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How do I… save for my wedding?

Start the next stage of your life debt- and stress-free

Looking to save up for your dream wedding?

Everyone tells you how to save for a house, a new car or retirement. But how do you save for a wedding? After all, paying for your special day can be expensive. And you want it to be one of the most memorable days of your life.

How much does a wedding cost?

The average wedding cost in Canada ranges from $10,000-$30,000. However, your wedding budget is up to you, and will depend on the size, location and overall vision of your event.

In general, the cost of your wedding will include things like the venue, officiant, dress and/or suit, flowers, food, drinks, entertainment like a band or a DJ, decorations and, potentially, accommodation for friends and family if the wedding is out of town.

You can shape your budget to match your priorities. Maybe you'd rather focus on the atmosphere, decorations or food. You can cut back on the guest list and choose a more affordable venue, like a friend's yard or a local garden. Or maybe you have a big family and don’t want anyone to miss out. In that case, having a big enough venue should be on the top of your list.

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Talk to your partner

Before you start planning your wedding, make sure you and your partner are on the same page when it comes to financial goals.

If you don’t have financial honesty with your partner already, now is a good time to start. Be open about your credit score, financial history and your relationship with money. It may be that you both come from different backgrounds or have different goals for your financial future. Understanding this early on will help set a firm foundation for your financial life together.

Here are some talking points to get you started:

  • Your wedding: What kind of wedding do you both want—and what can you afford?

  • Financial standing: Think about any debt, loans, money you have, and your plans for saving 

  • Family help: Check if your families can help with money and find out how much

  • Be honest: Share your credit scores, money history and how you feel about money

  • Money goals: Don't forget your bigger financial goals, like saving and retirement. Plan for them while planning your wedding

Make a wedding budget

Before you get too caught up in planning, it’s important to create a budget and stick to it.

Your wedding budget should include every aspect of your big day and an estimate of how much money you will need for each item. You can then track your spending throughout the process to make sure you don't overspend.

For example, your wedding budget might look something like this:

Once you have a plan in place for how much you’ll need to spend, you can start saving.

Five ways to save for your wedding:

1. Start early

The sooner you start saving, the more time your money has to grow.

2. Put away extra income

Any bonus or tax refunds should go straight into your wedding fund.

3. Cut costs

Look for budget-friendly alternatives and minimize expenses where you can.

4. Automate savings

Set up a monthly transfer into a dedicated savings account specifically for your wedding fund.

5. Get creative

Look for creative ways to make more money, such as selling unwanted items or taking on additional side gigs.

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Start a wedding savings plan

The best way to save for a wedding is to start a wedding savings plan. You can do this with your existing financial institution simply by setting up a savings account.

Start by creating an itemized list of all the expenses you’ll need to pay for your wedding and add up the total cost. Then, decide how much money you can set aside each month to start saving. You’ll also want to budget in some wiggle room for unexpected expenses.

Once you know how much you need to put away, set up a monthly direct debit to your savings account. This way, money will be transferred automatically from your chequing account into your savings each month.

If you’re looking for ways to save even more money, consider putting aside any bonuses or tax refunds you get throughout the year, any extra income from side gigs or freelance work that comes your way. You could also ask family and friends to contribute to your wedding fund as gifts. 

This may be a good time to think about reducing expenses. Do you have any monthly streaming subscriptions you could cut for a period of time? Could you eat out one less day a week? Or, consider putting other big purchases on hold until after your wedding. Things like clothing, vacations and home improvements can wait until after you’ve tied the knot. 

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Planning for your post-wedding life

Life doesn’t stop after your wedding. Planning, budgeting, saving and learning about your finances is a lifelong journey. 

After the wedding, use the skills you learned during this time to keep your financial success going. Now that you’re married, maybe you want to buy a house or plan for a family. Or, maybe you want to buy a car or start a business. There’s no limit to what you can do with the right financial planning.

Beyond budgeting, start thinking about registered savings plans, like a Tax-Free Savings Account (TFSA) or a Registered Retirement Savings Plan (RRSP). These savings plans offer tax-free incentives to grow your money. Plus, they let you make interest on your money while it sits in the bank.

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Estate planning

Marriage is the start of your new family. With that comes considerations around your wealth and assets after you’re gone. If you haven’t already, consider setting up a will and making arrangements for your estate after you’re gone. These documents can be updated over time, as the needs of your family change.

Remember, it’s never too early to start planning for the future.

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Need help planning for your dream wedding?

Take the time to plan ahead and create a budget for your wedding as early as possible so you don't end up with extra debt post-honeymoon.

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Get advice on the go

Life gets busy, but don't let that stop you achieving your goals. Whether you’ve got $50 or $50,000, we want to help power your possible – and we'll come to you to do it.

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Learn more about saving for your future

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