Looking to plan a wedding on a budget? While it can be a daunting task, with a little bit of research and ingenuity, it’s absolutely possible to have a stunning celebration without breaking the bank. Here are some helpful tips to consider when planning your Canadian wedding on a budget.
Begin with a clear budget
Your first step is to determine a budget that you’re comfortable with. Decide how much you’re willing to spend and allocate funds for each aspect of the wedding, such as the venue, catering, and attire. And don’t forget to factor in taxes and gratuities when reviewing your vendors’ quotes. This will help you prioritize your spending and prevent you from going over budget.
Choose an affordable venue
Looking for a special location to host your big day? The venue can be one of the biggest expenses of a wedding, but there are also many cost-effective options you can take advantage of. Instead of hosting your nuptials at a traditional banquet hall or your favouritefive-star restaurant, consider a budget-friendly alternative instead, such as a community hall, church, park, beach, or even a family member’s backyard. These locations are often less expensive than traditional wedding venues and can still provide a beautiful backdrop for your big day.
Consider a weekday wedding
Saturdays are by far the most popular (and expensive) day to host a wedding. While not always convenient for your guests, opting for a Sunday or weekday wedding is another way you could save money on your wedding festivities. Plus, by choosing to have your wedding on a Sunday or weekday, venues and vendors may offer lower rates and secure you a better deal. And let’s face it, your loved ones and closest friends will make every effort toattend your celebration, regardless of the day you select.
Create your own decorations or buy them second-hand
Decorations can quickly add up and become a significant expense. Instead of buying ready-made decorations, consider creating your own or browsing your local Facebook marketplace listings. This can include centerpieces, table numbers, and other décor items. You can also repurpose decorations from other events or borrow them from friends and family.
Skip the formal sit-down meal
Want to make the food at your wedding memorable, without breaking your budget? Catering is one of the most significant expenses of a wedding, but there are several ways to cut costs. Instead of a sit-down meal, opt for a cocktail-style reception with passed appetizers, or self-serve selections like a buffet, barbecue, or food truck. These options can be more affordable and still offer delicious food for your gueststo enjoy.
Helpful tip: To find a food truck near you, check out the Street Food App which provides a comprehensive directory of food trucks and street vendors in various cities across Canada. From location, cuisine, to type of event, this user-friendly app offers you a wide array of food trucks to peruse through to help you find the best cuisine for your celebration.
Consider buying a pre-owned wedding dress
Wedding dresses can be pricey, but buying a pre-owned dress is an excellent way to save money. There are online marketplaces, such as Stillwhite and OnceWed, where you can find pre-owned wedding dresses at a fraction of the price of a new one.
There are several options for buying pre-owned wedding dresses in Canada. Here are some places you could check:
- Stillwhite.ca: Stillwhite is a popular online marketplace where you can buy and sell pre-owned wedding dresses in Canada. They have a wide selection of dresses from a variety of designers and styles.
- OnceWed.com: OnceWed is another online marketplace for pre-owned wedding dresses that ships to Canada. They have a large selection of dresses at various price points.
- Consignment stores: Many consignment stores carry pre-owned wedding dresses. You could try searching for consignment stores in your area and contacting them to see if they have any dresses that fit your style and size.
- Facebook Marketplace: Facebook Marketplace is a great online resource for buying and selling all kinds of items, including pre-owned wedding dresses. You can search for dresses in your area and filter by size, style, and price.
- Local classifieds: Check your local classifieds, such as Craigslist or Kijiji, for pre-owned wedding dresses for sale in your area.
When buying a pre-owned wedding dress, be sure to ask for detailed photos and information about the dress’s condition before making a purchase. It’s also a good idea to have the dress professionally cleaned and altered to ensure the best fit.
Hire a student photographer
Professional photographers can be costly, but you can still get great photos by hiring a student photographer. They may offer lower rates as they’re starting out and looking to build their portfolio. Here are some places you can find them:
Social Media: You can check social media platforms such as Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook for Canadian student photographers. You can use hashtags like #canadianphotographer, #canadianstudentphotographer, and #canadianphotography to find an array of talented photographers you can reach out to.
- Photography Schools/Universities: Specialized photography schools and universities in Canada are a great place to find Canadian student photographers. You can check the photography department’s website or reach out to the school’s photography club to find out more.
- Online Portfolios: Websites like Behance and Flickr are great resources to find Canadian student photographers. You can browse through their portfolios and see their work to find the photographer that’s right for you.
- Photography Contests: You can check out photography contests in Canada that are specifically for students. These contests are a great way to find talented Canadian student photographers. Some examples include the Applied Arts Student Awards and the Magenta Foundation’s Flash Forward Emerging Artists competition.
- Photography Associations: Photography associations in Canada, such as the Professional Photographers of Canada (PPOC) and the Canadian Association for Photographic Art (CAPA), are a great resource to find Canadian student photographers. They often have student membership options and student showcases on their websites.
Another way to save on photography? Limit the number of hours you hire your photographer for, and encourage your guests to snap photos throughout your big day and share them on social media usinga unique wedding hashtag, created just for your event.
Use digital invitations
The cost of printing and mailing invitations can add up quickly. And really, who uses snail mail anymore? For a cost-effective solution, consider using digital invitations offered by platforms such as Evite or Paperless Post. They offer a variety of templates to choose from and can save you money on printing and postage.
Have a cash bar
Alcohol can also be a significant expense for a wedding. Instead of offering your guests an unlimited flow of wine and spirits, consider limiting the free drinks to a set number per guest, and/orhaving a cash bar instead of an open bar to help reduce costs. This allows guests to purchase their own drinks, rather than including them in the cost of the wedding.
Keep the guest list small
Finally, keep your guest list small. Ever heard the age old saying bigger isn’t always better? Well when it comes to your guestlist the more guests you invite, the more expensive your wedding will be. By keeping it small, you can save money on food and beverage, decorations, and other expenses, while still having the people closest to you there to celebrate this special milestone with you.
Ultimately, with some careful planning and creativity, planning a wedding on a budget in Canada is possible.By prioritizing your spending and finding cost-effective alternatives, you can still have a beautiful wedding without breaking the bank.
Keep your finances in check with the help of a credit union
Credit unions are a great financial option to keep your finances on track while planning a wedding, and all year round. Not yet a credit union member? To find your nearest credit union, click here.