If you listen to the news on the radio, you might have heard me this weekend talking about wedding budget trends on 680News in the business report with James Munroe. We touch on a few things, but mostly about how wedding budgets have skyrocketed in the last few years and what some trends are. Since it was just a 2 minute clip, I thought I’d expand on my points here – my very own wedding budget trend report.

680News Segment

In case you missed it, click the “play” button to hear the segment from 680News!
It will pop up a little player in the corner of your browser.
680News Segment – with Rebecca Chan, Toronto wedding planner

Toronto wedding planner, Rebecca Chan's wedding

Wedding budget trends

While we don’t have any definitive Canadian or Toronto surveys about wedding spending other than the Wedding Bells’ annual survey (which only polls 2,000 couples, what’s with that?), it’s safe to use their statistics as a starting point.

According to that survey, the average expected cost of weddings is up 8% from last year and up 25% from 5 years ago. The national average for wedding budgets, with honeymoon, is $32,000, with an average guest count of 124.

In big cities like Toronto, a couple can expect that average to be up 20-50% higher simply because of demand. (Have you ever compared photography rates for Toronto companies vs. ones from outer Ontario cities? Huge disparity!)

Weddings that I personally help coordinate will range anywhere from $30,000 to $150,000, and there are certainly weddings that are well above this.

Inflation these days is 2-3%, and here we have average wedding budgets up 8% from last year. That’s a booming industry, if you ask me.

A wedding planner's wedding

Reasons for bigger budgets:

One can pinpoint a variety of reasons, from economy to trends to whatever, but here are a few of my own reflections about why couples are spending more than before:

Pinterest, Etsy, wedding blogs and social media have become major inspiration sources, and couples end up wanting what someone else has done. It’s not just about finding ideas now but sharing your wedding to the world.

Even though DIY projects are on the rise (to save on costs), budgets are rising with it. Not only are couples looking to personalize their day through DIY projects, but they are opting to include more unique guest experiences at their weddings. Traditional is no longer good enough. Unfortunately unique often comes at a cost. You want flare bartenders, a lavish dessert spread and an ice cream stand? Yep, it will cost you for niche services.

Luxury services, publications and wedding shows (Wedluxe anyone?) have also gained popularity in the last few years, and have great influence over the choices that couples make. TV shows that focus on weddings are rampant as well. Just take the popular show “Say Yes To the Dress” that focuses on brides who spend $5,000 – $40,000 on just their wedding gown..! By the way, I love this show and now that I don’t have cable, I really miss my ‘bride day’ Fridays where I get to watch back-to-back episodes!

Rebecca Chan's wedding

You only get married once

Even though the costs of weddings are rising and trends are a plenty, a knowledgeable wedding planner is a great resource to help a couple find the best solutions for their wedding celebration.

The old saying goes you only get married once, so you want to do it right.

Weddings don’t have to cost an arm and a leg and they don’t have to be run of the mill, but you have to be smart in how you plan and spend.

Photo credit: Calculated Style


Rebecca Chan is a Toronto wedding planner and day of wedding coordinator providing sophisticated planning for the style-savvy couple. Whether you need planning assistance or wedding day coordination, Rebecca can help you create your dream wedding day. Contact her today, she'd love to hear from you.

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