bride on a budget

Buying Art Supplies for Wedding Crafts by Vanessa Larkey

Over the weekend I got crafty. Well, kinda. 

I bought the art supplies that will eventually be used to make our table numbers, place settings etc. etc. And as I was perusing the aisles of Dollarama, Michael's and eventually Wal-Mart, I was reminded of the 'wedding tax' we ran into while looking at venues. 

10 place setting cards for $12. An envelope box for $60. I could go on, but it'll upset me too much. Instead, I'll go over how we saved a buck or two and eventually walked away with a bunch for stuff for $170. 

Make A List and Check It Twice

Before I hit the mall, I made a detailed list of everything we needed craft wise. I find making a list for any kind of shopping helps out big time. Personally, without a list I lose focus and forget what I've set out to buy, which means I start filling the cart with unnecessary and costly items. 

The Dollar Store   

When it comes to buying art supplies, a dollar store should be your first stop. Most have a huge selection, and if you can knock off most of your shopping list there there, do it. They have more than you'd think, too. Place card settings, table number holders, and glue guns. If you're in Ontario, Dollarama's are a great resource. Plus, they're clean and generally well stocked. 

Discount Stores

 I generally shy away from shopping at Wal-Mart because I disagree with their politics and employment practises, but sometimes, you need tea lights and they have the lowest price. Wal-mart also has a selection of art supplies, but like I mentioned previously, I'm not a fan of them politically and try to avoid spending my money with them. Plus, the dollar store has 'em beat on price when it comes to place card settings and markers. 

Art Stores

 If you're looking to save big on cash, the art store should be your last stop. I'd also suggest you avoid their wedding section. Sure, the stuff might be cutesy, but it's going to set your budget back big time. Instead, I'd suggest heading to the general art supply section and picking up any items you still need. When it comes to table numbers and place settings, remember, you can make a stencil of a shape you like, buy some nice paper, and make 'em yourself. 

All in all, my experience buying crafts made me very thankful for the Bunz trading app and Facebook group. Wedding supplies can be hella expensive, and it's great to know there is a community of people out there looking to trade for this stuff you'll only use once. 

*I tried to trade for tea lights on the Bunz App, but was too slow on multiple occasions. 

Lessons Learned From Another Bride On A Budget by Vanessa Larkey

Bride on budget congratulates bride on budget.

Bride on budget congratulates bride on budget.

Venues, restaurants, and halls not your thing? Take a page from my friend Dayna who planned an awesome wedding day that was intimate and very affordable. 


Not into a bunch of people staring at you while taking your vows? Neither were Dayna and Patrick.  Instead, they opted for a private ceremony in Patrick's mother's backyard in front of immediate family. The best part? They were able to use their dog, Dax, as the de facto flower girl/ring bearer/videographer*.


After their ceremony, Dayna and Patrick met their extended family for lunch at Mangia & Bevi. The best part? Dayna told the restaurant she didn't have centrepieces, so the restaurant made their own! It was a sweet gesture and total surprise -- Dayna loved it. 


Reception part 2 was held in a friend's backyard. The event was catered by a food truck (yum!) and the couple hired a bartender to distribute the libations. Because they were already officially married at this point, the newlyweds were able to mix and mingle with their guests. In fact, I don't think I've ever been to a wedding where I've had so much one on one time with the bride! Usually it's just a quick, "Congratulations!" and they're off to see another guest. 

At dusk, guests were invited to a nearby park to check out a fireworks show. It was romantic and fun and awesome. 

So! What advice does Dayna have for other bride's on a budget? I've posted her nuggets of wisdom (is that a thing?) below. 


"For a wedding like mine, I would advise people to plan it in 3 or 4 months. Don't wait a whole year cause it just gives people longer to mix up the details."

Dayna's engagement lasted just over a year and like us, she sent out an email save the date/wedding invite. The newlywed said there were some mixups with family when it came to the actual date of the wedding, but I think that can happen at a larger wedding as well. Some people are just bad at remembering dates. 

If you plan on having an intimate ceremony with a larger reception afterwards, Dayna advises not to mince words.  

"Be super blunt and clear with everyone when it comes to the invites... if you're trying to protect feelings they'll just misinterpret what you're saying. For instance, the invitation to the aunts and uncles said we were having a small ceremony and would like them to join us for lunch after. We gave them the date, time, and location of lunch only. I thought that made it clear cause they didn't receive the location and time of ceremony, but that didn't happen."

So there you have it! Advice from another bride on a budget. 

*When you attached Go Pro to your dog, they become a videographer.