Today on the blog we’re addressing a common question that we are asked on almost a daily basis. The first question we get from most couples is “How much do weddings cost?”
You’re going to be a bit mad at me for this answer, but..
There, I said it. A wedding can cost as little as the cost of the marriage license (averaging about $140.00 CAD in Toronto area) and the cost of an officiant (averaging $400-600 CAD in the Toronto area). Technically that plus two witnesses is all you need to get married. However, you probably wouldn’t be here on this post if that’s all you are looking for in a wedding day. In that case, we’ve broken down the major driving factors of wedding cost in Toronto.
What drives wedding cost?
Probably the biggest factor that drives wedding cost is your guest count. The number of guests you have will dictate the size of space you need as well as the number of tables, chairs, table rentals, invitation suites, favours, and the list goes on. If you can have an intimate wedding rather than a massive gala, you’re likely to save on a whole host of costs.
The Design Exchange, a beautiful historic space in downtown Toronto. Tara Lilly Photography.The next biggest factor is your venue – are you looking at a chic downtown ballroom, a historic estate or perhaps a stylish art gallery or museum? Whichever way you go, there are specific costs associated with any choice. For example, some downtown venues require a landmark fee and you’ll need to pay for parking for your guests. Typically a non-traditional venue like an art gallery or museum will not offer in-house catering, but will require you to use one of their preferred caterers. Other expenses to consider with a non-traditional space is the cost of rentals like tables, linens, chairs and place settings.
Decor and Design Style
What’s your design style? Are you a minimalist and into plenty of white space and candlelight? Do you love lush florals and over the top draping and lighting? Either way, your design style will have a significant impact on your budget. A few tips to keep the costs down – go for in-season blooms with plenty of greens on your guest tables and reserve any over-the-top larger florals for the head table and family tables.
Quality and Experience of Vendors
Who is on your wedding squad? There are literally tonnes of wedding vendors in the Greater Toronto Area, and as such, you have your pick of vendors at almost every price point. You may be able to score some great deals with newer vendors seeking to establish themselves in this very busy industry. That said, always remember that you get what you pay for, and sometimes if a deal seems too good to be true, it probably is!
Time of Year
It is well known that wedding season peaks in Toronto from May until September, and venue pricing reflects this. If you have any flexibility with hosting your wedding during the off season, you’ll find that many venues offer incentive pricing for this period. That being said, there is always intense competition at very popular venues, so booking early is your best bet to secure optimal pricing while locking in your preferred date.
Day of the Week
If you can’t avoid a summer wedding, you could look at an alternate day during the week apart from Saturday. Many venues offer better pricing here, and it may also help influence the size of your guest list as well.
Time of Day
Lastly, hosting a luncheon wedding reception rather than a full dinner can seriously influence your overall budget as well. Typically a luncheon will have a lighter meal or even a buffet or cocktail style, and the bar is typically limited to a few cocktails and/or wine.
So there you have it – the 7 things that drive wedding cost! We’re confident that you can have the most beautiful wedding day ever as long as you keep these items in mind when planning your budget!
Whim Event Planning and Design is a team of Toronto wedding planners and day of coordinators specializing in modern romantic weddings for fun, sweet couples. Get in touch with us today to start planning your dream day!