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Old 07-05-2016, 11:13 PM   #26
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First of all congrats!....

Secondly, get the big things out of the way first...

Plan dates around the availability of the venue first, if you do it the other way it will be too difficult.

Give yourself at least a year for planning.

Write EVERYTHING down. You will forget things, and then remember at the wrong times.

It can get stressful so just keep your cool, remember you can't really rely on other people to do things perfectly the way you want them, so you will have to get involved in a lot of the things or give a lot of direction. I am a control freak so it was very hard for me to do until the last minute.

Don't worry about the little things up until 3 to 4 months before the wedding itself. The prices for photobooths and shit are really competitive in Vancouver so you don't need to worry about that.

Biggest items for me were, in order of importance (to me), Venue(s), Dates, Her Dress(es), Decorators, Photo/Video, Cards/Invites.

Small things... Cake, food menu, hotel, honeymoon, DJ, photobooth, your clothes, etc.

Be steadfast on your guest list, it can easily grow without you realizing. You need to keep a cut throat sort of method in a sense.

For me, we are clearly in the 6 figures for our wedding, mind you it lasts over 5 events. 3 of them being catered events at wedding venues. We started with 400 guests, ended up with about 500 (my parents kept extending the list). I planned everything myself, it was hard for me to trust other people to get things done the way i like.

Good Luck!!

PS. Don't cheap out on the photo/video and honeymoon, photo/video is the only tangible thing you are taking away from your wedding. And you only really have one honeymoon, make it count, and don't postpone it for a later date.

Other things I forgot: Don't get married in August, didn't know this when we set the dates, it's wedding season, every price is hiked up (almost 300%). Try March or May.

Look at South Hall in Vancouver, they do a lot of different cultures weddings. I have a few recommendations for decorations but they may be really expensive depending on your initial budget.
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Old 07-05-2016, 11:19 PM   #27
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Pick a Venue where u can bring your own booze. Ull save a lot of money and your friends will love you. Booze is for your friends and the food is more for the older people. I've heard nothing but bad things about having drink tickets.
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Old 07-05-2016, 11:40 PM   #28
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I know you should plan your wedding, expecting to fully pay for it.

But can anyone share how much you paid in total, vs. how much you received back from guest as red/lucky envelopes? 50%? 75%?
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Old 07-05-2016, 11:52 PM   #29
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My wedding/reception was a bit above 30k for Dr. Sun Yat Sen Ceremony and Dockside reception... Some of her uncles kept bitching that the portions werent that big compared to a chinese style dinner. Other than them I think everyone enjoyed it. You and your wife to be may want to set a budget before you get started just so you are aware what your options really are, expect to spend over your budget as there always tends to be extra fees. For a wedding your size you may want to go the hotel route. Check with venue to see if there are any plating fees for the cake, some can be a big rip off. Also the hardest part we had was our families wanting to invite people that is why we chose a smaller location like Dockside to limit the people who we hardly saw.
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Old 07-05-2016, 11:56 PM   #30
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I know you should plan your wedding, expecting to fully pay for it.

But can anyone share how much you paid in total, vs. how much you received back from guest as red/lucky envelopes? 50%? 75%?
From white guests you are going to receive mainly gifts, from asian guests it varied a lot for mine 50 - 150 a person. We spent around 200/person so we didn't make back that much.
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Old 07-06-2016, 12:18 AM   #31
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i would say i was one of the last to get married amongst my inner circle of friends.

i've been a groomsman at a 500 person wedding , 200 person wedding, and 50 person wedding.

i will honestly say, the smaller the wedding the more fun it is. its less a show and more a party/celebration. the big weddings its speeches, chores, facetime, its a production.

my own wedding was 130 people and we put it together in 3.5 months, and we were able to keep it at under 20k, some of it was amazing pricing on the alcohol portion, and my wife is awesomely frugal and not a bridezilla by any means. we had ours at the royal van yacht club. once the wife has got the dress, and u've got the venue, the rest is easy.

ways to save

evites, u can buy fancier ones, its way easier to keep track of people and manage counts. you can send a few paper ones to the older folks who need to have paper. phone calls are also great, as people are always excited to catch up n chat

friday reception, saves a shit ton, like massively. often you have minimums etc, friday's means no minimum or smaller mins. friday's are always easier to book to. we actually had ours on a friday, literally the night before that massive wind storm a year ago.

video, we skipped it, many of my friends did fancy videos, but u know what not a single one of them has watched their own videos. i've yet to look at a single wedding photo except for the one plastered on our wall.

photography during meal time, reception, we bought several canon selphy photo printers, tons of paper and ink cartridges and asked people to use their phones and cameras and print stuff and stuff them into a scrapbook for us. we liked that a lot and our guests did too, they took stuff away with them.

wedding cake, my wife is a cupcake fan. we got cupcakes and we saved on the plating fee. and the cupcakes were great and inexpensive from wholefoods. we just got a single nice topper kind of cake for cutting.

flowers, been to lots of weddings w glamorous flower arrangements 3-4ft tall. i could not speak or see the person across the table from me. so what we did was got cheapy 1-2$ vases from ikea, sought out an inexpensive florist (kits market on yew street) who made the arrangements and we provided the vases.

alcohol, well my friends are big drinkers but being asian the open bar thing is sort of a requirement. however i was open to a loonie or toonie bar, only to keep people in check. i also purchased several more expensive bottles of scotch which i gave to my buddies to predrink on , that helped keep the bartab down haha

its your day spend what u want, but remember, what do u really remember about your buddies weddings other than, i was so drunk or the funny speech. the rest is just over their heads gone in a distant memory.
enjoy yourself rather than make the day feel like a chore
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Old 07-06-2016, 01:56 AM   #32
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Everything's a rip off, over priced because it has the word wedding attached to it
This is so true!!

I know a girl who has a sister working as a professional event planner.

She said that when people ask for grand father's retirement party(for example), she would quote something like $8,000.

However, as soon as the customer say the word "wedding" the price goes up to $25,000.

Same venue, same food, same everything. But people are willing to pay for it just because it's a "wedding".

Her suggestion was, NEVER tell the event planner you're planning for wedding. Just say it is for your best friend's good bye party, your parents/grand parents retirement party, just make something up. Just hide it til very last minute. seriously.
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Old 07-06-2016, 06:50 AM   #33
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I know you should plan your wedding, expecting to fully pay for it.

But can anyone share how much you paid in total, vs. how much you received back from guest as red/lucky envelopes? 50%? 75%?
We got $15K in cash gifts (and only a few physical gifts) from 130 guests. Older Asians gave the most ($200-300 per couple), younger white people gave the least ($50-80 per couple). Wedding cost $40K and we had planned to get about $8-9K back in gifts so we were pleasantly surprised. The biggest surprise was a co-worker, the CFO at my company, who gave a $1K - didn't expect that level of generosity.
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Old 07-06-2016, 08:33 AM   #34
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Just a note here. I've seen above that many people have mentioned wedding pictures/videos as important, and others have mentioned that they have never once looked at them.

I guess to some degree this depends on the person, but as you get older having pictures, to go back and look at can be incredible. I know my parents pulled out their wedding photos not long ago, for the first time in forever, and it was incredible to see them. At that moment in time I know that if you asked my parents was it worth the money they would have said absolutely, and probably would have wished they had spent even more to have a video or more photos to look at.

TL;DR - you may not look at the photo albums for 10 or 20 years, but if you are lucky enough to be married for longer than that, you will not regret having spent the money the day that you eventually do go back and look at them.
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Old 07-06-2016, 08:36 AM   #35
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i also purchased several more expensive bottles of scotch which i gave to my buddies to predrink on , that helped keep the bartab down haha
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Old 07-06-2016, 01:36 PM   #36
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NCRX is on the ball about enjoying the moment, the memories of your wedding day. Planning details are important, but savoring every moment of the day with your wife is the most important.

Big tip: Make sure you, your fiancÚ, meet up with your MCs with a couple meetings weeks before your big day. I was one of the MCs at my brother's wedding three years ago. -felt like a project meeting to go over the details of scripts for me and the other MC (other MC did the Chinese translation ) in addition to planning some fun games to play on my bro and sister in law. Introducing the wedding party and immediate family of you and your bride-to-be is the most important part of the MC's job.

Congrats!
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Old 07-06-2016, 07:18 PM   #37
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I spent 10k all in, open bar till 9 (not because of money, but because it helps control how blackout people get) ordered (quality Italian) pizza, canapes, and cheese and meat platters prepared by me and my friends the day before. Everyone still talks about how it was one of the best times they have ever had.
Don't spend too much time and money because it means more stress. More stress means less fun. People remember who they were there with, who banged who, and how late they stayed until. It really depends on your crowd though.
Only real advice is don't over extend yourself. Its not worth not affording your down payment, your honeymoon, your future just to try and impress a bunch of distant relatives and friends. Spend it with the people you love and it will be fucking great no matter what you do.
The best memory so many people have is watching my grandma chug Dom straight out of the bottle with me LOL. Our families are very mellow, and there was no interest in "impressing" people. Its hard to give good advice because its so personal for you and your families.

NCRX it sounds like we had similar thoughts on our weddings. We had ours at the wise hall, but yeah, no real emphasis on the flowers and other bullshit. Just the fun juice, and the food.
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Old 07-07-2016, 02:09 PM   #38
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This is so true!!

I know a girl who has a sister working as a professional event planner.

She said that when people ask for grand father's retirement party(for example), she would quote something like $8,000.

However, as soon as the customer say the word "wedding" the price goes up to $25,000.

Same venue, same food, same everything. But people are willing to pay for it just because it's a "wedding".

Her suggestion was, NEVER tell the event planner you're planning for wedding. Just say it is for your best friend's good bye party, your parents/grand parents retirement party, just make something up. Just hide it til very last minute. seriously.
Wedding are a lot more work. As A DJ I have done 3 weddings and a bunch of other parties and weddings are a lot more work. I also have a photo/video booth I built and have done lots of wedding receptions.


2 most important parts of the reception are the music and the booze. If you have good music and an open bar you will have guests chanting one more song at 1 A.M. instead of leaving by 10:30 PM. Look into renting a South Asian banquet hall. They have in house catering that can do all types of food including Chinese and let you bring your own booze. These places do multiple parties a week in the spring/summer. You also don't have to rent the whole place you can just rent 1/2 or less.
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Old 07-07-2016, 03:14 PM   #39
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If you are going to have an open bar, I'd suggest to just go get your own booze and hire bartenders (if venues allow it). A buddy of mine did this and we had a booze run to Calgary to load 8k worth of booze. And boy were we wasted after the wedding.

And as many have already suggested, it's better to keep the wedding small. You won't remember much anyway. And I think it's way better to do a small wedding in a nice venue vs. a big wedding in a so-so one.

I had a small one at a Ritz-Carlton and it was awesome. We had access to private beach, classy venue and great food/service. My brother who had a much larger one in a worse venue later told me my wedding was much nicer... and on a per-head count basis, we didn't spend much more than he did.
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Old 07-07-2016, 04:03 PM   #40
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gonna just put my own input as ive been a guest to many, but not planned my own

- no one cares about how baller it is. if you have the money and WANT to show off, then fine.
- the best weddings ive been to have been in backyards. seriously. the last one which was an intimate home setting was a beautiful home (not mansion) in north van. very well decorated and the whole thing was catered by a friend of the bride/groom. big bbq, lots of craft beer and just a wonderful time. probably the best wedding ive been to.
- in contrast, a few weeks after i went to a friends wedding at the westin wall centre in richmond. 300 or so people. 70% of them were random elder family, or "work associates" of the bride's father. it was just an absolute pissing contest for the parents i guess. open bar was very awesome, but i ended up getting food poisoning and spent the next 3 days hugging the toilet. venue was bland and the food even moreso. pretty dissapointing as i had high hopes.
- my brother got married in maui and only invited close family. it was more for show though, as he had a crazy suprise wedding with just friends before hand (apparently way less red tape and hoops to jump through if you "legally" marry in your own country, and just do a ceremony somewhere else like maui). anyways, he invited all of his close friends over to his apartment for a "jack and jill" party. a last HURRAH of being not married yet. but out of no where, a pastor comes in and they got married right there with only the most important people around. now a memory like that will last forever.


my main suggestion is though, get a candy bar. seriously bro. go to superstore bulk section or costco, buy a shit tonne of gummy worms, sour keys, hershey kisses etc and make an 'open candy bar'. all the grandparents and less than 19's will thank you for it.
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Old 07-07-2016, 04:40 PM   #41
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Let her plan the wedding, you are only there for input unless you want to be a Groomzilla. As everyone said food is everything+ open bar upto a certain time. if you can, and a dance area... Also 300+ people damn that's alot of people, I'd cut down on excess baggage, people you hardly know, we did on ours. And on some we didn't invite their kids only our nieces/nephews . we spent most of our money on the honeymoon.

If only two of you are paying for the wedding. Dont be obligated to invite your parents friends unless they are close to you, not your parents

Fun and stressful time. A money pit as well.

Newlands in Langley have a preset package don't know how much it cost now but they did good in ours, almost 8+years ago.they include food, flowers, ceremony area, decorations , hall, booze, photographer and I think a DJ. Can't remember it's been a while. Blew about 20k-25k all in all on the wedding including dresses, rides etc. We negotiated what we wanted. So it wasn't too bad

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Old 07-24-2016, 06:09 PM   #42
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Video: Carrick Talks Money: What?s with all the overspending on weddings (average cost: $31,000+)? - The Globe and Mail
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