Getting married is a big deal, and it can also come with a BIG price tag. Depending on the publication you read, the average cost of a wedding in Australia can be anywhere between $36,000 and $65,000…
Yep. Now that is some SERIOUS coin. And if you’re like me, it will take quite some time to save up for it… not to mention that it’s probably happening in and amongst other expensive lifestyle choices – like going on a honeymoon, or buying or renting a house with your fiancé for the first time…
And the scariest part? It’s likely that this cost will rise… Weddings are becoming much more sophisticated, extravagant, and exquisitely styled. Inspiring? Absolutely, but it all adds up. We’re being influenced more and more by global trends and what we see through social media, so our tastes and expectations are increasing as a result.
The good news though, is that we DON’T have to skimp on having an elegant and crazy-fun affair. We just need to be CLEVER with where we spend our money, and how we go about planning.
So to help you stay true to your vision but be friendlier to you back pocket, we’ve pulled together 12 clever ways to save coin. This is based on our own wedding experience, and other brides after us…
1) Get married any day that ISN’T a Saturday
The largest cost of your wedding is the reception venue, inc. food and alcohol. Venue fees for Saturday weddings can be up to 30% more (if not higher) than other days of the week. So perhaps try a Friday – you’re guests will love having a long weekend – or a Sunday. Or any other day for that matter. If you give your guests plenty of notice, they should hopefully be able to take an afternoon off from work 🙂
2) Get married in the off-season – May to August
There are fewer weddings at this time of year, so venues and some suppliers tend to drop their prices as demand is lower. A lot of people shy away from having a winter wedding, but let’s face it, the weather can be unpredictable anytime of the year (especially if you’re in Melbourne…)!!
3) Choose a venue that is naturally beautiful and doesn’t need much styling
You can save your pennies with minimalist styling and décor, and allow the assets of the venue to shine. Most venues also offer some styling options as well, so it’s worth asking what they provide and see whether it meets your vision.
4) Cut down your guest list
Do you really need a 200 person affair? Or 100+ people? Head count greatly impacts your overall cost. Think food, alcohol and invitations per person… It quickly adds up! We have a few handy tips here to help you make the cull.
5) Have a small bridal party, or ask them to supply their outfits
Do we need to ask all of our closest friends and siblings/cousins to stand beside us? Remember, it’s $$ per person for the dress, shoes, accessories, hair and makeup so the costs can rise very quickly. Either limit it to 1 or 2, or ask your bridal party to wear their own outfits (you could request a colour), accessories or to even do their own hair and makeup on the day.
6) Have share platters instead of alternating dishes
This is becoming all the rage now. It makes it simpler for the caterers, and it creates a more fun and relaxed vibe as well!
7) Go green over flowers
Shrubbery is more cost effective than florals, and it can look absolutely INCREDIBLE. Whether it be the bouquets, centrepieces or hanging installations, green shrubbery can add the impact at a lower price point.
8) Choose a venue that allows you to bring in your own suppliers
If you have this flexibility, you can then go on the hunt for the wedding people that you love the most, and are within your budget!
9) Design and send out your own invites
There are some crazy good websites out there that allow you to do this now (and track your RSVPs), or you could go 100% digital and only have e-invites and manage everything online.
10) Go bargain hunting for your styling
Sometimes it’s cheaper to buy furniture and décor than it is to hire it. Browse op shops, etsy, ebay etc. to find those hidden gems, and become your own stylist.
11) Find a non-traditional venue for your wedding
You don’t have to be bound to the traditional reception halls or purpose built spaces. There are plenty of unique locations and restaurants that could be hired out for the night, and can come in at a much lower price!
12) Be smart with the wedding dress
You could shave off ‘000s of dollars here… Why not try a non-traditional, non-white, or non-floor length dress? Or consider renting one? Or buying a pre-loved designer gown? There are plenty of handy options and websites out there now all to help you find an affordable and stunning option!
Have you got any tips or advice you’d like to share? We’d love to hear it – comment below!