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Janine + Colin's Small Wedding

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This adorable wedding from A&D Photography, submitted via Two Bright Lights just makes me smile from ear to ear! Janine and Colin chose to have a small wedding at their home for only their closest family and friends. By keeping it small, they were able to save alot of money- but chose to have a big fun Pub Party to include all their friends in a more casual setting. They really focused on what was important to them, and the result is oh-so-special! I love that they used their family’s china instead of renting dishes, and that they decided against a formal wedding party but gave boutonnieres to each of their guests to let them know how special they were to them. Such a sweet gesture! I hope you enjoy this edition of the Budget Savvy Wedding of the Week!

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What was your budget? Give a rough breakdown of what you spent if possible.

We didn’t have a starting budget – just a principle to get the wedding we wanted without wasting money or time on things that weren’t important to us. We were lucky that our parents were very supportive and footed the bill but we didn’t want to spend their money in a way we wouldn’t spend our own.

Our wedding (ceremony, lunch reception and pub party) ended up costing about $6,600.00

  • Attire
    Gown (sample sale, free alterations by Mom) – $660.00
    Accessories – $135.00
    Hair and Makeup (including purchased makeup) – $200.00
    Tuxedo Rental – $175.00
  • Ceremony
    Officiant fee (discounted) – $200.00
    Marriage licence – $75.00
    Decorations – $70.00
    Flowers (including boutonnieres for all guests) – $690.00
  • Lunch Reception
    Food (family friend hobby caterer) – $750.00
    Wine (our favorite red, white and sparkling) – $165.00
    Wine glasses – $30.00
    Cake – $20.00
  • Other
    Pub Party Tab (finger food buffet and 2 hour open bar) – $1715.00
    Invitations (emailed pdf postcard designed by me) – $0.00
    Programs/Place Cards/Favour Tags/etc. (didn’t have them) – $0.00
    Limo/Car Rental (got rides from friends) – $0.00
    Photography (friend discount, including engagement shoot) – $1,400.00
    Hotel Room – $315.00

How many guests did you have?

25 at the ceremony and lunch reception. About 100 at the Pub Party to celebrate our marriage as well as our move to Amsterdam.

What creative or personal aspects did you include in your wedding?

Our wedding was all about creative and personal aspects so I’ll pick a few to share:

– we decorated our house with pictures of us throughout our relationship as well as one picture from my parents wedding and one picture from his parents wedding

– instead of renting dishes and cutlery, we used our parents’ china and silver

– we got boutonnieres for all of our ceremony guests to represent that we considered all of them our wedding party

What was the biggest thing you did to save money?

The biggest thing we did to save time and stress with the bi-product of saving money was having the ceremony and lunch reception in our home with only our closest family and friends. To include all our other family and friends without breaking the bank, we made the Pub Party very casual and simple (no decorations, dj, speeches, etc.). By having the party at a big pub we didn’t have to pay for the venue, just the food and drinks we chose to include on our tab – if people hadn’t shown up or fewer than we’d booked for, they would’ve simply released some of our tables.

What’s the best advice you have for planning your wedding now that you’re on the other side?

Planning our wedding in less than 2 months forced us to choose what was important to us because we just didn’t have the time to do everything that was “expected”. My advice would be to think about what you really want vs. what your parents might expect or what you’ve seen at other weddings. If you really want a first dance and conga line – make sure it happens, it’s your day and it’s worth it! If you’ve never really understood why people would spend money (or time) on flowers, don’t have flowers! It’s your wedding and you need to drop things that aren’t important to you so you can concentrate on the things that are.

One big thing we were glad we cut was a formal wedding party – we didn’t have to deal with bridesmaid drama, worrying about matching sets of male and female friends, added costs, thinking of the perfect personalized gifts or getting everyone ready on time.

What was your biggest splurge?

We didn’t need a hotel room on the night of the wedding – we had a perfectly good house sitting empty but it was it was great to have a chance to really step back and absorb the day and what it meant to us. It’s also nice to have breakfast brought to your room 🙂 Another bonus was that by the time we got home the next day the house fairies (our caterer and parents) had the whole house spotless!

What was your favorite detail?

When we chose to have the wedding in our home, it seemed like a practical decision to avoid the stress and cost of finding a venue – but it ended up being a very good emotional choice. It was so special to have an intimate group at our ceremony in the house we’d carefully chosen based on our plans for our future together.

What is the most memorable moment of your day?

When my dad sang a personalized version of “I loved her first” by Heartland and made everyone cry.


Venue: Our Home  •  Dress: Cameo and Cufflinks  •  Tux: Moore’s  •  Flowers: Pushing Petals  •  Hair: Angles Salon   •  Tiara: French Twist  •  Makeup: Laura @ Bobbi Brown in Holt Renfrew  •  Photography: A&D Photography  •  Marriage Commissioner: Tamara Jones  •  Hotel: Sheraton Eau Claire  •  Rings: Jewels by Maxime’s  •  Cake: Amato Gelato  •  Shoes: Aldo   •  Pub: The Kilkenny Irish Pub


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