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Outdoor forest wedding by a lake in Vancouver BC

Are you ready to tie the knot and looking to create a unique event? An outdoor wedding can be the perfect solution for a truly memorable experience. We’re lucky enough to have so many stunning locations in British Columbia that are perfect for special moments, so we’ve listed some of the best outstanding outdoor and forest wedding venues near Vancouver, BC.

Outdoor and Forest Wedding Venues Around Vancouver

Island Lake Lodge (Fernie)

Find mountains, 800-year-old trees, and a beautiful lake to set the scene for your wedding in historic Fernie, available for use year-round. This outdoor wedding venue near Vancouver has everything you need for an elevated experience, while still feeling connected to nature with its epic surroundings.


Island lake lodge wedding venue in Fernie BC

Make use of the spa and massage options, as well as nearby hiking and biking trails to make the most of your time here. Yes, there’s only one wedding day, but if you can afford a few days away with some of your favourite people, why not? They also have yoga with goats, if you’re that sort of person.

Maan Farms (Abbostford)

Maan Farms is a perfect place to celebrate your love during spring, summer and fall, where you can choose between a ceremony by their strawberry fields or a heritage walnut tree. Alongside the scenic backdrops for the ceremony, your reception can take place in their antique barn which has been restored to create a special space that can hold up to 150 guests.

Earthwise Society Agassiz (Delta)

Earthwise Society is an organic working farm with endless possibilities for your special day. Whether you say ‘I Do’ beneath their forest canopy or with their mountain backdrop, the friendly team love to accommodate your requests to make the day truly about you and your loved one.

agassiz cedar grove outdoor wedding venue near vancouver BC


There is also wonderful seasonal produce for delicious meals and appetizers, providing a quality farm-to-table experience. This outdoor wedding venue is a more affordable option for hosting.

Sunwolf (Squamish)

Exchange vows at a family-run venue with boutique accommodation, all set within a five-acre woodland in Squamish. Even though the location feels totally remote it is only an hour drive from downtown Vancouver. Sunwolf has been praised for its relaxing and festival atmosphere, tied in with the perfect balance of down-to-earth luxury feel.

Nita Lake Lodge (Whistler)

Head to the snowy mountains in Whistler to wed at a nationally recognized wedding destination with various outdoor ceremony spaces to choose from. Not only will you have your wedding in a striking outdoor landscape, they also have bridal spa services and an executive chef to create a personalized menu for the event. For a true luxury event, Nita Lake Lodge has everything you need for the ultimate outdoor wedding.

Bodega Ridge (Galliano Island)

Tie the knot on the bluffs of Galliano Island to celebrate in serene surroundings with ocean views. Part of the incredible location also boasts coastal cuisine using organic ingredients from a Galliano farm, and a BC-centric wine list. If you’re looking for something secluded and intimate, they also have a lovely option of a fully private space just for elopements.

Outdoor and Forest Wedding Venues on Vancouver Island, BC

Sea Cider (Vancouver Island)

Close to downtown Victoria on Vancouver Island, Sea Cider offers panoramic sea views and a woodland, creating a magical scene for a west coast wedding day.

Sea cider wedding venue vancouver island

The team has access to many quality local resources for catering assistance, and to suit different tastes and budgets, making it a popular place for an outdoor wedding venue. Don’t forget to sample their very own award-winning organic cider!

Cedar Haven Weddings (Vancouver Island)

If you’ve dreamed of a true forest wedding with a wow factor, then look no further! Cedar Haven Weddings is a private property nestled within an old growth forest on Vancouver Island. With everything you need to create the perfect rustic setting, this forest wedding venue has all the magical vibes for a memorable experience and perfect setup for your wedding day photographs.

Creating forever memories is what we’re most passionate about, and that all starts with organizing your dream event! Contact us for a free consultation to learn about how we can take care of your wedding day from start to finish. We can’t wait to hear from you!

If this article got you thinking, you can find our earlier article on Vancouver wedding venues too.

Banner image by Wedding Dreamz on Unsplash

a groom holding up his bride's wedding dress at a 2022 wedding

Congratulations, you’re planning a wedding! There are many things about your day that you can delegate to your partner or event planner, but (luckily) wedding dress shopping is not one of them. Odds are you already have an idea of what kind of dress you like, whether you have been scouring pinterest since you were 14 or you ended up watching Say Yes to the Dress when you claimed there was nothing better on TV.

It is so exciting to think that your perfect dream dress is out there waiting for you, but there are so many choices that it’s easy to feel overwhelmed. Wedding dress shopping should be a day (or weekend!) where you feel happy, loved, and absolutely beautiful. To make planning this event as stress free and fun as possible, we’ve done the research and put together the top 6 most important tips from brides and wedding planners to have the most success finding your dream wedding dress.

Research Types of Wedding Dress

We don’t mean staying-up-all-night-writing-your-thesis type of research, just spend a bit of time on pinterest and online dress websites so you have an idea of what kinds of dresses you like. Knowing the difference between a mermaid-style dress and a fit and flare dress is much simpler than trying to describe (or draw!) a shape when you get to the bridal shop.

several different wedding dresses ready to buy and try on

Bring some photos, know what you like and what you don’t like, but don’t overplan and certainly don’t rule anything out. Let yourself be surprised if you end up liking something that looks nothing like what you thought you wanted. Being open to trying different styles and colours will help you feel more confident that when you find the one, you’ll know.

Plan Your Hunt for the Perfect Wedding Dress

Making an appointment with a bridal consultant 9-12 months before the big day ensures you have enough time not only to find your wedding dress but also to alter it, which is often what takes the most time. Planning appointments within days of each other (or making a weekend out of it!) is recommended so the dresses you have tried on are fresh in your mind. You will also want to call the bridal shop before your appointment to let them know what styles you like. That way, they can have some dresses ready for you before you arrive. If you have a specific gown in mind find out if they have it ahead of time and let them know.

When you call the bridal salon, make sure you also ask about their COVID-19 precautions and protocol. Ask how many people you are welcome to bring, whether or not you need to wear a mask the entire time (and if they offer complimentary neutral-toned ones) and whether or not they have sanitizing wipes available for you to use.

Be Prepared

There is nothing worse than getting somewhere and realizing you forgot something you needed. This is why packing a special “dress shopping” bag is so important and will help ease your stress. In it you want to make sure you have:

—underwear and a bra similar to what you think you’ll be wearing on your wedding day

—heels similar in height to the ones you will be wearing

—a simple neutral-coloured mask that won’t draw attention away from you or the dresses

—any accessories you are thinking of wearing on your wedding day, especially if you want to build your look around a specific item or piece of jewelry

—your favourite snack

—any hair products you might need to touch up your look

—your favourite hand sanitizer—preferably one that does not leave residue on your hands

—anything else you think you might want to bring

If there is a remote chance you might need something, bring it. You’re always better safe than sorry. (Better make it a big bag!)

Get Excited!

This day is all about you, so if you have the opportunity to plan an entire day for yourself, do it!

Have your hair and makeup done in a way similar to what you would like on your big day. Accuracy is not important here, it’s more about the style (hair down/updo/half up, half down etc.) and feeling confident and beautiful. You don’t want to be hungry when dress shopping so make sure to eat and to do something fun before your appointment. It is so important to be in the right mindset and to feel good about yourself when you’re trying on dresses. You also want to choose your posse carefully; bring people you have fun with who have your best interest at heart.

Document Each Dress

Take pictures! Take notes! Have someone take one or two good pictures of you in all the dresses you try on and don’t delete any. As you are trying them on, sort them into different folders so you can show bridal stylists which you like and which you dislike. It also helps to come up with nicknames so you can refer to dresses quickly within your group.

Trust Your Gut

This is the most important piece of advice you will ever receive about your wedding. Trust your gut. No one knows you better than you know yourself and if you get a good or bad feeling about any dress, trust it. At the end of the day your feelings and opinions are the only ones that matter. Your wedding, your dress, your decision.

Unfortunately, trying on wedding dresses and feeling beautiful is not the only thing you need to do before getting married. (How amazing would that be though?!) Thankfully, YouForever is here to guide you step-by-step with ideas and planning because we want to make sure that the day you marry your forever person will become a forever memory.

Whether it’s a wedding, rehearsal dinner, engagement or anniversary, birthday or graduation, get in touch today and let’s plan your perfect day!

Image credits:

Photo by Vasily Koloda on Unsplash

Photo by Scott Broome on Unsplash

Photo by Anna Docking on Unsplash

Day of wedding coordinator

Wedding planners wear many hats, and one of the most vital is that of day-of wedding coordinator. This role is essential in making sure your special day goes off without a single unplanned surprise.

What is a Day-of Wedding Coordinator?

Your big day is about you and your partner. The coordinator’s main job is to make sure you do nothing but enjoy the day in whatever way you choose. They achieve this by planning and coordinating the wedding in advance and being there on the day to see it happens in the correct sequence.

A Wedding Coordinator’s Duties

  • Oversees the wedding rehearsal.
  • Creates a detailed itinerary and floor plan.
  • Acts as your point person on the wedding day.
  • Addresses any last-minute details and additions.
  • Checks in with the vendors to review their contracts and confirm logistics.
  • Helps to organize and transfer items from the ceremony to the reception.
  • Does a final walkthrough of the ceremony and reception venues.


Mr and mrs signs on chairs at a wedding

Photo by Guanfranco G on Unsplash

What’s the difference between a wedding coordinator and a wedding planner?

While a wedding planner helps you plan the whole affair from the get go, a wedding coordinator will be there with you from four to eight weeks before the wedding. They check all of the details in the lead up to the wedding, confirming vendors, seating plans, timings, and anything else either you or your event planner have decided on. They will then attend on the day of and coordinate the wedding so that your only job is to have an incredible day.

When to Hire a Wedding Coordinator

It fits your budget

Budget naturally plays a role in all aspects of wedding planning. Hiring a full-service wedding planner means someone is by your side at every stage of planning and on the day. But, if you can’t afford a full-service planner, a coordinator can be more cost effective. If it’s within budget, hiring a wedding coordinator will make the event effortless for you. You part with the money so that any last-minute problems fall on someone else’s shoulders.

You just want to relax on the day

You can start your day relaxing, having an easy breakfast, getting your hair just right, taking the time to enjoy a drink with your bridal party or groomsmen as you get ready, then allow yourself to be guided through the day carefree.

Your wedding calls for it

If you’re having an intimate backyard wedding and your uncle is manning the bar, you probably don’t need a coordinator. However, if you’re looking to wrangle over a hundred guests at a large venue, have a bunch of musical cues, multiple hired caterers, or a handful of musicians, you may need someone to spin all those plates.

You’ve chosen an untraditional venue

The staff at traditional wedding venues know how to go with the flow of a big day with little supervision. If you’ve chosen a location that doesn’t regularly host weddings you might need a coordinator to organize the staff.

You’ve planned the event yourselves

Some couples will opt to plan their own wedding and then pass off the logistics to the day-of coordinator a month or two before the wedding. Despite your best efforts, you probably haven’t thought of everything and this is where a coordinator can tie up and last-minute loose ends.

So, do you think a coordinator fits with your plans, or a full-service wedding planner? At You Forever, we can do both. Get in touch with us today and let’s get started!

And, if you’re newly engaged, take a look at our next article on choosing the perfect wedding dress.

a smiling bride being walked down the aisle as planned at her wedding ceremony

You’ve landed your dream partner, but now it’s time to create your dream ceremony! It’s your wedding day and planning it can be daunting, but don’t worry, we’re here to help put your mind at ease and find out exactly how to make your day perfect. After all, you never know how to plan a wedding until you need to. Follow the tips below to start planning your wedding ceremony today.

Choosing a Wedding Date

First things first, you’re probably wondering how long it takes to plan a wedding. If you’re not having a quick elopement, choose a date that is at least six months away. Six months is the minimum amount of time you need to plan a perfect wedding.

Six months allows you enough time to make sure the people you want to hire are available, and it’s polite to give your chosen guests plenty of time to organize their calendars. It allows them time to plan ahead – especially if they need to consider travel and vacation time from work.

Also, the first question your event planner, wedding venue and vendors will all ask you is the date you plan to marry. Although, your wedding planner can help you decide on a wedding date. It’s the first step before everything else can fall into place.

Know Your Wedding Budget

Having a budget in mind will quickly help you and your partner understand what type of wedding ceremony you would like, the venues you’re able to afford and what you would like to include in your day.

Every wedding is different, and costs can vary greatly depending on what you’re looking for. It’s a good idea to make a detailed spreadsheet of everything you would like to include – catering, decorations, venue, entertainment, travel ­– and an estimated budget allocated to each category. This will quickly guide you in your decision making and help you visualize an order to the events and when they need to be booked.

Send Out ‘Save the Date’ Invites

We’re sure you have a list of special people in your life you want to be at your ceremony! Write down their names and count the number of people. The number of potential guests, even if it’s a rough figure, will instantly give you clarity on the style of event you’ll need to organize, as well as the amount of space required.

couple celebrating their wedding day with lots of guests and balloons

Once you’ve settled on the guestlist, send out your ‘Save the Date’ invites as soon as possible. The earlier your guests know your chosen date, the higher chance they will be able to attend.

Choosing a Wedding Venue

When planning a wedding you need to think about where you want your special ceremony to take place. You might imagine saying ‘I do’ under the stars, barefoot on the beach, or somewhere quiet and cozy. Let your imagination run wild! Whatever you picture, knowing a location or wedding venue will help you to move forward with creating your perfect scenario. It’s wise to have a few places in mind, just in case your first choice isn’t available on the set date.

If you know the area you want to marry but are unsure how to find a place to set up you and your partner’s big moment, a wedding planner or nearby venue will have plenty of options for you to choose from. Read our blog on beautiful Vancouver wedding venues to get inspired!

Arrange a Seating Plan

Making a seating plan can seem overwhelming and complicated, but keep in mind there is no right or wrong way to arrange one. The best way to start arranging a seating plan is to roughly draw out the layout of your ceremony or download a typical layout from the internet. Write down the names of where you would like people to sit.

Depending on how casual the set up will be, close family should have reserved seats at the front. This is especially important for family members who may be walking you down the aisle or giving you away. There’s usually a head table for your closest family and wedding party, then the smaller tables will be listed and on display near the entrance so everyone can find their seats.

Consider Special Details When Planning a Wedding

Now you have a plan formed, you can start thinking about other important and exciting details. What song would you like to walk down the aisle to? What flowers would you like to hold? This can be the really fun part between you and your partner. Choose smaller details that feel meaningful and reflect your relationship. It’s a magical time for your guests to get to know you both and what you love. Whether its classic styles or a quirkier taste, on a beach or in your back yard, don’t be afraid to show off your personality on a day that is all about the both of you!

a happy couple kissing at their wedding ceremony with guests holding sparklers

If you’re left feeling overwhelmed and need guidance on making it all happen, we’re here to help every step of the way. We can make your perfect wedding ceremony happen by taking care of everything big and small. Get ready to make your forever memories and get in touch with us today!

backyard wedding with white tablecloths and hanging lights in trees

A backyard wedding may be your ideal choice if you are wanting a simple and somewhat intimate event. If so, there are still several things to consider. First, remember that you are not limited to your own or a friend/family member’s yard. There is a big difference between getting married in your backyard and having a “backyard wedding.” If you know someone who has an idyllic yard or garden then by all means ask if they’ll let you host your wedding there. If you don’t have ready access to a great location, you might consider renting an estate property that has the charm and style of a wedding in your own backyard. Of course, the location depends on what is available to you and how many guests you are planning on having, but there are some important things to keep in mind that can apply to most backyard celebrations. Read on to get some tips, tricks and advice on the benefits and logistics of a backyard or garden wedding.

Budgeting a Backyard Wedding

Many people think that a backyard wedding saves a lot of money – and it can – but this doesn’t automatically mean you can splurge on everything else. If you don’t budget properly you can end up spending a lot of money that you simply don’t need to. That being said, when you don’t have to pay for a venue (or can substantially reduce the rental cost) or worry about security deposits, you’re saving roughly 50% of a typical wedding budget. So, with careful planning you definitely have the opportunity to spend a little bit more here and there. Keep in mind that the cost of your wedding will generally be decided by how many people are attending. More people equals more food, more chairs, more glassware, more alcohol; more of everything means more money spent.

Related: How Much Does A Wedding Cost?


Can you think of anything more disruptive and embarrassing (not to mention the additional unexpected costs) on your wedding day than having your party crashed by the cops for bylaw infractions?  Though your own/your friend’s/your parent’s backyard is private property, there are still fire codes, health regulations, zoning issues, parking permits and noise ordinances that you must comply with. We recommend contacting your city through its municipal website plenty of time in advance to find out exactly what permits and paperwork you need to have before your big day.


You will also want to let the neighbours know about your wedding day a month or so in advance. If you are going door-to-door, it is nice to provide them with a schedule of your day so they can rearrange their plans if needed, and maybe even plan a night away! Give them as much information as you can to ease their concerns, such as where people will be parking and how late you are planning on playing music (according to the municipal bylaws). Don’t forget that showing appreciation for your neighbour’s patience can go a long way and offering them some treats, baked goods or a bottle of wine doesn’t hurt either. Here’s one of those areas you might want to spend a little of the savings from lowering your venue cost.

Lighting & Electrical

Not many homes are equipped to power catering companies’ food prep equipment, DJ sound systems or outdoor light fixtures that stay on all night. You definitely have to look into renting a generator (or many!) so you don’t risk leaving your friends in the dark and putting the entire neighbourhood into a power outage. You’ll have to figure out how much power each of your vendors and rental companies need, then find a generator rental company that will help you choose the (quietest and lowest-emission) power source to accommodate.


The idea of having complete control of your decorations, free of the somewhat restrictive colour or style of a traditional wedding venue, and creating your very own design and colour palette can be overwhelming. Keep it simple by drawing from the organic colours surrounding you – earthy tones can be quite stunning – or you can be a little more bold and pick an accent colour to sprinkle into bouquets, linen or decor. What is wonderful about a backyard wedding is that it can be anything you want. You don’t even need to decorate if you don’t want to. Simple strings of lights, whether whimsical or a little more sophisticated, add to the sparkling excitement of your wedding!

Your wedding should represent you. It ought to be a reflection of you and your partner’s relationship, of your favourite things and what the two of you value most. When you take a step back and consider what is really important to you, the answer is often spending quality time together with family and friends. And where better to do that than in yours or a family/friend’s backyard?

Whether it’s a wedding, rehearsal dinner, engagement, or anniversary, get in touch with You Forever, and let’s plan your perfect day

minoru park richmond bc

Planning an outdoor wedding? Here are 7 unique wedding venues in and around Vancouver that each has a special charm. Whether you imagine your wedding to be more rustic and natural or white and traditional, you are sure to find a venue among this list that suits your style.

Maan Farms (Abbotsford)

At Maan Farms you can have your ceremony overlooking Mt. Baker. Your photos will be taken among the luscious green forest and grape vines. Then have your wedding reception in the most beautiful antique barn. The white and wood of the barn paired with twinkle lights and elegant floral centrepieces is neutral and chic. Thus, any colours or décor you choose will fit in seamlessly, while standing out. The covered patio assures that rain or shine your guests will be able to eat, drink and dance the night away. They have a full wedding info package online so you can estimate costs without making any calls or emails. They also offer free wedding tours.

Earthwise Society Agassiz Venue (Delta)

You are greeted by beautifully manicured gardens when you arrive at the Earthwise Society’s Agassiz Venue. These gardens surround a rustic heritage farmhouse and barn. You can choose between three ceremony venues: the Garden, the Orchard or the Cedar Grove. Each venue its own unique component. Since it is a certified organic farm and garden, Earthwise Agassiz can cater for your event with home-grown produce and handle the flowers if you wish.

Hopcott Farms (Pitt Meadows)

Hopcott Farms is a local working farm that offers up its verdant fields, mountain views and charming red barn to one couple per weekend. This gives you peace of mind in terms of rehearsal, set up, take down, and photos! This charming venue has packages that include everything you might need for your wedding and more.

Stanley Park Pavilion (Vancouver)

If you are looking for wedding locations in Vancouver, you know the Stanley Park Pavilion is a classy venue that hosts spectacular weddings. Though not specifically outdoors, getting married at the Stanley Park Pavilion gives you and your guests the opportunity to walk around and enjoy the forest and grounds of the most iconic park in Vancouver. The outside of the pavilion is a home-style heritage lodge surrounded by incredible gardens and a classy fountain. While the inside houses stunning white walls and traditional hardwood floors which welcome any theme or décor you envision. Since it is so popular, you will definitely have to book your wedding in advance. But trust us – it is definitely worth the wait.

The Chapel Group Parks

If you are looking for more wedding locations closer to Vancouver, The Chapel Group offers personalised services at their beautiful chapels located in three iconic Vancouver and Richmond parks.

The Chapel at Stanley Park

Stanley Park is huge, and though the Pavilion is a much-loved wedding venue, it is not your only option. The Chapel at Stanley Park allows you to have an intimate ceremony with your closest family and friends. Then you can also enjoy all your favourite familiar Stanley Park hot spots. The seawall, the beautiful gardens, the beaches and the endless paths and trails. Just imagine how incredible your wedding photos will be! Though many people get married here, the possibilities for making your wedding unique and beautiful are endless.

Queen Elizabeth Park

If you’re looking for a contemporary wedding venue, look no further. The Chapel at Queen Elizabeth Park is located at the highest elevation which allows for stunning views of the gardens and the mountains. Its main feature is the retractable glass wall which creates a stunning natural backdrop. You and your guests will love the beautiful walkways, fountains and garden where you can take pictures and enjoy one of Vancouver’s most scenic parks, all while celebrating a special day of love.

Minoru Park

This lovely white historic chapel at Minoru Park was built back in 1891 and has not lost any of its beauty or charm. A photographer’s dream, the park features the blooming Pierrefond Gardens as well as quaint ponds, breathtaking waterfalls and stunning walking paths nestled among the trees. When looking at the wooden chapel nestled among luscious green trees you’ll think you’ve stumbled upon the set for a Nicholas Sparks movie. It’s simple, traditional and oh so romantic.

When you look back on your wedding day, the most important thing you will want to remember is the way you felt. The excitement you felt arriving at your venue, how intimate and close you felt with your partner when you were taking pictures, how in love and close you felt while exchanging vows. These are the things you will want to remember regardless of where you got married. As usual, our advice is to trust your gut. When you are visiting wedding venues, where do you get the best feeling? Which location gets you most excited? Focus on those feelings and the rest will work itself out. Happy venue hunting!

Whether it’s a wedding, rehearsal dinner, engagement or anniversary, get in touch with You Forever today and let’s plan your forever memory!

couple hugging each other closely and looking content

Whether you are planning a lower-budget wedding or throwing a huge party, keeping track of your costs is key. You will find that expenses add up quickly (think minimum five figures… minimum!). Even the “smallest” of weddings can turn into a very expensive event if not planned strategically. Here you will find the most important things to consider when creating your budget, common budgeting mistakes, where hidden costs will often turn up and how to save yourself some money so you and your partner can tuck some away for other big expenses coming up in your lives.

So, how much does a wedding cost…really?

Things to Consider in a Wedding Budget

It seems silly to say, but when planning your budget you need to know how much money you have to spend. This can be harder to figure out than you may think. You need to consider you and your fiancé’s individual savings and how much you can save before your wedding month, plus any contributions you will realistically receive from parents or loved ones. Once you have this total amount, decide upon your venue or banquet hall (this will be your biggest expense and you can expect to spend around 50% of your budget on it). Then determine you and your partners’ non-negotiables. This could be your wedding dress, the number of guests, open bar etc. Once you figure out these three things you’ll know how much you can spend on everything else.

Reminder: Finding a venue requires a lot of research. Some require you to use their fittings i.e. chairs, dishware, glassware, etc. Determining exactly what is included in the venue and any extras you included is key to budgeting accurately. You Forever has a wide variety of venue suggestions suiting any style and size of wedding you are planning. We’ll discuss all of these options with you if you wish to book a wedding consultation.

Wedding Budgeting Mistakes

When budgeting, most couples can usually find their ballpark wedding budget. However, they forget to keep track of the money they are actively spending. Creating a spreadsheet with 3 expense columns labelled “estimated cost” (for how much you are anticipating on spending before speaking to vendors), “modified cost” (which you’ll have a better idea after meeting with vendors), and “actual cost” (that being exactly what you’re spending). Your actual cost will often look very different from your estimated and modified costs because of hidden fees and gratuities. Financial calculators can be great tools to help you keep track of (and stay on!) budget.

Planning your guestlist is another aspect that often generally fluctuates greatly until you are looking at exactly how much your dream wedding is going to cost. Remember: you do not need to invite your entire extended family! Your number of guests determines the amount of food, alcohol, chairs, invitations, etc. that add up to your wedding cost. Keep in mind that taking even 10 people off your guestlist will often save you over a thousand dollars. This is why it is important to sit down with your fiancé and make 2 guest lists. The first one should be as ruthless as possible (think only your dearest and closest family/friends that you have seen within the last year). The second should include everybody you would like to invite. From those 2 lists you should be able to meet in the middle to figure out your final guest list.

Prepare for Hidden Wedding Costs

A hidden wedding cost can be extra vendor/caterer/photographer fees that you haven’t anticipated, or simply costs that you have overlooked or not even considered. Wedding vendors know people are willing to spend big bucks on their wedding day, so they will often tack on extra fees (and often gratuities) to different services. When meeting with vendors, make sure they outline every single cost for you so you know exactly how much you are spending on each aspect of your wedding.

Commonly overlooked costs can be guest transportation, setup and cleaning fees, custom cocktails, digital access to photos, envelope stuffing, extra decorations, hair and makeup trials, overtime, etc. The best way not to miss any costs is to map out exactly what your wedding will look like. From invitations being sent out to the day itself, imagine you’ll have to pay for every single thing. Also, open communication with your vendors (and reading the fine print!) will ensure that you have budgeted for every aspect. Just in case some things pop up unexpectedly, which they always do, set aside 5% of your wedding budget. This will be a safety net for extra little splurges and these hidden costs you might not be expecting.

Saving Money on Your Wedding Where Possible

When it comes to planning your wedding, you can put a dollar amount on literally everything. The magical world of wedding planning has made it so easy for you to not do anything yourself – for the right price. If you are willing to spend some (a lot) of your own time putting in the work, and if you are willing to compromise in terms of venue and season, then you can save yourself a lot of money that you can spend elsewhere!

If you spend anywhere under 50% of your entire wedding budget on your venue, congratulations you’ve saved money! The season and even the day of the week can also make a big difference. Choosing a smaller, maybe less “aesthetic” venue on a weekday in the winter can save you A LOT of money. You can then spend this money on decorations to make it as simple or extravagant as you’d like. Making your own decorations will also save you a pretty penny here.

Some companies will charge you upwards of $7 per invitation (and that’s not including calligraphy!) If you order all of your own paper items and address your invitations yourself you can save close to $800-900. So get some friends together, open a bottle of wine (or 3), and get to work!

It is so easy to get overwhelmed when planning your wedding costs. Don’t forget, this is going to be one of the best days of your life. You are committing to a lifetime with your partner. When it comes down to it, the most important thing is that the two of you are happy. You definitely cannot put a price tag on that.

Whether it’s a wedding, rehearsal dinner, engagement or anniversary, get in touch with You Forever and let’s plan your perfect day!