Here comes the (recessionary) bride

Here comes the (recessionary) bride by Chantal Eustace, Canwest News Service

National Post | February 25, 2009

Photo: Getty Images (from the National Post)

Groom-to-be Dixon Tam wasn’t trying to be trendy by opting to use email invitations, or e-vites, for his wedding.

He just wanted to save a little bit of money.

In today’s economy, budgeting is a necessity for many people — even brides and grooms.

Tam, who works for a Vancouver public relations firm, will no doubt be one of many couples in 2009 seeking innovative ways to say “I do” without breaking the bank.

Lynn O’Brien, producer of the Fraser Valley Wedding Festival, says e-vites or self-designed invitations are just one way people will be saving money.

O’Brien says she expects weddings will be smaller, too.

“Obviously [the downturn] is far-reaching and it’s going to impact everything.”

People will also be looking to wed in more interesting and inexpensive venues such as museums or parks, she says. And more people will probably use online or electronic RSVP sites instead of sending out postage-paid envelopes.

Anything goes. “Basically, I’d say, the trend is no trend,” says O’Brien with a chuckle.

That applies even to the dress, O’Brien say, adding that today’s brides will often look for a wedding gown that can be worn again as a cocktail gown. Or, they might even wear a dress that they’ve worn before.

“[Brides] are thinking out of the box a bit,” O’Brien says. “And I think the thinking out of the box is going to be more prevalent now, because of the economy.”

Vancouver wedding planner Geneve McNally, of DreamGroup Productions, says the economy has some couples scaling back on the size of their bridal parties as well.

A lot of her clients are “choosing to downsize and to still do it right,” she says. “In general, people are still doing it the way they would have done it before but they’re just being a little less frivolous,” McNally says, noting that people are more likely to cut guest numbers than cut quality of food and drink.

Tam says he and his fiancée Jerica Liang just want to have a fun wedding that their friends and family will enjoy while staying on budget.

“We’re paying for it ourselves,” Tam says, of their October wedding. “We want to get a house some day. So do you have a big wedding, or not?”

In the end, he says, they’ve decided to have one reception — not two, as initially discussed — and to invite 100 guests. They also decided to plan an “off-season” wedding in October, instead of during the peak summer months. They’re budgeting $15,000, he says, adding he’s still looking for ways to save.

Liang says she’s getting excited about the big day.

“I just want to have a lot of fun with my friends and family,” Liang says. “It’s our day. I want people who I care about to be there, to share the day with us.”

Read this article on the National Post

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