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Agassiz Budget Wedding:
Vanessa and Geoffrey

September 9th, 2013 by Jeannine

 
Agassiz Budget Wedding: Vanessa and Geoffrey

Vanessa + Geoffrey - photos by Acken Studios Geoffrey wasn’t going to let a snow storm get in his way of proposing to his girlfriend of 4 years. For two hours, he braved white out conditions, drove through the back country roads from Chilliwack to White Rock, to get to Vanessa’s family home on Christmas Eve, 2008. A little shaken, he decided to wait til the next day to pop the question… They went for a walk and enjoyed beautiful winter sunset on Christmas Day, and in two feet of snow, Geoffrey got down on one knee. Vanessa, all excited and nervous, said “Alright.”

Vanessa + Geoffrey - photos by Acken Studios

Fast forward 4 years and the couple got married on August 18, 2012. They had a destination wedding in Agassiz and brought along 65 of their closest friends and family. They pulled off their French riverside garden party themed wedding for under $13,000 and they did a fantastic job of it… I love all the little details… from the outfits…

Vanessa + Geoffrey - photos by Acken Studios

Accessories…

Vanessa + Geoffrey - photos by Acken Studios

Vanessa + Geoffrey - photos by Acken Studios

Vanessa + Geoffrey - photos by Acken Studios

Decor…

Vanessa + Geoffrey - photos by Acken Studios

Vanessa + Geoffrey - photos by Acken Studios

Vanessa + Geoffrey - photos by Acken Studios

Vanessa + Geoffrey - photos by Acken Studios

And the cake…

Vanessa + Geoffrey - photos by Acken Studios

… Vanessa and Geoffrey threw a bash that their guests will never forget.

Vanessa + Geoffrey - photos by Acken Studios

A Few Words With Vanessa…

Vanessa + Geoffrey - photos by Acken Studios Describe your wedding theme and why you chose it.
“My theme was French riverside garden party. I wanted a relaxed, comfortable atmosphere where people could wander the grounds and imagine they were in Southern France. The French theme was reflected in the music, décor, flowers and food. In the music: I found traditional romantic French music to Carla Bruni the French leader’s wife. In the décor: I didn’t want too many Eiffel Towers so I focused more on Fleur de lis, for example I made our wine tags from very thinly sliced wood stamped with a fleur de lis and that was how people also found their seating. In the flowers: As myself and the night before guests were doing the flower arranging in the kitchen of the B&B we blending in very country style flowers with lavender.

And in the food: I found a personal chef on Craigslist to cater in a homier fashion. We worked together to come up with a buffet with a French / Mediterranean flare, grilled vegetable plates, rosemary chicken, bocconcini tomato salad… finishing off with my mom’s homemade Tiramisu ( Italian I know) decorated with palmier cookies.

Vanessa + Geoffrey - photos by Acken Studios

Vanessa + Geoffrey - photos by Acken Studios I chose this theme because I had always loved the southern coast of France and Monet’s art work and since actually going there with all my family and friends wasn’t possible… I wanted to bring some of the far away things I love to them.

We like to do things outside the box… we wanted some unique flares and quirky touches to make the day really say us. For example, we wanted the guests to have something to do while the fabulous Danielle Acken was taking our photos so I asked a friend if I could borrow the giant photo of the Paris skyline from her basement. Then I began to make silly French style costumes so our guests could have some fun in a make shift photobooth with a Paris backdrop. I made black and white stripped t-shirts out of a white shirt and black electrical tape, foam mustaches on a stick, drove all over town in August looking for a beret or two and we raided our Halloween costume box for some other ridiculous get-ups. The photos were hilarious!

Vanessa + Geoffrey - photos by Acken Studios

Vanessa + Geoffrey - photos by Acken Studios Also instead of renting a dance floor to cover the fine gravel out front of the house, I bought a huge chunk of shag carpet and had a couple of the guys roll it out when it was time to dance… everyone kicked there shoes off and danced the night away! There were shoes everywhere!  Since it was going to be a very hot day, I decided I wanted to make boozy freezies. My best friend and I lined up a cocktail mixing station in my kitchen where we began to invent refreshing cocktails (such as apricot brandy, gin and ginseng ice tea or lavender water, blue curacao and vodka) in a long slender plastic bags that we just tied off at either end. At the wedding we had a cooler full of then and a pair of scissors nearby.

As for the music, I had a particular theme in mind that I felt the average DJ might not relate to so I decided to playlist the entire night. I research French music- one of my best finds being Carla Bruni, France’s first lady. Her album is amazing. I also had classics such as Edith Piaf to Dean Martin. I also translated some of the French songs and left the beautiful lyrics lying around in case anyone wanted to know just how romantic these French songs were. Dancing time came with a much groovier feel. I wanted a lot of singing along and a lot of dancing.  (Beatles,  Boney M, groove Armada, Bjork, the cure, Stevie Wonder, Michael Jackson…)

As favors we wanted to give away something useful on the day. We had brightly coloured hand fans and paper parasols.”

Vanessa + Geoffrey - photos by Acken Studios

Vanessa + Geoffrey - photos by Acken Studios Which wedding traditions did you stick with and why? Which did you leave out and why?
“We were not going to have an ultra-traditional wedding but we wanted it to have a few things we thought would be nice such as my Dad walking me out to give me away, the first dance, then dancing with parents next, very short speeches and the cake cutting wasn’t supposed to happen but all of a sudden it was!  So we went for it!”

Did you have any games or extra activities for your guests?
“One of the wonderful guest participation events of the wedding was that as a gift my brother, who was also the emcee, at the end of his speech invited everyone up to help him with a little craft project… We explained that we need help to put together some LED lights and balloons… One balloon with two lights. One representing the Bride and one the Groom and together in their world will make one light together. This is where everyone paused moment to cry and then ran up like kids at camp to blow up 100 balloons and put lights in them. They were then all tossed onto the carpet dance floor and lit up the area in the most beautiful way.”

Vanessa + Geoffrey - photos by Acken Studios

What did your guests think about your wedding?
“As for reports back on how the wedding went over with the guests, it was a resounding best wedding ever!! I know people say this all the time but it was usually followed up by No, really BEST ever.  It’s 6 months later and they are still talking about it! They even asked if we could do it again on our first anniversary!”

Vanessa + Geoffrey - photos by Acken Studios

Vanessa + Geoffrey - photos by Acken Studios What did you splurge on and what did you save on? Why?
“We splurged on the lodge where we could have the venue for the whole weekend and enjoy it with friends and family and not have to worry about being out by 11am the next day. Also my dress cost a bit more than I planned but I feel I made up for it in other areas, such all the rentals I made a graph of what we planned to rent and priced out our orders from 4 rental companies and compared all the items. I saved us $400 that way. By getting a personal chef instead of a whole catering truck, she was able to use the kitchen in the lodge to prepare an amazing meal. (I found her on Craigslist!)”

If you could’ve done something differently, what would it be?
“As for what I would have done differently, I would have made sure the music was all set up before I went to get ready… my laptop was missing so when the first guests arrived there was no music! It was quickly remedied! Also I would have triple confirmed with my serving staff that did not show… yup.. No shows. 2 servers and a bartender.   Luckily, our guests are great sports and hey all chipped in for a bit, which in fact broke the ice and had everyone chatting much quicker than they would have, until another amazing guest managed to find a bartender in Agassiz on a Saturday evening to show up and take over! Unreal! He was great!!!”

Vanessa + Geoffrey - photos by Acken Studios

Vanessa & Geoffrey’s Wedding Vendors:

Vanessa + Geoffrey - photos by Acken Studios Ceremony & Reception venue: Eagle Tree Lodge
Wedding Dress: Champagne and Lace
Tuxedo: Linen suit from Le Chateau
Photographer: Acken Studios
Flowers: Sunrise Garden Centre (Aldergrove)
Hair and Make-up: Burke & Hair
Invitations: MyWedding.com
Cake: Vanessa’s mom
Decorations: DIY, from various sources
Wedding Favors: Luna Bazaar
Wedding planner/coordinator: The Bride
Caterer: April Boyle
Officiant: Mary Dams (Harrison Hot springs)
Other: Sunrise Washroom Rentals (due to small septic field), Chef Pick Herbs and Flowers Maple ridge, Langley Party Rentals

All photos provided by Acken Studios

Vanessa + Geoffrey - photos by Acken Studios

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Comments

  • September 18th, 2013 at 7:44 am
    Samantha says:

    Beautiful wedding feature. I am just loving the close up photo of the couple in an almost kiss, under the parasol. Stunning!

    The lying in the balloons is such a cute idea!

    I want that pink fan! Prettyyyyyyy!

    Thanks for sharing :)

     

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