The proposal went off without a hitch and you’re drowning in happiness, and the wedding countdown has begun… now it’s time to put romance aside and think about the finances that will get you to your big day.
Planning your finances ahead of your special day
On average, a traditional wedding can set you back between 15,000$ – 35,000$; a varying amount based on certain factors.
1. Establish your guest list: This alone will result in the majority of your expenses: venue, catering, etc. Thinking big? Ensure that your family will support your grand affair before sending out invitations. Sometimes, the simplest affairs are the most memorable.
2. Divide the costs: Traditionally, most families will share wedding expenses with the bride and groom, however in certain cases the latter wish to be financially independent. In this case, it is important to have a say in every single wedding expense- chances are your wedding will be more intimate, but less money will be wasted.
3. Set a budget- and stick to it: Spend money towards your big day in accordance to your means; no one wants to be paying off their wedding day 10 years from now. Beginning a marriage with large amounts of debt and financial pressure is not the best start.
4. Predict the unpredictable: Often, hidden fees appear in the form of paying your church organist or having your dress adjusted at the last minute. If you plan on having a destination wedding, exchange rates can affect your pre-determined budget. To prevent over-spending, set a 10% safety cushion aside for unforeseen expenses. You can choose to have additional protection by taking out a special wedding insurance policy.
5. Communicate: The secret to a successful marriage is, in fact, to keep no secrets from each other at all; be open about any expenses related to your wedding and be prepared to compromise. Now is a good time to be planning your finances as a couple beyond your big day.
Looking for some ways to save?
1. Begin sooner rather than later: A healthy relationship should be able to withstand a few years of frugality and saving in order to live out your goals, as a couple, in the future. Need some support? A TFSA can help get you started.
2. Make some choices: If a big wedding is not for you, here are some ideas to help keep your budget in check:
- Consider the type of car that you rent for your wedding day;
- Rent your dress;
- Get creative with homemade decorations.
Remember, your wedding day should not be about impressing your guests; rather, it should be a reflection of you and your lifetime partner, and the love you share together- not your joint expense account.