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Owner of DebraDee Weddings Naomi Braun stands next to their wedding dress collection.

Wedding season may be months away, but Regina will see a large amount of bridal fever in the coming weeks.

 

On Jan. 25, Regina’s annual A Wedding Expo will be held at the Conexus Arts Centre. The one-day event will feature over 100 of southern Saskatchewan’s retailers and service providers. But despite the convenience of the event, planning a wedding can still be a stressful feat, especially on a budget.

DebraDee Weddings, a wedding-dress boutique in Regina, is one of the headliners for the fashion show at A Wedding Expo. Owner Naomi Braun sympathizes with brides dealing with the costs of a wedding. She believes the cost of wedding dresses in particular has gone up significantly. “I got married about 11 years ago, and the amount of money we were looking to spend on a dress was way different than now. Now, you’re looking at spending $2,000 on a dress that maybe 10 years ago, you would have to spend $500 or $600 on. It (has changed) substantially,” said Braun.

 

Bride Gill Keifer got engaged in November but is already planning her June wedding. The cost of a wedding is higher than she initially thought. “I find there are a lot of cost differences as soon as it’s something used for a wedding. If you look at limo services, there’s a cost difference as soon as it’s used for a wedding,” said Keifer. “It’s frustrating that things can be a different cost as soon as it becomes (something for) a wedding.”

 

With a budget in the $10,000 to $15,000 range, Keifer has cut any unnecessary expenses. “So I think the hardest thing is prioritizing. If you want to go on a budget, you have to pick (the) priorities of your wedding. If you want those pictures that are magazine-spread-worthy, you’re going to pay for them,” said Keifer.

 

Cassandra Bradshaw, one of the owners of Old New Borrowed Blue Wedding and Event Planning, recommends brides create a budget from the start, designating where they want to spend their money. Despite this, unexpected costs often spring up.

 

“One of the most shocking costs for our brides is once they start looking into flowers and garlands,” said Bradshaw. As a result, many brides have veered from the traditional wedding. “We are seeing more and more (brides) do New Years weddings or weddings in off-seasons because it is a little cheaper,” said Bradshaw.

 

University of Regina student Debora Warkentin is also planning a lower budget wedding. To cut costs, she’s gotten creative.

 

“For the flowers, I’m getting my bouquets done at a flower shop. But for some of the decorations, we will just get a whole bunch of flowers from Costco or something, and then arrange it ourselves because, really, it’s not that hard to do and it’s a lot cheaper,” said Warkentin. 

 

To have the type of wedding she envisions without going over budget, Warkentin is also using any connections she has. “I have a friend who does graphic design, so she’s doing my invitations. So that’s a lot cheaper, too, when you have connections like that. My photographer is also somebody’s friend that I know. She’s really good at what’s she’s doing; she did our engagement pictures. So that’s another cost that we’ve cut down,” she said.

 

“I would say that people are pretty smart about their weddings in Saskatchewan,” said Bradshaw.