Congratulations you said "yes!"
But now you want to say "I do" and you're wondering...what do I do now?
Planning a wedding or elopement can seem really challenging, especially when you haven't done it before or you want it to be even better than the first time. What do I actually need to get married? Do I want the whole shabang or something small and intimate? When should we even get married...and where?!
It really can be overwhelming at first, but don't worry! Here are some helpful tips and questions for you to pick the best wedding for YOU.
As a wedding photographer who has captured over 100 couples tie the knot, this is my free guide to help you plan out your perfect day. :)
Now, this is the tricky part, there are just so many options! Is eloping right for you, or would you like to celebrate with the entire family, all your friends, and their plus ones? Here are some helpful things you can do to pick what will make your day the most enjoyable.
What you NEED to legally be married in BC
In BC a registered Commissioner must be present and sign a Marriage License for a couple to legally get married. You can look here for someone near you!
In the 3 months prior to your wedding you or your partner will need to buy a marriage license, only one of you will need to do this! You can find where to get one here.
You’ll need to have two witnesses age 19 or older sign your Marriage Certificate in order to become legally married in BC. They can be any two people you choose!
And that's all you really need to get married in BC!
But what do I WANT at my wedding?
1.) Decide on Your Priorities
Before even planning how much you want to spend on the day you should go through a list of all the typical wedding expenses and decide what you value the most and where you'd like to put most of your money. This also includes deciding if you would rather spend quality time with a small group of guests or have everyone you know to come and celebrate with you.
Keep in mind that your wedding day itself is only temporary! The things that last forever from the day are your wedding bands, photos/videos, and memories. You can have a fun and memorable event without all the fancy decor. A good way to do this is by doing an activity with all of your guests (have games set up where they can play together at the receptions, do a Murder Mystery where everyone gets into character, a dance or lip sync competition with a small prize for the winner(s), dinner on the beach or in the forest, photo booth with fun props, have a destination wedding, trivia or mad libs on each table that guests can participate in, outdoor games/activities, or have a live band/ DJ for the party people!).
2.) Pick a Max Budget
Now that you have your priorities straightened out, it's time to decide on how much you are wanting to spend on your event! Every wedding is different and the costs will depend on where you are located, the time of year, how many guests, and how much decor you are wanting to have. Keep in mind that in the busy season (typically around May - September) most vendors and venues will have higher rates as there will be higher demand for their services. Another thing to remember is that food and place-setting decor is charged per person attending, so a lower guest count can mean you will save more money on these.
A good article to look at the typical costs of weddings in the Vancouver area is here on the Dreamgroup Weddings & Events Blog. It breaks down the range of costs for each type of vendor give or take a little. There definitely are vendors out there that are cheaper than the prices listed if you're concerned about costs!
If having a big Pinterest-worthy wedding is what you want it will come at a hefty price especially if you will have a lot of guests. There are tricks to cut costs down by having a smaller guest list, DIYing some of the decor, offering business trades with some of the vendors if you have a service you provide they might be interested in, picking flowers that are in season, and asking friends and family for cash instead of wedding gifts to help out with the expenses.
3.) Get Quotes From Vendors
Before even planning how much you want to spend on the day you should go through a list of all the typical wedding expenses and decide what you value the most and where you'd like to put the most of your money. This also includes deciding if you would rather spend quality time with a small group of guests or have everyone you know to come and celebrate with you.
4.) Start Booking!
After looking at your options and getting a good idea
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