Playing dress up at Lowon Pope in Toronto
In recent years, I’ve reached that point in my life when all of my friends have started to settle down: getting engaged, buying homes, getting married and having babies – we’ve all reached a new chapter in our lives that is as exciting as it is expensive.
Although I do not currently have any plans to have a wedding of my own (I guess, technically, I would need to get engaged first), I have enough close friends who have recently gotten married (or are in the midst of planning a wedding) to know just how expensive it can be, and how easily it is to go over budget.
A recent TD survey found that one third (31%) of Canadian Millennials spent more than they expected on their wedding receptions, and on average Millennials in general went over budget by 55%. “Till debt do us part” also rings true, as one in five Millennials (21 %) say they went into debt for their weddings and more than four in 10 (43 %) say the financial aspect of their nuptials caused stress between them and their partner.
In the Dominican last fall for Daniel & Julio’s surprise wedding
Having personally decided to invest in a home before a wedding with my partner, I can certainly relate to the stress that debt can bring to a relationship. It’s not easy to deal with, and if you are able to avoid going over budget and into debt for your big day, you’re certain to be less stressed and more focused on enjoying the celebration.
If you are currently planning a wedding this season, here are 6 tips from Shirley Malloy, Associate Vice President, Every day Banking, TD Canada Trust, and wedding planner Rebecca Wise to help you save.
- I vow to set a budget: The first step is to set a realistic budget with your partner that includes all possible costs, including attire, photography, catering, venue, décor and more. TD offers online saving and budgeting tools that can help you plan out your expenses.
- I vow to track my spending: Nearly one quarter (23 per cent) of Millennials don’t know what they spent on their wedding reception. Tracking expenses on a regular basis is critical to staying on top of your spending. TD’s new money management mobile app, TD MySpend, is an effortless way to help you see where your money goes.
- I vow to shop around: Don’t feel pressured to book the first venue or buy the first dress. Check out trunk shows and sample sales to find savings on attire, and consider renting a tuxedo or suit instead of buying new. Accessories like cufflinks or jewellery can also count as “something borrowed” while keeping costs down.
- I vow to save where possible: Wise suggests saving on décor by alternating between elaborate and tall floral centrepieces and simple, low centrepieces. Not only does this give variety to your space, it’s also cost effective. In addition to décor, couples often splurge on food and beverage. Wise suggests opting for a reduced bar during cocktail hour by serving only beer and wine or a passed signature cocktail.
- I vow not to compare myself to others: While social media can be a great tool for wedding inspiration, it can also lead to unrealistic expectations and the temptation to overspend. Wise stresses that every couple is different and if you are going to splurge, do it on elements that really personalize your wedding, like a late night food station featuring your favourite dish or acoustic guitarist to play your favourite song while you walk down the aisle.
- I vow to think ahead: While a wedding is a monumental occasion, the marriage that follows is full of big financial decisions. Commit to being open and honest with each other about finances, and ‘unpack’ any financial baggage together.
“There are many ways to cut costs while still making your wedding day special,” says Wise. “Some of my tricks of the trade include renting a cake pedestal to increase the height of your cake without increasing the price, and selecting in-season flowers that don’t need to be imported.”
TD’s Malloy adds, “Weddings are one of life’s biggest milestones and can come with a big price tag, but through smart budgeting and savings strategies it’s possible to celebrate the big day and start a new life together putting the right financial foot forward.”
For more assistance with budgeting for your big day, visit www.TD.com or visit your local branch.