CNN recently reported that a lawmaker in India wants to rein in the rising costs of weddings in the country. The bill, which will be introduced in March to parliament, would require families who spend more than 500,000 rupees ($9810CAD) to donate 10 percent of the overall cost of the wedding to a special government fund. The money in the fund would help poor families pay for wedding locations that they once only dreamed of. Although $10,000 doesn’t sound like much, consider that many families in India spend that much on one luncheon for the wedding.
Almost every bride and groom have to be concerned about expenses for their wedding. It doesn’t matter if you’re having a small ceremony in a church, a destination wedding or a lavish affair. But what many people don’t realize is that location can make a world of difference. In a recent article from the CBC, it was reported that getting married in Toronto City Hall can cost three times what it does for the same ceremony in New York City. It costs $265 for a service and license in Toronto, and the same service can be obtained in NYC for $78CAD.
Popular Wedding Locations in Canada
Here is a look at how much you would get charged in other popular cities in Canada:
- Niagara Falls $125
- Brampton $479
- Sudbury $155.30
- Ottawa $155.30
In Alberta, licenses are just $40, but B.C. and Manitoba each charge $100 for the license. The license fee in Toronto is $140.
Average Costs of Weddings
Civil ceremonies at City Hall are still much cheaper than a full-blown ceremony and reception. Wedding Bells estimates the average Canadian wedding is about $30,000, but according to Global News, the average cost of a wedding is about $350 per person. One wedding planner told the paper that many ceremonies cost $70,000 or more for only 150 guests. This is in bigger cities, such as Toronto or Vancouver. Windsor bills itself as a “budget wedding” location. Most couples save 30 to 50 percent by coming to Windsor to tie the knot.
Wedding coordinators are also talking to couples about destination weddings and the low cost of some locations versus a wedding in Vancouver. Couples can host a 150-guest wedding in Antigua, St. Lucia or Costa Rica for about $24,000. Wedding cruises are also very popular with couples who are on a budget. The cost can be as little as $5,000. The cruise will keep all guests busy, which alleviates your responsibilities for entertainment. It might be a great option for you.
Think About Your Guests, Too
Unfortunately, with a destination wedding, you are offloading some of your costs to the guests, which means you should consider that when you’re planning. Doing a little bit of research can help you choose a location for your dream wedding that is affordable. Traditional wedding locations, such as Tuscany, Hawaii, Jamaica or Rome, are typically more expensive. Look outside the bigger cities and popular destinations for small towns that have facilities to host a wedding. With some resort sites, you might even find all-inclusive options that are affordable and reasonable, especially when you choose a not-so-popular date.
Budgeting is always difficult during a wedding, but when you look at some of the unhidden costs you and your guests might have, you can find ways to save money for the bigger picture. But remember, the real meaning of the wedding isn’t about the party, the money you spend or the number of guests who attend. It’s in the memories you make in the joining of two families.
Don’t feel as if you have to spend thousands of dollars on your wedding just to keep up with your best friend’s ceremony. Make it your own and stay within your budget by choosing the location of your wedding carefully.