Congratulations! Wedding season has begun here in Canada and for many couples what better season to get married than the summer!
Although you are planning for the happiest day of your life it’s very easy to get overwhelmed with bills and overspending. According to a research study in Wedding Bells magazine, Canadian couples roughly spend $30,717 on a wedding (including the honeymoon). And that’s only the average cost!
The good news is we will be exploring 10 wedding essentials that should help you put some cash back into your pocket while still enjoying your dream wedding. Let’s get started!
How to Set Your Budget
Schedule some time with your partner to sit down and establish your initial budget for your special day. Grab your notebook and make sure to cover these questions:
- Who is paying for the wedding?
- Will your parents be contributing to the budget?
- Ask if your family members would like to cover a partial expense like the flowers, music, honeymoon…etc as a wedding present
- Decide how much the two of you can contribute between now and the big day.
- Once you have an estimate, create a spreadsheet and include notes to remind you through the planning process.
Essentials vs Nice-to-Haves
Now that you have your budget it’s time to define what are your must haves are versus nice-to-haves. Make sure to include your partner in this step to make sure this day is special for the both of you.
- Start by making your wish list. Are you going to have a ton of flowers or a simple candle arrangement?
- Now set your expectations! Give a percentage of importance to each item. You might decide you can do without the white doves.
- Make sure to get three price comparisons. This gives you grounds for a stronger negotiation.
- Go over the list and start the elimination process there must be three things you can do without.
- Remember there are no wrong answers. It’s your wedding but make sure to stay within the budget.
Saving for Your Special Day
We’re sure by now you realize the wedding will come at a large expense and you will need to start saving right away! You can easily open up a joint account and automate 20% of your salary to your wedding fund. This will help you develop a healthy habit of saving together and put money away for your next adventure or project.
*TIP: try limiting your spending on small stuff. Ex. Instead of driving to work, ride a bike instead. Also try making a coffee at home as well as cooking dinner a meal. You should also consider placing your money in a TFSA investment account to increase your return.
Staying on Budget
You have already established your budget, but sticking to it requires some discipline and organization skills. Have you started doubting yourself? We’ve got a few tricks here to help get you get through the next few months:
- Track your spending: Put your wedding essentials into a worksheet to track the amounts due, due dates and who you owe it to
- Save 10% for unseen costs
- Make sure your wedding budget is in a separate account so you can track and stick to the budget
- Work overtime costs into your budget
- Factor in tips and gratuities
- Don’t forget little things like RSVP cards
- Update your budget on a daily basis
10 Wedding Tips to Consider
- Pick your top three priorities and focus on them
- Set up an e-invite
- Don’t get married on a Saturday as it’s the most expensive day to book halls, vendors, etc.
- Find a venue that doesn’t require you to use their vendors
- Don’t serve a sit-down dinner, buffets are more inexpensive
- Skip professional decorators and ask family members to pitch in and decorate the venue
- Slash your guest list; do you really need to invite your moms 2nd cousin?
- Pass on details that aren’t important to you! Will anyone really notice?
- Opt to not have an open bar
- Have a friend be your DJ – have them create an awesome playlist!
Tax Savings to Consider
You can always donate your wedding dress and decorations to a charitable organization after the wedding. You can also enjoy the benefit of a tax deduction on your first tax return that you file as a married couple. In fact, there are several tax credits and deductions you could take advantage of as a new couple.
Many couples feel the need to go all out on their special day but it is only one day. Mastering your wedding budget will set you up with some extra peace of mind. You will be glad not to have to deal with the debt from the celebration and have some money saved for a well-deserved honeymoon.