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The Surprising Average Wedding Cost in Canada

Written by Jessica Steer
Reviewed by Stephen Hoenig
When it comes to planning for the future, there are plenty of milestones that have Canadians saving their money. One of the most important that they save for is their wedding. When you think of your wedding day, you think of the cake, venue, food and even the wedding gifts. That said, how much does the average wedding actually cost?
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    Well, how much an actual wedding costs really depends on the location, the number of guests, the venue, the decorations, the catering and whatever else you choose to add.

    In Canada, the average wedding cost is between $22,000 and $30,000; this doesn’t even include the cost of engagement rings! While it could realistically cost more or less than this, the cost of the wedding is really dependent on what you want. 

    Average Wedding Costs Per Province

    While the location is a big part of the cost of a wedding in Canada, the average wedding cost is the same no matter which province you choose to get married. This is because the options of how and where you get married vary so much. All caterers and venues have different costs, so it’s difficult to pinpoint the exact cost without making those choices. 

    That said, even though the average cost is between $22,000 and $30,000 for your wedding day, since the pandemic, many have opted for smaller, more affordable weddings. With the average cost of the officiant being around $300 and a marriage license being around $150, many are just keeping it simple and forgoing the whole party altogether. 

    Average Wedding Budget in Canada

    We’ve already discussed the average cost being upwards of $30,000 for Canadian weddings, but what exactly is the average overall wedding budget for those who are getting married? Well, it varies. That said, it is recommended that you budget around $100 per person when planning a wedding to make sure that you have enough money. If you invite fewer people, then your cost will be lower. 

    Cost Per Plate for a Wedding

    One of the most influential costs that contribute to the total cost of the wedding is the cost of food. With the recent influx in inflation and the fact food prices are at an all-time high, the cost of catering a wedding is higher than ever. When it comes to determining the exact cost of the food, it’s best to budget within a range until you know the exact amounts. 

    When it comes to budgeting for food for a wedding, it’s recommended that you designate between $30 and $100 per plate. The amount it will actually cost really depends on the total amount of guests that you choose to have for the wedding. For a larger wedding of 150 guests, the food alone can cost upwards of $15,000.

    Average Cost of a Wedding Venue in Canada

    When deciding where you are going to have your wedding, cost is a big factor. The number of guests that you have is also going to impact this cost. Next to the cost of food, this is one of the most expensive parts of a wedding. The only time that you don’t really have to worry about the cost is when you own the property. 

    When it comes to wedding venues, there are many different types to choose from. There are church weddings, outdoor weddings, beach weddings, bar weddings and everything in between. You also have to consider if your wedding celebration is going to be the same as your wedding ceremony.

    If it’s not, this is another added cost to consider. Especially since the cost of just the wedding venue itself can range anywhere from $3000 to $12,000, having another few thousand available for a reception space can really take a hit out of your budget. 

    The Average Cost of a Wedding Photographer

    As you’re planning a wedding, there are many extra costs to consider. One of these extra costs that people tend to prioritize is a wedding photographer. This is because you want to be sure the photos you get are ones that you want to keep forever. With that in mind, though, you need to consider the cost.

    When it comes to booking a wedding photographer, it’s important to note that the prices can vary. That said, you’re looking around $3,000 - $5,000. This is usually only for the photographer. Canadian couples who choose to also get a videographer end up spending a few more thousand. This can add up fast and eat up another large portion of the budget. 

    Cost of a Small Wedding

    While small weddings can cost significantly less than large weddings, the specifics of your wedding can make a big difference and greatly cut costs. That said, those who choose smaller weddings tend to spend around $15,000. The reason for this is that you’re paying for fewer people to eat, you can have a smaller venue, and your general quantity of everything is reduced. 

    Even for smaller weddings, $15,000 can be a bit steep. The real cost just depends on how savvy you are, how much of your wedding is DIY, and which parts of the wedding you outsourced. The less you outsource, the cheaper the cost. 

    Cost of a Wedding for 50 Guests

    For a wedding of around 50 guests, the costs can really vary. That said, based on the higher cost per plate of $100 each, a mid-range venue of $7,000, and a general cost of other expenses of $7,000, it’s reasonable to say it could cost around $19,000. However, these are estimated costs on the higher end of the spectrum. Depending on the type of wedding you choose, you could greatly reduce the cost of wedding expenses to $10,000 or less if you’re on a tight budget. 

    Ways to Reduce the Cost of Your Wedding

    The great thing about planning your own wedding is that you get to make the decisions. Based on the budget you decide on before you start wedding planning, there are plenty of ways you can cut the costs and still create your dream wedding. Let’s look at some of the ways you can do that. 

    Create a Smaller Menu

    When you pick your wedding menu, it’s important to remember that the menu doesn’t have to be gourmet. Just because you’re feeding your guests doesn’t mean it has to be 5 courses, either. You can pick more general menu options and stick to just dinner and dessert options. This can drastically reduce the cost per plate and allow you to spend more money in different areas of the wedding.

    However, you also need to consider the beverage costs. Open bars can be more expensive, whereas toonie bars can save both you and your guests money, as the guests pay only $2 per drink. 

    Reduce the Cost of Your Dress and Suit

    Purchasing a wedding dress and a suit for your perfect wedding can be expensive. Many will purchase their outfit, and then it will stay tucked away for the rest of their life. That said, one thing many brides and grooms choose to do is rent their wedding attire. The cost ranges between $200  and $400, which can greatly reduce your price by thousands. 

    That said, renting isn’t the only option. You can purchase second-hand, off-the-rack or sample pieces. These are much lower-cost options than custom or fitted dresses. There are often plenty out there for just a few hundred dollars. 

    Rely on Your Friends

    When it comes to decorations, the wedding cake and hiring a photographer and DJ, you will be able to utilize your close friends and family members instead of hiring out. Before you shell out thousands on these wedding extras, see if anyone who knows has any of these talents or is looking for some experience to build their resume.

    You can even create your own playlist or provide your own music instead of getting a DJ or live music. You can even have them help when it comes to wedding transportation. 

    DIY the Decorations

    Instead of shopping for decorations at expensive wedding boutiques, you can often find the wedding decorations that you’re looking for at discounted prices on Amazon or other discount sites. You can often DIY them yourself for ¼ of the cost as well. Instead of spending upwards of $3000 on decorations, you can reduce the cost to under $1,000.

    Another way to save money on your wedding is with the floral arrangements. Some couples choose to purchase the flowers themselves and then make their own arrangements. It’s another good way to save a bit on decorations. 

    Have a Small Guest List

    As we’ve already mentioned, the more people that attend the wedding, the higher the cost. You can greatly reduce the cost of your big day by limiting the guest count to just your close friends and family. Having a small wedding of 25 guests or less makes a big difference when it comes to the cost of your overall wedding. 

    Don’t Get Married in Peak Season

    One of the most expensive times to get married is during wedding season or on a weekend. One of the best tips for saving money on your venue is to book your wedding in the off-season or on a weekday; you can greatly reduce your cost since most weddings don’t take place then.

    Because these dates and times are often not popular for weddings, venues offer discounted rates in order to fill these spots. This benefits them by filling the space and greatly reduces your overall cost. 

    Final Thoughts

    Booking and planning your wedding can not only be expensive, but it can also be stressful. The costs can add up quickly, and before you know it, you’ve gone over budget. Before you start planning your big day, it’s important to clearly mark out your budget and coordinate your guest list, venue and caterer around that.

    That said, if you still need a little extra money to make your vision come true, Spring Financial can help. You can get a personal loan from $500 to $30,000 with rates as low as 9.99%. 

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