The average budget for a Winnipeg Wedding

What does a Winnipeg wedding cost? This simple calculator can help determine your wedding budget and costs per category.


There are many online articles that will tell you the average wedding budget, but the problem is every city is different. A budget in Toronto, Vancouver or Los Angeles will have a vastly different budget then Winnipeg. Below is some information to help you understand the averages for Winnipeg and the approximate suggested ratios to spend on each category.


So let’s get to it!

The average wedding in Winnipeg costs $35,000

Some backyard or intimate weddings will be much lower, at around $10,000, and larger celebrations can be upwards of $50,000. This is nuts you say! It sounds nuts, yes, but let’s look into this further. 

Social funds

Many couples will throw a wedding social to fund part of the wedding. The average wedding social of 350 ticket sales can expect a profit of more than $5000. Socials are also a Manitoba tradition & done nowhere else.

Presentation funds

The average attendance for a wedding in Winnipeg is 135 guests and each of those guests average presentation is $150. That said, the average wedding will receive just over $20,000 in presentation funds to help pay for the wedding.

Personal funds

That leaves the average couple with a spending budget of approx $10,000 and if parents or other family members are helping fund part of the wedding, that number could be much lower.

OK, great! Now with all that mentioned, below is a handy calculator to help determine the ratio of what part of the budget can be spent per category (use this as your starting point – all weddings are different and many people will shift spending to certain categories they feel are more important to their style).


Wedding Calculator

Enter the averages for a Winnipeg wedding to get a baseline. Then adjust based on your planned guestlist and personal spending limit budget to see what can be put towards your wedding.

Out-of-pocket budget = (MB average $10,000)
Profit from social------- = (MB average $5,000)
Number of guests------ = (MB average 135 guests)
Presentation per guest = (MB average $150/guest (open bar))

Total Spending Budget =

ServiceCostWhen to book in advance
Venue / Food & Bar$8-18 months
Ceremony Costs$8-18 months
Photographer$8-12 months
Flowers$10-14 months
Linens & Decor$6-10 months
DJ (Social & Wedding)$8 months
Cake$4-5 months
Dress / Tux & Shoes$5-8 months
Rings$4-6 months
Makeup, Hair & Nails$4-6 months
Invitations$4-6 months
Transport$3-6 months

Venue / Food / Bar

This will most likely be your largest expense. Included options will vary greatly depending on the venue. Many people try to save some money by having a cash bar, however people will generally give less presentation and if this is the case, you won’t save money in the end. You are better off to keep things open bar, that way everyone can have a great time without worrying about cash on hand or available ATM locations. Open bar will cost approx $3-5000 for a guest list of 135.

When to book: To ensure the venue you want has your date available try to book at least 12 months in advance.



Most couples see photography as a very important investment. The photographer will capture all the memories from your day, details of everything you planned out purchased or created for your big day. candids of you your family and friends having a great time and of course priceless wedding photos that can never be taken again.  a great photographer will make your day enjoyable, memorable and give you images that will last a lifetime. many photographers also offer products such as albums, canvas prints, guestbooks, or framed prints.

When to book: To guarantee the photographer you want, you will need to start booking 8-12 months in advance, though you may get lucky 3-4 months prior depending on your date.

Ceremony Costs

Ceremony costs can include location rental, officiant and marriage license as well as any flowers or decor set up onsite. Some couples can reduce this cost if they are part of a church already or if they hold a backyard or park ceremony.

When to book:  Booking the ceremony should generally happen in sync with booking the reception venue. For some weddings, the ceremony and reception will both be at the same place and this can also reduce costs.




Flowers are a must, but can be planned out several different ways. Many couples save money by doing everything, but the bouquets themselves. Others explore fake flowers which last through the entire day (vs traditional) and look nearly identical. Many go the traditional route of finding a florist to handle all this as well.

When to book: A florist should be booked fairly soon after the venue, but details don’t have to be decided on until closer to your day

Linens & Decor

Decor can be a huge part of making your wedding unique and yours. Some venues offer extensive decor such as chair covers, accent material, centerpieces, etc. Other venues just supply a basic white tablecloth. If you’re looking to spice up your decor, then a decor company can help with that to pretty much any extent you want including lighting or even extra furniture.

When to book: Decor companies can be booked 6-10 months in advance, but this timeframe isn’t as crucial as some other services.


When the dinner is finished and people are ready to dance you’re going to need a DJ to get things off to a great start as ‘Spotify on random’ just isn’t going to cut it at a wedding 😉 Many DJs have a package to handle both your social and wedding and can also handle the design of your social tickets in many situations.

When to book:  You can look into booking a DJ 6-8 months in advance, but this can vary depending on if / when your wedding social is.



Mmmmm, cake!! I’ve seen some pretty wild cakes in my day. Cupcakes are also popular and are at 50% of weddings I shoot. I also find that guests typically eat the cupcakes more than they do a traditional cake.

When to book: 4 months in advance is a safe timeline.

Dress / Tux & Shoes

This category can vary widely. You can get really lucky and find a great dress on discount for $500 and other times the only dress you like will have a price tag of $3000+. it can be a difficult task to check off your list. For the guys, suits are typically rented and not as stressful 😉 and rental for guys can be around $200.

When to book:  Dress: the earlier the better to avoid stress. You will also go through several fittings throughout the year. If your wedding is in 5 months and you don’t have a dress: prioritize this task!

Find your tux and get fitted 5-8 months in advance. 


Rings have a near infinite number of options and prices. Everything from custom-made bands to fit your engagement ring to exotic metals/materials (even for the guys!). You may find a local jeweler a better choice as you can work and speak with someone in person. Other options are online and have become fairly popular as they can also save you some money.


When to buy: 4-6 months in advance if you want something custom made, possibly less if your ordering online. Just make sure you leave time to have the ring fitted or resized (2-3 weeks).

Makeup, Hair, Nails

I’m a pretty basic guy, so can’t offer much experience in this category, but from my experience shooting weddings, for the most part, people are more relaxed if makeup and hair can be done at one location and typically the same place everyone is getting dressed (i.e. home, hotel etc.). Running across the city to different salons can create a busy start to the already busy day.

When to book:  4 – 6 months in advance.


Invitations will set the stage for your guests to join in your wedding. Yes, its the technology age but a facebook event isn’t going to cut it for your wedding 😉 There are many local invitation companies you can visit to get a custom one-of-a-kind invitation or you can look online for an already created design and order it that way.

*Remember to consider the postage weight when ordering your invites. 0-30 grams will be standard postage. If you’re over 30 grams (with a pocket fold package) your postage can increase to as much as $3 per envelope sent. Yikes!

When to book: Booking can vary. Try to mail your invites out 3-4 months in advance.


Many weddings that have 8-10 people in the wedding party will need transportation to get everyone to photo locations, ceremony site and reception venue. If you have a small wedding party of 1 or 2 you may be able to get away without transportation, but for anyone else, you will have to leave room in your budget which will be around $5-700 for the day.

When to book: You should be able to find transportation 3-5 months in advance. If you want a specific vehicle, try to book sooner to guarantee its availability.


I hope this article helped in planning your wedding in Winnipeg. I have seen countless weddings first hand over my 13-year career as a wedding photographer and have written many more articles to help local Winnipeg couples plan their perfect wedding. 

Check out the rest of my site or contact me for more info regarding your wedding. 

 Meet Brian 

"Voted Best photographer in Winnipeg!" -2018 & 19 Consumer Choice Awards

Brian Rudolf -Owner/Photographer
Empire Photography - Winnipeg


Brian Rudolf -Owner/Photographer
Empire Photography - Winnipeg