You are so happy you are getting married; you have dreamed of this for a long time, you have pictured yourself walking down the aisle wearing a stunning gown in a beautifully decorated church, then dancing your first dance with your new husband in a gorgeous hall…..
 
Hold on, how are you paying for all this?
 
The sad fact is that wedding are expensive – including the tight budget ones.
 
Weddings used to be about family and communities helping the couple get set up in life. Now many couples are taking out second mortgages or maxing out their credit cards. What a way to start married life with a big debt!
 
So we hope you have been saving / have rich relatives / won the lottery!
 
For example, even the wedding licence is about $200 in most communities. You will also have to pay someone to perform the ceremony (Ontario only recognizes ministers from official churches, town clerks and justices of the peace, so officiant services start at about $200 and go up.)
 
The average cost of a wedding is running around $27,000!!!!
We know most of you are not in this league, so we have prepared a guideline to show how much to spend for each wedding item on a more realistic budget.
 
Category
Percent
Small Wedding
Percent
Medium Wedding
Percent
Large Wedding
Ceremony
3%
150
2%
150
2%
200
Clothing
13%
650
14%
1,050
14%
1,400
Reception
40%
2,000
40%
3,000
40%
4,000
Cake
3%
150
3%
225
3%
300
Stationery
2%
100
2%
150
2%
200
Flowers
5%
250
5%
375
5%
500
Decorations
5%
250
5%
375
5%
500
Music/Audio
10%
500
10%
750
10%
1,000
Photography
10%
500
10%
750
10%
1,000
Gifts
1%
50
1%
75
1%
100
Transportation
3%
150
2%
150
2%
200
Lodging
0%
-
1%
75
1%
100
Rings
4%
200
4%
300
4%
400
Misc
1%
50
1%
75
1%
100
Total
1.00
5,000
1.00
7,500
1.00
10,000

 

 
Target budget
 
5,000
 
7,500

 
10,000

 

 
50 guests

 
75 guests

 
100 guests

 

 
community hall

 
medium quality hall
medium quality hall

 

 
small buffet dinner
simple dinner

 
dinner & hors d'oevres

 
Note: when you get to around $10,000, you can think about adding a wedding planner. We strongly suggest you go for a set fee and not a percentage of your budget so you know exactly how much you are paying.
 
For a $5,000 wedding, your reception works out to $20 each for 100 guests. Obviously, some compromises need to be made. You can eliminate things like limos and lodging and cut down on other expenses like decorations and other events. Our philosophy is to give the best party you ever have, so we would rather you cut your guest list to 50 guests and gave them a great meal. Or do something different like a brunch or afternoon tea.
Don’t despair! Nice weddings are possible even on a small budget, and we want to help make your dreams come true. We can put together some amazing decorations for you and offer advice on all aspects of your wedding.

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