Is your big day getting closer? Have you already started planning the ceremony, but aren’t sure what it’ll cost you? It’s no secret that weddings can be expensive, but exactly how much you should expect to spend isn’t always clear.
In this article, I’ll be diving into the details of the average wedding cost in Canada, along with some tips on how you can save up on your expenses.
Let’s get into it!
What is the Average Cost of a Canadian Wedding?
When mapping out your wedding budget, it’s important to consider all the potential expenses you might come across. According to a Statista report from 2017, the total sum of an average wedding rounds out to $42.400.
In contrast, a Global News report from the same year states that a whopping 87% of Canadians say that spending less than $20.000 is a more realistic number. At the end of the day, it all depends on the level of extravagance you want to achieve.
While there aren’t any recent surveys that accurately reflect all the relevant expenses in later years, we can still get a pretty good idea of what couples are shelling out for their big day by looking at older reports. Let’s do a wedding costs breakdown to better understand how this number is calculated:
Ceremony & Reception
Starting off with the two most essential aspects of any wedding, the ceremony and reception costs make up a significant portion of the total bill. In fact, out of the $42.400 reported by Statista in 2017, a total of $19.925 was set aside for the venue, food and drinks, and other related wedding costs.
Seeing as this is one of the most memorable events of one’s life, it’s no surprise that couples are willing to invest a bit more in photography. Canada Buzz puts the median price for a wedding photographer at $4.500 but it can go as high as $7.000, depending on the package you choose.
Sometimes doing your own planning becomes more of a hassle than it’s worth. If you find yourself getting overwhelmed by all the nitty-gritty details, it might be time to invest in a professional to do the job for you.
According to the Wedding Planners Institute of Canada, the estimated wedding planner cost ranges anywhere from $800 to $2.500, based on the province you live in. Some planners also charge additional fees for consultations and vendor management.
A subtle yet significant detail, the cost of wedding rings will largely depend on the type of metal you want. For instance, a simple gold band could cost you as little as $500, whereas a diamond-encrusted platinum ring might set you back a few thousand.
Band or DJ?
No Canadian wedding is complete without a bit of music to set the tone, and there are two ways you can go about it. You can either hire a band to play live music or settle for a DJ and their pre-recorded tracks.
The former option tends to be more expensive since you’re essentially paying for the talents and performances of several individuals, which roughly translates to $4.000 to $12.000. On the other hand, a DJ will usually only charge you for their time and equipment rental, making it a more budget-friendly choice of about $1.500 to $2.000.
Multi-tiered cakes are a staple at most weddings, and the sky’s the limit when it comes to design and flavor. Slice Canada reports that the average price of a wedding cake is $600, but this number can go up or down depending on how elaborate you want it to be.
After the festivities have come to an end, it’s time to jet off on your honeymoon. This is oftentimes counted as part of your overall wedding expenses, as it’s seen as the first official trip you take as a married couple.
While the cost will largely depend on where you want to go and how long you plan on staying, data from 2017 on the Statista page shows that the average amount spent on a honeymoon was $2.986. This number may have risen by now, thanks to inflation and the general increase in travel costs.
License and Officiant
In order to make your marriage official, you’ll need to file for a marriage license and hire an officiant to preside over the ceremony. The license cost varies from province to province but is typically around $100. As for the officiant, they will usually charge a flat fee of around $500.
Stationery and Decor
As you start sending out invitations, you’ll need to factor in the cost of stationery and decor. This includes everything from the envelopes and stamps to the table centrepieces and favours.
On average, wedding prices for these items come up to $2.000, though it really depends on the size and scope of your wedding. If you’re planning a large event, you can expect to spend closer to $3.000 or more.
The bride and groom will be the center of attention on their big day, so it’s only natural that they want to look their best. Statista puts bride attire at an average of $1.741, whereas the groom can expect to pay much less with a $400 price tag on his outfit.
Hair and Makeup
On the subject of looking good, many brides opt to hire a professional hair and makeup artist to get ready, which can boost the average wedding costs. Most artists charge an hourly rate that ranges from $50 to $200, depending on their level of experience.
If the ceremony takes place at a remote location, you may need to book accommodation for the night. This is especially important if you’re hosting out-of-town guests who will need somewhere to stay. The median daily rate for hotels was $133.49 in 2020, according to data from Statista.
Apart from the main expenses, there are also a few smaller items that can increase the average cost of a wedding. Here’s a quick look at what to expect:
|Guest Transportation||$1.000 – $1.500|
|Event Liability Insurance||$100 – $500|
|Postage for Invitations||$2 per piece|
|Alterations||$500 for a gown/$150 for a suit|
|Trial Hair and Makeup||$50 – $150|
How to Save on Your Wedding?
Cheap weddings are possible if you’re willing to get creative and put in a bit of extra work. Some tips to save money include:
Plan Your Budget
You can’t save money if you don’t know how much you’re spending in the first place. Not only will this help you keep track of your expenses, but it will also force you to be more mindful of your choices and prioritize your purchases.
Choose a Less Popular Season
Wedding prices are often lower during the off-season, which runs from November to April in most parts of Canada. This is because vendors are typically less busy and have more availability, so they’re willing to negotiate on price.
Bigger Isn’t Always Better
Large venues are typically more expensive than smaller ones, so you may want to consider having a more intimate gathering if you’re on a budget. The same goes for your guest list—fewer people means less money spent on food and drinks.
Use Family Heirlooms
If you have family members who are willing to part with their old wedding items, take them up on the offer. This can save you a lot of money, and it’s a nice way to incorporate some sentimental value into your big day.
Postpone Your Honeymoon
While it’s not ideal, you can always wait to go on your honeymoon until after the wedding. This will give you more time to save up and may even result in a cheaper trip overall.
Throwing a wedding is a costly endeavour, but you can save money by being mindful of your choices and planning ahead. By making smart decisions and being willing to compromise, you can have the wedding of your dreams without breaking the bank.
This really varies depending on the location, the average wedding size, and your personal preferences. That being said, a good rule of thumb is to budget about $20.000 for the entire event.
Having 75 guests is considered to be on the smaller side when it comes to weddings. For reference, the average wedding size in Canada is about 120 people.
Traditionally, the bride’s family is responsible for paying for the wedding dress, the photographer, the flowers, and the rehearsal dinner.
An expensive wedding would typically cost upwards of $30.000.
The average wedding cost in Canada varies depending on the location and type of ceremony, but even the most basic weddings will typically cost a few thousand dollars.