Budgeting for your Wedding

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Clever Methods of Curbing Costs on the “Big Day”

While your wedding should certainly be a day to remember, it best be for the good memories; not the hole it left in your wallet. More and more Canadians are steering away from the grand ceremonies, the extended family invites to people met only a handful of times, and moving toward a more personal celebration.

According the theknot.com, a wedding planning website, weddings in 2010 cost an average of $27,000. If you are looking at that sum and thinking, “that could be our down payment on a home!” consider the following pointers on keeping your wedding budget a little more reasonable.

Request non-material gifts

While some couples might be comfortable using an eloquent script on the wedding invite to suggest a cash gift preference, if it sounds crass to you here’s another idea. Consider asking the friends and family closest to you for wedding help as their gift. A friend who works as a florist might be able to cover flowers, while an especially crafty sister could be put in charge of table arrangements. Likewise the family baker might be asked to contribute the cake, while a singing uncle provide the dinner entertainment. A cousin with a new Canon could shoot photos of the big day, and family friends who live on a lush acreage could donate their lot for an outdoor, tented festivity.

Downsize the guest list

While the dress and caterer may be impossible to forego, cutting down the guest list might not be. There are a variety of ways to do this. Restrict your invites to close friends and families only, or move the event out of town. Wedding at a resort or a place the two of you love visiting will reduce the number of positive RSVPs you receive.

Wed in the off season

All wedding-related costs tend to go down amid times when less people are vying to get married. Create an original theme for a winter wedding, and consider hosting the event on a weekday if possible.

Plan, plan, plan

Establish a budget and stick to it. If you allotted yourself $1,000 for a dress and sight a dream gown with a $3,000 price tag, put it back on the rack. Allowing yourself to stray from your budget could land you and your partner in a large pool of stressful newlywed debt.

If part of your plan is to borrow, be strategic in whom you borrow from. A homeowner who has already accumulated at least 20 per cent equity in their property may want to consider using a home equity line of credit, or a regular line of credit with an interest rate based on prime, from which to draw funds. Do not max out high interest credit cards – especially if you intend to seek financing on larger purchases, such as a home or vehicle, in the near future.

The power of negotiation

Last, but not least, don’t be afraid to haggle with a wedding service provider. Like any major purchase, you are not bound to a quote. Under the majority of circumstances you can a negotiate lower price, be it with the venue, the caterer, the florist or the band.

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