Nothing Fancy, Just Love Series: Creating Your Wedding Budget
Weddings are expensive. Period.
Unless you elope…
The average wedding in Ontario is around $40 000. With cost of living and other expenses around this season of life like purchasing a home or having a baby, it get's tricky to disperse your funds and not feel like you're constantly living on a budget. The first thing we did was discuss what we thought a reasonable budget would be for our wedding day. We both agree that it's more important for us to spend money on our marriage and not all of our savings on our wedding day, so we set our budget accordingly. Then we decided the 2-3 things that are most important to us to spend our money on, the rest of the vendors/items then can fill the rest of the budget. Excel is your best friend for this, create a chart of all the expenses, how much you're willing to spend on it, and how much you end up spending. We chose to spend our money on the venue of our dreams, the food and our photographer. For you it could be the photographer, the dress, and the music for example. It's so important to determine what is most important to you on your wedding day and invest in those things. The Slice published an article that breaks down the average cost of vendors in Canada into a nice little slideshow, you can check that out here.
Photography should always be a priority because those photos will not only be the only way you remember that incredible day but they are the vendor that spends your whole day by your side from start to finish. Sometimes you may get lucky with an up and coming photographer who has cheaper prices but more often than not you're going to want to go with one that charges what they are worth. If they're expensive it's for a reason. Trust me, you'll get a wonderful experience and a friend out of your photographer and not just someone you hired for the day. Once you've decided on your top 3 vendors, then you can choose the next 5 areas to shop around for, keep in mind you want to find someone on budget but also that you mesh well with and trust. I found that I would browse vendors by their instagram feeds to become familiar with their style and who they are as a person first, then from there I would look at prices. Above all you need to be excited to work with your vendors and trust that they will help your vision come to life, so please, please do not just choose a florist/decorator/dj because they are cheap. One common idea that a lot of my brides have had fun with is to get your florist to make your bouquets and then order flowers in bulk for you to create your own centerpieces. And finally, those items that have the smallest portion of your budget, this is where DIY comes in handy. Decor, centerpieces, ceremony arch, signage, etc. These can all be fun projects that you and your girls can work on for a friday night over a couple bottles of wine. Remember that it's your day, there will be a million opinions floating around all over the place but at the end of the day it's about you and your husband beginning the rest of your lives together. Only invite the people you really want to spend your time with, only spend what you can afford, and do not stress the small stuff because come the next morning all that matters is that you married your best friend :)
I’ve included the spreadsheet I found on theweddingring.ca. You can download both the PDF and excel versions and then alter the list of expenses unique to your wedding. This has helped me a lot in the sense that I had no idea what things cost (other than photographers), so it was so helpful to see the comparisons between tight, average, and gala budgets. From there, you can go into your planning with an educated and prepared mindset which in turn makes things a little less overwhelming. Remember this is a pretty extravagant list and we deleted over half of the items because they either weren’t important to us or our venue is a one-stop-shop kind of venue so they supply a lot of what we need.
One final note on wedding budgets..
Your wedding does not have to look the way you think it’s supposed to. There are no rules. Seriously, decide what’s important to you and how you want your wedding day to look and just do that! Only 10 guests and hot dogs for dinner? Go for it! 200 people and an elegant venue? Heck yes! 100 people and a ceremony at sunset? Dreamy! Honestly, whatever you envision your day looking like, plan that.
Until next week friends!