Julie & Guy’s Handmade Canadian Wedding

I’m super pleased to introduce Julie and Guy’s wedding. I’m not excited about it because it was thrifty (which it was) but because it radiates joy. And joy? Well, you can’t buy that… but it’s the whole point. So Julie, take it away:
Location: George Brown House in Toronto, Canada
What made our wedding creative:
It was a DIY wedding, and we tried to make as much as possible. Myself and my two maids of honour (I didn’t like the idea of having one favourite, so they shared the role) made all the cupcakes, the cupcake stand, arranged our own flowers and decorations. I hand beaded my own headband, and a designer friend designed our custom wedding invitations and programmes.What made our wedding thrifty: We opted out of a big sit down dinner, and instead chose to do a late evening wedding with hors d’oeuvres. Everyone complimented us afterwards on how good the food was, and not one person remarked about the lack of a seated meal.
Flowers are so much easier than anyone will tell you! I wanted to stay on my budget, so I didn’t get wrapped up in what kind of flowers I wanted- I waited to see what looked good the day of the wedding and was reasonably priced. This kept me from falling for out of season or very expensive blooms. In the end, the parrot tulips, blush tulips, wax flowers, Christmas rose and freesia made a beautiful bridal bouquet, and my maids of honour each carried a single stunning hydrangea.

I also chose to wear silver strappy shoes that I got from Payless- silver is easy to wear again, and I don’t have to pay to have them re-dyed to a ‘wearable’ colour.I made my own alterations to my wedding dress, with the help of a friend. I also made my own headband, and beaded it. I was getting tight on the deadline, though- so a friend helped to finish it while I still went to my job during the days leading up to the wedding. I bought the wedding dress secondhand on preownedweddingdresses.com. My husband bought his suit at H&M.;
What made our wedding sane: I kept reminding myself that it was just a party, and that my marriage was a heck of a lot more important than any one party, any one dress, or any one cake. I was excited to marry the man I love and focus on building a meaningful life together, and a lot less interested in table linens, guest books, butterfly/dove/unicorn releases and all that fuss. This was often difficult to abide by, usually after I had just seen some stunning wedding dress that cost over $2,000.I have to admit, I really hated doing anything wedding related in the retail sector, because the sales associates are immediately seeing you as nothing more than a walking talking cash cow. Case and point: when Guy and I set up our wedding registry at Williams Sonoma. I had wanted to get all the bakeware of my dreams, but found that the sales associate had other plans.

Me: Hi, I’d like to set up a wedding gift registry.
Sales Associate: That’s wonderful! (watches my soon-to-be-husband wander off unattended ot look at things) We typically conduct our registries on Sunday mornings.
Would you like to make an appointment?
Me: Sunday morning? I don’t like getting up early on Sundays, if I can help it. Can’t I register right now?
SA: But Sunday mornings the store is closed, so we can have you meet with a private registry consultant.
Me: ….what?
SA: We want to put as much time and effort into creating your registry as you do into planning your wedding.
Me: (deep breath)Ooookay. the thing is, I’m not putting that much time into the wedding planning, and I want to spend even less time on my registry. I don’t want new silverware, I don’t want to feel pressured into registering for 8 kinds of stemware. I really just want some new bakeware. And this crepe pan (holding up a crepe pan Guy has brought over to me).
SA: So you still want to register this evening, and not on Sunday?
Me: Yes, if you’ll let us.

Bonus Fun Fact: Guy knitted me my engagement ring, since he knows how much I love knitting. It honestly is worth more to me than anything with diamonds and gold, although it is impractical for everyday wear. We did have an engagement ring made with gold and diamonds, which I also love, but that knitted ring…. he certainly knew the way to my heart, that’s for sure! the picture is in with the links above.

And… if that’s not enough, you can find more details of this awesome wedding (including a budget breakdown, on the bride’s blog Team Knit.)

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  • Oh how I love the knitted engagement ring!

  • Love the second picture..she looks so genuine and happy!

  • so beautiful! photogenic and joyful bride and groom, that's for sure.

    also, love seeing a canadian couple!

  • Anonymous

    Well, I think it was very beautiful . . . you, the dress, the groom, the location, the whole thing.

    I was surprised you stressed at all over any $2,000 dresses, because your dress looked like it cost a fortune. ;-)

  • M

    This girl speaks to my bridal sensibility!! I am getting married on Sept 13, and have opted to do a Chicago wedding very similar to this, rather than the massive fuss over stuff that – to us – was unimportant (i.e. registry, flowers, professional invites, etc). In the end, we went with this question "what will we, and our guests, remember most 10 years from now?"

    And the answer was never "centerpieces and flatware."

    It's funny because I didn't notice things like the flowers in this bride's photos – but I DID notice how happy they seemed, and all the people laughing and dancing in the background.

    And THAT'S what is all about.

  • i found that doing my registries online was so much easier and stress-free.

    and I second "anon", that dress looks very nice.

  • I love this wedding. So beautiful and I love Julie's common sense approach to the whole thing. From one Canadian married to a Brit to another, you go girl!

  • Beautiful!!! Meg – Would it be OK if I posted a photo of this wedding and link back to your blog? I like to inform my CDN readers when another blog features a CDN wedding. Thanks in advance.

  • the celebration does not look thrifty at all..well done!!