I feel like a broken record.... But I figured I may as well say something.
After hankering down and doing some serious budgeting for over 30 places, we have decided to do a destination elopement. My fiance and I have a pretty small budget and after some calling around, getting prices and creating a large excel for all these prices/estimates; we have decided to call it day and just go with what we originally wanted - which was an elopement.
We budgeted for places all over Alberta and I just couldn't make it work. We have so many additional expenses (like paying for his mother to come to Alberta on top of all her accommodations and expenses) and I couldn't make myself want to spend that much when I would rather do something else with the money. I don't want to have a half-assed wedding, if I was doing it here. I had specific requirements to meet and I couldn't make it work. Even with cutting others, it still couldn't work. It does not help that numerous vendors and venues are charging extra for the coming years. Which I find is disgusting - and kind of turned me off on even wanting a wedding here.
So.... we are going to Mexico! We are doing it on our original anniversary. These places include absolutely everything: beach-side ceremony with officiant, licence & registration, arch, bouquets and boutonnieres for the wedding party, hair & makeup for the bride, wedding cake, 4 course dinner, party that follows and of course tons for amenities for myself and my FH for having our wedding there. The only other thing I would have to get is the photographer. That's it. AND their prices are actually favorable compared to vendors here. With both of us staying 10 days, paying for his mom to come for 7 days and a photographer it comes to our max budget. No going over by $5,000 - $8,000 and I am so happy about it. The best thing is that every one we talked to so far that we considered the first ones to get to come have already said they will be there because everyone wants a vacation! It's great, honestly. And I don't have to stress about this anymore. We are ready to book when my fiance gets back!