Say 'I do' to a budget wedding
Darcy Wintonyk and Lynda Steele, CTV British Columbia
Published Wednesday, January 2, 2013 10:46AM PST
Last Updated Wednesday, January 2, 2013 9:39PM PST
From the invitations to the flowers, hall rentals and rings, getting married can leave a young couple deep in debt before they even start their new lives together. It's estimated the average wedding costs between $25,000 and $30,000.
But there are many ways to creatively cut corners, without sacrificing style and class on your big day.
CTV News editor and Vancity Bride wedding blogger Jeannine Fehr, whose motto is "where frugal meets fabulous," says she's constantly hearing from brides-to-be looking to save money on wedding costs
"Weddings are really expensive just because there are so many factors that come into play when you're planning it," she said.
Fehr's blog offers modern brides unique ways to avoid "bridal sticker shock" and find solutions to bring their vision to life – all while sticking to a budget.
The blogger says brides can save cash by thinking outside the box about when they have their wedding. Having a ceremony in an off-peak time can lower rates, as can switching days. While most brides walk down the aisle on a Saturday, changing the date to a Friday or Sunday can save you big bucks.
"I know some venues if it's a long weekend they keep the Sunday rate, which is lower, and your guests don't have to wake up early the next day," she said.
Here are some other great ways to save on some main wedding components.
Having beautiful flower arrangements doesn't have to break the bank, say the floral experts at Whole Foods.
Christina King specializes in making $5 centerpieces using recycled Perrier bottles. For a wedding with 10 tables, that's just $50.
She follows a few simple cost-cutting rules, including getting the biggest bloom you can.
"Part of the way you can reduce your costs is to make sure that your blooms are really big," King said.
Another way to save is skipping on costly flowers like roses and peonies, and opting for something local. In the spring, daffodils and tulips are a great option, and are grown right here in B.C.
"Making sure that you buy locally grown product, so you're not paying for all that transportation," King said.
Cutting costs on the ring is as simple as skipping the traditional gold, in favor of a manly and modern alloy called tungsten carbide.
It's the strongest metal you can buy, and affordable too. Most of the rings featured through the Vancouver-based online seller Black Tie Rings sell for between $200 and $300.
"It's a great option for guys; it's very unique and different," said founder Brandon Heuser.
"We definitely try to keep our prices low so it's very comfortable for people to make a purchase, and not going to break the bank."
Heuser started the company three years ago when looking for his own wedding band. He and his wife will often meet potential clients in person to talk about the benefits of the unique rings.
The tungsten carbide is even stronger than titanium, meaning it will withstand a lot of abuse without scratching or damage. It's perfect for men who are active and like to play sports, Heuser added.
Spend less on the cake
Tanya Muller of North Vancouver's Le Gateau bake shop says cupcakes are a great way to cut your wedding cake costs in half.
Muller said having the individual desserts removes the need for the cake-cutting fees some venues charge, which can be up to $4 a guest – adding up to hundreds of extra dollars.
But if you're more of a traditionalist on a budget, she suggests a fake wedding cake, especially if you already have a dessert table at your reception.
"So you would rent a cake, or ask your baker to make one for you with a slice of real cake put into the back so you could have your photo-op," Muller said.
Some people will also opt to have a slab cake cut up if they still want to serve a piece of cake to the guests.
If you're a bride on a budget, here's a few more ways to cut costs:
- Cut down the guest list. It's an easy way to slash your catering and invitation costs.
- Have bigger tables so you can save on centerpieces and tablecloths.
- Skip the main course and just do appetizers and cocktails instead.
- Offer beer and wine instead of a full bar.
- Hold your ceremony and reception in the same location.
- Skip the champagne toast.
- Email your save-the-date notices instead of through regular mail.
- Hire a DJ who can do both the ceremony and reception.