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Personal finance

The cost of a wedding

May 1, 2014
Julie St-Hilaire

Did your boyfriend pop the big question and you accepted? Well, now it's time to get out your calculator--and your wallet!

A wedding could easily cost $25,000

Because weddings aren't cheap. According to a survey conducted this spring, readers of Weddingbells and Mariage Québec magazines said that they'd be spending an average of $17,0601 for a wedding with 100 guests. Stéphanie Lavoie, a wedding planner with Mademoiselle M, says that it could easily cost $25,000.

Here's the breakdown2:

  • Invitation, thank-you cards, menus, place cards: $1,000
  • Room and meal: $8,000 (between $60 and $100 per guest)
  • Cake: $600 ($5 to $7 per slice)
  • Centrepieces and other decorations: $2000
  • Gifts for guests: $200 ($0.25 to $3 per person)
  • Wedding dress: $1,700 ($250 to $750 to rent)
  • Tuxedo: $700 ($300 to $400 to rent)
  • Hair, make-up, manicure: $350
  • Bridal bouquet: $100
  • Engagement and wedding rings: $2,000 (varies widely)
  • Limousine: $500
  • Wedding ceremony: $265 for a civil ceremony, $300 for a church ceremony
  • DJ and music: $1,250
  • Photography: $1,200 Professional photographer: between $2,000 and $6,000
  • Honeymoon: from $2,000

Anglophones tend to have bigger weddings

Interesting fact: Again according to Weddingbells and Mariage Québec magazines, Canadians outside Quebec spend on average $7,000 more on their weddings than Quebeckers do.

Higher salaries, bigger families and multiculturalism play a big role. Traditionally, Anglophones tend to have bigger weddings. And we've all heard of big Italian and Lebanese weddings where everyone from friends and family to neighbours and colleagues are invited, because it's expected.

8 tips to lower your wedding costs

Go on the Desjardins Group Facebook community page External link. This link will open in a new window. for lots of tips on how to have a great wedding without financially ruining yourself. Here are a few:

  1. Reduce the number of guests: This is the easiest way to reduce costs.
  2. Shop around: Jessica Humphries and her fiancé are getting married in June. They're adamant that they won't go into debt doing it, so they've decided to go for a small, intimate affair. They shopped around, often online, bargained, made some difficult decisions, but at the end of the day, they'll have an affordable wedding that's perfect for them.
  3. DIY: make your own invitations, decorations and gifts for guests.
  4. Get married in the "off-season": Get hitched in winter or on a Sunday even.
  5. Go to an all-inclusive: Destination weddings are also popular and relatively affordable.
  6. Do second-hand: You can rent the gown and tuxedo, buy them second-hand or purchase them online.
  7. Be unconventional: Some people ask their guests to pay for their meal instead of giving them a gift.
  8. Ask your friends for help: Know someone who has a really nice car? Why not ask them to be your chauffeur on your special day? And don't be shy to ask acquaintances for referrals; they'd be happy to provide you with the names of suppliers and friends.

It's important to save, but not at any cost. Wedding planner Stéphanie Lavoie insists that you should never scrimp on photography. After this day, other than your wedding ring and all the memories, the only other thing you'll have are your wedding photos. She goes so far as to say that even if there are glitches on your big day, you might still look fabulous in the photos.

1. Including the engagement ring and honeymoon.

2. An average of what consumers generally spend on their wedding.