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  1. Wedding Wednesdays: Where to scrimp

    Wednesday, August 14, 2013

    Wedding Budgeting Part 1: Scrimping

    According to my research, the average Canadian wedding costs $22,000+ (not including honeymoon). Ian and I are attempting to have our wedding for more than half that. So far, our projected budget is ~$13,000, including what my parents have pitched in but not including food.

    Obviously, you need to start out with a reasonable budget that you can stick to before you start getting too far into planning.

    So, where are we looking to save?

    Wedding gown
    The part where we will definitely be saving a lot of money is on my dress. As Blog as my witness, I am aiming to keep my whole look - dress, shoes, underthings and accessories - under $500. I'm doing my own hair and makeup, so there'll be no cost there. I have a few dresses - both vintage and reproduction - in mind, all under $300. Everything else I buy I will be buying with a mindset of "will I wear this again" in order to make it worth every penny.

    The flowers

    Did you know that you can get 100 roses at Costco for $115? Or, even on the slightly-more-expensive-but-really-not scale of things, 40 lilies for $150? Ian loooooves Costco, so it will definitely be our pick for flowers, and we'll just make up bouquets and arrangements a few days in advance to the wedding (I find that Costco flowers also last a long time if you take care of them). Red and ivory roses are elegant and vintage without being overbearing.

    Skipping the name change
    I know, I know, it seems like such a little thing to save money on. But, in Alberta, it costs $120 for just the document to legally change your name - it doesn't cover any costs incurred by changing your name on your credit cards, identification, passport, etc etc. That and I am pretty attached to my last name, so I don't want to give it up that easily. I mean, I'll change my name on Facebook, I'll answer to my married name etc. But I might hold off on legally changing it until the expensive things (license, registration, passport) are closer to expering.

    One venue

    Hopefully, we will be able to do our wedding and reception in one venue. This obviously cuts down on rental costs as you only have to pay rent for one venue, only have to decorate one venue, only have to direct people to one venue etc. If your venue has separate spaces for ceremony and reception, then even better!

    Don't have supper
    If the majority of your guests aren't out-of-town, maybe you'll be able to swing it so you don't have to feed them. I know that this is really where bills rack up - especially if you do just finger food! We aren't able to do that, but it is an option - just let your guests know they're not getting food so they don't show up starving! Another option is to have your wedding in the evening (after supper).

    What are your tips for saving money when planning a wedding?

  2. 10 comments:

    1. Wow! I can't believe it's that expensive to have your name changed! I don't think I had to pay for anything except for a new driver's license when I changed my name when I got married.

      Where ever you decide to cut to save money, make sure you have a professional photograph your wedding. That's the only thing that I did on the cheap that I regretted!

    2. First I just want to say congrats on your upcoming wedding. Also, I agree with Stephanie, $120 seems like a lot. In the US anyways, all I had to do was bring my marriage license to the social security office to get my name legally hyphenated.

      Anyways, I got married seven years ago and the whole thing cost just under $10,000.
      First off I wanted a vintage Princess wedding, and I mean very vintage... Yes we got married at a renaissance festival. The Houston Renaissance Festival to be exact, in Houston Texas. Now this wasn't some dinky thing, they offered a full package, without door chappie overlooking a garden, bride arriving in horse drawn carriage, sword of arches, bagpipe and violin players. Then there was a full meal with turkey legs, corn on the cob, salad and cake. The wedding and reception as a package was $3000.

      I had my mother-in-law sew me my gown and with accessories it was about $300. Since the wedding was in an outdoor garden chappie I didn't bother with flowers, except for the bride and bridesmaid bouquets which I choose fake ones on sale at a craft store, could tell the difference, and I kept all of them after the reception in a vase by our wedding pictures.

      My husband manage to score a deal to the Florida Keys for our honeymoon, we stayed at Coco Plum resort right on the beach, and since it was there off season (October) a week at the hotel and airfare came in just under $3000.

      We went cheap with the photographer, which was good and bad. We choose to have a photography student take the pictures for only $300. We didn't want prints just the original unedited photos. It took us forever to get the CD of photos from here.

      All in all I think for everything we paid for we got a lot. So regardless of what you choose for your wedding, having a memorable one on a budget is completely doable.

      Hope this helped.
      Good luck, and again congrats ;)

    3. Course you auto correct on the iPad. I meant to say in the second paragraph "with an outdoor Chapel overlooking a garden"

    4. Andrea said...

      I second spending some change on a good photographer. Most of our wedding was DIY, from flowers to table centrepieces, to ceremony decorations and I found my dress at a non-bridal store (on sale!). Honestly, the thing that saved us the most was doing the food ourselves (we had a small wedding) and not having an open bar.

    5. Mim said...

      I had a pretty inexpensive wedding. The key thing was getting married later in the day. Here in the UK, it's usually to get married in the morning to early afternoon, have a sit down meal with the wedding guests, then have a larger evening event plus buffet. By marrying at 5pm, we were able to invite everyone (no two-tier guest system for us!), we asked everyone to come in really glam eveningwear, and we only had to pay for buffet catering. It also saved money for the guests as instead of having to travel down the day before most could travel down on the day, and so only had to pay for one night's hotel accommodation.

      We also did everything in one venue, which was more convenient for our guests with disabilities, and it meant instead of hiring a wedding car for hundreds of pounds, I travelled to the venue in a taxi for a fiver!

    6. Teresa said...

      I got married in February. We had a destination wedding with 11 people.

      Pinterest was my favourite site to browse for wedding ideas. Etsy was also great for finding wedding DIY inspiration. I made my own invitations, menu cards, and paper straws with little flags. I bought my wedding topper from Etsy for $35. I browsed Kijiji occasionally for wedding accessories I thought might come in handy, but didn't find anything. And when I bought craft items for my invitations - I always used a 40% off Michaels coupon. I even went to the Reuse centre to find crafty things.

      One idea that I came across and loved was creating an 'I Spy Photo List'.

      My money tip: Splurge = Photography. Save = Wedding Accessories & Smaller guest list.

      Also, if you register at the Bay and Crate & Barrel, you will receive a 10-15% off 'completion' card that you can use for a full year after your wedding on all future purchases at those stores. (Bed Bath & Beyond and other places may offer this as well.)


    7. I love that you're taking on the mindset of wearing items for your wedding that you're be able to sport again. Throughout much of history, a woman's wedding dress (and/or other outfit components) was worn time and time again (often as her best dress) long after the special day, and it's a practice that I think really deserves to make a comeback.

      ♥ Jessica

    8. We paid a college student to be our photographer instead of spending a fortune on a pro. He was amazing ad we got everything on a disk for the fraction of a pro wedding photographer. He was a photography student so he knew what he was doing and he got photos to us within a few weeks. Professional photographers take forever to get photos to you and you usually are limited in choosing only your favorites and you can't make copies without permission. I have thousands of wedding photos from him from the ceremony to the reception and we only paid a few hundred. I gave him a list of shots I really wanted him to get ahead of time and he really worked his butt off for us! We also had a friend who was a pro deejay so he did it for super cheap. Of course, a lot of couples go the ipod route which is a great idea!!

    9. Sunny said...

      I actually did the roses-from-Costco thing for my wedding two years ago (*gasp* has it been that long?) and I was extremely happy with the results! Have you ever made bouquets before?

    10. Attended an event here sponsored by the company. The reception hour was held in one of the rooms next to the hall. I loved their buttery mashed sweet potato.

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