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WHERE TO ALLOCATE YOUR WEDDING BUDGET

Post by MSP, January 20th, 2019.
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From the minute she says “Yes” to the day you set off for your honeymoon, the wedding planning and budgeting process can be overwhelming. Although we strongly suggest hiring a professional wedding planner to lead the way in your vendor search and price negotiations, it’s important to educate yourself on what the process entails. In this blog we discuss the top 5 things that you should expect to allocate most of your budget, along with solutions to get the best pricing and outcome for your special day.


RECEPTION VENUE & MENU

Gone are the days when weddings were merely just another that starts at church and ends at home with closed friends and family. Today’s weddings are a statement-making party with friends, family, co-workers, neighbours, and everyone in between. With modern day weddings drawing a guest list of an average of 150 guests expecting to be wowed, your choice of venue and menu options should be at the top of your list and will probably cost you the most. In the national capital region there are a host of options when it comes to reception venues. From traditional banquet halls to the many museums and historical sites we have around the region the sky is the limit on what you can choose from. However, most of these venues do not allow outside food to be brought in so a menu from the venue is something you have to deal with. These venues charge per plate/guest. With the average cost per guest ranging anywhere from $60-$100, this can add up very quickly. If we use $150 guests as an example, this amounts to anywhere between $6,000-$15,000. Of course you can find venues that provide venues at a lower rate but as the old saying goes, you get what you pay for.


DESIGN AND DECOR

Aside the food, most venues will provide you the basics when it comes to decor for your reception. They will usually provide you with white lines for you tables, whatever chairs they have, along with dinnerware. However, each wedding reception met have essential design elements such as a backdrop, centrepieces, specialty lined, specialty chairs and tables and overall ambiance to go with the theme of the reception. All of these can cost a pretty penny. Most wedding decor packages will cost you anywhere between $3,000 to $15,000 or even more depending on how extravagant you want to be. Without the decor your reception will not have a wedding feel but rather look more like a corporate event. Most wedding decor companies will have several packages for you to choose from but the number of guests have a lot to do with the total cost. Expect your numbers to be higher the more guests you plan to have

Tips

Gather Inspiration and ideas! Although it’s good to get inspiration from places like Pinterest and Instagram, do not expect to get the same look for your budget. A lot of brides are left surprised when they realize what decor and design costs. Set a realistic budget Utilize resources like these and have a couple options or visions in mind in case one will fit your budget better. Book your decorator ahead of time! Most decorators will give you a fairly good deal the sooner you book rathe than later. Do not pinch pennies when it comes to the decor as it’ll show in the overall appeal. Find a decorator that understands your vision and can suggest ways to minimize your costs.


PHOTOGRAPHY & VIDEOGRAPHY

These are a must. Without these vendors, memories of your special day will not exist for you future grand children to see. Luckily, there are hundreds of wedding photographers in the Ottawa region most of whom have fairly competitive rates. From pre-wedding shoots to the throw of the bouquet, a good photographer can capture all the magical moments of your wedding. Videographers on the other hand are mainly present during the ceremony and reception. In general, wedding photographer prices tend to range between $1,200 and $3,000, with the average wedding photographer cost hovering around $2,000. The cost of a wedding videographer does vary widely depending on the videographer’s experience and level of expertise, in addition to your wedding's location. The average cost of a wedding videographer is around $1,700 with most couples spending between $1,000 to $2,500.

Tips:

Book early! A lot of photographers and videographers will have special pricing for the off-season (November to April) to lure in customers.

Speak to several of them! With an abundance of photographers and videographers in the area you’ll always find one whose rates are that much more compatible compared to others.


BRIDAL AND GROOM PARTY ATTIRE

That dress! The one thing you can be assured your guests will have their eyes on and will definitely talk about during and after the ceremony. Not to mention the bridesmaids’ dresses. Of course the groom and the groomsmen have to be fitted for tuxedos as well. While wedding dress prices do vary greatly, the average wedding dress cost typically ranges from $400 to $1,700 with most brides spending at least $1,050, but you can purchase a wedding dress for far above and below those prices depending on your taste. For the bridesmaids, something between $75 and $150 should suffice. But factor in the cost of alterations, shoes, special lingerie, and other accessories and that price can quickly double to $300 or more. And though $150 is the average price for a dress, the bride might choose a bridesmaid gown that costs $500 or more, it’s all up to your pocket. Grooms who are having a formal wedding but do not plan on wearing a tuxedo again may prefer to rent their tuxedo. Typically, groomsmen rent rather than buy their attire as well. On average, tuxedo rental costs range from $100 to $199. As you can see, depending on the number in your party this can add up.

Tips:

Buy these items where your retailer is having a sale. Stores are constantly having different sales be it Black Friday, Boxing Day or any other sale they chose to have.

Consider Renting as opposed to buying. Even gowns and bridesmaid dresses can be rented as well just like tuxedos


DJ/ MUSIC

What’s a party without music? Good music at that! Hiring a good, seasoned DJ is important for any wedding reception. From the bridal party entry to the first dance, a DJ can make or break the party. And for this very reason it’s important to hire one that knows what they’re doing. DJing at a wedding is a different skill set than in a club or at a local party. You have cater to different demographics and people of different rates in music. Therefore, we always suggest getting a seasoned DJ who knows the ins and outs of what to play and when to play it. As far as the cost, $200 – $300 typically for a beginning DJ, most likely a part-time hobbyist. $500 – $600 will get you more experience than the beginners, but most likely a part-time DJ. $1,000 – $2,500 is for the most experienced, professionally trained, full-time DJ.

Tips

You should base your budget on what kind of experience you want at your wedding reception.

Book a DJ for maximum hours. A DJ will only play for the length of time you book them. The last thing you want is for the party to end too early because you underestimated the the length of the party.