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Real Vancity Bride Tips:
Serena + Kevin

November 20th, 2015 by Jeannine

 
Real Vancity Bride Tips: Serena + Kevin

Serena and Kevin - photo by Nomo Akisawa Serena and Kevin had an amazing wedding this past July. Their event was a nice mix of urban, modern elements and a rustic west coast feel. Together with their friends and family, they celebrated their nuptials overlooking False Creek at Science World. Most of their budget went towards the venue and rentals which meant that the couple had to cut corners elsewhere… but did it really look like they did? Not to me! I asked Serena to share with us what they did to keep the wedding budget from ballooning and here’s what she said…

What did you splurge on and why?

We hired a day of coordinator which is essential for any DIY brides. I had so many things I had collected and crafted over the course of a year and I needed someone to put all of those things out and pack them up at the end of the night. It would have been insane if I had coordinated that stuff myself on the day of. We also splurged on the venue. Science World is such a gorgeous, iconic landmark and the view was just the perfect backdrop for our big day. It was expensive as the rental does not include anything. No tables, no chairs, not even an elevator or kitchen for the caterers. The result was that we had to rent everything and catering was a lot of man hours to haul everything up to the roof top including deep fryers, ovens etc.”

Serena and Kevin - photo by Nomo Akisawa

Serena and Kevin - photo by Nomo Akisawa

Serena and Kevin - photo by Nomo Akisawa

Serena and Kevin - photo by Nomo Akisawa

What did you save on and why?

I saved on attire for myself and our wedding party. I bought my dress for $150 online and had all my girls dresses custom made online as well for under $70 per dress from DHGate. I had gone dress shopping at Kleinfield in New York (the store on say yes to the dress) and didn’t find anything that I LOVED. Plus they were all thousands of dollars! I had my dress custom made, it fit me like a glove and it was perfect! I couldn’t justify spending so much on something I would wear only once. The girls loved their dresses too and got to design them so they were all different and suited to their individual personalities. The groomsmen and groom also wore custom suits from Indochino. We bought them all on Boxing Day so it was a steal of a deal and worked out to the same price as renting!

Serena and Kevin - photo by Nomo Akisawa

Serena and Kevin - photo by Nomo Akisawa

Serena and Kevin - photo by Nomo Akisawa

Serena and Kevin - photo by Nomo Akisawa

Saying that the couple put a lot of effort into their wedding is an understatement. Serena loves crafting & DIY was the way to incorporate her passion & keep the costs low at the same time. The long DIY list includes all their decor, florals, chalkboards, stationery & signs, cake topper and even the marquee letters that Kevin made. They put a lot of love and care into making their bridesmaid gifts and hotel welcome bags for their guests as well. The couple also dedicated a lot of time into finding  vintage plates in numerous antique and thrift shops, just so everyone had a unique setting. Talk about attention to detail! Let’s take a look at the results of all their hard work below.

Serena and Kevin - photo by Nomo Akisawa

Serena and Kevin - photo by Nomo Akisawa

Serena and Kevin - photo by Nomo Akisawa

Serena and Kevin - photo by Nomo Akisawa

Serena and Kevin - photo by Nomo Akisawa

Serena and Kevin - photo by Nomo Akisawa

Serena and Kevin - photo by Nomo Akisawa

Serena and Kevin - photo by Nomo Akisawa

Serena and Kevin - photo by Nomo Akisawa

Serena and Kevin - photo by Nomo Akisawa

Serena and Kevin - photo by Nomo Akisawa

Serena and Kevin - photo by Nomo Akisawa What other factors helped with keeping you on budget?

Negotiating! It doesn’t hurt to ask for a discount and often it was given! Our vendors were all super accommodating :)  We also had some friends donate their services as gifts. We had our close friend Rob sing and play guitar and one of my bridesmaids designed our wedding website and invitations. We utilized our wedding party as laborers to help set up and take down a lot of the decor as well. It was almost like moving houses to get all of our decor to and from Science World and our groomsmen were a huge help!  We also sourced a lot of things from Craigslist from other brides which helped us get a lot of things within our budget.”

What resources did you use to help you plan?

Excel was my best friend. I am big on staying organized and spreadsheets were a big part of keeping me in check. We used google docs so we could access the info anywhere and our vendors and family were also able to access it. Pinterest was also great for ideas and of course Vancity Bride!”

Serena and Kevin - photo by Nomo Akisawa

Serena and Kevin - photo by Nomo Akisawa Would you do anything differently if you had another chance?

I would have paid a little extra to have some things taken off of my hands for the day of. We had the day of coordinator but she was only there from 3- midnight. That meant that I set up in the morning, before driving (yes I drove myself with my veil pinned in) to my hair and make up appointments. I also wish I hired movers to move all the decor to and from Science World. Our wedding party was a huge help but it was just so stressful on everyone including us that it would have been worth it to have someone take care of it. Also for any brides doing the vintage China look, I saved a tonne of money by sourcing them myself but they were a pain to get to and from the venue and the worst part was washing 300 plates the day after the wedding.. pretty smelly! If you have the budget, hire someone to do it for you. I didn’t have the budget so we did what we could and we got through it but it was a very stressful time and it would have been worth it to be more relaxed on the day of and enjoy myself with guests (it felt a bit more like I was entertaining 150 in my house with a large dinner party).”

Serena and Kevin - photo by Nomo Akisawa

Did the wedding meet your expectations and how?

“It exceeded my expectations. It was wonderful and all of our guests are still raving about it saying it was the best wedding they have ever been to. Yes there are hiccups and not everything goes as planned but I think the majority of people don’t notice. All of our hard work paid off!”

It certainly did. Don’t believe me? Check out their wedding video below! Thank you Serena for sharing your tips with my readers.

Serena and Kevin from Sweet Currant Video & Photo on Vimeo.

Serena and Kevin - photo by Nomo Akisawa

Serena and Kevin - photo by Nomo Akisawa Serena & Kevin’s Vendors

Ceremony & Reception Venue: Science World
Photography: Simply Sweet PhotographyVancity Vendor profile
Videography: Sweet Currant Video and Photo
Day of Coordination: Lovestruck Events
Catering: Truffles Fine FoodsVancity Vendor profile
Flowers: Purchased in bulk and done by bride
Stationery: done by bride and bridesmaid Hailey Robertson
Cake: Morgan May, friend
Musician: Rob Hoover, friend
Wedding Dress & Bridesmaid Dresses: DHGate
Groom & Groomsmen’s Suits: Indochino
Limousine: 24/7 Limo
Rentals: Pedersens

Serena and Kevin - photo by Nomo Akisawa

Would you like to share your budget-saving tips? Contact me & get featured!

All photos provided by the bride and courtesy Simply Sweet Photography

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