Weddings can be expensive. We all know that. From the venue and the dress to the food and drink, the big day can end up being a big bill for the newly married couple. A new PC Financial* survey shows two-thirds of couples planning to marry in the next two years intend to pay for their wedding from their own savings, investments, or inheritance. This means that if wedding costs go over budget, it can seriously derail long-term savings goals. Here’s how to help keep costs down and start your married life on a healthy financial footing.
Budget, budget, budget
The first thing couples should do after getting engaged is to start writing down all their expectations for the big day – make the list exhaustive. Of course the guest list, venue and date are paramount. But also include what kind of meal you expect to serve, the type of thank you gifts you want to give the bridal party and even, the kind of centrepieces and cake you want. Will you stay in a hotel the night of your wedding, and will you hire a limo to get around on your big day? Ask friends who just got married about some of the surprise costs they encountered. Once your list is complete, you will have a full picture. Write down an approximate value of what each item will cost. Once this is done, look for places to cut back and save money.
Easy ways to save money
Having a smaller wedding and guest list is the easiest way to cut down on costs. But on top of this, there are other simple things you can do to save money. For example, make your own centre pieces or rent them, as this could put thousands of dollars back in your pocket. You may be able to save time and money by holding your wedding ceremony and reception in the same place. Serve food family or buffet style, cutting down on the costs associated with a full-course dinner. Have guests RSVP online, and cut back on the cost of stamps for each return envelope. Get married any day other than Saturday and during off peak times, and venues usually offer up better rates.
Out-of-the-box ideas to save
It can seem odd at first, but look into borrowing a dress or buy a gently used one second-hand. In most cases, nobody will know or notice. Getting married in your own backyard by renting a tent, tables and chairs may also a big cost-saver. Have a short engagement and see what last minute deals you can pick up by taking advantage of last-minute cancellations or deals. The longer you wait for the big day, the more likely you are to tack on extra costs. Hire a student photographer willing to take photos for much cheaper, in exchange for the experience and opportunity to add to their portfolio. You can also do as many “DIY” tasks as possible.
Don’t stress over the little things & enjoy the experience
The good news is that the majority of couples surveyed plan to spend less than $10,000 on their big day. Keeping in mind how easy it is for costs to spiral out of control, starting with a small budget will help get your creative juices flowing and keep you away from signing up for expensive ideas. This may help cut down on the stress and help you enjoy your big day to the fullest.