Mabelle Style is known for our exceptional sense of fashion trends, but in this special blog post, I will give you a glimpse into my ‘special’ day, and not just the fashion side of things, but the decor, budget and the planning, which was all done by me, my husband and designer mom.
The planning began right after our December engagement, as we already had a wedding date in mind, which only gave us six months to collect our thoughts and make this happen.
First, we planned our budget. The average Canadian wedding has been in the neighborhood of 40k and up! We disagreed; that money should really be going towards a home for us, not an over-the-top party. Our budget for venue, food, decor, drinks, desserts, hair, make-up, photographer, flowers & the fashion was $8500. How did we do it? Well, here are the secrets… We selected our guest list, which consisted of our very close friends and family. Right there, the planning and budget became easier to manage. The total was for 24.
The venue: we looked for someplace unique, intimate, not too formal as we wanted a summer causal gathering, an ocean view with an excellent menu. Recommendations came for the famous country-style Sooke Harbour House. It was the first venue we viewed and the last! The olde inn, sitting on ocean front property was known for its world renowned chef. Normally, Sooke Harbour House has been recognized for high price weddings, but with our small guest list, it fit our budget. The wedding would take place on a small outdoor deck by the ocean, situated next to the country gardens of the white, rustic clapboard Inn, and dinner would be served in the elegance of the picturesque sunroom that held a maxim of 25 guests.
The Décor: I wanted to create an informal, cottage-style atmosphere and the olde inn made it appropriate. The secret to decorating in this manner was found at Home Sense, Michael’s weekly discount coupons (these came in very handy) Wal-Mart decorative mason jars and a crafty husband who helped make it all work! Baby’s breath became an inexpensive option for large bouquets of flowers. For the three table centerpieces, I had Victoria’s Browns Florist add a few cream coloured roses to the baby’s breath for a romantic touch. Looking to add a few special effects from my family home, I found a selection of antique books, which made the perfect accessory to complement the centrepieces with no extra charge. Medium size decorative lanterns that held large cream candles were located at Pier 1 for a fraction of the price. The only item that was remotely costly, and not DIY, was the decorative framed announcement chalkboard, which I knew was beyond me in the craft-department. I found the perfect one on Google, Vancouver Chalk Works. This sat at the entrance with a display of 30” cream helium balloons.
The Baker: I have been lucky enough to have known Monica from Noms By Mon from the beginning of her now booming baking business. With a specialty in macarons, we ended up with mini’s in our favorite flavours.
The Photgrapher: A long time looking for the right photographer to create a soft, airy feel in the pictures, which was the look we were trying to achieve. We narrowed the list down to three, when I randomly found on Facebook Christine Pienaar, a new photographer that was just starting out. Her blog and website appealed to me. With having a small wedding, we chose to only photograph before, during and following the wedding ceremony and family gathering. We omitted pictures at the dinner, which saved us a lot, but received pictures of the most important part of the day.
The Fashion: (the most important) My casual-style husband primarily wears t-shirts and jeans, and almost never seen in a suit! I had bought him a slim-cut black suit the previous year… never worn. So, his selection was easy! The dress shoe he opted to buy was a sleek black oxford from Aldo, a great store that offers fashion at the right price. I added a pair of Paul Smith striped socks, to spice it up, but he kept those hidden lol. His biggest challenge was the shirt to fit his broad shoulders, chest and slim waist. Holt Renfrew had a ‘made-to-measure’ promotion in March; perfect timing! We purchased a custom-fitted, white shirt tailored to his body, monogrammed with his initials for only $180.
For the bride, my look; while I’m not seen as a fancy-dressy type in my daily personal style, I could not fathom spending thousands on a designer wedding dress. I wanted to put my money in the shoe closet for something I could wear again and again. I opted to create my look from a bridesmaid dress purchased from a little boutique in Victoria. The long, black lace dress I first tried on was less than $300. Right away, I knew I could design something unique so I ordered it in ivory. When it arrived, I delivered it to a seamstress and had her make adjustments and shorten it by 10 inches. This created a more casual look for the informal, cottage-style wedding and provided a beautiful way to display the shoes. Of course, I did a budget for the floral Manolo Blahniks. With clean natural make-up by Melanie Baird and a casual fishtail hairstyle by Maia Simpson, I felt relaxed throughout the entire time. Our day was perfect!