Marissa and Lauren were married in the gardens of St. Anne’s Academy in Victoria, British Columbia. They wanted their wedding to be intimate and frugal, except when it came to their photographs. They knew those had to be incredible so they booked the AMAZING Nordica Photography who flew over from Stockholm to shoot the day.
They made the picnic baskets themselves, including almond stuffed figs which were grown, dried and made by Marissa’s grandmother in Portugal. The flowers were bought from a local market – Marissa’s bouquet cost just $3.99! They also made all the décor themselves.
“The generosity and enthusiasm of our friends and family are absolutely worth mentioning”, Marissa began. “Without them, this whole ‘show’ couldn’t have happened. Talk about team effort! We would have eloped, but my mom would have cried deep salty rivers. So on that note we wanted to keep it light and ‘us’.”
“We wanted an outdoor ‘open’ location and had a ‘crash friendly’ atmosphere. We have lots of friends, and not a lot of cash to feed them all. If they wanted to come by and celebrate they were free to do so, just had to bring their own picnic. We stayed away from many of the traditional aspects of your typical wedding. We had our reasons why. So we shared them. We made these cute awesome programs that had information inside of them and fun facts about the various locations in our day.”
“We hand-crafted practically the whole wedding”, she continued. “It really made us appreciate every detail. We were engaged for two years and started the planning, saving, buying and crafting right away. Everyone kept saying ‘oh you’ve got lots of time…’ Yeah right, with that kind of attitude we’d be bound to get in a sticky-stressful situation later down the road. Thanks, but no thanks. I also knew time was going to fly by and that we were most likely going to be strapped for cash the whole time. SO with that in mind I would go weekly to the thrift stores near by and keep my eyes open. I also kept a calendar with wedding tasks listed every week/twice a week that we had to complete. It ranged from silly things like ‘new underwear for wedding day’ to big things like ‘send photographer cheque TODAY’ it helped keep us moving forward and to not be overwhelmed later.”
“But make sure you take it easy when planning”, she advises, “and remind yourself that nothing is set in stone and you won’t get let down in the end. We wanted certain things: outside, summer, friends, food, simplicity, a picnic. So with that in mind we went down to the basics, and stated with bed sheets and picnic baskets. I knew we were going to need anywhere between 20-45 baskets, depending on how many people we invited, how big the baskets were (i.e. how much food/people could fit) so off I went. We stored a lot of ‘junk’ in our house for a while, but worth it. We also kept a box in the closet that I would fill with random things we would ‘need’. Bath bombs to keep us mellow the last weeks of planning (huge life saver!), jump ropes for wedding day, fancy socks, straws I ordered off etsy (they don’t expire, I knew I wanted them, had the cash then, so why not… one thing off the list.) Shopping and planning in this method really saved us in the end.”
“We’re so lucky to have such loving and supportive friends and family”, Marissa concluded. “All of Lauren’s friends and family are from America, while we live in Canada. All of my friends and family live on the mainland in Canada, while we live on Vancouver Island. So with that in mind EVERYONE had to travel to come celebrate. We wanted to host the wedding in such a way that it would be easy for everyone to come and so that no one HAD to stay the night. That meant that the wedding had to be short and sweet.”
“One of the biggest things you’ll hear as you’re planning is ‘Remember to eat!’ Now, Lauren and I love to eat. So really, that was no issue. We love brunch. Honestly we go every other week, its a ritual more than anything. We decided that it would be lovely to go out after the formal part of the wedding was over, so we told our guests that we were going to have dinner and that if they would like to join they were more than welcome. It was so nice to a) eat (again!) b) be in a less stressful environment and c) to have a second chance to hang out with those we missed during the wedding.”
- Photography: Nordica Photography
- Photography #2: Brian Van Wyk
- Officiant: Sarah Nakatsuka
- Venue: St. Anne's Academy
- Marissa's Dress: Salvage Life (Etsy), Vintage
- Marissa's Shoes: Dkode, 'Vilma lt'
- Marissa's Headpiece: The Bay
- Lauren's Shirt: Dynamite
- Lauren's Trousers: Smart Set
- Lauren's Hat: Roberta's Hats
- Lauren's Shoes: Karston