When Breanna Beaudoin and Maxwell Pilling got engaged in late July 2018, Beaudoin started planning their dream wedding right away.
“Being in my post-engagement bliss, I went a little crazy and started planning immediately by setting a date within a week of our engagement,” she said.
Their first and biggest worry was deciding on a venue.
“We had our hearts set on a rural wedding at a family cabin. However, with catering and rental services unwilling to travel our distance, we ended up having to change our venue,” said Beaudoin.
The couple booked Fairmont Hot Springs in British Columbia a full year in advance and then moved onto securing a photographer.
“Thankfully we were early enough to book Angela Gzowski as our photographer,” Beaudoin exclaimed.
When large extended families are involved, planning a wedding can be tricky, especially relating to accommodations. Beaudoin had to make sure their venue could host up to 150 guests, including hotel rooms, camp sites and airport shuttles.
“I love to plan, so I tried to get as much booked, paid for and out of the way as possible,” said Beaudoin.
Although big-ticket elements like the venue and photographers might consume much of the wedding budget, beware of the lesser costs too because they can add up quickly. Music licensing fees, marriage commissioner fees, catering gratuities and centrepieces rang in at $1,700 alone for Beaudoin and Pilling.
“Thank you gifts, invitations, all of the smaller costs really add up when having a destination wedding,” said Beaudoin.
“The other hard part is the pressure from family and friends who have a certain expectation of how your wedding should be. Our friends and family tend to throw a lot of well-meaning suggestions and opinions our way that can easily go from helpful to daunting (when) trying to accommodate everyone’s ideas.”
Her advice for anyone planning a wedding is not to feel pressured to please other people.
“This is your wedding and it’s strictly about you and the love you share with your partner,” she said. “Do what you need to do to ensure your day is all about you and your partner – delegate as many small tasks as possible to lighten the load.”
Planning a wedding is a lot harder than it looks, and it can be easy to get caught up in the details of such a huge task.
“Take your time and enjoy it because you will remember the happiness of that day for the rest of your lives,” said Beaudoin. “It will all be worth it – at least that’s what I’m telling myself.”