Planning your wedding on a budget?

by Gael Laidman

We all know weddings aren’t cheap, but for most couples you have no idea how much things should or do cost, so putting together a reasonable budget can prove to be challenging. The average wedding in Canada today is around $30,000.00 give or take a few thousand, so unless you have this saved up or are getting help from parents, friends and other resources, you may find yourself having to plan your wedding on a very tight budget. We also know that wedding planning can be stressful in itself, with money being one of the biggest reasons why couples argue during this time. If you are finding yourself in this boat, we at True Mate Weddings would love to give you some cost saving tips that will still allow you to have the wedding of your dreams but without sacrificing everything else that’s important. Here are our top 10 cost saving tips:

The venue

Photo Cred:  Diamant Estate

Photo Cred: Diamant Estate

When choosing the venue, you want to keep a few things in mind such as:

  • Do they have additional fees for plugging in, etc?

  • Do they have provide the linens, chairs and charger plates? If not, ask for their preferred vendor list as in most cases, those preferred vendors will give you discounts.

  • Do they have a space for the ceremony and photos? This helps you save on limos and other transportation between locations, as well as any possible permits for the wedding photography.

  • Do they allow outside catering? Sometimes you could find a cheaper alternative that gives you more room for customization, but most venues do not allow this, so make sure to inquire.

  • Choose a hidden gem as your venue; something that is less popular and not in a super busy area. An example of this would be Dragon Fire Golf Club! Golf clubs are great because they allow for a lot of customization and have amazing spaces for the ceremony, reception and photos, which means you save on travel and additional booking fees.

The Date

Photo Cred:  Charm City Wed

Photo Cred: Charm City Wed

Here are some ways choosing the right date can save you money:

  • Getting married on a Friday or Sunday can save you big bucks! This is because, most people don’t get married on a Friday or Sunday so the venue and vendors will give you a discount just for choosing the date!

  • Getting married during off season will also save you money for the same reason as above. Off season is November to April, although I would avoid December or February as well due to Christmas and Valentines.

  • If you’re having a smaller wedding, then consider choosing a weekday as well, which could help make the cost even less.

Timing is key

Having an earlier wedding, means more money in your pocket:

  • You don’t have to have a ceremony, break for cocktails then have an expensive sit down meal. Instead you could do a light brunch, or perhaps skip the meal and just have a cocktail party!

  • This also saves you on alcohol because most people aren’t going to over indulge on alcohol at noon.

  • You won’t need to get all those extra rentals that are required for a for a formal dinner

  • You will also save money on the photography and videography because you will require them for less hours.

The theme

Photo Cred:  Bridal Guide

Photo Cred: Bridal Guide

So you want a Cinderella wedding but can’t afford the glass slippers, ball gown and carriage?

  • Opt for a less extravagant theme; like rustic chic or a whimsical garden party. These options can still be elegant and beautiful and will leave you feeling a princess, just a price-savvy princess.

  • A simpler theme, means less decor and more budget friendly items. Taller centerpieces equals a taller bill, so choose a beautifully decorated vase over that cherry blossom tree or chandelier.

  • Having a more casual wedding means you spend less on everything from invites to your favours, but we’ll dive deeper into those in just a minute.

The Food

Photo Cred:  Arabia Weddings

Photo Cred: Arabia Weddings

Here are some cost friendly dining options:

  • Doing a simple buffet instead of a sit-down meal saves you money as they require less servers/service. Also consider separating the food by stations!

  • Themed interactive stations can add some fun and uniqueness.

  • Opt for family style service; which means that guests serve themselves from communal dishes that are placed on each table. This is a great way to get the conversations flowing and a different option if you don’t like buffets.

  • If you really want to do a traditional dinner, then go with 2 courses instead of 4 or 5, which means you can’t get the Italian Menu, but you can’t go wrong with chicken and a vegetarian option.

The Drinks

  • You may feel it’s tacky to skip the open bar, but instead of having it open all night long, you can have it switch to consumption or just serve wine during dinner.

  • Ditch the wine at dinner all together, as most guests will probably still have their drinks from cocktail hour anyway.

  • Opt for bringing in your own alcohol, which means you can return bottles that weren’t opened.


  • Choosing vendors based on referrals from your venue or other vendors can lead to discounts, but that doesn’t always mean you’re saving money so do your homework.

  • Choose a vendor that works from home, as they have less over head and expenses and that will usually translate to cheaper prices.

  • A vendor that works closely to the venue will cost less in delivery fees than someone that has to travel an hour or more.

Invitations & Favours

Photo Cred:  My Wedding

Photo Cred: My Wedding

  • Don’t mail out your save-the-dates and RSVP cards. Nowadays, doing this online not only saves you money but a lot of hassle!

  • Skip the calligraphy! You don’t need to have fancy writing on your invitations. It is perfectly okay for you to print your invites and then write the names and addresses in yourself or print out labels.

  • DIY; this is one area you can absolutely do a professional DIY, with the help of places like vista print or staples, etc.

  • Favours are great to DIY as this is something you can easily do without it looking tacky. Hot cocoa or cookies are two sweet examples.

Hire a Wedding Planner

You’re probably thinking, of course we would recommend this, but here a few reasons why:

  • Wedding planners have experience planning weddings. We know which vendors would fit your budget and style and can recommend the perfect venue or spot to do your photos which saves you time and money.

  • We have certain vendors that we get to work with all the time, which means further discounts for you!

  • We are very budget conscious and will show you how to pull off the wedding of your dreams but within your means.

We hope that you found these tips helpful, but as always if you have anymore questions, feel free to send us a message.

Happy planning

True Mate Weddings