How to do a Vancouver Wedding on a Budget: Picking a Dress

rich bride poor bride

Be sure to check out the complete Vancouver Wedding on a Budget series of posts.

[twitter]It’s not about the wedding, it’s about the marriage. I proved that the first time. Now, as I get ready to walk down the aisle a second time, I’m steadfast against making the same mistake. I would rather invest in the marriage than the wedding.

Jen and I have fun on the weekends watching Rich Bride, Poor Bride on Slice. Bridezillas pouting because they want $200 tiaras, grooms needing flashy Ferraris, surrounded 250 people they don’t even know guzzling signature cocktails and grazing the midnight buffet.

One couple last night had 2 budgets. He wanted $25k, she wanted $45k. They settled on $38 000 and spent in excess of $52 000. On one night, perhaps 8 hours, of fun. It’s insane.

So as Jen and I plan our wedding, we’re trying to do things reasonably. To that end Jen has been scouring Craigslist for wedding dresses. There are some bargains to be had, but most dresses run about $600 and then need about $300 in alterations and even more for your accessories. Plus you get someone else’s ju-ju. Jen is big on the ju-ju. She wants everything fresh and new with clean karma. I was surprised she was willing to look through Craigslist.

What do you think? Guys rent tuxes, would you wear a rented gown, or buy a used one?

In the end, after trying on dresses at just 2 stores, but scouring the web and magazines for weeks, Jen has picked her dress – and it’s a steal. She gave herself a budget of $1000, but has managed to get it all for less than $500.

Angeline Bridal Boutique on Hastings near Boundary makes their own dresses. They sell them to other stores who mark them up. Buying here means buying direct, means no middle person, means Jen got a perfectly stunning simple dress for a great price and no ju-ju.

Next up is the invitations. I wouldnt mind doing them myself, I’ve got a fab picture of the Eiffel Tower from the day we got engaged. Just looking for ideas to get the wedding script down the right side.

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  1. Kassandra January 12, 2012 at 3:41 pm


    I too am looking for a dress that is under $1000. I was wondering where your wife purchased her dress, did she buy it from Angelines bridal?


  2. Mollie December 19, 2012 at 7:30 pm

    Hi there,
    I just googled cheap wedding dresses and found your blog. I was wondering if you two got married in Stanley Park and if so, whether you paid the $500 for the permit? We were thinking of simply doing it flash mob style and basically showing up, using the public space, and then moving on to our reception.
    Any thoughts?

  3. Buzz December 19, 2012 at 7:36 pm

    hey mollie

    we got married in 2009, and there weren’t permits needed at the time. you still had to be discreet and not have too many chairs, loud music or stages etc.

    i say go rogue and do it up flashmob style. ferguson point is a beautiful place.

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