by Tara Keeping, Tiger Lily Events –
Budgets are never exciting or glamorous; nonetheless, they have an important role in wedding planning.
Let’s face it: those shiny extra details are not cheap and knowing when to say no can be overwhelming! With careful planning and discipline, a budget can help.
With the average cost of a wedding in Canada at $30,000, let’s take a peek at three budgets: $10,000 (yes you can … and with a splash!), $25,000 and $50,000.
$10,000 Budget. The venue is a good place to start trimming as it usually takes up half of the budget. Some reasonable venue options: a friend’s beautiful backyard, family owned restaurants that rent for free when covering the costs of food and drink, and Airbnb. With Airbnb, check first to confirm that hosting a reception is allowed and you will definitely need insurance.
Purchasing your own alcohol and preparing your own food are all good ways to keep to a $10,000 budget. Invitations are another easy way to save. Choosing digital will save on printing, design, product and postage. Invitations are also an easy DIY. For music, keep it simple by renting a mic and speakers to connect to a smart phone.
For budget trimming tips when choosing florals: pick in-season flowers and fillers (greenery/baby’s breath); opt for wholesale and arrange your own centrepieces while having bouquets and boutonnières florist made.
When hiring a photographer, ask to have just one shooter and reduce the hours you want them at the wedding. Choosing a local bakery to make your cupcakes (cheaper than cake) without mentioning the word wedding will reduce costs. Vendors often have a price premium for weddings. Another factor to consider when working with a smaller budget is keeping your guest list small. Fewer guests will create a more intimate and relaxing reception, with more time to visit.
Changing the day saves money – instead of the typical Saturday reception, change your day to a Friday or Sunday.
$25,000 Budget: where to splurge and where to rein it in. Splurges could include: dress, food, photography and flowers, whereas with makeup, pedicures, manicures, cake, favours, bar and officiant you can be more frugal.
I recommend finding a venue that offers a package deal or allows for you to bring in your own caterer. Also try and stick to $100 per guest. Buffets are the most reasonable option as it reduces serving staff. Choose more vegetarian dishes and comfort foods (Mac & Cheese) to reduce expenses. Opting to serve wine, beer and two signature cocktails instead of a full bar is helpful in cost reduction.
For wedding favours, you can DIY some really nice gifts: a potted plant, a sweet treat or cookie ingredients in a mason jar with a recipe. Using more basic flowers such as daisies or hydrangeas would allow you to splurge more with centrepieces.
I would also consider including a $500 buffer in your budget for any incidentals that may arise.
With a $50,000 budget you can definitely incorporate details that can make your wedding unforgettable.
Some special and more elaborate details to add to this budget include: more flowers (and not having to think about whether they’re in season!), having designed arrangements, incorporating some interesting themes, unique favours for your guests, ice sculptures, a premium bar, a string quartet for the ceremony/cocktail hour and a band for the reception.
The biggest splurge I would recommend is photography! Photos will be a lasting memory, so invest well.
Simplicity is true elegance and style. As long as there is good food, drink and music for your guests, however that may look to you, your day will be fabulous.