There’s something wonderful about sharing love and happiness with the most special person in your life on a picture-perfect wedding day and having all your friends and relatives there for the party.
As nice as it is, that single day of special celebration is often seriously costly. Some couples turn to alternative dates and locations to help reduce the price tag of their dream day, and plenty of avenues exist for cost control.
There’s absolutely nothing wrong with trying to save money on your wedding day – it’s good financial sense to shop around for competitive prices. Still, emotions can make the cost-related decisions around wedding planning more difficult to handle than other pedestrian purchases.
Either way, whether your wedding plans are simple and plain or grand and elegant, you’re going to be spending some money. In most cases, that means some saving is required first. Here are some tips to help you plan and pay for the wedding day you’ve always wanted.
Put personal priorities front and centre
Some couples discuss wedding expectations before getting engaged, while others figure it all out at some point after the proposal. No matter when you have the conversation, it’s important to end up on the same page about what you want in a wedding, what’s reasonable, and what you can do without or compromise on.
What are the must haves, and what are the things that would be nice to have? Is location more important than the size of your guest list? Will you spend big on a lavish feast and fancy drinks for your guests, or would you rather keep more cash for your honeymoon? Take the time to sit down together and make these important decisions before you move on to the next step.
Build your budget
Once you know what you want, it’s time to price it all out. While it’s important to plan for all your wedding-related costs (including rings, honeymoon travel, etc.), it can also be helpful to separate costs associated with the big day itself to determine a per-guest price, which can inform the number of invitations you choose to send. Don’t overlook costs for flowers, decorations, gifts, clothes, and entertainment.
Once you add up all your total expected costs, review the expenses again and look for anything that can be cut out or slimmed down. Chances are your budget will go up, not down, during the planning process, so it’s smart to cut from the start.
Open a wedding account and set up a savings plan
By now you should know how much money you need for your wedding, and probably have a pretty good idea (or better) of when you plan to get married. Now it’s time to figure out how much you need to save in the time before the big day arrives. For example, imagine your wedding budget is $20,000, and you’re getting married in 12 months. You’ve been fortunate enough to receive $8,000 in financial assistance from family, meaning you still need to save $1,000 per month over the next year. Needless to say, it’s up to individual couples to figure out how to reach their total, whether it’s with equal monthly payments or different amounts relative to their individual income.
Whatever your plan, it’s wise to set up automatic deposits that regularly move money into a joint wedding account, preferably a high-interest savings account or even a Tax-Free Savings Account. If you have time and interest rates are favourable, you could also put your wedding savings into a short-term GIC to help it earn more interest while also helping avoid the temptation to spend it.
Boost savings by cutting down on expenses
It may be necessary to make some short-term sacrifices in order to afford the wedding day you and your partner want. Whether that means cancelling some subscriptions, using public transit more, cutting down on dinners out, or postponing other major purchases, be prepared to slice your spending so you’re able to hit your savings target in time.
There are always opportunities to earn a bit of cash, whether it’s as simple as selling old and unwanted items through an online marketplace or taking on a part-time job to pick up additional income. Ideally, there’s a way for you to combine your passions and interests with a money-making venture that helps fund your wedding. In an earlier blog, we wrote about three ways to generate additional income.