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Getting Married? Careful Planning Can Help Keep Costs Lower

You’ve found the love of your life and want to get married. Now how will you pay for the big day?

The average cost of a wedding in Canada is almost $31,000, including the honeymoon.1 And depending on the event’s location and the number of guests, this figure can quickly increase. While it’s easy to get caught up in the excitement and the desire to share this special milestone with the people you love, prudent planning can ensure that your wedding won’t affect your financial security.

Money-saving wedding tips

Consider these six tips to help keep your nuptials affordable:

  1. Have a plan. It’s important to clarify the vision that you and your partner have before you get caught up in the wedding planning. What do you want your wedding to look like? How does your wedding fit in with the rest of your financial future? Will you also be buying a house? A vehicle? All of these big expenditures should fit into a realistic, achievable financial plan.
  2. Create a budget. While the venue/meal and the honeymoon will likely be your biggest expenses, everything else (clothing, rings, transportation, photography, etc.) can really add up. Your budget should include all of the costs associated with your big day, and should include a contingency portion to allow for any extras. You’ll also need to decide where the money for the wedding will come from.
  3. Consider hiring a wedding planner. Although it’s an added upfront cost, a wedding planner may ultimately save you money by working with your budget and negotiating with vendors to waive certain fees, or arranging for special deals.
  4. Marry off-season. Consider having your wedding during the off-season (January to March), or on a Friday or Sunday. Venues will often offer a lower price for a wedding that doesn’t take place on a Saturday.
  5. Think outside the box. Look at non-traditional, often less expensive venues like art galleries or converted barns—or even the backyard of a friend or family member. If the space is not equipped to cater an event, don’t forget to factor in the rental fees for tables and chairs, as well as the catering costs.
  6. Consider getting married abroad. If you’re inviting a smaller number of friends and family, and they can afford to travel, consider a destination wedding. While the cost will likely be lower because, generally, fewer guests will attend, you’ll also save money by combining your wedding with your honeymoon.


One way to save

Consider setting up and contributing to a tax-free savings account (TFSA), earmarked specifically for wedding expenses. The TFSA allows you to save up to $5,5002 per year without paying tax on investment earnings.


Include your MD Advisor in the planning

Once you’ve finalized your vision, talk to your MD Advisor. He or she will help you and your partner develop shared goals as a couple, create a realistic budget to meet those goals, and devise a plan to help you stay on track financially.

Weddings by the numbers

  • 40% of brides-to-be think pre-nuptial agreements are a good idea.3
  • Canadians are waiting longer to get married. Between 1972 and 2008, the average age at first marriage increased to 29.1 (from 22.5) for women, and 31.1 (from 24.9) for men.4
  • Over 1 in 3 brides-to-be expect to be purchasing a new vehicle within the next 24 months.5
  • 75% of brides-to-be agree that they are likely to spend more than anticipated on their wedding.6


For more information about financial planning, contact an MD Advisor. MD offers objective advice at every stage of your career—from medical school through retirement. Find an MD Advisor near you