I really love this wedding for a million reasons, but one of the things I think is *really* smart about it is that (drum roll please) they didn’t have a budget. What? Yes.
They spent what they thought was reasonable, as they had it, and never counted it up. I know this isn’t for everyone, but I thought I’d draw your attention to it. The closer I got to our wedding, the more I realized that it’s easy to get unreasonably attached to the *magic number* you’ve set for your budget… and funny enough, that can pull you away from what’s important and what’s right for you in the same way that million dollar flowers can. It can make you lose the plot. Because, really really really, money (no matter how much or how little you have) is not what is important about your wedding. It. Is. Not. What. Matters.And with that, I give you the super-smart Kirsten writing about their wonderful wedding:Where your wedding was held
On my neighbour’s property on St. Joseph Island, Ontario. I originally wanted to hold it on my family’s property, but there were too many trees and it was not easily accessible for those with health issues. I approached my neighbour Janet, and she graciously agreed to allow us to use her lawn for the ceremony and reception. She spent months in advance, along with her son Jeremy, sprucing it up to a level of unbelievable gorgeous-ness. It was so home-y, but beautiful, and I am still so grateful she let us take her place over for a weekend.
What made your wedding creative
Where Aaron and I grew up, weddings were typically very cookie cutter. Church, pictures, reception in a hall, done. We really took a step away from that, and thankfully our guests weren’t too terrified or out of their element. We wrote our own vows, much of which was lovingly borrowed from Peonies and Polaroids blog postings about her own wedding. My sister Kari and her boyfriend Duncan hand crafted three boxes of origami flowers for our head table and the food tables. The wedding wasn’t really “creative” in the artsy sense of the word, it just really reflected us, and our attitudes towards our families and loved ones.
What made your wedding thrifty (whatever that meant for you)
As I mentioned, my sister and her boyfriend slaved over the origami. My mother hand sewed all of the table runners so they were exactly what I had pictured in my head. I designed the menu cards and various paper items for the reception myself, and had them printed at Staples. Aaron’s mom, my mom, and various family members made ALL of the desserts for the wedding. Aaron’s mom made 42 miniature pies. 42!!!
I also decided to act as my own wedding coordinator, which worked pretty well for our smaller, 60ish person wedding. Oh, and Aaron was fiercely thrifty by reusing his own suit, but updating it with a new tie and pocket square, and dressing it down by wearing Purcell’s as his shoes.
What saved me a TON of money and deserves to be noted on it’s own was me hiring my cousin Ian as our photographer. I use the word hired loosely, as we really didn’t pay him… although he may have drank some beer. Having never photographed a wedding before, he graciously stepped up to the plate, and in my opinion, did an amazing job. I just wanted to tell all the other practical brides who may not be able to afford “pro” photography to have a little faith in alternative methods of photography, it turned out wonderfully for us!
What made your wedding sane
My cousin Ian, as noted above.
Our friends and family, who all stepped up to help us out when we needed it. Our extended families helped organize, prep food, and did anything else you could throw at them. Specifically though, our friends Natalie and Mark really stepped up to the plate. Mark ran around for me and took my stress in stride, and when I needed someone to help me get ready, Nat was right there up for the job, and she was an absolute doll about it. I will never be able to thank her enough for keeping me sane.
Not having a budget also kept me sane. That’s right. No. Budget. I got an influx of cash in December, so we started planning around that. From that point, we spent money on the wedding whenever we had extra out of our pay cheques, and from gifts from our parents and grandparents. I honestly to this day have no idea what we spent. I have an approximate idea, but in the end the system that worked best for us was to just continually move forward.
I was kept sane most of the time by my new husband, my long-time partner in crime and my love, Aaron. No matter how horrible or confused I occasionally felt, he always saw the bigger picture, and I thank him for that.
How did “A Practical Wedding” shape your planning?
First off, I am in debt to Meg. I think a lot of us read her blog and go “FINALLY. Someone who thinks like me in this crazy process.” Every time I started to stress out about a wedding based decision, I would go read APW on said stressful subject, or I would literally think to myself – What would Meg do? Lastly, I based my bouquet on one that was posted on the blog awhile back. Wasn’t exactly the same, but it my ode to the influence this blog had on my little wedding in Northern Ontario.Kirsten! I’m blushing! (And side note: I made tons to stupid stupid wedding decisions, and got confused and cranky by this whole process. I mean, you guys do too right?)May you two have many many years of happiness together… and may you still grab each others butts when you are 80!
When it comes to finding a wedding photographer, you might be looking for someone you can send a contract and deposit to and then not chat with for eight months, or you might be looking for someone who is all in with you from the beginning—answering questions, inviting you to coffee, getting to know you and your wedding plans, and so on. If the latter is your dream, then allow me to introduce you to New England’s Kelly Benvenuto Photography, a longtime APW sponsor who is all about her people (and with rates starting at $3,490, you should probably be all about her, too).…