything! Crafts took over my life. From the ceremony programs, to the cones with babies breath that went down the aisle, to poms hung all over the ballroom, place settings, candy table, etc. I was a Martha machine! On our guest book table we had wedding photos of all of our parents and grandparents set up for everyone to see. We also had Christian’s mom read Oh the Places you will go during the ceremony, and then right after that my Maid of Honor read I Carry your Heart by E. E. Cummings.”

Which wedding traditions did you stick with, which did you leave out and why?
“I am slightly superstitious so Christian was not allowed to see my dress, or myself before the wedding. It was a little bit crazy in the morning, as we had to figure out who was going to the restaurant first to eat breakfast and really try not to see each other. We also sent gifts to each other the morning of. Christian gave me the most incredible Elsa Corsi earrings. They are stunning and I keep looking for more excuses to wear them.

And I had done a boudoir shoot, and had my photos put into an album for him. And he is a sucker for anything Star Wars, so I found great Han Solo cufflinks on Etsy for him to wear that day.

I have 2 dads, and have always said that I would have both of them walk me down the aisle. So that was another tradition that we kept, and made that moment super special. We did not do the bouquet or garter toss. To be honest, there was only like 3 single girls and maybe 2 single guys, and I’m sure that none of them wanted that kind of attention to themselves! We had lots of speeches, starting with all 3 dads, the maid of honor and best man, and then Christian and I both gave a speech as well.”

Did you have any games or extra activities for your guests?
“We had a friend of ours take everyone’s photo with a Polaroid camera as they walked in, and they that was what they put into the guest book when they signed it. We also had a big candy table that seemed to be a hit with everyone.”

How did guests get you to kiss, the usual glass clink or something different?
“They had to go up to the mic and sing a verse from a love song. Luckily not
to many people did it because I think that tradition is super cheesy!”

What did your guests think about your wedding?
“I think everyone liked it. Having it on a Wednesday, and a bit of a destination for most people meant that it got to be a little holiday for them. The weather ended up being sunny and beautiful that week, and who doesn’t love Tofino?!”

What did you splurge on and what did you save on and why?
“I would say we splurged on the food. We wanted everyone to really enjoy the cuisine at Black Rock. My dress was definitely a splurge as well, but it was super pretty and worth it. We saved on making pretty much everything ourselves, and even just putting together the music meant that we didn’t need to hire a DJ.”

If you could’ve done something differently, what would it be?
“I really feel like that day was perfect for us. I wish the day had been longer because it really does fly by.”

How did you manage to keep everything below budget?
“Earlier in the year they did the building envelope on our condo, so we knew that we could only work with a very limited budget. We have 3 sets of very generous parents that helped us out tremendously as well. And being crafty, I knew that we wouldn’t have to spend a fortune on everything.”

After planning a wedding, what one advice would you give to future brides?
“BREATHE! Spend some moments during that day just to reflect on how amazing everything is. And don’t worry about the little things that no one else will even notice. One of the best things that we did was take a lot of our photos the next day. We didn’t want everyone to wait for hours and hours for us, so we did some family shots, bridal part shots, and then the next morning we got dressed up again, and when exploring on the beaches in Tofino. It was great because I wasn’t too concerned about getting dirty the next day, and we could just have fun. And we were married and all the stress was behind us!”

Marcee & Christian’s Wedding Vendors

Ceremony venue: The Wine Celler at the Black Rock Resort
Reception venue: Black Rock Resort
Dress: Sottero and Midgley
Tux: JCrew
Photographer: Boutique Studios (of course!)
Flowers: Camilla Thorogood (My amazing cousin from Tofino)
Bouquet adornments: Pyrrha Jewelry
Jewelry: Elsa Corsi
Hair: Joni Lawrence from Derek London Salon
Makeup: Emma Lawrence
Invitations: Hi Friend Design
Cake: We had 3! All gluten free. Edible Flours
Decorations: The bride
Wedding Favors: Rogers Chocolates
Music for ceremony/reception: The groom
Transportation: BC Ferries!
Officiant: Rene Gibson – email rene@seaviewcable.net

All photos courtesy Boutique Studios

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