You said yes, enjoyed the blur of telling everyone the good news and now the work begins. Planning a wedding can be a lot of fun, but it can also get expensive. In fact, the average wedding costs $36,200, according to 2012 research from Ibisworld.1 If you need to keep your costs down, we’ve got a few ideas.
Checking the numbers
Narrow your guest list to only a few to reduce your costs – and widen your venue options from traditional (and pricier) ballrooms to your favourite restaurant. To help cut down your guest list, ask yourself a few questions. Is the potential guest a friend or just an acquaintance? Have you spoken to them in the last year? Will they make your wedding fun? Would not inviting them cause a big family blow up?
A wedding of the times
Did you know a summer or spring wedding on a Saturday night is the most expensive time to have a wedding? You can often find cheaper packages in winter and if you are happy to consider another day of the week along with other mealtimes such as breakfast or afternoon tea. The bonus of a different mealtime means you can potentially also remove costs for a DJ or bands as you won’t need them.
All that tulle and silk can really add up. If bridal shops and alterations are giving your budget grief, there are other options. You can often find lovely second hand gowns online at sites like stillwhite.com.au and idogowns.com.au or even in op shops. You could also pick a nice dress from your favourite store and consider that your bridal gown instead. Some brides might also consider borrowing from family.
The more suppliers you have to talk to, the more expensive it can be. Can you make your own invitations and print them at your local printer? Go to the flower markets and make your own bouquets? You can also head to op shops and discount stores for great options to use as table decorations. Perhaps you have friends who can help you make your wedding cake (or even easier, make loads of cupcakes). You could even be your own DIY DJ by using your music library and creating a wedding playlist for the reception.
Searching can bring you a range of professional photographers at different price points. However, these days, anyone can be a photographer with their phones – and there’s a fair chance some of your friends have shelled out for good cameras in the past. Ask your guests to take loads of photos for you on the day and create a dropbox for guests to load them to.
1. Source: IBIS World, ‘IBISWorld Industry Report X002 Weddings Australia’, April 2012 Taken from https://www.moneysmart.gov.au/managing-your-money/budgeting/simple-ways-to-save-money/how-much-can-a-wedding-cost
This information is current as at 20/01/2017.
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