Say I don’t to $40,000 wedding debt!

The average cost of a wedding is almost $40,000

TORONTO, ONTARIO, January 31, 2017 – Weddings are beautiful displays of love and affection. And they are pretty costly too. The average cost of a wedding will run you almost $40,000 and if couples are not mindful of their expenses their dream wedding could turn into an unwanted wedding gift of debt

According to the Wedding Wire the average cost of a wedding is $28,000 U.S. ($36,722.33 Canadian) which is a dramatic increase from three years ago. In 2014, the average cost of a wedding was $31,110 CDN according to Golden Girl Finance. Planning a wedding can require engaged couples to deplete much of their financial resources. And for some couples who do not have the cash on hand, they will use their credit card to make up for their lack of funds. However before turning to credit, engaged couples should ask, “Are we able to afford this wedding?” This is a question that should be on the minds of soon to be wed couples as they venture to the National Bridal Show later this week.  The reality is weddings cost a lot  of money and sometimes couples forget to factor in what’s involved or budget for the following expenses:

  • Attire and accessories – (wedding dress, tuxedo, accessories etc. – $1,600*)
  • Beauty and spa – (hair, makeup etc. – $130*)
  • Entertainment – (DJ, live band, musician – $1,300*)
  • Flowers and decorations – (bridal bouquet, throw away bouquet, boutonnieres etc. $1,800*)
  • Invitations – (ceremony program, postage, thank you cards etc. – $800*)
  • Jewellry – (wedding band, engagement ring –  $4,500*)
  • Photography and video – (engagement shoot, wedding photographer, wedding videographer, park permit – $2,800*)
  • Transportation – (limo etc. – $400*)
  • Venue – (wedding cake, catering and rentals – $10,500*)
  • Marriage licence – $40 (Alberta), $60 (Saskatchewan), $100 (Vancouver), $100 (Manitoba), $140 (Toronto) and $158.40 (Ottawa)
  • Honeymoon – $3,700*
    *All of the above statistics are from Statistic Brain.

“Your wedding budget is the key to your wedded bliss. Take the time to sit down with your future spouse and discuss how much your wedding is going to cost you. Not taking the time to talk about how you’re going to finance your wedding could be very costly in the end.  No one wants to start a marriage plagued by debt,” says Jeffrey Schwartz, executive director, Consolidated Credit Counseling Services of Canada.

“To ward off loads of wedding debt, create a plan to save about 20 per cent of your combined income towards your wedding expenses….your wedding is a once-in-a-lifetime event – you can start your marriage off on a strong financial foundation instead of being burdened by years of debt,” says Schwartz.

To help couples keep crippling debt at bay, Consolidated Credit Counseling Services of Canada offers the following for a blissful wedding day:

Something old

The concept of budgeting is nothing new. However this old concept can make or break your wedding expenses. So sit down and create a budget for the big event as soon as the date of your wedding is decided. Once you start with your list of wants and needs, your budget will dictate how many people you can invite to your wedding. For example, it may be nice to have 150 guests at your wedding however your budget can only afford 120 people.

Something new

Traditions are great to follow however sometimes they can be very costly. Couples can cut down the costs by asking friends and relatives to share the load.  Get creative relatives to make your centre pieces or get the bakers in your family to create your wedding cake. Or consider asking friends with a golden voice to perform at your wedding – the options are endless!

Something borrowed

There’s no need to grab your credit card for this one – we’re not talking about borrowing things on credit. Instead go to past brides and/or grooms you know and borrow something from them. You could borrow their tiara, veil, bridal gloves, garter belt, purse, shoes, tie, jewellry, suspenders and so on.

Something blue

Soon to be wedded couples may be feeling a little blue about removing guests from their wedding guest list however this is a necessary evil. The amount of people that attend your wedding dictates how much your wedding will run you overall. You have to factor in the cost of dinner, invitations, liquor etc. So stay true to your budget and don’t feel any regrets from removing friends and family from your guest list.

“Staying true to your wedding budget will save you years of headache. Starting a marriage off with debt is a headache no newlywed should have to endure. Keeping your budget top of mind will help you to live many years of wedded bliss,” says Schwartz.


About Consolidated Credit Counseling Services of Canada, Inc.:

Consolidated Credit Counseling Services of Canada is a national non-profit credit counselling organization that teaches consumers about personal finance.

For more information or to request an interview with Jeffrey Schwartz, please contact:

Natasha Carr, Community and Public Relations Manager,
Consolidated Credit Counseling Services of Canada, Inc.,
T: 416-915-7283 ext.1041, C: 416-830-4720, F: 416-915-5200, E: [email protected]

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