A Lake Country couple is saving big on their wedding by bargain hunting and thinking outside the box.
Rose Guarnieri and her fiance Jean-François Beaulieu wanted to keep the budget around $10,000 and said finding a venue was one of the biggest challenges.
So how did the couple stay within their budget? Lots of patience.
1. Shop around for a venue. Finding a suitable venue was challenging for a decent price. Guarnieri originally wanted it to be held in the venue’s backyard. The wedding will be held at Okanagan College in Vernon for $750, catering and all the cutlery is included.
“I was looking at outdoor spaces and a lot of the vineyards were asking for $5,000 plus… so I was actually going to do it in our backyard,” but the rentals for tables, chairs, linens, salt and pepper shakers were costly, Guarnieri said.
2. Purchase an off-the-rack wedding dress. Guarnieri’s dress, purchased off the rack from Victoria Lane in Vernon, cost $550. She was willing to pay more but found the perfect one by starting below her budget. Off-the-rack sales are a good idea she said, as outlets can find dresses from all over the country.
Jean purchased his suit for $250 as part of a sale at Moores. The regular price was $650.
3. As soon as you label rings as “wedding” rings, the price goes up. The couple was able to find something more suitable for their ring style by looking in the clearance section. Beaulieu found his ring in the clearance section for 60 per cent off, for $149, at People’s Jewellers in Kelowna.
4. Use websites and Facebook to create invitations. As a website designer, Beaulieu was able to create a website for free which allowed guests to RSVP. Handwritten letters were delivered to guests for $50 and were printed by Vista Print in Vernon.
5. Find a venue where you can bring your own alcohol. The couple saves money on alcohol by being able to bring their own. While the costs of the drinks at the main events will be provided by the couple, a toonie bar has been set up to offset the cost.
“We’re providing all the wine with dinner and at the cocktail reception, and if they want beers or hard liquor they just pay a toonie,” Guarnieri said.
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6. Buy local, save money. Guarnieri bought her flowers from a Sweet Pea Flowery in Lake Country. The freshly picked flowers cost $200 and will be held in collected milk and wine bottles, which the couple will decorate for the event.
For all the flowers who are doing their best. This is the last hurrah for these ladies. The end of their life. They were picked in their prime and they did everything they could to stay fresh. They unfortunately spent most of their days in a cooler where their metabolism slowed as much as possible but decay is inevitable. They didn't get picked for a bouquet. And not because they weren't beautiful. They were perfect. But there were too many and not enough of me to ensure they all made it out into the world. And they were beautiful, and they are beautiful. And I am grateful for them. And even in their last days they will be seen because despite the world we live in my flowers are not a commodity. This is my life energy, these flowers fading on the floor, and I'm not for sale.
7. Hiring a band will likely be costly. The band was their biggest expense, but they saved money by hiring Easy Fix, which cost $2,500.
8. Get your friends to help out. Wedding photographs and Guarnieri’s makeup were provided as wedding gifts from her friends.
9. Handmake gifts for your guests. Guarnieri will be making shortbread cookies which will cost about 50 cents a person.
10. Choose an unconventional wedding cake. It’s a toss-up between a macaroon pile with a little cake on top, or a collection of French pastries from Sandrine French Pastry and Chocolate in Kelowna for Guarnieri.
Guarnieri said they went over budget, but the $12,000 includes their honeymoon plane tickets to Paris, which they purchased for $1,281 through a WestJet sale.
“It was a lot of research and almost like bargain hunting,” she said. The couple will be married in August.