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Tradition in Tsawwassen

April 1st, 2011 by Jeannine

The bridal party in front of Ladner United Church

It was just over four years ago that Julia Thesiger agreed to go on a date with a guy she met online named Andrew Witte. She was reluctant at first, having been stood up recently but a tiny voice in her head made her say yes. Who would’ve thought that 2 and a half years later, they’d be married!

Julia and Andy were all about simplicity and tradition. Both are Christians, so it was a no-brainer that they chose a traditional Christian ceremony with 74 of their closest friends and family. They had a photoshoot at Diefenbaker Park after the ceremony and then it was off to the Beach Grove Golf Club to join their guests for dinner and enjoy the rest of the festivities.

Despite being a traditional wedding, they allowed their personalities to shine through.  Purple is Julia’s favourite colour, so whatever she could make purple, she did! Andy is an engineer and decided to make their seating chart look like an official schematic drawing, that’s something you don’t see everyday!

Julia was a practical bride and made quite a few things for their wedding. She designed her centerpieces based on ideas from magazines. All she needed was a glass bowl, purple pebbles, artificial orchid weighed down using fishing wire (thanks to her bridesmaid Krista’s suggestion), water and floating tealights.

The couple also put together their own favours. Each guest received a heart-shaped cookie cutter, a carabiner personalized with the couple’s names and wedding date, and small bag of chocolate covered almonds. It reflected the bride’s love for baking, the groom’s love for rock climbing, and the chocolates were a staple for when the couple goes hiking, as well as a sweet treat for the guests.

The entire cost of the wedding was under $15,000, including the rehearsal dinner and honeymoon. Fate may have brought them together, but hard work and discipline kept the budget down.

A Few Words With Julia…

During the planning stages, how did you imagine your wedding? Did the final result live up to expectations?
“I was never the girl who imagined her wedding, until I met Andy. Then suddenly it became a reality, I had found the one I wanted to marry! I became obsessed with wedding reality shows, which drove Andy nuts! That being said, I knew I wanted a simple, beautiful wedding that would be fun for everyone, but most importantly, relaxed!”

What song did you use for your first dance? Why did you choose that song?
“We used Terri Clark’s song “Now that I found you”. This has been our song since we first started dating. We’re big country music fans and I remember Andy sending me a text message when we had started dating, saying he was listening to this song and thinking of me. He typed out the lyrics, and it made me cry! Ever since then it’s been our special song.”

What did you splurge on, what did you save on, and why?
“We didn’t really splurge on anything. We wanted to keep our budget in check right from the beginning because we knew we would be paying for a lot of it, and we had just bought a house! My dress I was able to buy off the rack for a really great price. Our reception venue was very reasonably priced. Probably my two best finds were my photographer and my flowers. Kelly, our photographer was AMAZING. She was the perfect price, and was with us right from the beginning. She was easy to work with, took some beautiful photos, and really went the extra mile for us.  She even drove out from Abbotsford the night before to come to our rehearsal to meet everyone and see the church!  My flowers I actually had done at a local supermarket. They were gorgeous, exactly what I wanted, and a fraction of the cost of a florist. Under $500 for all the bouquets, boutonnieres, and big arrangements for the church and reception! I think it’s important to make sure the quality of the flowers is acceptable, and at this store, the quality was amazing! We also got a good deal on our invitations by using an Ebay vendor. They were very conscientious about everything, and even fixed some mistakes when the first batch weren’t quite right. $80 for ALL of our stationery from invitations to RSVP cards to envelopes to labels to thank you cards! We also did not bother with a DJ. We knew our group was not going to be huge dancers, so we decided to make our own CD’s with music that could be played at the golf club.”

If you could’ve done something differently, what would it be?
“I don’t think I would change a thing!”

After planning a wedding, what one advice would you give to future brides?
“Take your time to do some research on all of your options. Know what you want, but don’t be afraid to compromise if budget is important to you. See if you have friends or family who can help you out. I saved a lot by having some dear friends do hair and makeup for me and my bridal party for a really good deal. And don’t be afraid to go online to look for things like favours or invitations! Just keep in mind shipping costs…”

Andrew and Julia’s Vendors:

Ceremony Venue: Ladner United Church
Reception Venue: Beach Grove Golf Club
Dress: Tiffany NY
Tuxedo: Black and Lee
Photographer: Kelly Corbett Photography
Flowers: Thrifty Foods Tsawwassen
Hair and Make-up: Her friends, Kristie MacLennan (make-up and beauty) and Adrienne Gronberg (hair)
Invitations: from Ebay
Cake: Bella Cakes

All Photos Courtesy Kelly Corbett Photography

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