How To Cut Your Big Fat Wedding Bill In Half
The average cost of a wedding in Australia is rising faster than global sea levels.
According to Canstar.com.au, it's estimated that the average Australian wedding cost is about $65,482, a considerable amount more than Moneysmart’s estimation of $36,200 only a short while ago.
Is social media to blame?
Weddings have been becoming more extravagant over the past few years which could be attributed to the pressure of social media added on top of the old run-of-the-mill family pressure. We’re inundated with photos of luxurious destination weddings, massive parties and upscale events. Some people are opting to parachute into their reception or fly their entire family to another country.
If you don’t have a substantial amount saved, you may be paying off your big fat Australian wedding bill for a very, very long time.
Many Australians make wedding purchases on credit because it offers more purchase protection. However, they tend not to factor in interest rates that they will be paying off in addition to the principal or original amount. If you don’t have the money put away to pay for your wedding costs outright, then you need to consider a repayment plan. If you can realistically pay the amount off in 12-18 months, consider a balance transfer credit card to get the balance paid off before interest kicks in.
Create a budget
Break your wedding costs down into parts and decide on a cost per item that’s realistic for you. For example, you could break costs down into food, alcohol, venue, wedding clothing and accessories, photography, entertainment, flowers, ceremony, and others like hair and makeup.
Our budget example
- Food, alcohol & venue – $5,000
- Wedding clothes & accessories – $2,250
- Photography – $2,250
- Entertainment – $2,000
- Flowers – $1,200
- Ceremony – $500
- Others – $1,000
- Total cost – $14,200
Getting clear in the very beginning about how much you’re willing to spend and on what will make cutting down wedding costs a lot simpler.
Get multiple quotes
Don’t settle for the first florist, photographer or venue that you sample. Shop around and get multiple quotes from wedding suppliers. Do your research to make sure you’re getting the best possible price. Using comparison websites like WedShed.com.au and EasyWeddings.com.au to compare vendors is a great way to make sure you’re making the most informed choice.
When you’re on the hunt for the perfect wedding dress and bridesmaids’ dresses, shop online to save big. Many articles recommend slashing wedding costs by cutting down the size of your ceremony, but we really don’t think you should have to make that choice. Instead of reducing the size of your bridal party, shop online to get dresses that are made of the same material as the ones in store with hefty price tags.
For example, a white Aphrodite Maxi Dress by P.S. Frocks, most commonly worn as a wedding dress, is $139.00 and a Multi Way Wrap Maxi Dress by P.S. Frocks, most commonly worn as a bridesmaid dress, is $100.00. That means even if you choose to have 10 of your closest girlfriends in your wedding party, your total cost is still well under budget at a total cost of $1,139.
Instead of spending on fancy stationery, opt for digital invitations with sophisticated graphic design. It’s much easier for your guests to RSVP via email.
Hire based on talent
Hire your musicians based on talent, not price tag. Professional wedding musicians may not even be as good as the acoustic singer songwriter hanging out on city street corners. Finding the right musician is key, then if you need musical equipment, you can rent this equipment for a very small amount from a local music shop.
Use your network
You may already know talented photographers, musicians, cooks, and do-it-yourselfers. Most people will be flattered that you acknowledge their talents and want to make them a part of your big day.
Have guests take photos
Many people own high quality cameras and the best photos sometimes happen via pure luck, so invite your friends and family to take lots of photos during the reception.
Choose smaller floral arrangements with more greenery. Going with more greenery over more flowers is more cost effective and creates a wild bohemian look.
Set the date
According to WedShed.com.au, you should opt to get married on any other day than Saturday to help drastically reduce cost. Dust the pressure off your shoulder when people pop questions like, “When’s the big day?” and make sure to set the date after you’ve confirmed the venue and date that works best for your budget. Getting married during the off season, like having a winter wedding, will also help reduce cost.
Sharing is caring
Share food and buffet style dining helps you save heaps on cuisine and servers. It also saves to buy your own abundance of wine, beer and spirits instead of hiring a third party company to supply it. Buy alcohol when there’s a deal going on or reach out to bulk liquor suppliers to see what kind of deals you can get your hands on. Instead of getting a tiered cake that makes your wallet cry, opt for a cupcake or lamington tower.
Buy, don’t rent
Instead of renting ceremony chairs and wedding decorations, buy it yourself off places like Facebook Marketplace or Gumtree. After the big day ends, you will be able to sell these items and make some money back.
Elope featuring an afterparty
With wedding costs on the rise, many are choosing to ditch tradition and elope with an afterparty to celebrate with friends and family. There are many advantages to eloping including a tiny wedding bill, no stress, privacy, and romance. Let’s get real - all your family really wants is a great big party, so make sure you plan an epic post-elopement afterparty to bring the family together for some good fun. The best part is if you spill wine on your dress that night, you won’t care.
Focus on what really matters
At the end of the big day, a wedding is about making a promise to the person you’re going to spend the rest of your life with - not fancy florals, enormous cakes, or costly add-ons. The last thing you want to be doing is beginning a marriage in a pile of debt. Instead, focus on what really matters: your future life together and creating a day where you feel good before, during and after the occasion.