Broke-Ass Category: Destination Weddings


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One big question about wedding planning that loomed over us for months was, where were we going to have it?

Evan and I are both originally from the prairie region of Canada, and most of our families live out there. Currently, we both live and work in Ontario. Most people expected that we would have our wedding in our hometown — it’s where we grew up, we’ve got the beauty of the Rockies in our backyard, and nearly all of our family and childhood friends live there.

However, we were struggling to find a venue that fit our needs. A wedding at a resort in the mountains was way out of our price range, and the venues that suited our guest count located in and around the city just didn’t seem to fit our style. In addition, we only go home to visit two to three times a year for a few days, which limited our ability to go check out venues and meet with planners. As our options dwindled, I held fast to the idea of the hometown wedding because of the guilt associated with requesting that our loved ones have to spend time and money to schlep to the other side of the country to attend our wedding.

I’ve heard from one friend who had a destination wedding that you can plan a wedding remotely, but you generally need to hire a wedding planner to coordinate on your behalf, eliminating some of the personal touches that we wanted. I started to put out tiny little feelers for venues in our area of the country, just to “keep our options open.”

We ended up stumbling an adorable little venue an hour away from us, in wine country, that perfectly suited our tastes and budget. The owners of the venue recommended excellent vendors, and I was able to meet them at my convenience, rather than try to cram meetings into limited-time visits home (when I’d much rather be hanging out with my family and friends!). I wanted this venue so bad, but I was afraid to tell my guests — would they be upset?

As per usual, my inner voice was entirely too fatalistic. Everyone understood, and they were happy to make the trip to see us tie the knot. Likely, they’ll end up seeing a wedding with a less stressed-out bride and groom, which is nice too. Yes, there’s lots that can be done to ease the financial burden of guests, but to some extent, there’s a point at which you’ve gotta do you. This was mine.

How did you compromise to help your guests but save your sanity?

  • 2/1

    The time has finally come to see Real Bride Amy’s intimate Chittendon, Vt., wedding. Amy and Rick escaped to a gorgeous lakeside lodge with a few of their nearest and dearest to tie the knot. They did away with all the extras and prioritized their dollars on what made sense for them — the true broke-ass way. Boucher Visuals did a wonderful job of capturing the love and details from their big day.
    Amy and Rick's Chittendon, VT Wedding | Lakeside Portrait || Boucher VisualsName: Amy & Rick

    Occupation: Public Health Professional

    Wedding location: Chittenden, VT

    Wedding Date: September 25, 2016

    Budget: $10,000

    Number of Guests: 15

    How would you describe your wedding (civil? Traditions? Write your own vows? Etc.): Simple. No frills. Just the important stuff.

    Amy and Rick's Chittendon, VT Wedding | Ring Shot || Boucher Visuals

    Amy and Rick's Chittendon, VT Wedding | Venue View || Boucher Visuals

    What was your favorite part of your wedding? When the ceremony was over, we walked to the car and had a few minutes before we went to join our guests. It was nice to have a few minutes to breath and just be together in the midst of a hectic day.

    Amy and Rick's Chittendon, VT Wedding | Couple Portrait || Boucher Visuals
    What did you splurge on?
    Photography! This was my #1 priority so it was worth it. I also unintentionally splurged on my dress, but I found one I loved and just went with it.  

    What did you save on? We kept it small and did not do a full reception, which saved us on food, flowers and decor.

    Amy and Rick's Chittendon, VT Wedding | Cake || Boucher VisualsWas there anything you would have done differently, in retrospect? I would have savored the day more. It all went by so fast!  

    What was your biggest challenge in planning? Making decisions about what I wanted to do, while trying to consider everyone else’s wishes.

    Amy and Rick's Chittendon, VT Wedding | Reception Dinner || Boucher Visuals

    Amy and Rick's Chittendon, VT Wedding | Bridal Bouquet|| Boucher VisualsWhat lessons did you learn from planning or from the wedding itself? Although it’s a special day, it really is only just a day, and real life starts again right after, so don’t stress about it too much!

    What were your top 5 favorite things about your wedding?

    Our pictures.

    My dress.

    The cake.

    My bouquet.

    Sharing it with our closest family and friends.

    Amy and Rick's Chittendon, VT Wedding | Bridal Accessories || Boucher Visuals

    Amy and Rick's Chittendon, VT Wedding | Shoes || Boucher Visuals

    Amy and Rick's Chittendon, VT Wedding | Dress Shot || Boucher VisualsTop 5 least favorite?

    Choosing vendors.

    Getting ready the morning of the ceremony. Stressful!

    The money. Seeing the bank balance dwindle away was hard.

    Pinterest pressure. DIY is not always worth it.

    How fast it all went by.

    Amy and Rick's Chittendon, VT Wedding | Cake Cutting || Boucher Visuals

    Amy and Rick's Chittendon, VT Wedding | Cake Smash || Boucher VisualsWhat was the worst piece of wedding advice you received? Everyone had their own story about what they did at their own wedding that they of course thought was best, “you should use this vendor,” etc.  They meant well, of course, but each wedding and each couple is unique. Weddings are not one size fits all, and you have to do what is best for the two of you.

    The best? Go with your gut. Don’t get swayed, but what your friend did or the popular social media trends, or what your mother thinks you should do. Do whatever will make you look back on your day and smile.

    Amy and Rick's Chittendon, VT Wedding | Portrait with Dogs || Boucher VisualsAny other bits of wisdom? I can see the value in hiring at least a day-of coordinator. We didn’t, but much of the week before was spent trying to coordinate with vendors about schedules and payments, and that day I was worried about where everyone was going and when, and we were running around the envelopes trying to be sure everyone got paid. It would have been nice to know that was being handled so I could have focused more attention on my guests.

    Budget breakdown?

    Save the Dates and Invitations: $500

    Venue and food: $1,000

    Accommodations: $1,000

    Cake: $100

    Bouquet and boutonniere: $125

    Dress and alterations: $3,000

    Groom’s suit: $400

    Photography: $3,000

    Hair & Makeup: Free! I did my own makeup and my friend did my hair.

    Officiant: $400

    Total: $9,525


    Venue: Mountaintop Inn & Resort 

    Photography: Boucher Visuals

    Cake: Trillium Fine Desserts

    Dress: True North Bridal  Designer: Rebecca Schoneveld 

    Custom Save the Dates & Invitations: Written in Detail 

    Amy and Rick's Chittendon, VT Wedding | Ceremony Exit || Boucher Visuals

    Congratulations, Amy and Rick!


  • 1/13

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