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Estimates of how much the average wedding in Canada costs range as high as $42,000, which is enough for a house down payment in many cities across the country. But we're underselling the cost of weddings if we just focus on the bills paid by the bride, groom and possibly their parents.

Bridesmaids and groomsmen often pay heavily to participate in a wedding, plus there's the gift costs for guests. Americans spend an average $160 (U.S.) on wedding presents. In a heated discussion on my Facebook personal finance page recently, the recommended amount for presents ranged from $150 to $500. The more elaborate the wedding, the more people feel pressured to give a big gift. It's no wonder that so many people say they have declined to attend a wedding because of the cost.

The wedding industry is the big winner here. When it comes to their "special day," people seem willing to put up with the kind of pricing tricks the car industry abandoned long ago.

One of the most popular editions of this newsletter ever looked at discount funeral options. I'd like to see a similar level of interest in frugal weddings. Here's a Q&A with someone who had a wedding for under $1,000. If that's too extreme, try this guide for a $5,000 wedding. For wedding guests, here are some suggestions on how to cheap out gracefully on a gift.

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Ask Rob
The question: "I own a Home Capital GIC. Should I cash it in? The amount would be covered under Canada Deposit Insurance Corp. as it is $50,000."

The answer: Not sure why you'd cash in a CDIC-protected GIC. If you did, you should expect to pay a penalty. CDIC says it aims to repay deposits in non-registered accounts within three business days, while registered accounts take a little longer.

Do you have a question for me? Send it my way. Sorry I can't answer every one personally. Questions and answers are edited for length.

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