I just got married this past July and my wedding was featured as a budget wedding in Vancouver, you can check it our here to get some ideas and please feel free to contact me.
I also have this site that has some more budget friendly ideas.
Our wedding was in July 2010 (featured here on WeddingMapper as well) and before that I had looked into many options and ideas for dress, venue, decorations etc. I had the luxury of being able to travel to China where I found some really inexpensive items for my wedding, but if you are Vancouver-bound between now and your big day, try looking into places that offer multiple services to save up on "bundling" costs with "one-stop" shopping. For instance, some of my friends had previously used Susana Wedding Centre (http://www.susanawedding.com/) in Richmond for rental attire + makeup + decorations + photography for a really reasonable price. You can get your invitations done up there too, probably at a discounted rate if you are also purchasing other services at the same time.
If you would like to purchase your own wedding gown, try the multitude of bridal shops on Columbia Street in New Westminster. Be patient and you can find the dress of your dreams and get a discount when a sale comes around.
If you don't need to hold a lavish Chinese-style banquet, some of the venues that can be considered for budget-friendly weddings include the many parks and beaches of Vancouver where you need to pay only a few hundred bucks for a permit (http://vancouver.ca/parks/info/wedding/index.htm), the Heritage Hall on Main Street (http://www.heritagehall.bc.ca/), as well as the many churches available in the Vancouver area. Cost of a wedding at churches can range from $600 upwards to $1500 or more depending on the venue, whether you need their minister to officiate, whether or not you want the church to provide music, etc. Also, some churches have specific requirements as to for whom/when they are willing to conduct marriage ceremonies (i.e. religious denomination, some won't do Sunday weddings, etc.). In our experience we've found United churches in general to be more accomodating to wed people from different religious backgrounds (not necessarily Christian-only).
For wedding cakes, try heading to Richmond also. Most of the Chinese-run businesses there do offer competitive pricing that are often less expensive than their Vancouver counterparts. Bakeries with good reputation in Richmond include: La Patisserie, Michele's Cake Shop, Anna's Cake House, and Maxim's Bakery, to name a few.
For flowers, if you elected to have your wedding at a park or garden, then there's no need to get really expensive floral arrangements. Or else have friends or relatives volunteer to prepare home-made bouquets with garden-grown flowers. Or else try a Chinese-owned florist in Richmond -- Style Florist or Pacific Florist, for example.
If you and your hubby are the sea-faring type, another alternative would be to consider a cruise-wedding. I know of at least 2 companies in Vancouver that do cruise weddings -- Accent Cruises and Vancouver Cruises. They offer fairly comprehensive wedding packages complete with reception/decoration/flowers/music etc.
Best of luck with your planning and Congratulations!! :)
My suggestion for you from my past experiences in the wedding industry and planning my own wedding in China and my friend's budget wedding in the past. 1)DIY- do it yourself as much as possible including a)decorate, put all your chair cover, sashe and everything yourself, that will save few hundred dollars...2) No open bar. Have a cash bar, our bartending company have a good package for any budget wedding, where your guests are paying for your bar bill 3)shop around, price comparison: if you are going to do that, do it ASAP..because July is a busy season for weddings 4) bundling, most definitely, if a company such offers multiple services, you can sure get a bundle price. ie: you can get chair cover, sashe, table linen etc, wedding planning, bartending all bundled together with Vancovuer Valley Professional Bartending, and we will beat any chair cover price that is lower than ours by 10%..so you cant loose that way, because we will beat it..5) if you are good at making cupcakes, make cupcakse instead of ordering wedding cakes...trust me hun it will save you a bundle if you make your own cupcakes..and make one giant cupcakes for the middle. (giant cupcake mold can be found at many different locations for less than $15)...now i would not suggest you to cook for your whole group, because you really dont want to stress about cooking on your big day..trust me..biggest mistake my friend made when she decided to cook for 125 people..god..the nightmare...
Lastly. ...wedding dress..buying it in the States...i believe there are alot of places having sales right now ..
Hope this helps
p.s...my dream wedding would be Vegas baby..
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