So far, with wedding planning I am shocked by how much things cost. Just because you throw the word ‘wedding’ flowers become instantly expensive and bouquets are a few hundred dollars! Just because it’s the ‘most important day of your life’ we’re not planning to spend more than $25,000 (and ideally, I hope to spend less than $20,000) on the wedding. Hopefully under the average cost of a wedding in Canada when I wrote that post a few years ago (which was $23,000)… now the price has inflated up to $30,717 for 2015, according to Weddingbells.ca.. though this includes the honeymoon and engagement ring so it might be skewed. You can buy two gently used compact cars for that price! That being said, there are areas of the wedding celebration that I am willing to save money on and other areas where I don’t want to skimp out on (for example, hiring a professional wedding photographer, that is a must for me… I don’t want to look back on hideous photos of myself 40 years from now).
In addition to limiting the guest list, here are some ways that I am using to save money on our wedding:
Make Your Own Centrepieces
Centrepieces are expensive! The more tables you have the more it will cost. No one really notices the centrepieces anyways so why not make your own or skip a floral centrepiece? You could also use silk flowers instead, like the ones from Afloral.com. Or repurpose your ceremony flowers as centrepieces, or use the bridesmaid bouquets, put them in a hurricane vase and voila, you have a centrepiece! My favourite dollar store, Dollarama has lots of simple vases that you can use to make centrepieces, and of course, you can’t forget the mason jar if you are opting for a hipster chic theme at your wedding. The Knot also recommends adding more greenery and sticking to one or two types of flowers to save money. Finally, uses candles is a great way to save on centrepieces.
Save on Stationary
Instead of spending tons of money with stamps and stationary, we opted to send electronic save the dates. Paperless Post is a great option and has fancy looking save the dates for free! There are tons of options. We will continue to use electronic invitations and print out a few invitations for those that would like them. The great thing about electronic invitations is that people can just RSVP right away (or there is less barrier to RSVP-ing sooner).
We are doing a combo of both (paper invitations for those who want them). We sent them out and one friend scoffed and said “paperless invites?” and I told her that if she wanted a paper one I can send one to her. Personally I think it’s nice to have electronic because it’s just going to go in the garbage anyway and might as well save few trees.
Save Money on Your Wedding Dress
The average wedding dress can cost over $1200. That’s a lot of money! That’s an international flight! For something that you are going to dry-clean, keep in your closet and put in a box? Instead of spending that much on your wedding dress, opt for bridal swaps in your area, used wedding dresses (if you have a taste for a designer wedding dress but don’t want to pay the designer price, you can go to Once Wed, a site for used dresses). Also, another way is to buy your wedding dress online. As long as you have your measurements and you know your size, it can be a great way to save money if you don’t mind your dress being made in China (though probably most dresses are made in China anyway).
Wine and Beer Instead of a Full Bar
If you are having an open bar, that’s great! Those are the best weddings! Instead of a full bartender serving cocktails and specialty wedding cocktails, opt for just a bar with wine and beer and soft drinks. That will save you money and guests are appreciative of any type of alcohol!
Finally, don’t be afraid to negotiate. Speak to your vendors (your photographer, your caterer, your music etc.) and ask them whether you can have a discount. It doesn’t hurt to ask, the worst is they say no and they judge you (haha).
Save on your Engagement Ring
Everything these days can be found online. I am still in awe of my engagement ring (can’t help it, I’m a crow I admit it. Like shiny things) and my fiancee bought it online.
Readers, do you have other ways in which you saved money for your wedding?