The Wedding Budget
The wedding budget is usually a dreaded topic, because no one actually wants to talk about how much anything costs. I actually wrote a blog post very similar to this one for St. Boniface Golf Club in 2015. This version is updated from the view of a wedding planner.
Are you ready to dive in?
Photo Credit: Sugar and Soul Photography
Since I have been in the wedding industry for almost 19 years, I have seen a few trends come and go. I have also worked weddings with budgets varying from $2000-$90,000.00.
Manitoba weddings are some of the most expensive across Canada, which is likely due to the fact that we are the only province with the amazing "Wedding Social". Most couples are making around $15,000.00 or more at their social so often times we see this as "free" money and spend over and above this amount on the wedding.
The average wedding in Manitoba costs $32,000.00 according to a 2013 article from Wedding Bells magazine. Of course, we will see super cute breakfast weddings that cost around $5000.00. We also see lavish weddings that rent lounge furniture, ice sculptures and boast high-end decor, totaling over $100,000.00.
The Reception Venue
The first thing you will need to book is your venue. Popular venues typically book 2 years in advance, especially on prime Saturday dates. The average couple will spend $20,000 at their venue. Keep in mind that venue pricing increases each year and your budget should reflect that increase, especially if you are booking years in advance.
Photo Credit: Chris Jensen Studios
Here are 10 amazing venues in Manitoba:
- St. Boniface Golf Club
- The Human Rights Museum
- Cielo's Garden
- Hawthorn Estates
- Ashgrove Acres
- La Lune
- White Tail Meadows
- The Gates on Roblin
- The Fort Garry Hotel
- Fort Gibraltor
If you are booking an individual photographer, rather than booking with a photography company you should book about 1.5 years in advance. Typically the photographer will cost anywhere from $1700-$6000 and there will be additional charges for prints, albums, photo booths, extra time, second shooters, among other options. Remember to ask your photographer what the turn around time is to receive the wedding photos.
We often work with Chris Jensen Studios who offers our brides an amazing $2500 package that includes all day coverage, all night coverage, edited photos and a photo booth. Use caution when hiring people that are not part of a company, do not have a contract, or only advertise on Kijiji. Always remember the old saying; you get what you pay for!
Here are 10 amazing photographers in Manitoba:
Photo Credit: Kaboha Photography
A videographer should be booked no less than 6 months prior to the wedding. Be sure to look at testimonials, ask to see some of their work too. Packages can be booked from $2000-6000.
Here are 5 amazing videographers in Winnipeg:
There are so many talented florists in Winnipeg that this category is so much fun. The flowers should be booked no less than 6 months from the wedding day. We urge you to use the same caution as the photographer disclaimer, if you have your eye set out on a specific designer, don't wait to book them! Depending on the size of your wedding party, the lavishness of your centerpieces and the final confirmed guest count, you should budget at a minimum of $1500 for flowers with some wiggle room up to $7500.
Here are 10 amazing florists in Winnipeg:
- Fache Florals
- Geranium Lake Botanicals
- Stone House Creative
- Floral Fixx
- Oak and Lily
- Academy Florist
- House of Silk
- Couture Floral
- Deer Dutch
- The Flower House
Linens and Decor
This category has so many amazing vendors in our city. Whether you are looking for specialty chair covers, linens, runners, overlays, charger plates, napkins, centerpieces, floral walls, specialty furniture or rose gold cutlery, you can find pretty much anything! On average you should budget around $100 per table for specialty linens. Linens are booked on availability so if you have an idea of your preferred textures and colors, I suggest heading in and booking up to 12 months in advance.
If you are looking at renting chiavari chairs or chair caps, you will need to budget a bit higher in this category.
Here are 10 amazing rental companies in Winnipeg:
Photo Credit: Cojo Photography
I am a huge fan of a few leather lounge sets around the bar, or some throne chairs at the head table. This is becoming so popular now and it creates such a unique look and feel to your wedding.
Swank Event Rentals and Bel Ayre rentals are a few of our favorites. Lounge furniture should be rented 6 months in advance to guarantee availability. Be sure that your venue can accommodate the furniture you are renting. Plan to spend $300-$2500 on lounge furniture if you are incorporating it into the wedding.
Ceremony spaces can vary in price greatly depending on if you need to rent chairs, tables, linens in addition to your flowers and ceremony decor. You should be booking the space once you have booked a date with your venue to ensure that you are able to book both places on the same date, around 1.5 years before the wedding day.
If you are getting married in a park, paying only for the park fees, the ceremony can cost as low as $60.00. You should be budgeting between $60-$2000 for the ceremony including all decor and rentals relating to the ceremony.
Here are 5 amazing ceremony spaces in Winnipeg:
Photo Credit: Xandra Photography
I always recommend booking an indoor back up if you are having a summer wedding. Winnipeg is packed with amazing photo locations inside and out. Here are a few of our indoor favorites:
The Airport, Manitoba Hydro, The legislative building, Kings Head Pub, The Forks,The Canadian Museum for Human Rights, The Exchange District. There are so many options available, be sure to talk to your photographer for ideas as well!
Anticipate spending $100-$500 for your offsite indoor or outdoor photo locations.
I am a huge fan of Anna Lang Bridal, so of course she is the first one to pop into my mind when I think of amazing custom dresses in Winnipeg. If you are a thrifty bride, check out Pearl and Birch Consignments.
Anticipate spending between $200 (clearance rack special, or ordering online and picking up at the Pembina parcel pick up) up to $15,000 if you are looking for a custom gown.
Be sure that when you are budgeting for your dress you keep in mind that you will also need a garter, a veil, shoes and jewelry that will go with it. Alterations are also very likely if you are ordering online or ordering months in advance.
If you are going to hire a professional for your wedding day, book them near the time that you get engaged, especially if you are looking for a male. We have had so many brides looking for male commissioners and haven't been able to find them since they are all booked.
The newest trend is having a friend or family member marry you, by applying for a temporary permit to do so. This carries a $100 cost.
If you are hiring a commissioner, you should plan to spend between $250-$500 for your rehearsal and ceremony. We offer this service at a rate of $325.00.
Photo Credit: Kaboha Photography
There are so many options in this category from renting a luxury vehicle or classic car and driving it yourselves; to renting a limo (note: most companies have a 4 hour minimum) or renting a bus to accommodate your entire wedding party and family.
These services should be secured 3-6 months prior to the wedding and you should budget $200-$1800, depending on if your wedding is out of town and you need a 1am pick up.
Wedding rings come in all shapes and sizes, you can custom make them, or pick one up off the shelf. You can add an engraved date, or colored diamond. The rings should be ordered a few months before the wedding, to allow for sizing which could take a few weeks. Depending on the detail and the jeweler, you could spend $1000-$4000 for the pair; of course this will fluctuate greatly!
With so many options available in this amazing city for live bands and elite DJ's this is a bit of a grey area. Generally you will pay around $700 for a DJ. Of course you can find DJ's that are charging much less, around $300-$400, but buyer beware; you get what you pay for.
Live bands are typically around $2500-$4000 depending on the length of time required. Keep in mind with a live band; you might still need a DJ to play the intermissions, or the first dance songs.
The DJ Company might offer you a discount if you rent LED lighting from them in addition to your DJ services. You should plan to budget between $30 per light or up to $2000 for a lighting package.
If you are looking for a specific Elite DJ I suggest booking them a year before the wedding. If you are booking through a company with no preference on which DJ comes to the wedding, 3-4 months before the wedding is no problem!
Here are 5 amazing Music Companies in Winnipeg:
I love this category because I have such a sweet tooth! Generally you will be spending about $200-$1000 on a wedding cake. Remember that you may not need to order for your full guest count.
I recommend a minimum of 6 months before the wedding date.
Here are 10 amazing bakeries in Winnipeg:
Photo Credit: Chris Jensen Studios
If you are looking at spending your first night as a couple in a hotel room, keep in mind that you will likely arrive at the hotel around 2am, and leave 8 short hours later. Most honeymoon or executive style suites will cost around $300 per night.
Here are 5 amazing hotels in Winnipeg:
Nails/Hair and Make Up
Typically the bridal party will pay for their own hair, nails and make up, however if the bride picks up the tab as a gift for being in the wedding party, anticipate around $300 per person. There are a number of mobile hair and makeup companies that will come directly to your home the morning of the wedding so you don't have to leave the house. Be sure that you see their work ahead of time and that you know what you are paying for. It's a good idea to hire them for the social or a bridal shower beforehand to ensure you are happy with the final product.
Here are some amazing artists in Winnipeg:
There are so many fantastic free printables on pinterest and free templates you can send to vista print now. Depending on your style and theme, it is possible to do all of the stationary on your own. If you are looking for a professional to print your menu cards, table numbers, place cards, invitations, save the dates and thank you cards, I recommend Keeks Paper Co or Enchanted Moments Couture.
Including postage you should be budgeting around $3000 for this category, depending on your guest list and the theme of your wedding.
Party favors seem to be fazing themselves out and I am seeing many more donations in lieu of favors. Typically your budget for favors should be $2-$8 per person depending on what you are ordering. Some popular ideas include bottle openers, candies, cookies, magnets, lottery tickets or handmade items.
Often times your venue will include a venue coordinator. However, a venue coordinator is very different than a planner and I highly recommend you hire one!
Wedding planners often offer Full Planning that will start as soon as you are engaged, or Day of Coordination that will start a month before your wedding.
Your budget should be flexible, as some planners charge more than others and are in a higher demand. Anticipate spending between $750-$11,000.00.
Use the same caution that I have mentioned above and don't hire someone that advertises on Kijiji for free. Remember that you get what you pay for, and be sure to scout out their social media sites or contact them for a free consultation. I have noticed a recent increase in wedding planners popping up in Winnipeg over the past two years so be sure you are hiring someone that is experienced and professional. We offer full planning and day of coordination services.
There are so many other small things that add up as well including a cake/knife set, sand ceremony, wedding shoes, wedding party gifts, parents gifts, the rehearsal dinner, garter, jeweler, gratuities and the list goes on.
Always keep in mind that your wedding is all about you two as a couple. It doesn't matter how much money you spend, or how many of these vendors you choose to hire, simply enjoy the day since it will fly by too fast!