BFBB: Kim & Joe

BFBB: Bona Fide Budget Bride
AKA a real life Budget Bride who is sharing all her money-saving hacks and expensive mistakes (whoops!) to help you plan your perfect and on-budget wedding.
Get inspired!


Kim and Joe are one of those couples whose story sounds like it might be out of a fairytale – fate had them together a long time ago. How many couples do you know who have baby photos of the two of them together? Maybe a few, but probably not too many. Kim and Joe’s story starts even before that: the pastor who married them this past summer is the same pastor who married Kim’s parents AND Joe’s parents.  Add to that a dating history of over ten years together and it’s so obvious that Kim and Joe were just meant to be.

The couple: Kim & Joe

When: June 25, 2016

Where: Toronto

# Guests: 242

What one word would you use to sum up your wedding?
Kim: Bright!

Okay, and in a few more words?
Kim: By bright I mean that the whole day and look we were going for was very summery, floral, pastel colours and had an open feel. Bright also perfectly describes all of our smiling and joyful guests.

What shocked you most about wedding planning?
Kim: The amount of vendors. Obviously you need things like flowers and invites for a wedding but there are so many other vendors out there and so many options to choose from.

Where did you save the most money?
Kim: We saved money by doing a few DIY projects and by going with a newer florist. For the DIY, we made our own favours and instead of traditional paper place cards, we wrote everyone’s names inside of oyster shells, with the help of Ruth Diana Interiors. And yes, we did have to eat all the oysters first!

Where did you spend the most?
Kim: We spent the most on our food. It was definitely a priority for us. We really wanted to make sure our guests enjoyed the food because food is something that Joe and I bond over. So we splurged on extra courses, an open bar and bringing in a food truck for the late night snack.

What part of your wedding was most important to you?
Kim: For us, the most important part was how our guests felt. It’s one of the main reasons why we hired a DJ/MC from Veriation Music who we knew could get everyone up, on the dance floor and having a good time. We really wanted to create an awesome experience for our guests, which ties into us prioritizing the food as well.

What was the best budget decision you made?
Kim: The best budget decision we made was hiring our florist, Canella Florals. We decided to go with someone who was just starting her own business but had worked in the floral industry under someone else for a long time. I would definitely recommend other brides find vendors like this who have the industry experience but are looking to build up their personal portfolio and can offer lower prices. It’s mutually beneficial for both of you since the couple gets a great deal and the vendor gets more exposure for their new business.

What is the one budget decision you regret?
Kim: Unfortunately, our photography ended up costing us a lot more than we expected. When we got the photos back from our wedding day, I realized there some shots that didn’t get taken that I really wanted. I loved all of the candid shots but we had run out of time to get enough portraits and shots with the bridal party. We ended up getting our wedding party back together about a month after the wedding and doing another photo shoot. While we’re happy we were able to get the shots the second time, it wasn’t easy or cheap to do the photography again.

What was your favourite part of your wedding?
Kim: My favourite part of the wedding was the tea ceremony. The tea ceremony is a Chinese tradition where the bride and groom serve tea to the immediate family. I loved that the tradition incorporated our families. As much as the day is about the bride and groom, it’s also about the entire support system that got you to that day. I would definitely suggest couples fit in traditions wherever they can on their wedding day because honouring those customs makes for a really memorable part of the day.

Was there a moment you’ll always remember?
Kim: I loved the moment when Joe and I walked into the reception together.  Everyone was standing and cheering. It was such a feeling of love to know that everyone was involved in the day and that they had all come together for us.

If you had to do it all over again, what would you change?
Kim: Well, besides finding more time to get the photos we wanted on the day of, I don’t think I would change too much. One thing I do feel bad about is not spending more time with my mom or making sure to go over and give my dad a hug. You can’t assume that anything is going to happen.  If you want something to be part of the day, like having your mom help you with your dress, you need to say it and put it into the schedule.

And finally, what is your advice for future Budget Brides?
Kim: It’s so easy to get stuck in your own world and be stressed but it’s important to take two minutes and really look around and prioritize the people who are there for you.  Look at your bridesmaids, your family – focus on the people who matter. And get some sleep! Don’t try to write your vows at 2:00 am the night before your wedding like I did.  And invest in a wedding planner or coordinator. It seems like a big cost, but they can save you time and money on other aspects of the wedding. Plus, they reduce stress which is priceless!

Photography: Let Us Go Photo (Facebook, Instagram) and Mango Studios (Facebook, Instagram)
Florist: Canella Florals
DJ/MC: Veriation Music


Thank you to my dear friend Kimberley for not only sharing all of the details of her special day with me but also inviting me to be a part of it as her co-maid of honour. It was awesome to watch the love you two inspire and so much fun to hear about all of the details behind the big day.

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