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Bride "zilla" or Bride "smart" ? How to keep Wedding Costs under control.

Updated on July 14, 2013
Beach Bride, East Sooke, Vancouver Island
Beach Bride, East Sooke, Vancouver Island | Source

Planning your Wedding with $$$$'s in mind

According to statistics by the Association of Bridal Consultants the average cost of a wedding in the USA during the last twelve months was $28,000 US. In the UK average costs are 18,00 pounds sterling and on the rise. Canadian Weddings are averaging at $31,000 CAN. The figures include attire, bridal gown, rings, flowers and honeymoon. Sadly, in some cases, wedding costs and planning become the funeral for family finances and relationships.

As a former bride myself, who spent less than $4,000 (Canadian) on the wedding, including rings and honeymoon, I am somewhat curious as to why wedding costs have spiralled and the ensuing pressure that those costs can create for the bride and groom and their respective families.

Advantages of a Small Budget Wedding

Choosing the small budget route can be advantageous in many ways - here are a few:

Financial Advantages

  • Does not create a "new debt" such as a bank loan or 2nd mortgage
  • Money saved can pay off student loans
  • Use $ saved for a deposit on a house/apartment
  • Put $'s into a high interest savings account

Emotional Advantages

  • Reduces stress and pressure for bride and groom
  • Leads to less family and other relationship conflict
  • Creates opportunities for creative alternative location/wedding food/decorations
  • Lowers expectations that can lead to disappointments when things do not go as planned

Practical Advantages

  • Organization can be managed by Bride and Groom or Family and Friends
  • Easier to find and book/plan locations such as family home or local chapel and hall
  • Smaller guest list creates a more intimate setting
  • Friends and Family offer their services and feel "part of" the special occasion


Budget Wedding Ideas

If you do decide save your pennies you will still have a fabulous day to remember. Here are some low cost suggestions:

Have the ceremony and wedding brunch/dinner at home. Decorate the main floor and outside space (weather permitting).

Ask guests to bring a favourite desert or appetizer that reflects the personality/relationship of the bride and groom or the theme for the wedding

Book the hall that goes with the church/temple or chapel where you are marrying and have a "decorating party" the night before with pizza and wine instead of a pre-wedding dinner or hen/stag party.

Ask four guests to be the photography/videography recorders for the day.

Book an outside beach or park space in your local community and have a picnic feast.

Create a personalized CD of music rather than a live band or DJ - ask a friend or friends to host.

Consider if a pre-wedding dinner (a US custom) is necessary and, if it is, work with a local restaurant for a reasonably priced menu in a private room for immediate family guests only.

Consider an environmental theme and reduce the amount of paper/wedding favours and other items that can runaway with dollars.

Ask family and friends to help with a specific aspect of the wedding instead of a wedding gift. You probably have an abundance of gifted people who can do all sorts of things from baking the cake to creating tissue paper flowers.

Rent or hire the wedding suits/dress. Are you really going to wear it again?

Choose a simple "off the floor" dress from a favourite store that you will wear again.

Consider a consignment or retro dress.

How much is too much to spend on a wedding? (Canadian $'s)

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    • Lizam1 profile image

      Lizam1 4 years ago from Victoria BC

      Hi Teaches12345 thanks for the comment - times have certainly changed and, in my opinion, not for the better in some cases:-)

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 4 years ago

      I was married way back when you the top dollar for a wedding was under $6000. Times have changed. I love your budget ideas and would definitely take advantage of the beach idea.