Frugal Weddings ~ Put your Money towards your future, Not the Party!!

Frugal Weddings ~ Put your Money towards your future, Not the Party!!

What’s the average cost of a wedding in Canada?

I am  blown away!

According to Wedding Bells ( based on 140 attending)

The average expected cost of a wedding in Canada excluding the honeymoon is $22,429. Including the honeymoon it is $27,899.

Average budget breakdown based on anticipated costs:
Venue = $9,255
Honeymoon = $5,470
Rings/Bands = $2,470
Photographer = $2,206
Bridal Gown = $1,847
Decor/Florist = $1,343
DJ/Musicians = $1,247
Transportation/Limo = $753
Cake = $584
Jewellery = $483
Hairstylist = $467
Guest Favours = $452
Bridesmaids’ Dresses = $428
Stationery = $384

OUCH!!! Here’s a few ideas on cutting this down by quite a bit

Venue $9000 ( I am hoping this price is catered and alcohol)  : Phone your town office and see about renting a hall to have the whole thing into. You don’t need two different locations, Or perhaps get married outside, and have your reception inside. Do some calling around. Phone hotels and see about banquet halls. Talk about rending the hotel banquet room, and for them to do the bar licence, and running a toonie bar ( or let people buy their own at full price) .  Also see if you can bring in your own Caterer, ( as you may get it for less per plate)

Average cost per plate is between $17 and $30.00  so if you can keep your guest list down, the food part will cost you less.

I got married at my parent’s farm, and had rented tents ( The tent rental actually worked out the same as renting one of the halls – but since my dad was so happy about using his farm, I stuck with the plan) This was 16 years ago, but I paid $400 for the tent rentals. I then had to find places to rent chairs and tables ( I lucked out and managed to find a hall with extra’s they were willing to rent me for free with a damage deposit )

For Food – We bought Hams, and had different people cook them – the night before, and did cold cuts, salads, and Baked hot potatoes on a big bbq.  So food didn’t cost us too much considering the amount of people we had fed.

For the alcohol  part – we bought a bottle of wine per 4 people and put on the invitation “BYOB” ( but I had the wedding reception at the farm, and It was a private party ( We also bought a KEG for the large bridal party)

Everyone not from the area, hauled in their camping stuff – some even pitched a tent. We even had a few designated drivers for those that lived local, to help if needed.

Another one of my friends had her wedding ceromony at 7:30 in the evening and was done by candle light, it was very romantic, but it also cut her costs down, as she didn’t have feed her guests a fancy dinner.She simply did a cold meat and cheese and buns snack at midnight.  Her venue was church to Hall dance that was it.  The bride simply did her bridal pictures with the wedding party before the ceremony.

Honeymoon $5500 ( I can see this number) but I think you can put it off till the following year, and re save up for it.

We went away to a little cabin after being married about 6 weeks  to  British Columbia for our honeymoon for 3 nights. and easily did it for under $500 back in the day. Honeymoon’s are for some alone time, and you don’t need to leave the country to find this.  I’m sure I can do the same holiday today for around $800

Rings/Bands $2, 470.00 ( I can see this as a plausible number) but you could cut down on the costs – by going with simple gold bands.   Many engagement rings have a matched set wedding band, so sometime’s it can be hard to get away with a different ring.  But if you really wanted to cut corners, an option would be to find a Gold smith – to create you a band without the diamonds that would fit the grooves of your engagement ring.

Generally Men’s Gold Bands are not too over price.

You can check out ebay and kijii or other places as well,

We bought ours at the local jewellery store and paid like $400.00 (16 years ago)

Over the last 2 years we’ve upgraded both sets. I found a steller deal on my new set: A Jewellery store went out of business in another town, so this small chain, divided up the jewellery amongst it’s other few stores, and had a giant sale. I picked up a ring set for 50% off   2005 price tag and the year was 2011. Not what it was valued at in 2010 ( prices of gold and diamonds have  went up in value over the years)

I had it reappraised and it was worth over 2 times of what I paid for it.

One Christmas 2009- I bought my husband a new ring – I didn’t get a deal on it. But at least I snuck it in on a holiday purchase, and it was a year I was completely stuck on what to buy.

Photographer = $2,206 ( ouch)  Shop around –  I know in my small town there’s like 10,000 people and 30+ photographers in the area,  Many of these Photographers are price waring, so shop around, and you can easily find a Photographer, to do the whole day for $1000.00 ( $500 if you look hard enough and want to take the risk on a new and upcoming photographer) and you will get a disc photo- shopped images that you can take and get printed.

When I got married – I had a cousin who did photography as a hobby and he loved to photograph buildings and scenery, so I did have to “talk him in to it” but this was many years ago, before digital was popular . As a Wedding present, he got them all printed for me as well. So I got mine for FREE!

Bridal Gown $1800.00 ( I’m ok with this number) But you can do it cheaper. One of my other friend’s  got her’s at $75.00 ( 15 yrs ago) by calling Dry cleaning companies around the area, and looking at what other previous brides left didn’t bother picking up.  Her dress was a huge cinderella style, with a huge train. It was absolutely beautiful.  She got to pick it up for the cost of the dry cleaning.

I was lucky enough that my Mother in Law was a steam stress, so I paid $150.00 worth of material and lace trimmings.

( Again this was 16 years ago)

Also you could look on Kijii for wedding dresses, and perhaps get lucky and find your style and size ( you may have to get altered slightly)

Decor/Florist = $1,343 ( I can see this number getting carried away)  But if you budget correctly and come up with a different number lets say $300 and ask a florist what you can get for this amount – You may be able to find something you like in this budget.  Also if you cut down the amount of people in your wedding party, the less bouquets you’ll have to purchase. Obviously this number includes center pieces, which you could easily look on pintreast for some cute diy ideas such as Jello center pieces with pushed in lemons,

DJ/Musicians = $1,247 ( ouch)  I think you could easily cut this one down or completely out. With Itunes, and an ipod, and a really good stereo, You could have all your music for your dance reception ( wedding song included) for a few hundred dollars worth of itune’s cards,  Ask a Young person to run it for you, or hire a student.

Transportation/Limo = $753 ( Easily cut down) Depending on how far away you live, etc, do you really need to show up in a Limo?  Can you find a friend or two with nice cars to borrow for the day?  and have that friend drive you around?

I had such a big wedding party and out in the country, we had to use a mini van to get anywhere, and you know what, I totally forgot about this till this moment of writing,  It really wasn’t an important part of the day.

Cake = $584 ( Could see this price) You might be able to trim a bit off this, by simply shopping around, Home Bakery and Cake Decorators, are popping up like photographers, I have two of them near me, and they both charge $400.00  as they are still getting their name out there for wedding cakes.

I was lucky, I had a DIY cake decorator as a sister in law, so I got mine done for the price of the topper $35.00, but not everyone is this lucky, and might have to source this out.

Jewellery = $483 ( Totally clueless for what this is for? – assuming bridal jewellery or bridesmaids)   I think it’s easy enough to find fake pearls that would match your dresses, and I’m sure you could rent the cufflinks if needed.  Do you really need “Pearls”?  It’s one day, and unless someone is going to bite them, No one will know the difference between fake and real.

Hairstylist = $467 ( I can see this number if including wedding party)  You could attempt to get your bridal party to pay for their own hair/makeup. ( or do your own – which I did)  If this will not work, then you may just have to pay it up. Unless you think you can find someone cheaper, or have a hairdresser as your friend.

Guest Favours = $452 ( I can see this number if you got carried away)With the average guest list of 140 this would be $3. 22 per party favor.   You could knock the price down if you did these yourself. There’s a variety of ideas. I did mints in tulle and ribbon, but you could do jelly beans, or other candy. Or if you wanted you could purchase full size chocolate bars, and re do the wrapper with your home computer for 1/2 the cost of $3.22.

Bridesmaids’ Dresses = $428 ( I could see this price) As stated before, you could ask the bridesmaids to pay for their own dress.  Or you could be more frugal by picking out a cheaper dresses. Henkaa  has a lot of styles of one dress, and carry’s plus size as well, and the longer dress’s are $158.00.

My own wedding costed $3000.00 16 years ago ( My anniversary was yesterday)  with 280 guests attended, with a bridal party of 10 people not including me and my husband. I know If my bridal party was smaller, I could of saved a bit more, and also a lot less stress…. 5 girls bickering was not much fun!

I know of a few weddings that have costed over $25000.00 and I simply can’t get my head wrapped around the idea of spending that kind of money for 12 hours of entertainment for 140 people.  Especially for people whom borrow money for the wedding day.

Yes, your only suppose to get married once, but do you want to spend your first years of marriage making payments?

$25,000 is a lot of money, and that could go towards other things to better your lives, vs spending this kind of money on an important day.

Sit down and figure how whom can maybe help you as far as some of the services, such as cakes,photographers, hair dressers, cosmetics, Crafty people, with crafty ideas  Or perhaps someone that knows someone that can get you a discount.

The further ahead you can plan your wedding, the more likely you can stick to a budget and buy things towards it. Or perhaps put into a wedding fund.  So if you want a $20,000 wedding, then you’ll need to figure out a way to do so without the debt load after.

There’s enough stress in being married, and there’s enough debt loads with normal bills, and preparing for your up coming life such as children, or perhaps moving, etc.



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