How to Plan Your Dream Wedding on a Budget

Vintage retro glass jar with hemp rope tie wedding tag and few coins inside on wood counter concept of saving money for wedding
The words “wedding” and “budget” aren’t exactly a match made in heaven. But with the average wedding cost in Canada surpassing $40,000 in 2017

The words “wedding” and “budget” aren’t exactly a match made in heaven. But with the average wedding cost in Canada surpassing $40,000 in 2017, money has to be top of mind in the planning process.

Here are a few tips to stay on track.

Start the planning early on

Do some early research to get a feel for how much things cost. Connect with venues and vendors to ask for pricing. Remember to ask for the total cost as the promotional per person rate listed on the website usually doesn’t include taxes, gratuities or even costs for things like linens.

Create a budget and stick to it

Once you’ve gotten a feel for some rough costs, now is the time to start building your budget. Start by establishing what you can afford and allocate amounts to different areas such as venue, flowers, DJ etc. You should also include a 5% buffer for unexpected expenses.

Set priorities

Sit down with your partner and talk about what aspects of the day are most important to you. Do you want a wild party, a beautiful dress, exceptional photos? By narrowing down your priorities, it supports your budget by knowing how much to allocate where.

Get creative

One way to save money is to look into making your own wedding items such as favours, signage or centrepieces. Need some inspiration? Pinterest has endless ideas for amazing DIY wedding items that will give your wedding a creative look without appearing cheap.


More and more social networking sites now have buy/swap/trade pages dedicated solely to weddings. Not only can you buy and sell items here, but they can also be a great resource for information when looking for honest feedback on things like vendors, venues and photographers.

By sticking to a budget and following these simple tips, you’ll ensure that your new life together starts on the right foot instead of being buried in unnecessary wedding debt.

Natasha Reid is Assistant Branch Manager with Envision Financial, a division of First West Credit Union. Connect with Natasha at