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  • Writer's pictureNXT Photography

Wedding and Elopement Cost in Montreal Complete Guide

Today, we'll explore the comparison between elopements and traditional weddings in terms of costs, additional expenses, and all the intricate details that come to mind after attending numerous ceremonies.

To begin, it's worth acknowledging a prevalent sentiment: in about 8 out of 10 weddings, there seems to be a perception that the joy of the event is more directed towards the bride than the groom. It's important to approach this subject with sensitivity, but it's worth noting that a significant portion of grooms in these marriages might have preferred a simpler wedding rather than the elaborate celebrations often envisioned by brides.

When planning such events, it might be worthwhile to consider creating an experience that resonates with both individuals. Interestingly, we often witness greater contentment among grooms in intimate elopement ceremonies, even when compared to larger gatherings of around 80 people.

Let's delve into the specifics of wedding expenses, exploring rough cost estimates and factors to take into account:

Wedding Expenses Breakdown:

Let's delve into the intricacies of wedding expenses, starting with the attire. The bride's ensemble—comprising the wedding dress, shoes, accessories, and a potential second dress—can range from a minimum of $600 to the upper echelons of thousands of dollars. From our inquiries, the average bride invests around $1500 to $2500 in her attire, forming a substantial share of the budget.

Turning our attention to the groom's attire, a suit from a retailer like La Baie d'Hudson could commence around $700, with an additional $200 allocated for shoes. This starting point of roughly $1000 can escalate to between $1500 and $2000 for a bespoke tailored suit.

Beauty services encompass makeup and hair styling, with anticipated costs ranging from $300 to $500.

Nail and pedicure services come at an additional expense of approximately $150.

Thus far, even considering the most conservative estimates, we're looking at around $1000 for the bride's attire alone. However, it's important to note that most brides won't limit themselves to a $200 dress in order to save money. The bride's priorities often center around finding a dress that resonates with her vision. Therefore, it's reasonable to expect a combined expense of at least $1800 for both partners' attire and the aforementioned components. On average, this figure could range between $2500 and $3500.

Next, let's discuss the venue. Options vary widely, from renting a hall and organizing all the accouterments yourself to selecting an all-inclusive package. For a modest guest list of around 50, budgeting approximately $125 per person provides an estimated cost of $6300. However, for a more comprehensive package that includes alcohol and an assortment of culinary delights, prices could shift to around $160 per person or even $185 per person for a premium package. Remember that hard liquor isn't included in these figures and needs to be budgeted separately. Therefore, for a more enhanced culinary experience, expect a range of around $9300.

Combining attire and venue expenses, we're looking at a range of $8700 to $12,800, based on averages from observed weddings and Montreal reception costs.

Alcohol is another factor to consider. For every 50 guests, planning for approximately 1 bottle of wine for every 3 people and 2 bottles of hard liquor for every 6 individuals (including martini and cognac options) equates to roughly 15 bottles of wine and 15 bottles of hard liquor, at an estimated cost of around $700.

Cake costs can vary greatly, depending on whether you opt for a cake for the couple alone or for all guests. Nevertheless, a minimum of $350 for a 50-person cake is a reasonable estimate.

Including attire, venue, alcohol, cake, and standard marriage documents, we're looking at an overall range of $9750 to $13,850. It's important to note that document costs are not included in this calculation, as they are a fixed and unavoidable expense.

Additional miscellaneous expenses such as boutonnieres for guests, wedding invitations, personalized decor, the bride's bouquet, car rental (if needed), outfit alterations, tips, and guest favors could add up to another $1000.

Two significant remaining expenses are the DJ, averaging around $800 for the night, and the photographer, whose coverage, spanning around 6 hours from the ceremony to the cake cutting, can cost between $2000 and $3000. Videography, if desired, could amount to an additional $1500 to $2000.

Summing it all up, the average total could fall within the range of $14,550 to $21,650. This encompasses the wedding day itself and excludes honeymoon expenses and registration/notary fees. Anticipate a minimum expenditure of $13,000 for a wedding hosting 50 guests, accounting for the average costs of each item mentioned.

  • Bride's attire (dress, shoes, accessories, second dress): $1500 - $2500

  • Groom's suit (including shoes): $1000 - $2000

Beauty Services:
  • Makeup and hair styling: $300 - $500

  • Nails and pedicure: $150

Combined Attire and Beauty:
  • Minimum: $1000 (conservative estimate)

  • Average: $1800 - $3500

  • Small wedding (50 guests) venue rental: $6300

  • Enhanced package (50 guests) with alcohol and additional meals: $9300

  • Wine and hard liquor for 50 guests: $700

  • Cake for 50 guests: $350 (minimum)

Document Fees:
  • Standard marriage documents: $500

Miscellaneous Expenses:
  • Boutonnieres, invitations, decor, bouquet, alterations, tips, guest favors: ~$1000

  • DJ: ~$800

  • Photographer (6 hours coverage): $2000 - $3000

Videography (optional):
  • Videographer (similar coverage): $1500 - $2000

Total Estimated Range (excluding honeymoon and registration fees):
  • Low End: $14,550

  • High End: $21,650

For an elopement, the expenses can vary significantly since many elements are optional. Here's a breakdown of potential costs for an intimate elopement:


  • Marriage fees: Varies (depending on location)

  • Attire for both partners: ~$1000

  • Nails: $150

  • One bottle of Champagne: $20

  • Cake: $50

  • Dinner for 4 people at a nice restaurant: $350

  • Photography (1-2 hours): $400 - $600

Total Estimated Cost for Elopement:

  • Low End: $2000

  • High End: $2400

Comparing Wedding and Elopement Costs:

Many couples anticipate recouping their wedding costs through guest gifts. However, this isn't always a guaranteed strategy. On average, guests might give around $100 as a gift or in cash. Considering a wedding cost of $13,550, the expected return could be around $4800 on average. Even if guests are slightly more generous, with a $150 gift per person, you might receive around $7200, still leaving you with a substantial cost.

Taking into account the lowest wedding cost and the lowest elopement cost, there's a potential difference of $11,550. This can be seen as savings that could cover various expenses or opportunities:

  • 7 years' worth of groceries

  • 4% down payment on a $300,000 house

  • A long, all-inclusive honeymoon to Mexico for 42 days

  • A significant contribution towards a car purchase 1/4

  • Furnishing in full your apartment

  • 3 years of private school tuition for a kid

  • 4 luxury vacations to Panama

  • 8500 of Tim Hortons muffins

The decision between a wedding and an elopement offers various possibilities. It's crucial to choose an option that aligns with your preferences and financial situation. While weddings can be beautiful and memorable, it's important not to feel pressured into a grand event that might lead to debt.

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