Every year, countless couples in Canada mark the end of summer by beginning to plan for their nuptials the following year. Little do they know how much a wedding can cost nowadays. According to data compiled from a number of 2014 surveys, the average cost of a wedding in Canada last year was just over $23,000. When adding rings and a honeymoon, the price goes up to nearly $32,000. Such a high price tag might be okay with some couples, but what about those who have other plans? There are ways to give your married life a smart start from a financial perspective.
There are couples determined not to spend excessively on their wedding because they have other plans for their money. One couple might want to save for a downpayment on their first house. Another couple may intend to launch a new business. Still another couple may make it a priority to pay off student loans before incurring any additional debt. In all three cases, spending $32,000 on a wedding and honeymoon is not an option.
Below are three important tips you can employ to get your marriage off to a good financial start, should you decide to keep your wedding expenses in check:
1. Establish a Budget
Budgeting is the most important thing any couple can do to properly manage their finances – whether early in their marriage or decades down the road. There is no better place for a couple to start budgeting than in the planning stages of a wedding. Budgeting begins with deciding how much money you are going to spend compared to how much money you have coming in.
The data we referenced earlier suggests that couples are not budgeting for their weddings very well. Most survey respondents went into wedding planning with the idea that they would spend about $15,000. They were shocked when the final bill came in at twice that amount. It all comes down to those hidden expenses that couples do not plan for. Budgeting solves that problem.
When a couple establishes a budget and sticks to it, they will, by default, track their expenses as they go. If one expense is higher than anticipated, they can either find a way to reduce it or take something out of the budget to make up for it. This applies to everything from the venue to food to engagement and wedding rings.
2. Establish Priorities
Reality dictates that it is just not possible to pull off a fairy-tale wedding on the cheap. Therefore, couples looking to save money need to set their priorities. As an example, wedding rings that the couple truly love are more important than lots of flowers and expensive decorations. Flowers and decorations will find their way to the dumpster as soon as the reception is over; custom wedding bands from a gallery such as Engage Diamond Studio will be there forever.
Establishing priorities includes deciding whether it is necessary to provide a full banquet meal at the reception or not. It includes transportation to the ceremony, the dresses and suits the wedding party will wear, whether or not live entertainment will be featured, the necessity of an open bar, and so on. Create a list of priorities and work down that list as your budget allows.
3. Don’t Lose Sight of the Big Picture
It is easy to get discouraged when you start looking at prices. For example, you can save a lot by forgoing the lavish downtown hotel in favour of a neighbourhood wedding chapel. However, is the wedding chapel your preferred venue? Maybe not. The point is, do not lose sight of the big picture. Your wedding ceremony and reception will last but a few hours. Your future is, well, your future. It is long term.
You can find an affordable venue without having to settle for the neighbourhood wedding chapel. You just need to dig around. Keep your eye on the big picture and dig until you find what you are looking for.
You may have big dreams for your life together as a married couple. If those dreams required significant financial investment, it might be smarter to spend less on your wedding so that you have more money to pursue your dreams. Remember to budget, set your priorities, and not lose sight of the big picture.
- Huffington Post – http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2014/04/23/wedding-costs-canada_n_5198681.html