Let’s talk about money. It’s a touchy subject, but one that I think doesn’t get enough coverage in the wedding industry. Weddings are expensive, and those costs can be overwhelming. This series of posts will help explore some of the ins and outs of the wedding industry and pricing.
Let’s start with the basics – budgeting. When you’re newly engaged and getting excited about your future, budgeting can often fall by the wayside. If you haven’t saved anything for your big day yet, it’s time to start pinching pennies. According to Weddingbells Magaine’s 2014 Wedding Trends in Canada, the average cost of a wedding is a whopping $31 685. That’s more than many people make for an entire year, and about 50% of what the average Canadian makes in a year. Weddingbells also mentions in their trends report that 97% of couples will be paying out of their own pocket.
So what can you do to help prepare for the cost of a wedding? A budget. Keeping a budget helps you stay on track with your spending. Whether you keep a budget on paper or on your computer, you should consider downloading this wedding budget spreadsheet, or checking out The Knot’s Wedding Budgeter. They are fantastic starting points, and they will help identify where you’re willing to spend more/less.
Start by making a list of “must-haves”. Do you want fresh flowers? A live band? A certain expensive venue? Ask yourself what the most important aspect of your wedding will be to you, and make that the priority, then focus on seeing where else you can make sacrifices – can you make your own invitations? deserts? do you really need a five-tier cake? These questions will help you save money by focusing on the things you’re willing to spend money on vs. the things you’re willing to cut down a little. Not to mention, without this list you’re much more likely to spend too much and not realize what you’re spending it on.
Next time, we’ll talk about shopping around – what things you should look for in vendors and how to ask the right questions.