A wedding is possibly the biggest expense a couple will ever incur with the exception of buying a home. According to Weddingbells.ca the average wedding cost in Ottawa is $30717, and 75% of couples go over the amount they originally budgeted for. Regardless of whether you spend $1500 or $50000 for your wedding, you need to budget for your wedding, and these steps will help keep you on track.
The first step is to determine where all of the money will be coming from. Will you be paying everything yourself? Will the parents or grandparents be making a contribution, and if they are, is there specific things they will be paying for? Is there a limit?
How much can you afford? How much are you willing to spend? How much are you able to save between now and the wedding date?
Timing may also play a factor. Are there payments that can be deferred until you will have the money saved, or possibly even after the wedding to help increase your budget? (pro tip: at Avalon Wedding Photography, we only charge for your wedding album or prints AFTER the wedding)
Before you begin budgeting for your wedding, you need the answers to all of these questions so that you have a pretty good idea of the number to start all of your planning from.
You need to know how many people are coming. You need this number to know how big your venue should be, and almost all of the quotes you get will be on a per person basis; cost per plate (your biggest expense), how many favours you need, invitations, cake slices – the list goes on.
Know your numbers.
Have you heard of a cake cutting fee?
Does your venue charge a fee for security, parking or insurance?
Are taxes and gratuities included with the caterer?
Does your florist charge a delivery fee to bring the flowers to the venue?
Make sure you get bottom line price to add to your budget. Get everything in writing, and track all of the individual expenses to ensure you are on track.
Make a list of priorities. What three things are the most important aspects of your day? Make a list and stick to it as non-negotiable, and be willing to compromise on the rest. Knowing what to compromise if and when it comes up will also help keep you on budget.
Vendors may not give you a discount but may offer additional incentives or freebies if you ask. You are unlikely to get a discount during peak wedding season, but you won’t know if you don’t ask.
At Avalon Wedding Photography we offer an early payment discount that will save you hundreds of dollars in exchange for your commitment.
Other discounts could include off-season discounts, discounts for non-traditional days of the week or discounts for renting a block of hotel rooms for your guests. Some vendors enjoy working together and will offer a discount if booking those vendors together. Certain vendors also have payment plans to help relieve the stress of having everything come due right before the wedding. (We do!)
When it comes to paying for your wedding, it’s not worth going into debt. If you can’t afford it, you don’t need it. When you are agonizing over something ask yourself, will the guests even notice it’s missing? Is it something they may not even appreciate? Will it make a big difference to your overall enjoyment? It’s not how much money you spend that is important, it’s what makes YOU happy. And at the end of the day, if you are married, your wedding day was a success and the rest is a bonus.
If you need any help budgeting for your wedding, or are interested in our services for photography, feel free to book a consultation with us. We would love to help you!
Guylaine and Gord
Avalon Wedding Photography
June 23, 2021