How to Have an Incredible Wedding with a Limited Budget

Weddings on a Budget in Edmonton

Big and dreamy weddings have been dominating the industry for quite some time. I find it absurd that couples will spend $10,000 on a photographer, $20,000 on an engagement ring, or over $100,000 on just the reception but people do it; it's how they celebrate and show their love. Thankfully, couples are realizing that expensive rings, huge ballrooms and limousines have no relation to a happy marriage; actually in some cases the opposite is true. Because of this realization, couples have been leaning to more intimate weddings; which we think is great.

You probably don't want to guess the cost of your ultimate dream wedding but how much do you think your wedding will end up costing you? Maybe $15,000? $20,000? If you're having your wedding in Canada, guess again. The average cost of a wedding is well over $25,000 as the breakdown skimps out on a few areas such as photography and videography.

The breakdown. The average cost of a wedding in Canada in 2014 was $31,110 and surprisingly, its not due to them getting bigger - with an average guest count of 128 (Slice 2014). Of the total, the major costs breakdown follows:

► $9,225 for the venue and catering
► $5,470 for the honeymoon
► $2,470 for rings
► $2,206 for the photographer
► $1,847 for the wedding gown
► $1,343 for decorations
► $1,247 for entertainment
► $753 for transportation and limos
► $584 for the cake
► $483 for jewelry
► $467 for hair and makeup
► $452 for party favors
► $428 for bridesmaids gowns
► $384 for invitations and other stationary

Money-saving strategies for weddings are no secret: don't get married on Saturday and have your wedding in winter and so on... well, let's try to explore other areas to save money while making sure you aren't skimping on the essentials. But first, I think it's important to ask yourself which components of your wedding you value most. For e.g. if you think an experienced and proven DJ will bring a certain excitement and enjoyment to your wedding, be prepared to extend that budget and decrease your budget of another component such as the limo and other transportation services.

Have a late ceremony. You'd be surprised how much this simple change can save you. You won't need the photographer for as long, you won't have to pay extra to have your DJ play music for the ceremony, and the best yet, you can skip the plated dinner or the buffet by having cocktail hour snacks (such as a food truck) and a late lunch (maybe even the same truck, different menu). Plus, guests won't be waiting around forced to talk to relatives they don't know for 2 hours. This change could save you upwards of $2000.

Cut the cake. The average cake costs just under $600 and can get as pricey as $2200. Most of these cakes aren't even eaten by guests any more as most venues provide a dessert. Where does that leave the sweet decoration? To go home with the couple and sit in the freezer. Having just the top tier of the cake, actually cake and dessert and/or cupcakes for everyone else could save a couple hundred bucks. 

Bundle what others don't. Go with a company that can provide 2 or more of the services you are looking to book for your wedding. Often you will save more than 10% just by bundling.

Limit the bar options. Whoa whoa whoa! It's not what you think. You can save a little bit of money by offering signature drinks that only use one kind of liquor. You can serve only beer and wine with just enough champagne for toasts and speeches without ruining the night for your guests all while saving on costs.

Digital invites and RSVP. Once you've created your stunning wedding invite, send it using a website or app rather than spending a couple hundred bucks on printing and mailing them out. Not only will it save you money, but it can keep track of your guest list much easier and keep guests notified of the itinerary and other important information.

Have a standing ceremony. This may sound odd, but if your wedding is under 100 people it is definitely doable. Chair rentals start at $6 per seat so even if your wedding only has 50 guests, you've already saved $300 - that money can go towards entertainment as over 80% of guests remember this most!

Save Money on Your Wedding in Canada

Use bridesmaid bouquets for centerpieces. Why spend more when you should be doing this in the first place? If you have more tables than bouquets, you can separate the bouquet or use something else as a centerpiece for every other table.

Make your own video. As an entertainment company, those words leaving my lips almost cause paralysis as we have seen so many problems with people trying to skip out on video costs. The most common problem being people can't handle the labour involved in editing and simply give only a couple hours into it. I am not suggesting to attempt to hire family friends to shoot your wedding video rather to hire better photographers with a backup shooter who would be able to give you 2000+ pictures. You could turn all those stills into an old fashion film movie (yes this method will certainly involve a lot of editing but at least it's much simpler than editing video), add some of your wedding song selections and the result is a pretty unique and entertaining memory. This option is not a wedding video alternative but can be a fun project and create a cost effective way to show distant friends and family your wedding at a glimpse.

If you're as impressive as we think you are and manage to do all of these suggestions, you could be looking at an extra $6000 or more in the bank!

That's it; our alternative suggestions to saving a bit extra on your wedding day. Let us know on social media if you have some unique ideas that couples could take advantage of!