Prioritize your Wedding Budget the Right Way. Have the Celebration you Deserve!

February 3, 2017



The Truth about Wedding Receptions

Wedding receptions are expensive. If you don't watch, it can get completely out of control... especially in the last few months before the reception. I can tell you for a fact that it doesn't have to be that way


Some of the Facts...

In a survey of 2,309 Canadians, couples nearing or just coming away from the big day indicated they believed the average expected cost of a Canadian wedding should ring in at around $22,429 - or $27,899 including honeymoon.  


Another interesting survey by The Knot found that 80% of brides, if they could do it all over again, would spend more money and time hiring the entertainment. It was also surveyed that entertainment is valued very high among couples but is not properly prioritized until they have spent lots of money on other services. It is usually left to the groom, and or, put off until there is no money left in the budget.  


Also included in this study is that 85% of couples go over on their budget in the last few months prior to the wedding. This makes for stress and anxiety as you start to realize what is really important to the success of your wedding celebration.  


The fix

This is an exercise to find out what is really important for your wedding and how you should spend your budget dollars.


To find the true value of your wedding services, and to see where you should spend the most money, you just simply need to imagine it not being there on your wedding day and the impact it would have to you and your guests. Once you determine your list you will then know how to manage your budget. Put most of your wedding budget dollars towards your top 5 items. Its that simple.


To help you start, I will tell you that creating a vision and having a top line budget is very important. Once you visualize how your day is going to look and feel, you need to find a Venue that fits your Vision perfectly. With your vision, and the amount of money you can spend, you are on your way.


Oh ya, before you spend your family's money it is probably a good idea to sit down with them and communicate your vision and share all your amazing ideas..


So lets do this!

Write down and sketch out your vision: (rustic, barn, small, outdoors, beach, late night hours, hotel, destination, tent, backyard, etc.) Draw pictures, cut out pics in magazine, use Pinterest, go to Bridal Shows, etc. The secret is to involve as many people, drink lots of wine, and have fun doing it!


1. Research 3-5 Venues that that match your vision perfectly.


2. Next step is to write out all the services you need, think you need, or just want at your wedding.

  • Bartenders / Alcohol

  • Candy Bar

  • Catering

  • Chair Covers

  • Cup Cakes

  • Decor

  • Disc jockey / MC

  • Flowers

  • Guest Favours

  • Ice Sculpture

  • Limo

  • Live Music (Ceremony)

  • Make up

  • Officiant

  • Planner/ Day of Coordinator

  • Photography

  • Photo Booth

  • Tux Rental

  • Videographer

  • Wedding Dress

3. Now we need to list them in order of priority. Remember that this is based on services that would have the biggest impact if they did not show on your wedding day. Sounds harsh but it is a sure fire way to find out what is important. Here is just a sample:


1. Venue (Choices 1, 2, and 3.)

2. Photography 

3. DJ / Emcee

4. Wedding Dress

5. Decor  

6. Bartending / Alcohol

7. Day of Coordinator

8. Makeup

9. Limo

10. Videographer

You get the idea…


Just imagine if your DJ never showed up. Hahaha...  – that will never happen if you hire a professional.


Once you have costed out and booked the perfect wedding venue, you need to now spend all of your time researching and selecting the next four services. Have fun with this part and enjoy the free coffees, cocktails or food samples your wedding vendors are about to spoil you with. Don't be shy, its their job to Wow you and first impressions matter. Hire the absolute best and do not compromise at all. These choices will have the most impact on creating the most unique and memorable wedding reception ever.


Now that you have hired the "Dream Team" for your wedding, please treat yourself to a really expensive dinner and the best wine on the menu. You deserve it because by doing this process you have just saved some serious mula. You may not think you are, but I promise you, you are richer than you think...


At this point, it might be a good time to take out your trusty wedding binder and revisit your priority list and vision. You want to make sure everything is still on track. You might even decide to change the order of a few things... or maybe with the money you are saving you can add a few new speciality services. That Martini Ice Sculpture fountain you wanted for cocktail hour might just be possible now. Don't forget to Involve your new "Dream Team" and our family members as much as possible. By now they are probably getting really excited and can see what an amazing job you are doing

The next steps...

Have your wedding binder organized and ready to go as you set forth on your next planning phase. The "Checkmarks" are going to come fast and furious so be ready. You may or may not have to meet with these service vendors but you will find yourself with more free time and the ability to focus on what's really important.... maybe it's your honeymoon. After all,  your wedding is really about you, and the honeymoon is the icing on the cake. You are the "Stars of the Show" and everyone should know this by now.


Epic Wedding Tip #1

As early as possible decide on an Emcee. If you hire a professional DJ (which you would have done if it was a top 5 priority)  he or she will be able to provide this most important service. Your DJ, and or MC, will have several planning meetings with you to gather all the details and to ensure full communication with the venue, family members, and vendors. Your MC will "Wow" your guests by creating something so unique and personalized that it will truly match your "Love Story" and your Vision perfectly.  


Your DJ and Emcee is not only your secret weapon and will save you thousands of dollars, but from start to finish, your DJ/MC will create a wedding reception that people will talk about for years to come.  


By now I hope you have realized that
1. I am totally biased towards the DJ and Emcee.... and 
2. Your Professional DJ does a whole lot more than just play music.  



Its True...

"A wedding by definition is a celebration and all celebrations need entertainment. Without entertainment at the wedding... you will just be at a dinner party."



Epic Wedding Tip #2

You may have already decided on an MC who is a family friend or family member. It's a possible risk but lets assume he is totally onboard with you and will not drink or offend grandma by telling terrible jokes. You have a fantastic MC now and he is free.... Perfect. Here is the tip... Your Professional DJ can assist your MC by coaching and preparing him. They would work as a team to ensure everything is perfect on the big day. After all, when you hire a professional he or she will do whatever it takes and that means unlimited consultations. Take full advantage of this. Have your DJ meet the MC right away.  


By doing this you just saved yourself more money and took advantage of your "secret weapon"... your DJ.


In Closing...

The best advice I can give is to enjoy the entire process of planning your day and let the professionals take over the day off.


Sit back and enjoy. You are the stars of the show and you do not need to be worrying about anything. The work you put in months earlier is now paying off. It is very clear now that you are richer than you thought. Why? ...because you saved some money, enjoyed the planning stress fee, had the wedding celebration of a life time, and.... Congratulations you are Married!


I hope you found this article helpful and informative. Feel free to comment and if you see value in it please share with all your engaged friends.  


As a local Vancouver Disc Jockey and Master of Ceremonies I now specialize in nothing but weddings. I would love the opportunity to meet you to discuss your vision and the unique services I could provide for your wedding.   


"It's not what I do, it's how I do it, that creates truly unique and personalized weddings."




​DeeJay Absolute/ Mark Vanderende

DJ / Master of Ceremonies / Entertainment Director and Wedding Specialist




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