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The Great-West Life Assurance Company, London Life Insurance Company and The Canada Life Assurance Company have become one company – The Canada Life Assurance Company. Discover the new Canada Life

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Wedding budget – How to save for a wedding

Key takeaways

  • As of 2019, the average Canadian wedding cost about $29,000.
  • How much you spend on your wedding depends on your situation, culture and preferences.
  • Creating a wedding budget is important
  • There are several ways to save money on your wedding
  • Couples should have a plan to save for their wedding

Average wedding costs

According to the 2019 Global Wedding ReportOpens a new website in a new window, the average wedding in Canada cost just over $29,000. 

However, for every average wedding, there are also weddings that cost much less and much, much more. 

How much should you spend on your wedding?

What you choose to spend on your own wedding will depend on your financial situation, culture and preferences. 

Advisors would always recommend your wedding budget stay within what you can afford.  Creating a wedding budget can help you achieve that.  

Your wedding budget

The first thing you’ll want to do is create an overall wedding budget. This includes determining who (couple and parents) is paying for what.

From there, you can breakout various budget items and allot amounts to each. 

According to Brides magazineOpens a new website in a new window, this is a list of items for most weddings and the percentage of the total budget typically allotted to each item: 

  • Venue and catering: 40%

  • Photography and videography: 15%

  • Wedding attire and beauty: 5%

  • Music/entertainment: 10%

  • Flowers: 10%

  • Favours and gifts: 2%

  • Transportation: 3%

  • Stationery: 3%

  • Cake: 2%

  • Decor and ceremony (includes marriage license and officiant): 10%

Add to these the cost of a honeymoon vacation, which can run from simple to luxurious. 

According to WeddingWireOpens a new website in a new window, 74% of U.S. couples go over their budget, and over 50% increase their budget at some time while planning their wedding. 

If you go over budget in 1 area, you should try and compensate in another to stay in budget. 

Tips to reduce your wedding costs

There are ways you can try and keep your wedding budget under control:

Choose a less-popular date

Having your wedding on a Friday or Sunday, or on a date between November to March may cost less.  

Do as much as you can yourself

There are lots of things you can do yourself for your wedding, from table numbers and signage, to invitations, décor, flowers and more. 

Ask friends for help

If you have friends or relatives with musical, decorating or craft talents, ask for their help. You’ll save money and add meaning to your event. 

Cut food and beverage costs

Any alternative to a sit-down dinner will save you money. Brunch or cocktail receptions are great options. 

Trim your guest list

Keeping the number of guests to those who really need to be there will save you money.  

Renting clothing/jewelry

Renting wedding attire that you’re only likely to wear 1 day of your life may save you money over buying it. If you do buy clothing, make sure your dress or suit can be used for other occasions after your wedding.

Comparison shop

You should try and get more than 1 cost quote for whatever you’re buying for your wedding, to ensure you’re getting a reasonable deal and not being overcharged. 

Set wedding priorities

Agree with your partner about what matters most to you and where might compromise. 

Think about eloping

f you have trouble justifying spending so much on your wedding, you can always consider elopement. It can be simpler and much less expensive.

Saving for your wedding

Regardless of the size of your wedding budget, you’ll want to save as much money for the event as possible, so you don’t start your marriage with added debt. Here’s how

Create a savings plan

Divide the total amount you need to save by the number of months until your wedding so you know how much you need to budget from each paycheque.

Open a wedding account

So it doesn’t get spent elsewhere, open a separate account to save for your wedding. A tax-free savings account or high-interest savings account are ideal for this.

Automatic deposit

Set-up regular deposits on a regular basis to your separate wedding account.

Re-allocate your spending

You can spend less on restaurant meals and coffees. Add that to the money you’re saving for your wedding.

What's next?

Now that you know more about saving for your wedding, why not meet with an advisor to:

  • Open a tax-free savings account or high-interest savings account to save for your wedding
  • Set-up automatic deposit for your wedding savings
  • Discuss your financial goalsOpens in a new window and how you can save to achieve them

This information is general in nature, and is intended for informational purposes only. For specific situations you should consult the appropriate legal, accounting or tax advisor.

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