Published: 27th December 2018
The biggest day of your life doesn’t have to be the most expensive.
Finances can be a major source of wedding day stress. After all, while it may be the best day of your life, it's also likely to be the most expensive. Here are our tips on how to manage wedding costs but still have an amazing day to remember.
Your wedding day is supposed to be the happiest day of your life, but it can also be one of the most stressful. After all, while it may be the best day of your life, it’s also likely to be the most expensive.
Data from ASIC has found that the average Aussie wedding costs $36,200, with 60% of those surveyed admitting they got a loan to pay for their big day. Meanwhile, 35% of those who budgeted spent more than the budget they had allocated, and a quarter of those surveyed had postponed plans, simply to be able to afford their wedding day.
We know how important your wedding is, but we also value your savings and the future of your life together. Here are our tips on how to cut back on certain costs.
1. Talk about money
It might be uncomfortable, but finances are a huge part of marriage. Talk to your partner and both of your parents so that you have an understanding of who is paying for the wedding day. This is also an excellent time to discuss how much parental involvement there will be in the planning.
2. Prioritise your dreams
Working out what matters most will also help you work out where you can save on expenses. If music is important to you then maybe it’s worth saving towards a live band but compromising on some DIY table decorations. If food is important, then you may be able to save on the flowers. You and your partner need to discuss your values so that you don’t end up paying for things that neither of you will notice or really care about.
3. Make a wedding budget
Talk about how much you can afford and the compromises you’ll need to make. Remember that the money you use towards your wedding is ultimately subtracted from the money you’ll use to live your life together. Once you make a budget encourage yourselves to stick to it.
4. Shop around and research
Once you have a rough idea of when you want to get married, you can start looking for venues. Some places will only allow their own catering, while others will be more open-minded. Always research your options – some providers will price match, while others may be able to lower their rates to make your day more affordable. For example, if you can’t afford the photographer you love, you may be able to use their assistant or someone they recommend with a similar style.
5. Avoid the unofficial wedding tax
Some suppliers see dollar signs every time they hear the word “wedding,” knowing that many couples are striving for the perfect day. Where possible, conceal the reason behind your “event” you might find florists and DJs are suddenly a bit less pricey.
6. Consider the wedding date
Many people are set on getting married on a weekend in summer. But if you love the venue and want to save money, a winter wedding could be an idea. You may also want to consider getting married on a weeknight. Your venue will be much cheaper, and your close friends will usually be happy to attend regardless of the timing.
7. Trim the guest list
Given most caterers charge per person, each guest adds a cost to your wedding. We know it’s hard to be strict when everyone wants to share in your happy day, or you have a large family. However, where possible, keep the numbers down. Your ceremony will be more intimate, and few acquaintances will mind not having to splurge on a gift for an event they are ambiguous about.
8. Call in your talented friends
If you have a friend with a good voice, see if they would be interested in singing at your event – as a present to you. A graphic designer may be able to help with decorations and invites, a makeup artist may be able to put together your look on the big day, and that relative who bakes might be able to create a delicious cake. If you have any talents in DIY, try to see if you can harness them for your wedding day, you may end up saving a lot of money.
9. Have a casual venue
Have you considered getting married in your backyard, or at your parent’s house? It may not seem romantic but your venue will be more intimate, and you will feel far more relaxed on your big day. You will also have a lot more options, you can serve the wine you want, the food you want and have the wedding last as long as you want it to – provided you aren’t upsetting the neighbours too much. Similarly, a beach may cost less than a church, but you still usually need to fill out the paperwork with the council and pay for a permit.
10. Be clever with decorations
If you are going to go all out with decorations, four big tables will have fewer centerpieces, flowers, and decorations than ten small ones. Use greenery, it’s usually cheaper than flowers and include non-floral pieces like seashells or fruit.
11. Spread out your wedding bills
Many suppliers will ask for a deposit before the big day. Try to look at payment schedules before you sign the dotted line. When possible, spread those payments out evenly before the wedding so that your savings account is not being massively depleted all at once.
12. Something borrowed, something hired
There are plenty of second-hand dresses that brides can purchase or suits that grooms can hire for the big day. Same goes for bridesmaids’ dresses and decorations. Since a wedding lasts for just one day, there is very little use in buying certain items.
13. Ignore expectations
You can have a wedding-day brunch, wear a dress that’s in your wardrobe, elope or catch an uber to your ceremony. Weddings should be about the couple getting married not the expectations of guests.
14. Consider how you’re paying
Cash may be the best option, but it takes a long while to save for such a big event. Planning well in advance is key. Use high-interest saving accounts, make regular deposits, and budget carefully. Avoid putting costs on high-interest credit cards if you can’t pay them off before the interest-free period is over. You could end up in serious debt.
And finally – enjoy the day
Sometimes so much organising goes into your big day that you get lost in the details. Make sure you both take the time to breathe and enjoy the celebrations. You’ve both earned it.
If you want a high-interest savings account that will mean more money for your big day, get in touch.
Any advice given is of a general nature only and does not take into consideration your personal circumstances. Please consider the appropriateness of the advice before acting.