We all know that living in the north isn't cheap - in fact, when it comes to most things, we tend to shell out quite a bit of money to live this far from any major centres, and when it comes to planning a wedding, it's no different.
Not only are our options limited in Northeastern BC for brides-to-be, but our prices are sky high to boot for what few selections we do have.
To solve this, I (and many others) have turned to online shopping.
Lots of women up here already shop online for clothes and shoes to save money and increase their options (having the new Winners open in Fort St. John will help with this at least), so it's no wonder that engaged girls are also turning to the internet to help with their wedding planning.
Really, it makes the most sense. You can find practically anything online, so for those brides-to-be with things like wedding themes to deal with (like me), there really is no other choice but to seek out dÉcor on the Internet and get it shipped up north to them.
Don't get me wrong - I'm all for supporting local businesses, but not all of us can afford the huge price hikes on average goods up here, especially when we have budgets.
If you're interested in expanding your options by shopping online, but don't know where to start, here are my top-two websites that I use for most of my shopping for my wedding:
1) Etsy.com - This site has everything. EVERYTHING. I can't believe some of the things you can find here (that you didn't think would exist sometimes), and the reason there are so many options on Etsy is because it's a social sharing site where artists, crafters and DIY experts sell their business, crafts and art while high competition keeps the prices down. From jewelry to signage and centerpieces and glassware, you can find pretty much anything you need for your wedding here tailored to what you're looking for. The only thing to keep an eye out for are people who don't ship to Canada, or those who advertise cheap prices for items but then hike their shipping prices (which means find another vendor).
2) Amazon.ca - If you can't find what you need on Etsy, odds are you'll find it on Amazon, but their search engine isn't as clear or easy to sort through as Etsy's. Still, it sells a lot of things from across Canada, the USA and the UK to boost your options (and your shipping costs).
Another thing to consider when you order things online up here is how your items are shipped. If it's via Canada Post, no problem; but if it's UPS or any other courier system in the area, heads up - they don't always call you when your package has arrived, and can send your items back claiming they contacted you (when they didn't, this has happened to me and other friends here).
To avoid this, call the courier around the time you're expecting your packages. Your reminders will make sure they keep you in mind and hopefully they'll contact you when your items arrive.
Also, if you're ordering things from other big company sites, remember to search Google for coupon codes that you can apply to your order to get free shipping or a discount on your total.
Hopefully some of these tips help you to save some money while giving you options for your wedding planning. It's not easy, but the internet has definitely made things easier for all of us (and our wallets).
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