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.
Jessi and Josh have been in each other’s lives since the beginning. In fact, Jessi admits that Josh, a friend of the family since pre-school, was her biggest crush at 12 years old. Over the years, Jessi and Josh have grown together and their love story has taken many twists and turns – but they wouldn’t have it any other way!
The couple: Jessi & Josh
When: August 21, 2016
# Guests: 150
What one word would you use to sum up your wedding?
Okay, and in a few more words?
Jessi: Our wedding was a perfect reflection of who we are as a couple. It was a little quirky, casually formal, and so much fun. We really tried to incorporate traditions that were important to both us as a couple and our families, while maintaining a really fun atmosphere where our friends could let loose and celebrate! We wanted the whole night to be filled with good food, great music, and even better memories and that’s exactly what we got!
What shocked you most about wedding planning?
Jessi: What shocked me the most is how well connected everyone in the industry is. My husband and I found that at every meeting we went to with different vendors, they were offering up suggestions for other vendors they have worked with in the past and advice on what to look for and what to avoid. We might have run into an anomaly, but everyone we met with seemed extremely helpful!
Where did you save the most money?
Jessi: We saved the most money on food. We did this by using a friend’s absolutely amazing catering company, Encore Catering. It was probably the most pleasant experience we had with a vendor as well. We got so many compliments on the food and they allowed us to customize a menu to our taste that turned out better than we could have ever imagined!
Where did you spend the most?
Jessi: We spent the most money on the venue by far. We ended up picking a venue that was essentially an empty space. It was beautiful in the end but, this meant we had to spend more to transform the space – a lot more than we would have had to spend if we had chosen a space that had some sort of décor already in it.
What part of your wedding was most important to you?
Jessi: The most important part of the wedding to us was the ceremony for sure! We had been waiting for that moment for forever so it was really important to us that it went the way we had envisioned. We also have families that practice our religion in very different ways so we wanted our ceremony to represent the joining of the two families in a way that was really meaningful to us and our families as well.
What was the best budget decision you made?
Jessi: The best budget decision we made was opting for candles and other cool décor pieces in place of a lot of flowers. Adding candles, wood and other cool design elements really transformed the room and made for really dynamic and interesting décor. It was also a huge money saver because fresh flowers can be very costly!
Did you incorporate any meaningful traditions?
Jessi: We did and it was incredible! We did the traditional signing of a Jewish marriage license right before the ceremony. It was such an amazing moment and it was really special to Josh. It was also really special because it happened in a smaller room with just close friends and family so you could really feel the love in the room.
What was your favourite part of your wedding?
Jessi: The first time I saw Josh the day of our wedding was by far my favourite moment. We decided to write each other letters and then do a reveal so the first moment we saw each other the day of our wedding was super powerful and really emotional. It really set the tone for the day for both of us. My knees have never been so shaky!
Speaking of tone, how did you stay focused in your wedding planning?
Jessi: Someone told me when I first got engaged that it is really easy to lose yourself in the planning process and get really focused on the wedding itself, but it is really important to ground yourself in the fact that once the wedding is over the marriage begins. I was told don’t forget to make sure that while planning the wedding of your dreams you also make sure you are working on laying a foundation for a solid marriage.
Any vendor shout-outs?
Jessi: I had some really incredible vendors that I would highly recommend! Our photographer Dan at Daniel Benjamin Photography was the best ever. We also had unreal food from Encore Catering and the music was off the chain provided by Magen Boys Entertainment! Our day would not have been nearly as remarkable as it was without these incredible vendors.
If you had to do it all over again, what would you change?
Jessi: Absolutely nothing! I think even the little problems that came up during the day all made for a really fun really incredible experience and a day we will both remember always.
And finally, what is your advice for future Budget Brides?
Jessi: You can do it! I found that there is always a more cost effective solution – it just might take a little longer to get to that solution. I found using my resources and asking questions to people who had recently got married, or people who have planned weddings in the past, to be extremely helpful. I also kept a check list on my phone with thoughts, questions and quotes that I was able to refer back to in meetings which really helped me stay organized.
Thank you to the beautiful and kind Jessi and her sweet partner Josh for taking a break from their favourite past time, cheering on the Blue Jays while splitting a pepperoni pizza, to share the details of their special day and the love story that got them there.