You don’t need to hear the average cost of an Aussie wedding again to be frightened by how much your wedding could set you back. But we are going to remind you anyway – the average modern wedding costs over $65,000!
You don’t have to spend the equivalent of a year’s wage on your wedding for it to be memorable, however – you can do breathtaking on a budget. We have chatted to the former brides on our follower list and collected up our best budget wedding ideas and tips for how to go big without breaking the bank.
Do Your Research
Getting good prices for anything starts with allowing yourself enough time to research properly. A guaranteed way to pay more than you should for anything is to leave it till the last minute.
Spend plenty of time researching different suppliers and comparing deals so that you can get the best value for money. Be prepared to put in a bit of grunt work and it will pay off well when you total up your final wedding bill.
This extra research time can also be a great way to find hidden gem wedding venues or dress designers that no one else knows about yet, and which you can still get a really great price for.
But keep in mind that the most popular vendors do book up sometimes 2 years in advance so once you have completed your budget and made your decision……don’t procrastinate…..jump on the phone and book them.
Buy Second Hand
So much of your wedding day can be organised by buying secondhand items. Especially when it comes to weddings, things only get used on that one day and then aren’t needed anymore.
This means that you can get things cheap that have barely been used, such as designer wedding gowns, as well as get your money back by selling things on after your big day on awesome sites like ours. Come and view our gallery to see if we have a dress for you…..or if you are lucky enough to already have the dress of your dreams….keep us in mind if you are looking at selling or hiring out your dress.
Check out op shops and secondhand markets for all sorts of things including ceremony decorations, centrepieces, reception décor, wedding favours, jewelry and accessories and much, much more.
There are so many different bits of your wedding day that you can DIY that this is one of the best ways to save money. If you leave yourself plenty of time to make things properly you can craft items that look as awesome as those that are professionally made – plus yours will have a greater personal touch to them.
Consider DIY-ing flowers, invitations, decorations at the ceremony and reception, centrepieces, wedding favours, bridal party gifts and more.
Book Out of Season
The peak wedding season runs from September to the end of April – but if you are willing to book out of season you can save heaps in terms of fees and cost. Venues, photographers, florists, entertainers, caterers and more may lower their cost in the off-season, so this step is worth considering.
Make Unique Choices
Wedding vendors can charge high prices because of the popularity of their product – if lots of people are fighting for this one service or product then it is worth more. If you think outside of the box and make unique choices for your wedding day you are more likely to pay a lower price.
Choose a boutique venue, or have your wedding at a different time such as in the morning. Choose handmade bouquets rather than professional florist crafted ones, or select a wedding day look for the bride or groom that is completely left of centre.
Skip the word ‘Wedding’
Similarly, if you shop for things that don’t have the prefix ‘wedding’ in front of them, you are almost guaranteed to save a dollar or two. Some vendors have learned that people will pay exorbitant prices for something because it is for their wedding, which is, of course, such an important day.
Consider looking for a white dress that isn’t designed for a wedding, flowers or centrepieces that aren’t crafted for brides, or a cake that looks and tastes awesome but doesn’t scream ‘We’re getting married!’
Work out your priorities
Figure out the big-ticket, must-have, non-negotiable items on your list, and then work out what you can save a little money on. If there are things that aren’t important for you (I still don’t know why we need a wedding cake!) then you can spend less on these items, or even skip them altogether.
There are always new people trying to get some experience and break into an industry such as wedding videography, hair and make-up or floristry. Shop around, search professional and industry forums for new people offering cheaper deals to help them get their foot in the door.
Again, if something like your wedding video or makeup isn’t a priority for you, you may not mind taking a chance on an up and coming vendor.
If you do this and you are impressed by their services, make sure you provide an awesome online review – this kind of word of mouth recommendation is so valuable to new businesses.
And one thing we recommend not doing…
It has become common for people with even an average-sized social media following to request professional services for free in exchange for ‘exposure’. No matter how much of an influencer you might be amongst your peers, these professionals are hardworking business owners and still need to be paid for their time.
Don’t request free services from wedding vendors in exchange for free social media coverage – it isn’t cool, and the coverage you can provide really isn’t worth what you think it is.
At the end of the day, your wedding day is about the love you and your partner share and to celebrate this with your closest family and friends. No one is going to remember the finer details of the wedding favours or the type of florals you had. But they will remember the emotion of the day.
Main photo by Leah Cruikshank