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12 Simple Ways to Cut Wedding Costs

05-02-2024

Are you planning your wedding? One of the most stressful parts of the process can be watching your funds dwindle as you put the perfect day and night together.

Finding the ideal venue, getting the decor right, hiring a great DJ or band for the evening celebrations — it all adds up sooner than you might expect. Studies have found that the average wedding in Canada costs around $30,000.

But don’t worry: there are steps you can take to cut wedding costs and stick closer to your initial budget. Here are 12 simple ideas to inspire you.

 

Choose a simple venue that feels authentic to you and your partner

 

 

Another great way to keep your wedding costs down? Skip the high-end venue and go for something a little less exclusive. It’s easy to feel pressured into choosing a venue that sells itself as the ultimate spot for weddings, but don’t be afraid to go for something less glamorous.

You could save big money if you tie the knot at a public venue, such as a beach, state park, or even a local spot you and your partner love (such as a forest). One issue you need to consider with an outdoor wedding, though, is that you’re at the whim of the elements. Make sure there’s plenty of shelter and indoor spaces to retreat to in case rain, wind, or even extreme heat look likely.

 

Pick your day and date with caution

 

Love the prospect of marrying on a Saturday at the height of summer in the most exclusive venue you can find? In that case, you’re likely to be hosting a very expensive wedding.

If you want to cut wedding costs, one of the best things you can do is schedule a mid-week ceremony during winter (but still avoid major holidays). Venues and businesses providing wedding-related services will generally offer more competitive deals in quieter periods.

 

Avoid a seated dinner service

 

 

One of the most exciting parts of a wedding, especially for guests, is the meal. A delicious three-course feast with a bottle of wine, just for sitting through a wedding ceremony? It’s a definite highlight.

However, hosting a lavish meal for your guests can contribute to high wedding costs. And the truth is, you don’t necessarily have to include that in your day. You could save money and still ensure guests have a fantastic time with something simpler.

Such as? Try offering a few small snacks during the day to stop people from feeling hungry, or host a fun barbecue instead of a seated meal. As long as guests aren’t left to starve, you can still keep them satisfied with exciting appetizers and snacks, especially if they have a good range of drinks to enjoy too.

 

Send electronic invites to save money and paper

 

Mailing beautiful wedding invitations is a traditional part of the process — but it can consume a hefty chunk of your wedding budget. It’s natural that you want to build excitement among guests and make them feel special, but you can still do that with electronic invites.

Simply email the invitations to guests to let them know the date, time, and location. You can get creative with electronic invites to express yourselves, and personalize them to make an emotional impact. But you won’t have to go to the expense and effort of writing them by hand and mailing them. Plus, electronic invites are kinder to the environment too!

 

Trim your guest list to focus on nearest and dearest only

 

 

Putting together the ideal wedding guest list can be tough. You may have dozens upon dozens of people you want to invite — old friends from school or college, former and current colleagues, cousins, grandparents, friends of friends, and beyond.

But inviting everyone you think you should is not only expensive, it’s impractical too. The more guests you have, the bigger the venue you’ll need, and the more food and drink you’ll be paying for. And how many of those guests do you think you’ll get to talk to across the day and night? Being the bride or groom is more demanding than you might expect. There’s a lot to fit into your wedding, after all.

So, you can save a lot of money if you trim your wedding guest list down and focus on the people who will truly help make your day special. It can be difficult to remove people from the list, but put it this way: if you wouldn’t be happy to buy them a meal and some drinks at any other time, you don’t need to have them at your wedding. 

 

Enlist friends and family to help with hair and makeup

 

Getting hair and makeup right for the big day is critical. You and your partner want to look and feel at your best. But bringing in professionals to handle your hair and makeup is costly. And you could save money if you get trusted friends or relatives to help instead.

Speak to assistants in cosmetic stores to get advice on applying makeup properly, and take advantage of the plethora of video tutorials on YouTube. Whatever look you want to achieve with your hair and makeup, you’ll find lots of advice online.

 

Ask your guests to be your wedding photographers

 

 

Photos are fundamental on your wedding day. Even if you only have a small selection of beautiful pictures, they’re a simple and terrific way to savor the event for years to come. But hiring a professional wedding photographer for a whole day can be extremely pricey.

However, you can save potentially thousands of dollars if you leave it to trusted relatives and friends instead. Virtually all of your guests will carry smartphones on the day, most of which will feature high-quality cameras.

Invite everyone to snap photos of you before, during, and after the ceremony to build a huge collection of pictures. Ask them to share the pictures on social media and/or email them to you, so you can pick and choose your favorites. Simply create your own digital photo album or print them to make a physical record of your wedding instead.

Alternatively, if you’re less keen on leaving your wedding pictures to a non-professional, consider hiring a new photographer with less experience. They may be willing to offer a highly competitive price to get some photos for their official portfolio. You can also save money if you hire them just for the ceremony instead of the entire day.

 

Get creative with the evening entertainment

 

Certain venues will include a DJ or band in their wedding packages, but that can boost costs considerably. You may be able to secure entertainment for the evening yourself and keep costs down if you take a more creative approach.

For example, do you have any relatives or friends (or friends of friends) who can play instruments, sing, or are even in a band? Even if they’re not quite at a professional level, they may still relish the opportunity to play a few songs during the evening.

 

Switch the traditional wedding cake for smaller treats

 

 

Traditional wedding cakes, with multiple tiers, are elegant and lavish. But they’re also expensive. Research by The Knot found that the average cost of a wedding cake was $510 in 2022. That’s a sizable amount of money that you could spend elsewhere.

Consider switching to a set of smaller cakes for everyone to share instead: go for cake with a strong, rich taste, ideal for keeping slices small. You could even get a medium-sized cake for you and your partner, which means you can still have traditional pictures of cutting the first slice, while you offer guests cupcakes or chocolates instead.

 

Don’t be afraid to ask for complimentary extras

 

If you’re already buying a large quantity of goods for your wedding from a particular business, such as a florist or bakery, they may be willing to provide you with freebies.

That might only be something small, such as a few tiny sweet treats for each table, but it could help you save money on other purchases down the line.

 

Take your honeymoon a little later

 

 

Going on honeymoon within a day or two of your wedding is traditional, but you could cut costs if you take it a little later. You’ll have more time to save money for it, and you won’t have to consider the wedding and honeymoon cost as one huge, combined expense.

And if you take your honeymoon three months, six months, or even a year after the wedding, you’ll both have something amazing to look forward to long after your big day ends!

 

Take your time and be flexible when shopping for wedding rings

 

Buying wedding rings is one of the most exciting, personal aspects of planning your wedding. But don’t rush into it.

As a couple, you should take your time to find the wedding rings or bands that truly feel right for you, rather than just following a trend. Don’t focus on the materials, stones, and cuts you think you should be attracted to. Check out as many wedding rings and bands as you can to get a wide view of the huge variety available.

To get started, browse our extensive collection of beautiful men’s and women’s wedding rings today.

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