A stress-free guide to planning your Vancouver wedding

May 23, 2017

by Megan Jones

Catering, photography, venue and DJ – a do-it-yourself wedding involves all hands on deck. Luckily, Vancouver is home to a bounty of independent shops, venues and professionals who will ensure you get married in style – and without any stress! Read on for a DIY guide to planning your wedding in Vancouver. [Photo credit: iStock/pixdeluxe]

A stress-free guide to planning your Vancouver wedding

Step one: Location, location, location

Most venues require at least one year’s advance notice for wedding bookings, so aim to make the call as soon as you know you’re getting hitched. Ideas include:

  • Saying your vows in one of Vancouver’s many public parks. From Spanish Banks to Jericho Beach to Stanley Park, all you’ll need is a park wedding ceremony permit to decorate – and celebrate – as you so desire. Aim to drink elsewhere though, as alcohol is not permitted.
  • Channel your inner Gatsby at the historic Hotel Vancouver’s grand Pacific Ballroom. It offers high ceilings, vintage chandeliers and large north-facing windows.
  • The Museum of Anthropology’s modern architecture – designed by famous Vancouverite Arthur Erickson – and gorgeous landscaping makes it an ideal wedding setting. Plus, your guests will enjoy exclusive access to the museum’s impressive collections.
  • Looking for something glamorous but affordable? Check out WeddingWire’s comprehensive venue list, searchable by price.

Step two: Say yes to the dress (and tux)

No need to venture outside of the Vancouver area to find the perfect wedding dress. Choosing a local shop is good for your style and your community (and often your wallet). Locales include:

  • New Westminster. Period. This historic town, just outside of Vancouver, boasts leagues of independent dress shops along its quaint Columbia Street, many of which are decades old. Start with Canada’s largest wedding apparel store, The Bridal Gallery, where hundreds of dresses include affordable and luxury, bride and bridesmaid.
  • Back in Vancouver, Truvelle’s locally handmade gowns please fashion-forward folks. Frocks on Main Street is another style-savvy option: brands include Nicole Miller, Jenny Yoo and Leanne Marshall.
  • Looking for a tailored experience? Bisou Bridal in Kitsilano will customize your dress through their private consultation process. Share visions of your dream gown!
  • And let’s not forget about the tux! Black & Lee has been around for 50 years and rents reasonably priced tuxes. Gastown’s Roden Gray offers beautiful, yet comfortable suits with a lifespan that will extend beyond your wedding.

Step three: Eat your way to marriage bliss

With its flourishing culinary scene and global influences, Vancouver is home to a range of dynamic catering options. Favourites include:

  • Railtown Café’s healthy and delicious meals will please any guest at your table. Highlights include artisan breads and soups make from scratch, house-made ice cream and rustic cakes. All made with as many seasonal ingredients as possible.
  • The Lazy Gourmet marries practical wedding planning experience with top-notch cooking and presentation. West Coast dishes incorporate sustainable ingredients.
  • Salty feta, grilled eggplant and saucy chicken skewers – Nuba Catering offers to-die-for Middle Eastern dishes for finger food and sit down meals alike.
  • Of course, there are many skilled caterers in town to choose from. Vancity Weddings is an excellent source for finding the best chefs for your wedding.

Step four: It’s all about the details

Now that your catering, outfits and venue are locked in, it’s time to turn your attention toward smaller details that pull everything together. Finding your DJ, decorations and photographer early helps reduce stress as your wedding day approaches.

  • From Bollywood dance to Top 40 and country crooners, this YP Smart List outlines top DJs in Vancouver, their specialties and how to get in touch. Groovy!
  • Leave your phone at home and let the professionals capture your wedding. Whether you’re looking for candid images or professional shots, this helpful Smart List of local wedding photographers helps find your true match.
  • Hiring a professional decorator is an expense most couples can’t afford. This comprehensive Smart List suggest ideal local shops for wedding décor – from lifestyle boutiques to full-on party supply stores.
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