One year ago I married, my guy. I met Chris 10 years ago and immediately when we met, I think we both knew that this one was different. It took 2 years for us to become a couple and after 7 years together, a baby, a house we tied the knot last year in front of 25 family members and close friends. It was absolutely perfect in every way. We had a small ceremony in our favorite park with family and friends where we shared vows we wrote for one another and had our son give us our rings. After which we had a small reception in the back of Mission with 125 of our closest friends and family. I decided for our 1 year anniversary to share the details of how I made our dream day come together. As most people know I did this on a budget as well I love crafts so I did a lot of it on my own, for anyone planning a wedding – I was not working at the time which made this a lot easier! I also had a solid group of people helping me out – My mother Lisa, helped me by giving up many weekends to go thrifting, scout flowers, make table runners, My girlfriend Ashley who gave up a weekend to fill her house with the smells of pulled pork for our food, my sister-in-law Colette who made us a delicious 3 tier wedding cake, and to my own sister who took pictures of the ladies getting ready, our rings and the reception hall before guests arrived and who bar tended the night for us! To everyone who helped us decorate the hall and to my friends who helped with the many crafts that took place before – Chris and I are incredibly blessed for everyone’s contribution to our big day, we will remember it for always as it was an incredible day!
To start, when Chris proposed it wasn’t a big deal, he didn’t plan it for weeks, it was spontaneous and just us laying in bed. He looked at me and said “let’s get married” at first I just ignored it because I didn’t think he was serious. But he was serious, he wanted to elope like I had wanted for a long time. We thought for a while about what kind of wedding we wanted. I had always dreamt of getting married on Canada Day on a beach or in a field just the three of us. However we have many people in our lives who love us dearly and it meant a lot to them to share in this special day with us. With that consider we decided to have a small ceremony in our favorite park in our home town of Mission, British Columbia; Fraser River heritage Park . Unfortunately Canada Day did not work out as Chris’s grandmother would not be able to attend so we switched the date to July 16th 2016. I had 4 months to plan our wedding, things needed to move quickly!
My friends quickly added me to the many Facebook pages for people planning a wedding: Wedding buy and sell lower mainland and Wedding Woes Lower Mainland. Both of these groups I found extremely helpful. After more discussion of the wedding we decided that we would do a reception with friends and family, but keep our ceremony strictly family only, to which we later added our closest friends. My mom and I then decided to check out some local halls, because it was such short notice it was very hard to find a hall available, earlier in the year Chris had his 10 year reunion at Mc Connell Creek Hall. which he thought was a super cool place because there was no cell reception and people actually engaged with one another, After my mother and I went to view the hall, I knew it was the perfect place. It was deep in the back of Mission, Tucked into the most beautiful little place, away from everything – and it was available! We quickly booked the hall and began with the rest of planning.
Through the Facebook groups I was able to get a Thank you sign made to hang on our guest book and gift table, a wedding dress (to which I ended up reselling), The perfect table numbers, some craft supplies, and wooden center pieces. I was also able to discuss with lots of women planning a wedding, good photographers in the area, where to purchase flowers from, and after the wedding I was able to sell the majority of my wedding supplies. One of the things about the hall was that there was no dishwasher, so any dishes we used would have to wash. We decided rather than dealing with this we would bring in our own dishes and take them home to wash. We decided on retrieving eclectic china plates from thrift stores – 130 of them to be exact! I ended up re-selling 120 of the plates, keeping 10 as keepsakes! The wedding favors were mason jar cups, which I customized for each person with their name on it, and used this as our seating plan as well.
After my mom and I looked at a ton of rustic country weddings we came together with the center piece. It would be 3 mason jars – varying in size – the largest to contain hydrangea’s and baby’s breath (Flowers were purchased at Costco for $250), the two smaller jars had rocks and submerged candle in them. I got the candles off amazon, rocks from the dollar store, most of the jars my mom had from her mothers canning collect, the rest were purchased at Wal-Mart. The table runners I made out of Burlap I purchased in bulk from Walmart – this was a steal of a deal I purchased it for $24.00. I hung the remainder of the burlap behind our wedding cake, and ended up reselling all of it! Also on the tables we had mason jars filled with Boom chicka pop popcorn and munchies mix. For the remainder of the decor my best friends father works at Sadie Ann Murray Antiques, where I was able to rent a ton of stuff, some wine barrels to flip over for people to use as table outside, some random Bowls and tins that we used for buns for pulled pork sandwiches, a washboard for decor, a small gun powder barrel for decor, a bird-cage for decor, Antique dessert tray for the cake table’s extra desserts. I collected a ton of chalkboard from varying business in the lower mainland, a few we found at Creekside Home Decor in Chilliwack – if you haven’t been to this store you are seriously missing out it is a gem. We also found the large wash barrel at The Market by Spruce Collective in downtown Abbotsford – another gem!! This wash barrel was actually a surprise I had gone there with my mom and fallen in love with it, but couldn’t justify the price for decor… So my Mom went back when she was alone and picked it up and hid it in her garage till we decorated the night before and surprised me! I used my Mom’s rustic mail box for the cards and our guest book was 2 Jenga games for people to sign as it is also our favorite game to play, We also had a life-sized Jenga set up outside, and 2 tents with chairs underneath for people to spend time in outside as the hall is very cozy.
As for Food, since our wedding was an after dinner reception we wanted to stick to appetizers so we got 55 lbs of pork shoulder and roasts from Rempel’s Meats in Abbotsford and my girlfriend Ashley made a delicious pulled pork that is still talked about! We also picked up, fruit trays, vegetable trays and meat trays from Costco which were a total steal! My Step mother Sophie made a couple delicious salads, and I got 150 samosas from the always delicious Sangnam Sweets in Mission. My mom also ordered a ton of delicious treats from my Aunt’s bakery – Birdie’s Bakery in Chilliwack – you definitely need to stop here while visiting Creekside Home Decor. Chris’s sister Colette has a love for baking, so she made us a delicious cake for our wedding, the top tier was bacon flavored! When it came to the bar we ordered 2 kegs from Mission Springs Pub and the rest of the liquor we purchased at the Government liquor store. My sister was the bartender (so thoughtful of her) and we charged our guests $20 for a wrist band which provided them with bottomless drinks. We also had house white and red wine on the table for the guests.
As for my dress I had purchased one-off the Facebook group and tried it on, at the time I was breastfeeding and found the chest to be very uncomfortable. I could definitely have worked my ass off to lose weight, but I’ve never been one to want to feel pressure to lose weight, So I decided to go to David’s Bridal in Langley, and look for a dress. For me the dress was a minor detail, so I was not willing to spend a fortune, I told them I wanted to spend no more than $300. I know, you probably think I am crazy but I just don’t like to spend a ton of money on things that won’t be used a dozen times. So I went to Davids Bridal and fell in love with 1 dress but it didn’t seem to fit my wedding, I had one left in the room and was feeling a little discouraged as nothing seemed to be working. When I got back in the room, there was a elegantly simple lace dress left. I put it on and I felt good about, I came out and Mom started crying. I looked in the mirror and knew this was the one, with my $50 dollar coupon the dress was $350 and perfect!
When it came to my bouquet and Chris’s boutonniere Chris’s mom flew into town and my mom and I had scoped out some flower places in Aldergrove that sell flowers from their driveway so my goal was to buy a bouquet from there and make my two bouquets and the boutonniere. I picked Chris’s mom up from the airport and we headed to the flower places and there were none that would match my wedding. I was upset and stressed, I had to find flowers, had a ton of money coming out of our wallets from every angle and didn’t want to spend a fortune. Chris’s mom suggested we go to a flower shop and get a quote. We went to Simply Flowers in Abbotsford and I got to hand-pick out each flowers and Chris’s mom ended up paying for my flowers! It honestly relieved so much stress. My girlfriend Emily is amazing at making flower arrangements so she came over and arranged my two bouquets and made Chris’s boutonniere, she even included some of Chris’s hockey tape in my bouquet. ** A funny fact is after our ceremony I had actually left these at our hotel in the restaurant and ended up phoning them and getting them held for me, but I was super worried I wouldn’t have my bouquet as a keepsake.**
Picking a photographer for me was actually really hard. I wanted someone who would know how to work with Chris. Chris is someone who 1. hates pictures and 2. is super inpatient and gets grumpy. So I needed someone who would understand him and make it work and get good pictures. I contacted someone I knew would be good Michelle Cervo however she no longer does weddings – Bummer! On the hunt again, I made a post in the Facebook page looking for a photographer, contacted a bunch of them, and found Michele Mateus Photography, as soon as I spoke on the phone with Michele I knew she would be able to handle Chris and get me the pictures I wanted. I absolutely love our photos and our experience with Michele.
The day had finally arrived, the family had come, the hall was decorated and the big day was here. It started off pretty mellow with me joining my mom and family for breakfast in Abbotsford and then heading home to meet Raichelle Ferris Make up . Soon after Alicia arrived to do our hair and the women slowly started trickling in. Chris’s mother in law and grandma had hair appointments at a salon nearby and Laura (MIL) got her make up done as well. Cierra from Raichelle Ferris make up did an amazing job, Chris has never complimented my make up and he was full of compliments on how good of a job she had done – he has always preferred the more natural no-make up look. Once everyone hair and make up was done I could feel the nerves coming, I was about to marry Chris, and I was so nervous!! I quickly fed our little guy and everyone but Mom, Pearce, and I left. Mom helped me get dressed and gifted me a pair of earings, I wore Chris’s mothers pearls (the ones his mom and sister had also wore in their weddings) and slipped into my lace dress and headed for the park.
We arrived at the park about 30 mins late, Poor Chris. As soon as I got out I found my Dad who was wearing a suit, this may have been my first time seeing him in a suit. Seeing my Dad made the day feel real. Even though I have spent nearly half my life with this man, I was still school girl excited to marry him and start a new chapter. My mother took Pearce and placed him in a small John Deere wagon we borrowed from her friend and started to pull him to the end of the park to meet our adorable flower girl Alessandra.
As I walked down the aisle I was extremely happy to not be walking alone, It was a long walk, and the nerves were strong. When I saw Chris I felt a huge emotion come over me, I felt safe and secure but also so overwhelmed that my dreams were finally coming true. I got my guy – forever! The ceremony went by quickly to me and we were soon taking family photos in the park. Once the family photos were done, Chris and I got pictures with Pearce and then it was time for just him and I love all the photos, Michele captured the wedding perfectly and I will cherish our photos forever, truly. I highly recommend Michele.
After the ceremony we had about 40 minutes before we went to the reception so we dropped our car at the hotel, and waited for my mom to come and get us from the hotel. Then it was off to the reception, where my childhood best friend Tasha Hilborn was our MC. We opted to not have a photographer at the Reception as we wanted it to be fun, and informal and for people to be able to keep it as a memory for them and whatever pictures were taken, were taken by guests, so its super neat to see what people decided to take pictures of, most people were enjoying themselves and forgot! We had my Uncle Djing and I got a dance with my Dad and Chris. We cut our gorgeous cake baked by Chris’s sister (it was DELICIOUS) and even had speeches — mic drop —
When I look back it truly was the perfect day. I am so thankful to all my family and friends who helped us make it happen! My Mom for her countless hours spent helping me plan, My sister for photographing and bartending, My Dad, My father in law Craig, My mother in law Laura, my sister-in-law Colette, to my close friends who gave up their time to help me craft, and cook, and set up. I’d also like to say a HUGE thank you to everyone who came. Some people traveled from as far as Ontario and Australia, and they made our day super special!! If your want more info on how to plan a wedding for under $10000 feel free to reach out and I can discuss prices more with you!
A big thank you to my husband Chris, for marrying me, putting up with me and making each day of marriage entertaining! Here’s to a few decades more of this ❤
ps. scroll down for some pictures our friends shared from our special day