Before you throw your hands up in the air and decide weddings are naturally expensive and you’ll just have to find a way to pay for the flowers, transportation, favours, cake and other incidentals, you might want to throw caution to the wind. According to a recent survey of millionaire investors, most would spend far less than the average person does on their wedding.
According to monthly research with Spectrem’s Millionaire Corner, which surveys millionaire investors with a net worth of $1 million to $5 million, more than one-third of millionaires believe it’s reasonable to spend $10,000 or less on a wedding. Roughly half of millionaires would spend between $10,000 and $30,000.
According to the 2013 Real Weddings Study from The Knot, the average wedding – not including honeymoon – cost $28,427 in 2012. So, what about other aspects of the wedding? Just how much would affluent investors spend on a wedding or shower gift? What factors influence their decisions? How do they feel about destination weddings? The answers might surprise you.
Less affluent investors, those with less than $100,000 in investable assets, would spend $100 or less on a wedding gift for a close friend or family member. High net worth millionaires, those with $5 million to $25 million in investable assets, would spend between $200 and $500 on a wedding gift for a close friend or family member. Investors of all levels of wealth would spend significantly less on a wedding gift for a casual friend or business associate.
Less affluent investors would typically spend $50 to 100 on a wedding shower gift for a close friend or family member, though 35 per cent would spend $25 to $50 and 15 per cent would spend less than $25. High net worth millionaires would spend approximately $50 to 100 on a wedding shower gift, though 23 per cent would spend between $100 and $150 and 17 per cent would spend $150 or more. Investors of all levels of wealth would spend less on a shower gift for more casual acquaintances and business associates.
Factors Influencing Spending
An investor’s household budget is the most influential factor in gift giving, followed by the couple’s gift registry and their financial situation. Less affluent investors are more influenced by their household budget, while high net worth millionaires are most influenced by the couple’s registry. More than 25 per cent of high net worth investors also fear looking cheap.
Investors feel the disadvantages of destination weddings outweigh the advantages. High net worth millionaires are most likely to express a negative opinion of destination weddings because the events can place a financial burden on people attending and can distract from the true meaning of marriage.
If you don’t want to serve cake at your wedding, you’re not alone. The wedding cake is ever-evolving, and instead of the traditional three or four-tiered confection, brides are turning to a wide variety of goodies, from cupcakes and dessert bars to cannoli and cake balls to satisfy those sweet cravings.
If you’re really keen to replace the wedding cake at your reception, you might want to take a peek at Dede Wilson’s Cake Balls More Than 60 Delectable and Whimsical Sweet Spheres of Goodness, to be published in September. The book has a recipe for every style of wedding, whether it’s fun and whimsical or a traditional and refined affair. Think your guests might want more than vanilla cake? Try confetti, pink raspberry, marbleized black and white, Crème Brûlée or peppermint-white chocolate cake balls, for which the recipe is provided below.
Dulce de Leche Cake Balls
Makes about 56 golf ball-sized balls
Yellow Buttermilk Cake (makes one 9x13-inch base cake, about 12 cups crumbs)
2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
1 tbsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature, cut into pieces
2 cups sugar
1 tbsp pure vanilla extract
5 large eggs, at room temperature
1 ¼ cups low-fat buttermilk
Directions: 1. Position a rack in the middle of the oven. Preheat to 350F. Coat the inside of a 9x13-inch rectangular pan with nonstick cooking spray; set aside. 2. Whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl to aerate and combine; set aside. 3. In a large bowl with an electric mixer on medium-high speed, beat the butter until creamy, about two minutes. Add the sugar gradually and beat until very light and fluffy, about three minutes, scraping down the bowl once or twice. Beat in the vanilla. 4. Beat in the eggs one at a time, scraping down after each addition and allowing each egg to be absorbed before continuing. Add the flour mixture in four additions, alternating with the buttermilk. Begin and end with the flour mixture and beat briefly until smooth. Pour the batter into the prepared pan. 5. Bake for about 30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the centre shows a few moist crumbs when removed. Let cool completely in the pan on a wire rack. The cake is ready to use. Alternatively, double-wrap the pan in plastic wrap and store at room temperature for up to one day before proceeding.
1 batch Yellow Buttermilk Cake, baked, cooled and crumbled
1 (13.4 oz) can dulce de leche
1 ¾ lbs milk chocolate, such as Callebaut or Valrhona Jivara, finely chopped
5 oz caramel, such as Nestlé
56 miniature fluted paper cups (optional)
Directions: 1. Combine the cake with ¾ cup of the dulce de leche. Test by compressing and tasting and add more dulce de leche only if needed for flavour and moisture. Roll into golf ball-sized cake balls. Refrigerate until firm. This can be done one day ahead; store in an airtight container once they are firm. 2. Line two rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper or aluminum foil. Melt the chocolate in the microwave or a double boiler. Dip the balls one at a time in the chocolate, encouraging any excess chocolate to drip back into the container. Place, evenly spaced, on the prepared pans. Refrigerate briefly until the chocolate is set. 3. Melt the caramel in the microwave until fluid, watching carefully so it doesn’t boil. Use a fork to drizzle caramel zigzags on top of each ball. Refrigerate again until the caramel is set. Trim the bottoms if needed. Place each cake ball in a paper cup, if desired. Place in a single layer in an airtight container and refrigerate for up to four days. Bring to room temperature before serving.
There’s no way around it. We live in the age of apps. There are thousands of apps out there, including many to help you plan a wedding. Some are good and some are so-so. Here is a list of some of the best iPhone and Android apps out there to help you stay on track, plan and dream about your wedding.
This app lets you create a wedding app and website at the same time. You can show the world who you are as a couple and then keep everyone in the loop about your wedding plans. You can send your guests travel and lodging details, maps, registry information and more. Guests can also share photos and anecdotes with everyone who’s connected.
Brit + Co.
This is the epitome of the DIY wedding. Though the app isn’t strictly for weddings, it offers thousands of ideas, how-tos and tutorials on everything from planning a party to sewing. The company’s founder, Brit Morin, has been nicknamed the Martha Stewart of Silicon Valley.
The beloved website is also an app. You can pin your favourite dresses, decorations, cakes and other wedding ideas as you go.
Just plug in your wedding date and this app creates a customized to-do list for you, as well as a dashboard that helps you glimpse where you are in the planning process at all times. You can also send vendor and schedule information to anyone you want to have the details.
Wedding Dress Look Book by The Knot
This app will help you narrow down your wedding dress search in a snap. Simply punch in your sizes, the style of your wedding and your best and worst features and the app will generate a list of hundreds of dresses to suit you. The dresses will showcase different designers at different price points, offering you a never-ending selection for you to consider.
This app is the perfect replacement for disposable cameras on reception tables. Encourage your guests to use Wedding Party to share photos with you and others. The app collects wedding photos from all of your guests and stores them in one place. You can also print out place cards to put at your tables to instruct your guests on how to use it.
The biggest challenge when planning as wedding is staying within your budget. This app helps you do that by keeping track of expenses and updating your budget status as you go.
Leave the file folders at home. This app allows you to organize all your wedding needs in one place. Compile all your wedding ideas, from wedding blogs, shops, magazines and even your own emails and photos in one central place. Unlike other inspirational board platforms, Clipix is private so no one else can see what you’re clipping unless you want to share. An awesome feature is the price drop alert function that lets you know if something you’ve clipped falls below a certain price.
Similar to WeddingParty, but this app lets guests use their own smartphones, tables or traditional cameras to share photographs instantly. Photos can be grouped into albums organized into events, such as getting ready, ceremony, reception, etc., and photo captions can also be entered.
Wedding911 by The Knot
This app is the latest for last-minute wedding advice because you can get answers to your top wedding questions no matter where you are. Post your questions and get answers from other brides-to-be or scroll through more than 150 top wedding Q&As and get expert answers from The Knot editors.
When planning your wedding day outfit, you will focus most of your attention on your wedding gown. However, there are other details you’ll have to consider, including your hairstyle. For some brides, the myriad choices available can be overwhelming. Lea Journo, owner of the chic Lea Journo Salon located in the posh Beverly Wilshire Hotel, gives these five tips to ensure you have perfect wedding hair.
1. Get Creative: While the undone look is a modern bride’s classic choice, consider incorporating a braid, fish tail or knot into an updo or side style. Get fun and creative with your hair!
2. Pay Attention to the Dress: Your hairstyle can mirror the style of your wedding gown. When your hairstylist is helping you select a hairstyle, one of his or her main concerns is the style and cut of your gown’s neckline. If you’re wearing a classic or traditional style dress, then you should have a classic hairstyle. But, if you’re wearing a more modern or unique dress, then your hair can also be more fun and funky.
3. Take Care of Your Hair: You should go to weekly conditioning treatments prior to your wedding day to ensure your hair is shiny and strong on the big day. If you colour your hair, you should do so one week prior to your wedding day.
4. Don’t procrastinate: To find your ideal wedding hairstyle, you and your hairstylist should always have a consultation and a few trials prior to the wedding. You should think about what you’ll be comfortable with and what will compliment the dress.
5. Have Fun and Relax: Head to the spa with your besties a few days before the big day so it will be one of the best and most beautiful days of your life.
Just as every wedding proposal has its own tale, so, too does every diamond. To most people, a diamond is a sparkling white brilliant round gem, but, depending on your preference, your engagement ring diamond can match your personality – in any size or shape.
The most well-known wedding engagement ring diamond shape is the Round Diamond, which accounts for more than 50 per cent of diamonds sold. Clean, classic and versatile, this diamond packs more fire and brilliance than any other shape because of its very precise formula.
Similar to the round cut, the Oval Diamond has a beautiful brilliance, but is not usually mounted in solitaires. You’ll most likely find it in three-stone rings.
Another shape similar to the round cut, is the Princess Diamond, the most popular non-round diamond. Its sharp corners create a more contemporary look.
The Emerald Diamond is essentially rectangular in shape with cut corners, and requires stones of excellent colour and clarity because inclusions and inferior hues are more pronounced.
A similar cut to the emerald diamond is the Asscher, except that it is square. This cut also provides a fascinating optical illusion known as the “Hall of Mirrors.”
Combining the elegance of the emerald with the brilliance of the round is the Radiant Diamond, which features trimmed corners. This is the most brilliant of the square-shaped diamonds.
The Cushion Diamond is a square- or rectangular-shaped stone with rounded corners, like a pillow. Another rare or unique choice is the elongated – with pointed ends – Marquise Diamond, which was commissioned by King Louis XV in 18th Century Paris to emulate the smile of his mistress, the Marchioness Madame de Pompadour.
They’re beautiful, traditional and one of the most endearing wedding details – but wedding stationery can also be very expensive. From elegant save-the-date cards to regal invitations that come with reply cards and extra envelops (not to mention the postage!) stationery can run you hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars.
For some couples, sending out gorgeous stationery is too expensive. Others simply don’t want to spend that much money on paper and would rather redirect the savings to other wedding items, such as upgrading the photography package or staying at a five-star resort during the honeymoon.
You have to invite your guests, there’s no way around that, but there are many ways you can do so and avoid breaking the bank. You just need to get creative. For the tech savvy and visually creative couple, you can always design your own stationery on your home computer and print out your creation using good cardstock. There are many websites that offer templates you can use to create your own invitations, reply cards and more.
You can also find wedding invitation kits at major retailers, such as Staples and Michaels. These kits range in style, from simple invitations to creating stationery with ribbons, bows and other little extras. If you like the feel of traditional engraving on wedding invitations, pick up a custom embosser, which you can use to press your initials, names or a design onto your cards. There are so many items available; really, the only limit is your imagination.
If you’re concerned about cost but want your guests to hold a wedding invitation in their hands, send a postcard. They’re much more affordable than traditional invitations because they don’t need envelops and require less postage. Be creative with your postcard – include a photo of the two of you, incorporate some colour or bling – but be sure to include an email your guests can reply to.
As well, if you’re concerned about the environment and want to cut down on or eliminate the amount of paper used, browse the Internet for web-based invitation services. You’ll be able to choose from a variety of wedding invitations, from whimsical and traditional to unique; some sites even allow you to include a photo of yourself and your fiancé. You can then e-deliver your invitations to your guests. The website will keep an updated reply list, thus eliminating the need for reply cards. Also, if there are any revisions to your wedding plans, such as a time or location change, your guests can be alerted via email.
You made it! Through your first year as a married couple, that is. Celebrating your first wedding anniversary is important because the initial year of marriage can often be the most difficult as you adjust to life with each other as husband and wife. By commemorating this special day, you also get a chance to reflect on your wedding day and measure how far you’ve come as a couple. You can also use the occasion to set goals and discuss your dreams for the future. There are many ways to celebrate and honour your first wedding anniversary, but here are just a few suggestions of ways to make the date special.
Traditionally, the first wedding anniversary gift is paper. At first glance this doesn’t seem exciting. But you can use this tradition to write a poem or letter to your spouse to express how much you love them, or to offer your thoughts about your first year as a married couple. While many couples skip anniversary gifts, you should consider making an exception and give each other something memorable, whether it be a piece of jewellery or a nice dinner out.
Wedding Anniversary Cake Slice
Many couples freeze the top tier of their wedding cake to be eaten on their first anniversary. To protect the cake’s taste a year later, you should wrap it in vapor- and moisture-proof freezer bags after you’ve frozen it for a couple of hours to set the icing. Next, wrap it in plastic. If you didn’t freeze your cake (or you ate it all on your wedding day), make a cake with the same flavours as your wedding cake and decorate it similarly to your original cake.
Repeat Your Wedding Day First Dance
There’s nothing like taking a few minutes to slow dance in each other’s arms. Put on some fancy clothes, play the song you selected as your first dance on your CD player or iPod and take each other for a romantic spin around your living room floor or backyard. If you took lessons or did a choreographed dance, see if you both still have the moves you had a year earlier at your wedding. How fun is that!
Wedding DVD And Wedding Photos
After a special dinner, grab a glass of wine and snuggle up on the couch to relive your wedding memories by viewing them on your wedding DVD or by flipping through the photos. Take time to laugh and reminisce about the day.
Take A Second Honeymoon
If you didn’t go on a honeymoon right after your wedding, now’s the time to get away. Many couples don’t vacation right after the wedding because the day itself can be a big expense. However, it’s one year later and you’ve had plenty of time to save up. If you were fortunate enough to go on a honeymoon right after your wedding, go back to your original destination – or pick a new place you will both enjoy. There’s no lovelier way to commemorate your wedding anniversary than by de-stressing on a Caribbean beach with nothing to do but spend time with one another.
One of the major debates when compiling a wedding gift registry is glass or crystal? Another cause for a pause might be, what types of stemware should I register for? And, really, just what is stemware?
Basically, stemware is glasses or drinkware that stand on a stem. When we think of kings and the nobility, we tend to conger up visions of goblets or majestic drinking cups at a feast. You can carry that tradition to your dining table for special occasions – or even day-to-day dinners – after your wedding by purchasing or registering for a set (or sets) of stemware.
According to the Huffington Post, glass originated in Mesopotamia and, centuries ago, was comparable to gold. Europe became a mecca of glass making at the end of the 13th Century, particularly in Venice. Even today, the island of Murano continues to be a hotspot for beautiful, decorative glassblowing pieces. In the 17th Century, George Ravenscroft, an English businessman who worked in the glass making trade, developed full lead crystal glass, which we use to this day.
When selecting drinkware for your wedding registry, you should consider choosing at least two sets: a casual glassware set and a more formal stemware line for special occasions or fancy dining.
For your casual drinkware set, you should ask wedding and shower guests for high-quality, durable glass. Specifically, you should consider eight to 12: small tumblers for juice; medium tumblers for milk or water; large tumblers for iced beverages; and wine glasses.
For your stemware, you might want to consider registering for two sets. Most engaged couples choose crystal for their wedding registry and companies, such as Waterford, are world-renowned creators of full lead crystal pieces that are timeless. Pick a plainer non-patterned stemware collection for your casual dining, and a second set with some type of pattern that you would use for more formal dining or for special occasions, such as Christmas dinner or other events. But be careful, crystal requires special handling and cannot be put in the dishwasher.
For these sets, consider adding to your wedding registry eight to 12: goblets for water; wine glasses; champagne flutes; and iced beverage glasses for cold drinks, water, beer or spirits. Of course, you might want to also consider requesting highball, pilsner, martini, brandy and shot glasses to make sure you have a glass you can raise to all of your guests.
From the flower girl to the best man, your treasured pet can be part of your wedding day too. For many couples, including man’s best friend or their favourite feline in their special day is a non-negotiable. And having a wedding that includes your dog or cat can be a lot of fun. Not only can you dress them up in tuxes or gowns, you’ll feel as though every member of your family is there, celebrating alongside you.
Dogs can participate on the wedding day as a flower girl, ring bearer, best man or maid of honor, but when deciding their role, always consider what your pet can handle. Make sure you have someone you trust and who is familiar with your dog to be your "pet-sitter" on your wedding day. This person can walk him or her and allow them to do their business in a more discreet area. Toys, treats, a leash and water bowl should be included in the pet luggage for that day. Bringing along a carrier so your dog can nap during certain parts of the wedding is also a great idea.
Cats can sometimes be more difficult to include, especially if you have a fussy feline. A nice alternative would be to dress them up in little outfits and have them photographed for the save-the-date cards or wedding invitations. Some couples also choose to use these photos for their wedding reception place cards or in the wedding signing book, which is a nice way of including your furry friend. If you think your cat is mellow and social enough, then having him (or her) join you in the wedding day events should be fine.
If you don’t want to have your pets with you on your wedding day, but still want to include them in some way, have them photographed with you during your engagement photo session. However, have someone practice taking their photos with you before you head out with the professional photographer. This will get them used to the flash and clicking noise of the camera.
On average, couples in Canada pay more than $23,000 just to say “I do.” If your tastes run more toward the higher end, that bill easily could be closer to $40,000. But it's the most important day of your life. You deserve to have everything the way you want it.
But what if something goes wrong? We all know that the weather here can be tricky? What happens if a blizzard buries your beautiful outdoor venue under three feet of dangerous ice and snow the day before the nuptials? Or the caterer you booked eight months in advance turns out to be a no-show? When it comes to weddings, you should always keep Murphy’s Law in mind: “Anything that can go wrong will go wrong.” That’s why it’s a good idea to purchase wedding insurance in anticipation of the big day.When could insurance help?
Compare the price tag of a $23,000 rescheduled wedding with the cost of protecting the big day with wedding insurance. Typically, policies cost anywhere from $125 to $400. You would likely much rather prefer to eat a small cost like that as opposed to the alternative.
Here are a couple of scenarios in which a wedding insurance policy could help you protect your big investment on your big day:
• Inclement weather or dangerous conditions cause you to cancel or postpone the event.
• A vendor backs out or otherwise breaks a contract.
• One of the spouses-to-be gets cold feet.
• An accident occurs at the wedding or reception and results in an injured guest and/or property damage at the venue.How does a wedding insurance policy pay out?
If you made the smart decision to invest in wedding insurance and one of the above scenarios caused a financial loss, you can easily file a claim to help recover much of your investment. Here are just a few examples of deposits and other expenses a wedding insurance policy could help you get reimbursed for:
• The venue: You likely had to put down a hefty deposit in order to book a venue or two for their ceremony and reception. If something comes up and you need to reschedule, a wedding insurance policy could help you recover those lost deposits.
• The caterer: If the caterer goes out of business, experiences equipment failure or otherwise fails to fulfill his commitment to you, you could file a claim.
• Tuxedo rental: The groom and his groomsmen put down a deposit to rent their tuxedos from the priciest shop in town, but that shop goes out of business a week before the wedding day. If the wedding is covered, you might still be able to find something for everyone to wear at the altar without breaking the bank.
• Photographers: If the photographers don’t show up or experience problems with their equipment that prevents them from capturing your special day, you shouldn’t have to pay.
• The honeymoon: If the wedding is rescheduled, that probably means the honeymoon has to be moved, too. A wedding insurance policy could help you recover any deposits they made and reschedule their trip.
It should be noted that even the best special event coverage has some limitations as well. Most wedding insurance policies will reimburse you for expenses if one of the parties develops "cold feet" but only if the big day is canceled at least six months in advance.
Don't count on luck when it comes to your wedding day. Prepare for the unexpected by purchasing a smart special events insurance policy – it could be the difference between losing $20,000 and $200 if something does go wrong (and trust us, something always does!).
This article was contributed by Carrie Van Brunt-Wiley, Editor of the HomeInsurance.com blog. Carrie has been writing insurance news and consumer information for HomeInsurance.com
since 2008. She graduated from the University of North Carolina in Wilmington in 2005 with a B.A. in Professional Writing and Journalism.