Creating a Budget Chic Wedding  


The average wedding costs $30,717. For a single day, it’s hard to justify when anyone getting married is also likely saving for his or her first home and/or planning to start a family.

Not to say your wedding day isn’t important, but is it worth $30,717? This is a question I ask myself constantly in the midst of my engagement to be married. I know two things: 1) I don’t want to throw down over $30,000 on my “Big Day” but 2) I also have expensive taste.

With these disparate forces at play, I have set out on a journey to create a budget chic wedding. Here are some of the ways I’m saving money and keeping the wedding bill below average.

Decide what’s most/least important

First off, you need to decide what’s most and least important to you as a couple. For us, the most important things were photography, food and drink, and the areas we felt we could save money on were the wedding rings, dress and tux, invitations, music and décor.

Even still, we’re trying to save money in all areas, even those of greatest importance to us. I negotiate with all vendors and I’ve saved thousands of dollars on the venue and photography. I knew my budget chic wedding will photograph well and look nice in vendors’ portfolios, and I used this as a bargaining chip. And I cut the cake – quite literally.

Wedding Rings

The vintage look is all the rage in wedding rings, so why not get an actual antique? That’s what I did and I saved thousands of dollars. There’s some unwritten rule pushed by the marketing departments of diamond jewelers that the engagement ring should cost two-three months’ salary. I think mine was two-weeks’ worth and I get complimented on it constantly for its originality. (Yes, I picked out my own engagement ring and wedding band, which was one weeks’ salary)

The Dress

As a modern bride, I plan to buy my dress off-the-rack. I’m even thinking of wearing a skirt. I honestly can’t even tell the difference between a cheap poufy dress and an expensive one – they all look the same to me, and it’s an overdone, dated look.

Take a cue from style star Olivia Palermo and try something different. To be fair, Palermo’s dress is likely not inexpensive, but it’s easy to replicate for under $500. (I’ve looked into it)

Furthermore, don’t burden your bridesmaids with $300 polyester dresses they’ll only wear once: the current trend is mismatched dresses in the same colour hue, so adopt it.


Wedding invitations are one area where you can easily save a few hundred dollars or more. Even if you are not totally down with evites, there are a few online vendors that offer modern, high-quality stationary at a fraction of the price of traditional stationary providers.

Minted and Wedding Paper Divas have a great selection of designs to fit any style and palette. I sent out “Save the Dates” via Paperless Post and plan on snail mailing the invites using one of these online vendors.

Additionally, I created a wedding website where guests can view detailed information on the wedding like the schedule and accommodation options, and where they can RSVP. This saves on printing, and there are many wedding template websites to choose from. I ended up picking Riley & Grey after receiving a 50% off offer, but I also looked at Squarespace and Appy Couple, among others.


“That wedding had the best DJ,” said no one ever. So, for this reason and budget considerations, I’ve opted to build my own playlist. The venue has promised a “plug and play” sound environment, so I’m bringing my iPad equipped with Spotify. You can splurge on Tidal, but I’ve heard it’s not really worth it.


If you can, choose a venue that looks great on its own and fits your theme, then you won’t have to fill it with decorations. I’ve booked a stark, industrial converted warehouse and my theme is “industrial chic.” (If you’re curious what this looks like, check out my Pinterest Board) Décor is going to be minimal and flowers will consist of mostly greenery and shrubs. My dad is building a wood backdrop for the altar using old barn board and I will add a few knick-knacks here and there, but the theme is already played out in the venue setting.

Finally, if like me, you waited to come of age to actually afford a wedding, you can borrow a bunch of your friends’ decorations. They spent a ton of money on their weddings in their 20s, and now I’m 30 and have my pick of second-hand décor!

Additional financial considerations

  1. Start a wedding fund. Instead of getting married and then paying off the wedding, we set up a wedding fund that we contribute to monthly. It’s making for a long engagement (two years!) but we will actually have the money upfront to pay for the wedding.
  2. Skip the registry. Unless you actually need plates and pans for your new home, skip the registry. Your guests will likely give you cash in its place that you can use for the honeymoon.
  3. Get a travel rewards or cash back credit card. Charge all wedding-related expenses to a rewards credit card and see your cash back balance or travel points grow, which can be used to recoup some of your expenses or fund your honeymoon.

Author: Kerri-Lynn McAllister is the Marketing Director at RateHub.ca, a website that compares mortgage rates, credit cards and deposit rates with the goal to empower Canadians to search smarter and save money. Kerri-Lynn is getting married in August 2016.

Photo from Pixabay

Relationships and Your Money: Are You Doing It Right?


Do you consider yourself good with money?  Do you consider your spouse to be good with money?  Some of us may say yes, others may say no and some of us may be unsure.  Well today we’re going to put your money knowledge to the test.  Of course there is not a one-size-fits-all answer to the question “How should I manage money in my relationship?”

However there are some common money issues that can become a sore spot in relationships.  If you’re ready to take the next step in your relationship having the money talk is a good idea sooner rather than later to avoid any surprises that could lead to financial struggles later on down the road.

Think about how you deal with these common money issues in your relationship.  If you’re wondering if  you and your sweetheart are making the most out of your money ask yourself these three questions to get the conversation started.

Who controls the money in your relationship?

Finder, a personal finance education resource and comparison site, conducted a survey on America’s biggest money mistakes. The survey polled almost 2,000 Americans, and they found that 19% of Americans surveyed said they let their partner control our finances – and regret it.

One spouse may earn more than the other in a relationship, but that doesn’t mean the breadwinner has to control the household finances.  That may work for some couples, but in my experience it leads to animosity in the relationship.  I couldn’t imagine having to ask my boyfriend for money to spend, but maybe that’s just our relationship.

Does having children fit into your financial plan?

It’s no secret that kids are expensive.  My Dad always says he loves his two daughters, but his life would have been very different if he didn’t have children.  Having kids isn’t for everyone, BF and I don’t plan on having kids because it just didn’t fit into our plans when we were younger and now that we’re in our mid 30s it seems to be too late.

The survey found that people with higher incomes, $100,000-$149,000, were the most likely group to say having children was a money mistake.  Sometimes couples prefer to travel or enjoy a more luxurious lifestyle over starting a family.  That may be O.K., but it’s a conversation that couple’s need to have when planning their lives.

Did you overpay for your wedding?

Some people spend tens of thousands of dollars on their wedding day because it’s probably the biggest party they will ever host.  Others seem to think that spending that much money on one single day is a financial mistake.  I am not married, but I like to think I’m somewhere in the middle.  I would like my wedding day to be beautiful, but not if it costs more money than I can afford.

I wouldn’t want to start my happily ever after with a ton of debt because I know firsthand just how stressful money woes can be in a relationship.  According to the recent survey men were more likely to admit paying too much for a wedding as one of their financial mistakes.

Now going back to the original question, how is money in your relationship?

Photo from Pixabay


Interesting Fashion Jobs You May Not Have Thought Of


Are you hoping to get into the exciting and dynamic world of fashion? Have you really been thinking about going to school to pursue a fashion career? Are you in search of a fashion job that you will absolutely love going to every day? Then continue reading for a few interesting fashion jobs that you may not have thought of already. After all, in addition to being a fashion designer or fashion model, there are plenty of other ways to get into fashion, and some of them are listed below.

Run an Online Clothing Store

Whether you sell your own handmade clothing or you resell popular items, you can enter the world of fashion by running your own online clothing store. This will give you the opportunity to be your own boss. And even if you have to start off small, before you know it, you could be advertising your brand on TV and getting customers from all over the country to shop from you.

If you enjoy business and fashion and you want the best of both worlds, this is a great way to go, as you will need to focus on management, marketing, and accounting, among other administrative tasks, as well as on choosing the products that will sell the most.

Fashion Journalism

If you love fashion and you love writing, you can combine these two passions and become a fashion journalist who works for a website or blog, or even a newspaper or magazine. This is a really popular career because you actually have a lot of choices. For example, you can write for a PR company, an e-commerce website, a news website, or a trade publication, as a few examples. And you can work on a freelance basis while being your own boss or you can look for a full-time job as a writer for a specific print or online publication. Who knows, you may even someday be interviewing the most talented designers and the most beautiful celebrities who wear the latest trends!

Fashion Photographer

Working as a fashion photographer can be a lot of fun, as it allows you to really let your creativity soar. Whether you work only with products on mannequins or with models on the runway, you will always be exposed to the latest and greatest clothing and accessories from famous global designers or local independent designers. This means that you can choose to work all over the world and travel, or set up a local studio and work with clients in-house to eventually build a large and successful company like the one at www.Fashot.com.

As you can see, there are many career paths that you can choose from in the world of fashion, so you don’t have to restrict yourself by thinking that the only way to break into fashion is by being a great designer. Even if you don’t know how to sew, as long as you know fashion, you can work as a photographer or writer, or even run your own online shop.

Don’t Fall Into These Holiday Money Traps


The holidays are a time to spread joy, spend time with family and friends as well as celebrate all of our accomplishments from the year.  The holidays are a happy time but unfortunately they are also a time when people throw out their money rules and get themselves into financial ruin over travels, gift giving, celebrations and parties.

During the holidays from Black Friday to New Years thieves tend to take advantage of all the holiday shopping.  Not only that, but as a Financial Planner I can tell you that shoppers are their own worst enemy during this time of the year.  We tend to adopt bad spending habits and our judgement can get thrown out the window.

Here are some money traps to avoid during this holiday season:

Accepting credit card offers for holiday shopping

It may seem every time you answer the phone, check your inbox or open the mailbox you may be getting a new credit card offer.  Banks and credit card companies know that people need money this time of year and they are happy to offer it in the form of a new credit card.

However don’t be fooled.  Money borrowed has to be paid back and this can lead to tight budgets come the New Year.  If your expenses are close to or equal your income now factoring in new credit card payments can be very stressful.

Start saving now so you can spread out your holiday shopping and avoid using credit cards.

Keep your information safe and sound

If you’re planning on making a list and checking it twice consider leaving your credit card at home during the holidays.  Credit card fraud is extremely high during the holidays and who wants to deal with having your personal and financial information stolen while  you’re celebrating with family and friends.  Not me.

Consider paying with cash for your holiday shopping and if you choose to use credit cards keep up to date on your activity.  Checking your account daily to ensure all transactions are legit is a good way to help spot any fraudulent transactions as soon as they happen.

Overspending to make others happy

This is a major financial faux pas that I used to make when I was in my 20s.  I used credit to pay for all my holiday shopping because I couldn’t actually afford to buy gifts.  I knew I didn’t have the money, but I wanted to find the perfect gift for all my family members.  Come January I found myself with a lot of credit card debt that I couldn’t afford to pay off.

I ended up making only the minimum monthly payments on several credit cards and after years of making the same spending mistakes over and over again I found myself over $50,000 in debt.  That was a mistake I stopped making and won’t go back to ever again.

Now I start my holiday shopping in mid November and spread out the expenses over several paychecks.  I would like to say that I put all my spending on a credit card to take advantage of the rewards points and then pay off the credit card in full each month, but unfortunately I just don’t trust myself when it comes to money so I pay for everything with cash.

Photo from Pixabay