How to budget for your wedding day?

When it comes to planning your wedding day this can be a very stressful time, especially if you live in Toronto. We have seen wedding's in the GTA that can cost upwards of $150,000 which include everything from top notch food, 1000 guests, entertainment, lavish flowers, decor, ice sculptures, and a 2 month honeymoon to exotic designation.

A lot of people will question whether these costs are reasonable and whether a $150,000 budget for a wedding is way overdone?  This is a personal question and the answer simplify depends on whether you and your spouse to be can afford to spend $150,000 on a wedding.  At the end of the day if you can afford it and come from families that pressure you to have a large wedding but are fronting the bill, then by all means go with it.  Remember, in some cultures, parents live for their children to get married and start a family of their own, so at the end of the day if they can afford the large budget and want to have a grand celebration that that is amazing!!!

The problem becomes when couples spend a large budget and cannot afford it.  We all want nice things and have the wedding of our dreams, however if you cannot afford the costs of all the bells and whistles it is not worth taking out a mortgage for your wedding day.

We will outline a sample budget for a wedding in Toronto, see below for more detail on some of the must have items:

1) Venue:  

This will  be the largest expense for the wedding, as it will include the food, beverage and banquet space for you and your guests.  Typically banquet halls charge on a per person basis and include the room rental, food and beverage. The average costs are around $100-$150 per person for a plated dinner depending on the items selected.

2) Ceremony:  

Usually costs are on a donation basis, and also depend on music costs.  This can range from $500-700 on average. 

3) DJ and entertainment:

Depending on the music and entertainment you select this cost can vary greatly.   From a basic DJ and MC service, to live entertainment, lighting shows, events, video screens, etc.  On average, look to spend around $3,000.

4) Photography and Video:

When looking for a photography and video service provider the following must be considered:

- How many photographers do you require?  This can range depending on the service provider, but generally 1 or 2 is required to capture the images of your wedding day. This doesn't happen every day, so you don't want to miss any important photos you would like to have, especially with family.

- Amount of coverage:  You will want to ensure you have full coverage from the morning including preparation/dress stages all the way to after the wedding speeches and also the dinner and dancing later in the evening.  Again, coverage will vary, but from our experience you don't want to cut all costs on your photography.

- Is video required?  Most will say yes, since with technology today you can get a professional video for a reasonable price.  Video is there to capture some of the moments that a photo cannot do justice, and the trend thi days is to shoot a "music video" story board which is really nice.

On average look for spend around $5,000-$6,000 on photography and video.

5) Florist/ centerpieces:

The cost of flowers can vary, this essentially will depend on the amount of tables or guest at your wedding and also the volume of flowers selected.  You can also go with silk flowers which will reduce the costs as well.

In my opinion, flowers are a key component to the decor of your wedding, and with simple but elegant flower arrangement you decor will look amazing.

On average look to spend $3,500-$4000.

6) Invitations:

Simple but classy invitations do best for your wedding invitations.  Look to spend on average $700-$1000. 

7) Honey Moon:

This is a personal preference and there are many options for a beautiful designation.  From Europe, to Asia, or a Caribbean get a way.  On average, costs are around $5,000 for a one week honeymoon.

Sample Wedding Budget Below:

Banquet Hall:                             $30,240

Church donation:                              700 

DJ and entertainment                    3,473

Photography with Video                 5,594

Florist / Centerpieces                    3,773

Decor ( venue and church)           2,300

Wedding Bands                             1,572

Marriage Course                             425

Bridal Shower                               3,000

Stag                                              3,000

Invitations                                        850

Transportation Limo                     1,400
( Party Bus)

Cake                                               430

Brides Dress                                2,500

Tuxedo Rental                                250

Honey Moon                                7,175

Gifts  for Bridal party                       636

Total                                          $67,318

We understand that your wedding day is a very special event and you want to make sure it includes all the "must have" items.  That is why understanding the budgeting process is important.  We help our clients with financial planning and budgeting for their wedding day to ensure they are not stuck with a bill afterwards that they just cannot afford.

For more information Contact Us at 416-214-0527 and Ask to Speak with One of Partners. 

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