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You’re getting married! You and your partner are hitching up for a long journey through life together and that’s terrific.
But first, there’s the wedding.
You want your wedding to be exceptional — a day you and your partner (and your guests) will relive happily through the years. But the cost of that exceptional wedding can also be exceptional.
According to a survey by Canada’s Wedding Bells magazine, Canadian couples spend an average of $30,717 on a wedding, including the honeymoon.
And here’s another concerning statistic: According to Smartbride Boutique, 76 per cent of Canadian women feel that today’s brides are pressured to have extravagant weddings beyond their financial means.
You don’t need that kind of financial and emotional stress, so here are some bank account friendly wedding tips and ideas.
Establish a budget: Wedding experts call it “white blindness” — the folly of buying for your wedding without considering the price. The experts also say that it takes about 13 months to plan a wedding. So, your vital first step is to determine exactly what you can comfortably afford — and stick to your budget.
The venue: This is usually the largest budget item. Shop around for the best deals or choose a less expensive option like getting married and having your reception in a less traditional setting — a backyard, park or beach.
The guest list: The wedding cost mentioned above is for the average Canadian wedding that includes approximately 120 guests. It can be difficult but keeping the guest list to 50 or so will significantly reduce your costs.
The wedding day: Have your wedding on a non-traditional day — perhaps a Friday or a Sunday when venue prices may be lower, or during a non-traditional time of the year. November to April is the usual “off-season” for weddings so a venue may be available at a discount.
Do-it-yourself: Make your own invitations, bouquets and table decorations. Decorate the venue yourself.
Do without or do with friends: Do you really need limos or a DJ? Consider what you may not really need or, better yet, what your friends would be happy to supply. By putting their talents to work as chauffer, cook, baker, photographer/videographer or emcee. You’ll not only save money, your friends will be able to share more fully in the success of your day.
Hire a student: Consider hiring a culinary or photography student.
Do a destination: 15 per cent of Canadian weddings take place abroad and one-quarter of destination weddings are from November to April. Keep your guest list small and book early to get the best room rates.
Your wedding day should be wonderful and affordable. That takes planning. Get the help and advice you need for a financially-comfortable big day and for the rest of your life together by talking to your professional advisor soon.
Jeff Somers, BA, RRC, CFP works at Investors Group in Charlottetown. This column, written and published by Investors Group Financial Services Inc. and Investors Group Securities Inc. presents general information only and is not a solicitation to buy or sell any investments. Contact your own adviser for specific advice about your circumstances.