Maple Alps


Planning a Wedding? I Did That Once. Inexpensively.

MoneyAmanda Walter | Maple Alps25 Comments

I don't know about you, but right now my Facebook newsfeed is filled with engagement announcements and wedding countdowns. It's hard to believe that one year ago, I was posting my own announcement!

With the wedding season approaching, I couldn't help but think back to my own experience and excitement of planning a wedding and getting every detail just right (not that it really mattered at the end, because even with things going awry, it was the most perfect day ever!).

For us, our biggest obstacle in pulling off a wedding was the cost. Weddings can get crazy expensive, with the average wedding costing over $20,000! Since my (now) husband and I are both savers, it went without saying that we wanted to spend as little money as possible on the wedding. We were just out of school with not a penny to our names and moving to a new country! Starting life is expensive, and we didn't want to spend everything we had on a wedding.

We had to get a bit creative when saving money, so I thought for fun I would share some of the ideas we went through with!

How we avoided spending $20,000 on our wedding

We Got Creative with Our Venue

The only thing we knew was that we wanted to get married outside. The where was a big question. We looked up venue after venue, and though beautiful, none of them were within our budget. I don't know when the idea struck, but I remembered a family friend who had a gorgeous backyard and made a phone call. They were delighted to have the wedding there! Due to rain, we didn't get our outdoor wedding after all, but their home made for a perfect shelter and ceremony/reception spot. 


We Made All of the Flowers

Not a fresh flower was to be seen. From the bouquets and boutonnieres to the table decor, we made every single one. I had people thinking I was crazy and that it would look tacky, but it turned out spectacularly wonderful. All of the flowers were made out of maps and sheet music to go along with our themes of travel and music. It was a blast - and a lot of work. The only flowers we didn't make were the ones on our arch. A family friend had those already in her decoration stash! As the date of the wedding got closer, we enlisted more help. It was a fun and bonding experience, sitting around the table making them :)


Favours Were Called In

We called in a lot of favours from family and friends to help us out. They were all glad to do so! A cousin baked our gorgeous wedding cake, and a friend who was a hair stylist did my hair! Our families helped prepare all of the [delicious] food and we had quality live music for our ceremony from our musician friends as well! The other bonus to all these favours, were that it provided awesome opportunities for those we love to take part and make special memories.


I Found a Pre-Loved Dress

Never underestimate the amazingness of a pre-loved dress. There's more love in it, plus you get a very discounted price! Whoever wore it before you likely wore it once, and you will likely do the same. If you don't intend on keeping your dress, you can easily take it to a consignment store, or sell it yourself, once it's cleaned.


We Didn't Underestimate DIY

In addition to the flowers, we made almost everything for the decor. I did the centrepieces, the guest globe, the name cards, the photo booth.....just everything. There was a LOT of spray paint involved! Since I like to be creative in reusing things, I used a lot of the things I already had on hand, which saved us both money and headaches.


Our Invitations Were Digital

I don't necessarily recommend this one, but we designed and sent out digital invitations. I personally wanted physical ones (I adore snail mail and pretty stationary), but we were definitely in favour of saving money on postage and invites. Beside the venue, this is probably where we saved the most. To compromise, we settled on using Paperless Post, which simulated opening a letter. I liked that, and I was comforted in the fact that not many people keep wedding invitations anyway.


We Had a Short Engagement

This doesn't seem like it would save us money, but it really did! All of our planning and DIY-ing had to be done and executed in 5 months. Had our engagement been longer, things would have added up slowly over time. Our guest list would have been much longer (which would have resulted in a more expensive venue and more food), and I would have likely made decisions and then change my mind (I'm extremely indecisive), costing us money later.


So there you have it. Some of the ways we avoided spending a great amount on our wedding.

In the end, it's not how much you spend on a wedding that makes a great marriage. A wedding lasts a day, and a marriage lasts a lifetime.

Note: We did splurge on one thing: our amazing photographer. Our picture memories are something we want to look back on and remember forever. You can check her out and some of our wedding photos at her blog, here!


What I've Learned In Six Months of Marriage

RelationshipsAmanda Walter | Maple Alps36 Comments

Today, I celebrate six months of marriage with my amazing and wonderful husband. I decided to have an extra post this week just because I'm happy, and because I've learned a lot in the last six months. People always told me that marriage was awesome, but I never really knew what they meant until we tied the knot ourselves. I thought I would share some thoughts on marriage and what I've learned!

Sleep-Cuddling is reserved for Hollywood

Seriously, it's the stuff of movies - not reality. For us anyway. However, when you wake up at 3am and can't sleep anymore, there's comfort in knowing you're not alone. For me, this is especially comforting after a nightmare!

Communication is so important!

We need to communicate. It's not like our three year long distance relationship (more on that later), when we could turn off Skype whenever we needed a break from each other. Besides that, semantics are sometimes just that - semantics! Communicating properly saves a lot of misunderstandings.

Even newlyweds can take marriage seriously

We're still newly married, but that hasn't stopped us from continuing to find ways to improve our marriage. Effort needs to be put into marriage for it to work, after all!

I am the most selfish person in the world

I thought I was a pretty good person - then I got married. Seriously. There's no such thing as only thinking about yourself anymore. You constantly have to consider a second person. It's humbling.

Love is a decision

This is nothing new, but it's no less true! You decide to love a person no matter how sick they are, how they look in the morning, how annoying they are, or how they leave the bathroom smelling when they're done. Most importantly, you love them even when Monopoly got a little intense last night.

Prayer is key!

Have you heard that saying, "The couple who prays together, stays together."? It's true! Praying for and with your spouse is important. How amazing it is to know that my husband continually lifts me up in prayer!

Taking time to be a couple is important

Even though we don't have kids, we are still busy and need to take time just to be together. Sometimes it's as simple as going for a walk, but on the days we've committed to just being us and hanging out, it recharges and renews us as a couple. 

Playing games after breakfast on a Monday is completely acceptable

In sweat pants and old tees no less! And bonus if you make up your own rules. 

What I love most about marriage is the realization that I share something amazing and sacred with just one other person. I can't wait to see what else marriage has in store for us, and what more we will learn!

Head over to Instagram to see a wedding picture or two in the feed :)

Updated PS: It's been a year! Check out PART II here :)