The B Word: Budget
Grab a coffee. Or a beer. We need to talk. Yes, it’s time to discuss your wedding budget
Ah, that dreaded word.
Don’t like the word budget? How about your wedding spending plan?
Call it what you like, but there is no avoiding the fact that your wedding is going to cost money.
Once the excitement of being newly engaged starts to dim a bit you need to discuss together what kind of celebration you want and what you can afford. Every wedding presents a couple with a zillion details to consider. It’s easy to get carried away so focus on your priorities. Write them down. What’s important to you? What’s important to your fiancé? What’s important to you as a couple?
If your last name is not Weston, Thomson or Rogers it is essential that you sit down with your beloved and discuss what you can realistically afford to spend on your wedding. A typical wedding in a major urban centre in Canada costs $21-25,000. That’s a lot of money and long gone are the days when the bride’s parents footed the bill. The average couple getting married today is older and self-supporting, but you will want to meet with your parents and discuss what they might be able to do to help mitigate your wedding costs. Most parents will want to help but do not push them to contribute more than they can afford. And whatever they offer, please be grateful.
Another idea for cost cutting: hire a Wedding Coordinator. Yes, this is a shameless plug for my profession and, yes, hiring a Wedding Coordinator is an expense, but in the long run we can actually save you money (and provide peace of mind).
Sounds counter-intuitive doesn’t it? But here’s the scoop: we who work in this industry know all sorts of ways you can save money on your wedding, from clothing to venues to stationery to food. Here’s just one example:
Like the travel industry the wedding industry has seasons. Everyone wants to get married on a sunny Saturday in August. (And good luck, by the way, getting Mother Nature to guarantee that sunny day.) But get married on a Friday or Sunday in the off-season and you could save hundreds on your reception venue. You see, by breaking away from the herd a bit you just pocketed enough money to pay for your bridal bouquet and a few boutonnieres.
Going the DIY route is a tried and true cost cutter – or is it? Keep in mind the many, many hours you and your fiancé and/or bridal party will spend creating those charming centerpieces, place cards, guest favours, etc. etc. Chances are you all work fulltime. If this is your second or third ride on the marriage merry-go-round you may also be juggling aging parents and unruly teenagers. Your time is precious and valuable. Be realistic about a) how crafty you truly are and, b) the time commitment required. Even the simplest project might take much more time than you’re prepared to invest. And never underestimate the pain of hot glue from a glue gun on your delicate hands. I’ve been there. That stuff hurts.
A wedding is just one day; a joyful celebration to start your new life together. No couple should start that journey in debt. But remember this: no matter what your budget, your wedding can and will be beautiful. All it takes is open communication, a little imagination and flexibility.