The biggest day of your life can also be one of the most expensive. For me, it was a matter of whether I wanted to spend more for ease, or work a little harder to save some money! Now we all know money doesn’t grow on trees so the former wasn’t really an option for us.
One thing I need to stress is that we wouldn’t have created such an amazing and successful day if it wasn’t for the help of our family and friends. Their participation and support was indescribable and we are forever thankful for them.
A very common thing that couples will do is book a venue that comes with a certain package. The packages for the most part will include food and drink for all attendees for cocktail hour, dinner, and late night. The convenience of having such a huge aspect of your wedding day built into the price of the venue would have definitely lightened my work load, but in turn would have racked up the budget. Therefore, we chose a venue that included only the venue itself! We had to source outside companies to rent all the tables, chairs, linens, plates, cutlery, etc. ourselves. Additionally, because our venue was a beautiful classic barn, we also had to rent a washroom trailer for our guests!
Food and Drink
To be honest, it was finding the right venue that stressed me out the most, BUT I believe the biggest and most important aspect was the food and alcohol for all of our guests! I toyed with the idea of just splurging on getting a catering company to come in and take care of everything, but ultimately decided against it. Now let me tell you, it is quite the task to try and find a menu that will please the masses as well as making sure you have enough for everyone. We believed simplicity was key and went with a classic summer BBQ buffet. We did burgers, corn, salads, and of course bought everything from Costco in bulk 😉 We were lucky enough to have one of my moms friends set up the buffet, bbq the food and replenish when needed and I couldn’t be more thankful that she took on such a huge task. For cocktail hour we did a table full of meats, cheese, and other charcuterie goodness, and for dessert we organized a potluck with family so we had a variety of different sweets.
We were lucky enough to have my parents take care of the alcohol and we made it a point to keep it simple! Classic bar rail with a variety of different sodas, 4 kinds of beer, one red wine and one white wine! I was even able to get 2 of my coworkers to work the bar for us! The amount of time our families put towards prepping all the food is just immeasurable!
Now it is no surprise that I got a lot of my decor inspo from Pinterest. My wedding was as cliche Pinterest as you could get, which was exactly what I wanted 😉 It pretty much included all things rustic like wooden signs, twinkle lights, and mason jars. Our colours were mint and gold, which I was worried may have been a little unconventional, but the amount of decor we were able to find in that colour scheme was astounding! I credit the majority of the decor to my oldest sister who always kept her eye out and grabbed anything she thought would benefit us! She hand wrote all the table groupings, each individual place card, and created a fun photo booth to boot! We were fortunate to have a family friend let us use hydrangeas from her garden for the centre pieces and I ordered baby’s breath in bulk from Costco to use as accents. The amount of baby’s breath bunches I got for the little amount that I paid was crazy! We couldn’t even use it all there was so much! Not only were all the centrepieces and bouquets made by our family friend, our ceremony backdrop was also made for us! As I continue to write this I can’t get over how much help and love we received during the process <3 Blood, sweat, and tears went into this wedding. Quite literally considering my dad broke his finger making us our wooden slab centre pieces.. thanks daaaaaaaaaaaad <3
One of the biggest money savers for us was making our own Spotify playlists rather than hiring a DJ. It was also one of the riskiest moves. We knew we wouldn’t have the same flow as a DJ, we had to make sure we had a variety of different music, and we pretty much hoped that nothing would malfunction.We rented all the speakers and wiring, and had one of our friends be responsible for changing and stopping the music when need be. I had worked on these playlists months prior and carefully planned each song making sure it was dinner or dance worthy. I even had my bridesmaids add what they wanted the morning of while we were getting ready. The one thing I wish I had done was approve each one they added, cause some of them I definitely would have preferred not to use. Regardless, I was on that dance floor all damn night!
My Best Advice
Regardless of you having a DIY wedding or not, my biggest piece of advice is to just enjoy the day! When people tell you how fast the day goes by, believe them! You spend months planning this one day to make sure everything is perfect, and when the day comes there’s really not much else you can do than just go with the flow! Not going to lie, there is a very good chance of something not going to plan, but at the end of the day, it is YOUR day and it doesn’t matter what anyone else thinks. I am very happy that all of our family and friends were able to join us on such a special day, but as long as I was having a good time, that’s all that mattered!
Photography: Kennedy Cinematography