Real Weddings

A DIY, Budget-Friendly Wedding in Surrey, British Columbia


For Bethany and Benny, a guest list of 100 and budget of $5000 was not a problem. With a little creativity and the help of family and friends they were able to easily keep cost of their celebration in check.

The couple held a casual backyard wedding in Surrey, British Columbia where the bride’s parents, who are officiants with Hey Rev, were highly involved with the wedding planning. Along with wearing her grandmother’s wedding ring, Beth also wore her mom’s wedding dress. Her mother bought the dress two weeks after she started dating Bethany’s father and paid $250 for it 30 years ago. “It came complete with big poofy sleeves, cuffs and a high tight collar,” Beth says. “But my amazing mom trimmed away the sleeves, cuffs, collar, added a black lace trim to the bottom and a black ribbon bodice to open the back to make it more modern.” The bride’s bouquet was also crafted by her mom. She asked the women in her daughter’s life to send her brooches and wired each one over silk hydrangea to form a one-of-a-kind sparkling gem-filled bouquet.

Benny’s family, who only speaks Russian, arrived from Israel a few days before the wedding. Bethany’s side of the family did their best to learn a few words before they came over and during the wedding Benny helped out by providing simple translation cheat-sheets covering phrases such as “my name is” and “welcome to our family.”

Bethany Sheppard and Benjamin Manelis, September 30, 2012, Surrey, British Columbia.

Photography courtesy of Evelyn Ford Photography.

Ceremony and reception location: The bride’s parents’ backyard
Bridal gown: The bride wore her mother’s dress
Bridal party attire: Mai Tai
Cake: Cornflake Cake made by the bride’s mother, Tracy Sheppard
Caterer: Canuel Caterers
Favours: Bags of homemade cookies baked by the bride’s aunt
Wedding planner, flowers and stationery: The bride’s mother, Tracy Sheppard
Music: Craig Robins (

See all photos from this budget-friendly wedding in Surrey.

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