Dream Wedding on a Budget

It has been just over two months since we got married! It was the perfect night. We planned our wedding for two years and our vision really came together. We also managed to budget our wedding very well. The average wedding of 100+ people in Toronto is over 60k. Our wedding at 135 people in Hamilton was just over 22,000$ 

Having two years to plan our wedding was key to being able to save and budget for it. The two years allowed me plenty of time to do my research, create Pinterest boards, and shop the sales. We also had a very simple wedding. Originally I wanted lots of dahlias, different centre pieces, extravagant floral arches, and gold cutlery. But the truth is if you're looking to have a beautiful wedding on a budget simple is better. We opted instead of huge bouquets of out of season flowers to just have white roses, eucalyptus and babysbreath. Instead of gold cutlery which rents at about 3x the price as normal ones we did gold napkins. Candles were bought on sale from a local store (www.yummicandles.ca) and twinkle lights were purchased after christmas when all winter decor goes onto majour clearance.

We also knew when we were picking our venue that we wanted to be able to have outside caterers. We found that picking our favourite caterers from around the city was cheaper than any of the venue in house catering options. We also didn't do full plated dinner but instead opted for cocktail hour and late night pizza.

Very few venues allow this for insurance purposes so we were limited in where we could hold the venue but luckily for us, our top choice was one of the few places in Hamilton that allows outside catering (they've sadly since changed this).

Other ways we saved money was not hiring a DJ, instead I spent ENDLESS HOURS curating the PERFECT playlist. I am also a control freak and there's no way a DJ could have had the playlist I wanted. While we had a few hiccups the night of without a DJ (the venue played the song I walked down the aisle to way to loud, the AUX cord stopped working, our entrance song messed up) it really was worth saving the average 4000$ you spend on a DJ. And honestly, sure I remember those hiccups and I'm sure a few guests to do but it hardly ruined the night. We also saved money by only hiring a photographer for 4hrs.

Our AMAZING photographer was a bit out of our price range, he usually shoots with a second photographer and does it for 8hrs. So instead of assuming it was a write off, I emailed him. I asked if he was open to the idea of just him, and just 4hr of photography. Turns out he was, and we saved 1500$ on photos he also threw in a free 1h shoot a few days after the wedding since we were being traditional and didn't want pre ceremony photos.

Overall the biggest cost of our wedding was our open bar, in Ontario there are very few ways to avoid this unfortunately. But we knew that going in, and were able to save for two years.

Planning a wedding on a budget is totally doable. It just requires commitment & discipline. I probably repeat those two words the most in my budgeting blogs. They are the two keys for budgeting success.


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