Vanessa Semrau's blog

Vanessa Semrau is a volunteer with The Brides' Project helping soon-to-be-brides find the perfect dress for their big day.

On Saturday June 6th I had the pleasure of CBC joining me for a day at The Brides' Project.  What a great thing for us at TBP - and what a set up for another fun and fantastic day at the shop.  At The Brides' Project we strive to do things differently than your traditional salon.  Not only do we offer fabulous gowns at a fraction of the price those salons charge, but we really promote an atmosphere of fun and frivolity within our walls.  Even the crew with CBC commented that they felt people relax the moment they walked through the door, which was perhaps one of the best things I heard that day and something we never tire of hearing. 

In the year that I've been volunteering with TBP, I've had the pleasure of meetings hundreds of new and fascinating people, heard countless stories of inspiration and hope, and witnessed many touching moments between families and friends.  It's difficult to go home after a shift and not feel like you've experienced something special.  Our day with CBC was no exception.  From the patience our brides displayed, to their willingness to go on camera to help spread The Brides' Project story, to the extra time I got to spend with Clare - one of our latest "Good Karma" dress recipients, the day was perfect from start to finish.


Vanessa Edwardson's blog

Vanessa Edwardson and her fiance planned their wedding for under $5000.

I really cannot believe that our wedding is a week away! It seems like the time has gone by so quickly, from being on CBC The National, to our Las Vegas Honeymoon, and now the preparation for the wedding! I really see how much we have saved in this process of keeping our wedding under $5000, as we have not gone into debt at all, and have been able to pay everything by cash. It is so nice knowing we won’t be paying for another 3-5 years on just one day!!!

Our experience taping with CBC was pretty great! I have never been apart of anything like that in my life, and it was such a neat experience! I got to show off all the ways my fiance and I have saved, and to explain how EASY it is!!! With our wedding right around the corner, we have been so busy getting everything in order, and it’s kind of bittersweet seeing all of our determination and hard work to make this wedding what it is, just vanish after next Saturday. I have been helping other brides I have met as well, and giving them tips on how to save some money, and they cannot believe how easy it is!! Just try and find some Do It Yourself projects if you have the time, and in the long run, you will thank yourself! Money Boxes are easy to make from anything!, you can even make them out of old shoe boxes and construction paper. Ours was made from a storage box I purchased at a craft store for 40% off, and its perfect! Also, for your flowers, see what the flower for the season is, for a florist, getting a flower from the season is much more inexpensive than getting one "specialty" brought in!! Also, if you cannot imagine spending over a thousand dollars on a wedding dress, then you are just like me! Go on Kiji or one of those sites available. A lot of beautiful dresses, only worn once, are more than 50% off from what the bride paid, and then you can spend some extra money on a different part of the wedding!!! I hope this little blog helps any bride out there, just remember, it might seem impossible, but do A LOT of research before settling with your first quote! Vendors need you JUST as much as you need them!!!

Clare Mitchell's blog

Clare Mitchell visited The Brides' Project three times before finding the perfect dress. 

How do you plan for, what some would argue is the most important day of your life, and limit one’s impact on the environment? How do you balance consumption with celebration?   In my attempts to find alternatives for an eco bride and groom I stumbled across The Brides Project and not only found an environmentally responsible wedding dress option, but a socially responsible and a financially responsible one too. Most brides I tell about my experiences at TBP have expressed an interest in dragging their used wedding dress from the bottom of their closet to donate to this worthy cause.   My dress from TBP (Thanks Chrissy) fits our wedding theme of the "100 mile wedding," that is sourcing as much as possible for our wedding from within a 100 mile radius of our wedding location. We are working wih our caterer to acquire locally grown, in season foods, we are searching for a florist who can provide locally grown native flowers and we are trying to minimize our footprint by using FSC paper for our invitations and sending some electronically.   Our goal in having an environmentally friendly wedding is not about being trendy and riding the environmental wave, it is about celebrating our commitment to one another while reaffirming our shared belief in looking after our environment.   Clare

Reporter Lynne Robson's Field Notes

For a while the working title of my story was "How Low Can You Go?", reflecting the idea that each bride had creative ways to spend less...and less on her wedding. It starts with one bride giving up on her dream of having lots of bridesmaids and a live band on her special day. It ends with another bride losing 20 pounds in order to fit into a free bridal gown. Ultimately saving money on your wedding day comes down to making choices and deciding what really matters.  For one couple, it's all about the food; for another it is about dancing and family. And then there is the couple in St Catharine's, Ontario who wouldn't get married without Elvis (or the next best thing) singing at the service.

At first I thought it would be hard to find budget-minded brides. In fact it was simple. Everyone is pinching pennies and cutting back. Just ask the wedding planner and the floral designer we met. They are doing 50% less business than they did just last year.

And yet, the story is not glum. Every bride and groom gets the wedding they are happy with. Love conquers even the recession!