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Katie
Beginner August 2022 Ontario

$30,000 wedding?

Katie, on March 20, 2020 at 18:00 Posted in Plan a wedding 0 25
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Hi beauties,



I feel a little lost with what to do. I have a beautiful venue that I just absolutely adore. I would say it's my dream venue. They take care of everything from the DJ, officiant, decor... You name it. All in we are looking at $30,000 for 80-100 guests, but I just can't fathom this price. Everyone keeps telling me it's an amazing price considering we basically do nothing except pick out what we want. I just can't get past spending as much as a down payment for a house on one day. We wouldn't go into debt, but it would be TIGHT.
I am on the fence of going with this venue, or just getting married at city Hall and doing a reception somewhere else for about 80 people. I don't mind the idea of a "backyard reception", the problem is I don't know of anyone with a big enough property.
Has anyone gotten/getting married at a city Hall or know of anyone who has? Did it turn out well?
Any ideas on where I can host a "backyard" style reception without it being at a friend or families backyard? Or anyone have cheap reception venue ideas? Or just ideas in general!?
I'm so lost with what I should do...
Thanks loves xxtenor.gif




25 Comments

Latest activity by Stacey, on October 18, 2021 at 09:48
  • Stacey
    Frequent user October 2022 Ontario
    Stacey ·
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    Hi Katie,

    We're in the same boat about not wanting to spend a lot of money. So we have booked a restaurant as our venue. It is beautiful & modern. Only decor we would need is little center pieces. This will be for 60 people and will be about $9,000 for food and drinks. Ceremony will be in the park (across the street from the venue) and it's along the Lakeshore in Toronto. We have booked both of their private rooms to be combined). Venue said bride and grooms in the past have done their first dance, etc. We're also thinking of doing the shoe game, something a little fun. Only thing we would be missing is the dancing, but that is ok. Amazing vibe when I went in!

    $30,000 wedding? 1

    $30,000 wedding? 2

    • Reply
  • Callie
    Curious May 2021 Ontario
    Callie ·
    • Dispute

    Hey Katie!

    I'm assuming or you mentioned that your venue will cover:
    * venue room rental / ceremony fee
    * food
    * drinks
    * DJ
    * Decor
    * officiant

    However, Don't forget to budget in these things as part of your "wedding costs" that you may / may not recover... This way you don't overspend if you're trying to save up for your future home. Obviously a lot of these things are optional, but just wanted to make sure you're keeping track!:

    * gratuities
    * cake
    * sweets table
    * florals
    * photography
    * videography
    * hair & makeup
    * your dress / his attire
    * marriage license / certificate
    * airbnb (if needed)


    • Reply
  • A
    Newbie August 2021 Manitoba
    Ashley ·
    • Dispute

    Have you looked elsewhere as well, and that's the one you've got your heart set on?

    I would say do what you are comfortable with! If you're really not comfortable spending that much, look for something else - but if you are OK with it and love it, go for it!
    I am doing all of mine separately with a full wedding planner, and I think mine is going to end up being closer to $40,000 (had a $30k budget at the beginning but welp lol) for 150 people. By the time we are married we'd have been engaged for 3 years so the weekly amount really isn't that much.


    That being said, if you are thinking of this or just going to city hall, maybe you could meet in the middle - scope out some more venues and vendors with lower prices, do some DIY, etc???

    • Reply
  • Ashley
    VIP August 2020 Ontario
    Ashley ·
    • Dispute

    I would contact decor companies and get some quotes for things you want. my decor is 3000 and we have HUGE backdrops, candles and 200 people, guest table, welcome table, fire place decor stage decor as well and djs are around 2000 or less. so if you take off 5000 from your 30000 quote that would mean for 100 people thats 250 per person which is HORRIBLE. most halls are around 100-150 ppl for food and booze. i personally would find a another venue. remember venue is just a space its the decor that will change it all and make it look nice. keep that in mind.

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  • Katie
    Beginner August 2022 Ontario
    Katie ·
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    View quoted message
    Those are some awesome ideas! I love the idea of using the money for Reno's.... I definitely will look into those options. A flower farm sounds BEAUTIFUL!
    • Reply
  • Katie
    Beginner August 2022 Ontario
    Katie ·
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    View quoted message
    Thank you so much everyone for all your thoughts. It put me at ease to see that come others are in the same boat as me.
    • Reply
  • Megan
    Frequent user April 2021 Ontario
    Megan ·
    • Dispute

    I also couldn't fathom spending 30k on one day. We decided to spend that money on renovations of our first home together. So we're spending less than 10k on a reception for 85 people at a local bar/brewery that allows us to bring in our own caterer. There are cheaper options out there, but you have to hunt for them, and you have to do a little more work. I'm sure someone's suggested it, but would an AirBnB work for something you're looking for? A conservation area? A ski club during the summer? A flower farm? Local coffee shop?

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  • Katie
    Beginner August 2022 Ontario
    Katie ·
    • Dispute
    Thank you so much everyone for all your thoughts. It put me at ease to see that some others are in the same boat as me and I love all your ideas. I appreciate it all!!💕
    • Reply
  • Sarah
    Expert July 2021 Ontario
    Sarah ·
    • Dispute
    I can’t comment on the city hall route but our wedding is about 30k for 90ish people too. It’s unfortunately normal. I did originally look into city hall with a nice dinner after but because of our amount of guests and what we wanted (things like open bar etc) it ended up being more expensive to do it a nice restaurant downtown versus our current venue
    • Reply
  • Casey
    Master October 2019 Ontario
    Casey ·
    • Dispute

    We ended up spending pretty close to 30K, and our venue was all inclusive.

    We basically had to come with an officiant, DJ and Photographer, and they did everything for us. Our venue did all the decorations (welcome table, cake table, seating, linens), bar, food, and afterglow. We saved a ton of money by not having to worry about booking things separately.

    We got wicked pricing on our DJ and Photographer because they were preferred vendors of our venue. But weddings are expensive, and many vendors are fairly expensive unless you negotiate a price.

    There are for sure ways that you can do it cheaper than that, but you have to really be cautious of what you are spending

    • Reply
  • T
    Curious August 2021 Ontario
    Trish ·
    • Dispute

    It all depends on what you want. When we first started planning i was like NO WAY NO HOW, and we ended up spending about $25k.

    We could go to city hall, do a restaurant etc. and have it be less money but we WANTED the venue and all the things.

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  • Kevin
    Curious June 2021 Ontario
    Kevin ·
    • Dispute

    We are spending $5000 and it includes it all for 60 people. We are getting married in a little chapel, having dinner done by a local resturant and reception at a Legion. Buffet meal, dj, photographer ect decorating will be minimal at best. That also includes our hair, make up and wedding clothes. Save all that money. Do you want the wedding or the marriage?

    • Reply
  • Amelia
    Master October 2020 New Brunswick
    Amelia ·
    • Dispute
    I wasn't about to spend that much on our wedding. FH and I agreed on $6-7k and made some sacrifices to make it happen. We're having a smaller guest list, not doing a full meal, and we shopped for a deal with our photographer and venue for a Friday instead of a Saturday. Like you the thought of spending a down payment scared me.


    If you don't want the big fancy wedding you can still have the things you do want.
    • Reply
  • Tay
    Frequent user July 2021 Ontario
    Tay ·
    • Dispute
    I haven't booked my venue yet but total wedding cost is looking anywhere from 20-25k for 120 guests. On the lowest end a venue is quoting us about 13k for 120 guests ( dry wedding) and my total budget would be 20k.


    I suggest using an excel spreadsheet to make sure you know what exactly is being included in the 30k and that everything for you wedding is being calculated (HST for all wedding items, Gratuity, miscellaneous fees like SOCAN and Resound,etc).
    • Reply
  • Tanya
    Newbie September 2022 Quebec
    Tanya ·
    • Dispute

    For 30k$ I would go over -all- the details with them to make sure it's what I wanted. What if they don't have any deco you like? Or the colors you like? What about food options? Open bar? There are a lot of things I'd look at before spending that kind of money and if I was going to say yes, it better have every. single. little. thing. I want.

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  • A-W
    Frequent user May 2021 Ontario
    A-W ·
    • Dispute
    It depends on what you want. I have done a lot myself and found good deals for DJ and photographer ect and the whole thing will be under $12000 for 125 guests. But I'm fairly far north so we may have less expensive options.
    • Reply
  • Rayanne
    Featured June 2022 Ontario
    Rayanne ·
    • Dispute
    We are looking at around $20000 for 100. Dinner and ceremony being just under $15000.
    • Reply
  • Joanna
    Beginner June 2022 Alberta
    Joanna ·
    • Dispute
    With the virus there is so many uncertainties. But with that being said you have options. For me $30,000 is a lot of money but does free you up to have multiple things if you wish.
    You can have a small ceremony somewhere then a Fabulous party at a Air B n B.
    • Reply
  • S
    Expert September 2020 Quebec
    Shannon ·
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    Our wedding is around 20,000 for 100pp.

    • Reply
  • Katie
    Beginner August 2022 Ontario
    Katie ·
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    View quoted message
    For 100 people!
    • Reply
  • Hank
    Featured September 2021 Ontario
    Hank ·
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    View quoted message
    Is this $27K for 80 or is it for 100 people?
    • Reply
  • Katie
    Beginner August 2022 Ontario
    Katie ·
    • Dispute
    View quoted message
    The venue quoted $27,000. The $30,000 is all in after factoring in the other things I have to buy like attire. The price they give is a set price that includes all the vendors. Some of the things like DJ and Catering is non negotiable and we have to use those vendors that they provide.
    But I like your ideas! The restaurant venue I will definitely look more into! Thank you!!!! Smiley smile
    • Reply
  • Vinod
    Featured August 2017 Ontario
    Vinod ·
    • Dispute
    Forgot to add the guest count was 72.
    • Reply
  • Vinod
    Featured August 2017 Ontario
    Vinod ·
    • Dispute
    Quarter of the members have or chosen to get married in city hall due to the prices quoted by the venues.
    Planning our wedding was fun and lower than the venue cost. Our total was little less than 19K.
    • Reply
  • Hank
    Featured September 2021 Ontario
    Hank ·
    • Dispute

    Are they offering you that price as an all-in or did you calculated that price based on adding up all the items they offered? What's "all in?" I assume the groom's clothes, the bridesmaids' dresses, your dress is not factored into that price. Can you lower that price by not taking all the frills?


    Also, there's a huge difference between 80 vs 100 people so you should check those numbers.


    You can look at "rustic" outdoor or barnyard type of venues for that backyard bbq vibe but whatever you save on food costs, you are paying for in other costs to the catering like servers bussing tables and serving you plates, all the cutlery and plating you need for the meal etc.


    If you go the City Hall route, you need to factor in their seating limitations. Most civic centre weddings can hold around 20-40 people max. You also get a strict time limit, usually 30 mins to one hour. They're not meant to replace the grand church style ceremony in terms of body count. It's very much an in-and-out kind of process as there are a dozen other couples waiting in line for their turn. But if you choose to go with this route, you can probably find a nearby restaurant to host your wedding. Assuming $50 per person for an appetizer and entree, you're looking at just under $7K including tax and tip. That being said, I'm assuming something fancy here but I'm sure you can find restaurants that do three course prix-fixe for around $30. You can serve your wedding cake as dessert. Double that if you want to pay for your guests' drinks.

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