Did you know you can plan a wedding under $5,000? We are not kidding around here! Your wedding will be one of the most memorable and special days of your life. But… it might also end up being one of the most expensive! With the average expected cost of a Canadian wedding ringing in at well over $20,000, it is no surprise that future brides are searching for any possible way to lower this price tag. Don’t worry, we’ve got your back and have compiled a list of ways to plan a wedding under $5,000 without compromising that dream day you have envisioned.
One of the most important ways to keep your wedding under $5,000 is to limit your guest list. We know this is a toughie, but it’s a biggie! Keep the list limited to family and close friends only. Anywhere between 50-100 people is a good number to aim for. Realistically, it usually ends up being easier to aim for 50 guests, as it takes away some of the pressure about which extended friends and family to invite. To get started, sit down with your partner-to-be and each of you should create a list of the guests who must attend, combine your lists, and work from there!
There is no reason why you HAVE to purchase your dress and bridesmaid dresses from a bridal shop. Instead you can borrow, rent, resell our purchase your outfits second hand. The average amount spent on these pieces that will only be worn once are outrageous! Check out online stores where you can sort dresses by colour, and narrow your search to white gowns which will give you tons of results. There are also tons of sites for purchasing previously worn dresses. Even though it won’t directly impact your savings, suggesting that your bridal party rents their dresses too is a great way for everyone to save money! Shop rental bridesmaid dresses here.
Another big kicker is the venue! To begin, avoid prime wedding times where venue prices sky-rocket. Consider an “off-season” wedding in the fall or winter, or even throwing your wedding on a Sunday. Next, go with a less-traditional wedding venue. Does someone in your family have a beautiful backyard? Host an outdoor wedding there. Does your city have a cool local barn or theatre? Find out if they host events. Is there a beautiful public park nearby? Look into requirements for park permits, but these usually come at a minimal cost and can offer the perfect place for stunning photos. These venues will not have your typical high ticket wedding costs, and most of the time the vendors you work with will end up being way more accommodating than those at your average golf course. Choosing the right, affordable venue is absolutely crucial to plan your wedding under $5,000.
Ask a friend to make a cake instead of giving a gift. There are tons of cake tutorials online that are super easy to do and end up looking professional. Another option is to ask multiple friends and family members to bring mini macaroons, cookies, brownies, etc. to fill the dessert table. A dessert buffet is an awesome idea that offers a much greater variety for your guests than a typical wedding cake and is sure to satisfy any type of sweet tooth!
Create your own stationary, centerpieces, signs and more! If you like doing crafts, all it will take is a little time and imagination. If DIY-ing is not your thing, throw a crafting party and get some friends to help out. Not only will you cut costs, but you will get your creative juices flowing and have tons of fun in the process.
Leap into the 21st century and go digital with your save the dates, invitations and RSVP cards. Avoid fees for postage and printing, and save time will you are at it. Check out the website Canva, which offers an abundance of templates specifically for weddings. The image below is an example! Just input your own info and you are set.
Do NOT go for the included caterers with locations if you’re trying to save money, these prices are always super inflated and unrealistic. Search for venues that allow you to choose your own caterer. Also bring your own alcohol! Drinks will stretch a lot further when you order your alcohol in cases from the liquor store. If you can, find a place that will allow you to return your unopened liquor so that there is no unnecessary expense for drinks. You can even ask a friend of a friend to volunteer to be a bartender for the day or pre-make cocktails in large glass beverage dispensers.
When it comes to wedding photography, this isn’t usually an area you want to skip out on. However, there are still ways to save money in this department! Search Google for photography students, aspiring photographers or hobbyists who take photos in their free time and will charge much less than a professional. If you’re not sure about the quality of a less experienced photographer, try them out for your engagement photos before booking them for the wedding.
If you do your research, there are endless ways to save money and plan that perfect bougee wedding on a budget. Stay organized, don’t be afraid to ask people for help and remember that there are NO rules. Focus on what you and your significant other want, and search for trade-offs for the less important things. Spend money in the areas that are most important to YOU!
You got this, happy planning for your wedding under $5,000!
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