How much do weddings cost these days?


The idea behind the biggest little bridal show held Sunday at the Northern Grand Gardens is to have as many products and services that any bride would be looking for all at one time, because when planning your wedding, you need all the help you can get.

In 2014, statistics show that the average Canadian wedding cost over $31,000.  “It’s probably a little more in 2016,” said event host, Mary Brown who operates Mary’s cakes. Brown has held a bridal show since 2011 and never has any problem getting vendors interested. From hair and make up to limousines to catering, Brown wants her show to be that one-stop-shop. Over 40 different businesses and services were on hand to talk to the future brides-of-tomorrow.  The average wedding couple will need to employ the services of at least 30 businesses to make their wedding day special.


Brown says her biggest little bridal show is unique in that it is non-exclusive, meaning there could be several vendors offering similar services. “Weddings are a big deal and brides want to see what’s out there, not just a select few, they want to know everything”

Brown has been in the ‘wedding’ business for several years with her Mary’s Cakes shop.  “I’m pretty much the last person the bride talks too and a lot of times it may be a week or two before and they have totally forgot about the cake,” Brown tells brides to play it safe and plan your cake. “Brides don’t need a cake to serve the number of people at the wedding and they think they do and the costs go up,” Brown said that many people don’t even eat the cake and it’s usually served at the very end of the night. “You don’t need a cake to serve 200 people,” Brown’s most expensive cake was in the $400 range she said, but the same cake could run you $1,700 in Toronto.

“The cake is basically a photo-op,” Brown said. She will, even under a tight deadline try her best to deliver that special one-of-a-kind cake “because every bride deserves her wedding cake,” Brown laughed.

The rising cost of a wedding is just one example the newlyweds should visit with a financial planner before and after the wedding so says, Renee Boissonneault from Sun Life Financial.

_DSC3247“Now that they have a dependent and planning a family or buying a house it’s important to protect their assets” Boissonneault said, she also notes that more and more young people getting married are more knowledgeable of financial planning. She also says the one financial product every couple needs to look at is life and health insurance. “because they now have that dependent and if they are both relying on each other’s income and health is something people are never prepared for and that could derail any financial plan they may have”

_DSC3183Dan Gagnon provided his services for a wedding last year that had a $75,000 price tag.  The owner and operator of Flowers For You says the trend is more simple and less flashy giving them a break on their budget. Gagnon does stress however that brides need to plan ahead when it comes to flowers due to growing seasons and to make arrangements well in advance of the big day. “get it reserved, when you book your hall and other main things” Gagnon says is the perfect time to book your florist.

The cost of any wedding of course can vary from $1,000 to $100,000 or much much more depending on who’s paying for it . That’s usually one of the more awkward discussion between the two new families.  Those in the know recommend addressing the elephant in the room and plan on how the wedding will be paid before any actually wedding planning goes on.

Hair and makeup team could be one way to save dollars on the big day
Samantha Candido and Samantha Stone –  Hair and makeup team could be one way to save dollars on the big day

Hair and make-up is one cost most brides don’t cut back on. “There’s always a lot of pressure but I love making brides happy” said Samantha Stone from  Luxe Esthetics. “I think they should go in thinking they they want to look like themselves , you don’t want to have a lot of contouring , you want to look like you” Stone recommends the bride to be to have a lot of discussions with their makeup designer. Along with the makeup comes the hair and that’s where Sam Candido from  Hairbrained Salon comes in. “It’s the essential part of making them feel like the package is complete” The hair and makeup can chew up 2 to 5 percent of the overall budget. The hairstylist can be expected to work five or six hours with the bride and bridesmaids.

Edie Collins-Suriano from the Canadian Heritage Bushplane Centre :book a year in advance"
Edie Collins-Suriano from the Canadian Heritage Bushplane Centre :book a year in advance”

Of course the venue and the overall reception takes the bulk of the budget, in the 49 to 50 percent range. Many establishments such as the Primavera Banquet Hall  offer both the food and hall for a packaged price with the style customized to the bride’s wishes  along with a suggested menu or the bride can pick and choose any item.

For those who want a unique venue for their reception, the Canadian Heritage Bushplane Centre offers beautiful views of the waterfront and river in a spacious setting. Edie Collins-Suriano looks after every aspect for the bride. “with the doors open in the summer time and the beautiful view of the river, it’s just awesome!”  The Bushplane centre started renting out their facility several years ago as a new revenue stream for the not for profit museum and has been sought after by wedding planners ever since. “We only do one wedding a weekend so the bride really gets our full attention.”  The bushplane centre is usually fully booked for weddings each weekend between May and September Collins-Suriano says.  She recommends booking the reception about a year in advance.


Cutting costs for your wedding may be a little harder than you think, but one way to save some cash is by cutting your guest list down. Even though you may want as many people as you can to be part of your special day, the more people, the more cost. The average Canadian wedding invites about 100 people to the reception.

Nadia Kovacs started her own service targeted at weddings and birthdays and graduation parties. Red Velvet Photo Booths is a fun attraction for your guests and you.

“it’s a mobile photo booth company, we offer instant pictures” The company started in November 2013 “we also launched our video option as well”  Brides can rent the photo booths by the hour making this a fun and economical feature for the night of the reception.

One service that some people often forget about is the wedding photographer or videographer. To cut corners often a friend or family member is given the job, and with digital technology today that may seem like a good idea, however often the bride and groom are disappointed with the results. The photographer is basically with the couple all day from the bride’s house to the cutting of the cake it can easily be a 12 hour day.

Shannon Jondreau-Peters from Lilycreek Photography

Shannon Jondreau-Peters  has been shooting weddings for 17years and has done thousands of weddings during her career. She runs LilyCreek photography and Art studio, moving her business from Ottawa back to the Sault.   “I generally do about 65 weddings a year, styles have changed, it used to be very traditional , now people want too be more casual and have fun with it”  A professional wedding photographer does require a higher fee but at the end of the day, the happy couple will be happy they made the investment to cover their entire day. Expect to spend around 10 to 12 percent of your budget on capturing your day.


There are so many details to think about for your wedding including rings, limousines, booking hotels for guests , the wedding gown and dresses, tuxedos, gifts for the wedding party, the bar, even centre pieces  the list can be endless.

David Poluck can offer one of a kind custom designed rings for him and her.
David Poluck  from Luray Gems can offer one of a kind custom designed rings for him and her.

Things like stamps for the RSVP cards, ribbons for the favors, and marriage license fees seem so small that you can shrug them off, but like any costs, they add up. Going “just over budget” in a couple different categories with a vague plan of making it up somewhere else can push you past your limit. If you account for budget overages, then you never actually blow your budget. Try to earmark 5 percent of your budget for unforeseen costs.


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