Number of guests: 25 ceremony, 50 reception
Location: ceremony at a provincial park (outdoors), reception at a Brew Pub
Total cost: $968
Biggest money savers:
- sewed own wedding dress (first thing I ever sewed)
- mom made all the take-away gifts for guests
- dinner was informal, order and pay for what you want, room was free with guarantee of room sales of >$400
- no rehearsal needed
- no wedding party to buy gifts for
- hand-made invitations
- Minister - $300
- Cake - $35
- Wedding dress supplies - $43
- Hotel room - $215
- Provincial park day passes for all guests - $125
- Photos - $50
- Matt's clothes - $75
- Our own dinner - $70
- Honeymoon (gas to get there, backcountry canoe trip) - $60
When Matt and I got engaged he made me promise the day would be about us and not about the day. He said there can't be a step-by-step plan because if something goes wrong we will focus on that instead of on celebrating us, which is what the day is suppose to be about. It was very hard for me being a list person and all, but I knew he was right. We decided that the day should highlight the things that make us who we are as a couple: outdoor sports, beer and chicken wings.
I made our invitations (back before this was even popular) and even sewed my wedding dress. I had never sewed anything before so this was a challenge. I almost had to wear a shawl on the hottest day of the year to cover up the diagonal zipper, but I fixed it and all was good.
Everyone met at the parking lot to our favorite walk-in / canoe-in only provincial park. My mom had made everyone a one-of-a-kind driftwood hiking stick with our names and date on them. Everyone hiked down the trail about 30 minutes where we met them. Everyone was asked to say or do something that would help us on our journey together. Some people told funny stores, some sang songs, some told stories about what had helped them succeed in marriage. Matt and I exchanged our vows. Then everyone started to hike back. A few of us stayed behind for a bit and went for a swim before hiking back.
It was then time to head to the local brew pub, where our additional guests joined us. It was an order off the menu type event so those that wanted to have a full dinner could and those that only wanted a pint could do that too. We had a friend who was really into music put some CD's together for us to play in the background and once in a while people would dance but there wasn't a formal dance part.
One of our neighbors was an amazing clay artist and as her gift to us made us great candle holders to give to the people who helped us out. Matt's brother is really into amateur photography so we asked if he would take photos as our gift which was a huge savings. He took the most candid photos.
At the end of the night we went to our honeymoon hotel suite (which if I can recommend anything is don't waste your money on this - you're too tired to enjoy it, save it for the next night). The next day we headed out on ou
r honeymoon which was a 7 day canoe trip on a very quiet, almost desserted lake - just the way we like it - free and all about us!
Advice: Don't waste your money on the honeymoon suite, they're overpriced and you're too tired and still on a schedule.