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How to Save and Budget for Your Wedding

Written by Jessica Steer
Congratulations! You’re engaged and your dream wedding is in the works. You’re scouting out the perfect venue, trying on ball gowns and tuxedos, and shopping for matching wedding bands for your big day. Whether you envision a rustic country wedding in a barn, a black-tie event in a 5-star hotel, or a laid-back destination wedding on a beach, there’s a lot to consider when planning a wedding. Should you hire a wedding planner? How many guests should you invite? Who will be in your wedding party? And of course, how much is this all going to cost?
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    Believe it or not, the average wedding traditionally costs $30,000 in Canada. But 75% of couples end up spending more than their original wedding budget. If you have a wedding date that’s imminent and a wedding budget that isn’t close to $30,000, don’t worry; a little bit of financial creativity and out-of-the-box thinking can help you save a small fortune on your big day. 

    A Breakdown of typical Wedding Costs to budget for

    How to save money on your wedding

    Whether you’re a bride on a budget or don’t have enough time to save for your wedding day, there are numerous ways you can cut costs on a wedding. 

    What are the cheapest wedding dates?

    Your future wedding date can have a big impact on your wedding expenses. Saturdays are the most popular days for weddings, so costs can skyrocket on this day alone. Have your wedding on any other day and you might be able to snag lower rates. Moreover, if you get married in the wedding off-season – typically January, February, and March – you’ll likely score some savings.

    How to pick an affordable venue

    Your ceremony and reception venue can make or break or your wedding budget. A backyard wedding will save you the cost of renting a venue, but may not have the space you need for a large guest list. Other alternatives for low-cost wedding ceremony and reception venues include public parks, community halls, and restaurants. 

    Narrow down your guest list

    The bigger your guest list, the more expensive your wedding will be. To stay within your wedding budget, try keeping your guest list down to close friends and family. Limit plus-ones or reconsider inviting distant relatives to keep the guest list down.

    Create your wedding invitations online for free

    There are far more ways to send out wedding invitations than traditional snail mail. Save the costs of printing and mailing paper invitations by sending digital, paperless wedding invitations. Sites like Paperless Post and Evite offer pre-designed and customizable digital invitations – and some are even free.

    Enjoy tasty savings on the cost of catering

    Food is often one of the biggest wedding expenses. But there are tons of options out there when considering your wedding meal. Buffet-style meals, hors d’oeuvres and canapes, or lunch-time affairs are often more affordable alternatives to a three-course dinner.

    You don't need to have your wedding cake and eat it too

    By the end of a wedding meal, most wedding guests won’t have room for cake. So why not cut the big wedding cake out of your wedding budget? Cutting out the cake doesn’t mean you have to cut out the cake-cutting tradition. Many couples opt for a small single-tier cake that they can cut and eat themselves. Some couples even cut a fake cake – just for the photo op.

    Limit your wedding alcohol spend

    Open bars are fun. But they’re also expensive. Instead of having an open bar all night, consider an open bar for cocktail hour only. Or hand out a set number of drink tickets to each guest. This way, you can anticipate how much you need to budget for alcohol.

    Consider wedding suit rentals

    Why buy a new suit when you can rent one? Many grooms choose to rent suits for themselves and their groomsmen. It’s a cost-effective alternative to shelling out thousands of dollars for brand-new outfits. 

    Opt for a vintage or pre-owned wedding dress over brand new

    Traditional wedding dress shops offer the allure of fancy dresses and a special dress shopping experience. But they come with a heftier price tag. For affordable alternatives, consider wedding dress consignment shops, wedding dress liquidators, and second-hand dress sites like Stillwhite and Once Wed.

    Shop around for wedding dress alterations

    So you found the perfect wedding dress but you want to lower the back or add more tulle. If you don’t want to skimp on your dream wedding dress, make sure to shop around for your dress alterations. Wedding dress shops often charge more for wedding dress alterations than independent tailors. So always get a quote before you get your dress altered. 

    How to save money for a wedding

    Can’t compromise on your dream wedding? Then saving is the way to go. Set your wedding date further in the future and you’ll have more time to save for your perfect wedding. For example, if you plan your wedding 2 years in advance and budget $30,000 for the big day, you’ll need to save $15,000 each year as a couple. That’s $7,500 per person – and it’s totally doable. Here’s how:

    • Set a budget and stick to it: Set a budget for your big day and put a set amount per paycheck toward this goal. A good rule of thumb is to put 50% of your net income toward your daily needs, 20% toward your financial goals, and 30% toward your wants. Your wedding budget goal should fall within your wants – so you may need to cut back on other wants while you’re saving.
    • Open a wedding savings account: To ensure your wedding savings don’t get spent elsewhere, why not open a wedding savings account? Put this money away and forget about it, until it’s time to pay for your wedding.
    • Keep track of your spending: When you need to save for a wedding, it’s a good idea to keep track of your spending. Budget apps make it easy to organize your finances so you can work toward your wedding budget goal.
    • Consider a side hustle: If your regular 9-5 isn’t enough to fulfill your dream wedding, look into a side hustle for some extra dough. From teaching English to delivering food, there are plenty of ways to make extra money for that luxury wedding dress or all-inclusive honeymoon you’ve been dreaming about.

    Is a wedding loan an option?

    If you still need some extra cash for your big day, a wedding loan is a good option. Like its name implies, a wedding loan is a personal loan you can use to pay for your wedding. While it might not be wise to take out a large wedding loan for your entire wedding budget, a smaller wedding loan can help cover the costs of last-minute must-haves or unexpected expenses. 

    Advantages of wedding loans

    A wedding loan can give you that extra bit of cash you need to pay for an over-budget wedding dress or last-minute wedding videographer. Because it’s a personal loan, a wedding loan (from the right lender) has no application fees, hidden costs, or maintenance fees. With a personal loan, you can repay the loan on a fixed schedule that works for you.

    Disadvantages of wedding loans

    As with any loan, you’ll eventually have to pay back your wedding loan amount. So, you might want to reconsider taking out a large wedding loan for your entire wedding budget. Instead, put your own income toward your wedding first and then take out a wedding loan for remaining costs. Don’t take out a loan that’s larger than you can realistically pay back.

    How to get a wedding loan

    Getting a loan for your wedding is easier than you think. Unlike bank loans that take time to approve, you can apply for a wedding loan online and get the money deposited into your bank account. All you need a bank account, regular source of income, good credit, and a few other things. You and your fiancé might have to cosign for a wedding loan, but that just means you’ll have to pay it back together. 

    If you’re looking for a loan to cover your wedding budget, look to Spring Financial. You can apply online for a personal loan up to $35,000 and get approved over the phone or text – usually in 24 hours. For your special day, Spring Financial offers customized loans to help make your wedding dreams come true. 

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