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6 ways to avoid budget conflicts with your bridal party

  |   By acampbell

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The financial strain of hosting a wedding is one thing, but can the cost of being in your bridal party put a strain on your friendships? By the time the dresses, shoes, hair and makeup, shower and travel are accounted for, being a bridesmaid can be a considerable financial commitment. According to a recent poll from TD Canada Trust, half (50 per cent) of Canadians surveyed said they spent – or plan to spend – between $200 and $599 to be in a wedding party; and nearly a third (25 per cent) said they spent between $600 and more than $2,000 to be in at least one wedding. Regardless of whether you are planning a simple or grand affair, there is a way to have the perfect day, and keep your friendships perfectly intact. Ray Chun, Everyday Banking and Personal and Indirect Lending at TD, offers some tips to help your entire bridal party come in on budget.
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Set a realistic budget: While all members of the bridal party are responsible for their own wedding attire, grooming, gifts, pre-wedding events and travel, ideally you can find price points that are accessible for everyone. You might fall in love with the perfect bridesmaid dresses, or want to book the most lavish hotel, but the more reasonable the price point, the better for everyone. Speak openly with your group to get a consensus on what they are looking to spend.
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Push for purchasing power: Try to negotiate group rates for hotel rooms as far in advance of the wedding as possible, so that your bridal party and guests can enjoy great savings on rooms.
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Help your bridal party plan for expenses: Map out what expenses will take place when, and share some key dates for when they should expect these costs (for example, ordering bridesmaid dresses or putting a deposit on hair and makeup). You might want to consider encouraging your girls to open a Tax-Free Savings Account so they'll be able to save leading up to the wedding.
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Have a well-thought registry: The best registries have a range of items, across all price points. By having some more accessible items, guests can pick things that suit their budget, or bundle items for a special gift. If there are some larger ticket items on the registry for you and your fella, some people might organize to purchase it as a group gift.
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Reward yourself: Redeem credit card reward points for as many expenses as possible: Depending on the type of credit card you have and where you shop, you and your bridesmaids might be able to redeem points to offset some wedding expenses. In addition, charging deposits and other purchases for the event on your rewards card will allow you to earn rewards faster.
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Shop around: You don’t have to buy the first dress or book the first photographer you meet. Ask friends for recommendations and do your research online and in-store before making a commitment. It often pays (literally) to shop around.
For other financial planning advice to help keep your wedding budget on track, please visit www.tdcanadatrust.com/products-services/investing/goals_index.jsp

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This post was sponsored by TD Canada Trust. Learn more here.

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