A wedding is basically a once in a lifetime event.
But, while it is important to get the day right for both bride and groom, find a lovely gown and the perfect venue, it is probably best to ensure that your wedding day does not end up taking most of your life savings.
It is estimated that weddings cost Australian couples about $65,482 as the national average, which is quite a lot of money.
If you prefer not to spend the cost of a down payment on a home or a new car on your wedding day - whether you’re planning a last minute occasion or you’ve been working to this day your whole life - he 9 tips below can reduce the money you spend.
Following some of these suggestions will ensure that you don’t start your married life under a mountain of debt.
1. Don’t Set Your Wedding on a Saturday
Planning your wedding day on a Saturday is the easiest and perhaps most convenient option for your guests. And choosing to get married on a Sunday or Friday could require an additional vacation day off work or reducing the number of guests that can attend
Having your wedding on a Sunday or Friday, however, can help to instantly reduce the overall cost of the wedding. You should check with your preferred venues to find out whether they have either of those days available. You will probably be pleasantly surprised by the difference in price.
2. Don’t Choose a Venue with Vendor Exclusivity Clauses
You might see the initial price tag on a venue and assume that it is quite affordable, only for you to realise that the price is just for the raw space. You still need to bring in the tables, chairs, a dance floor, place settings, and everything else that’s required for you to get your desired wedding day look.
If you are building your wedding from the ground up, don’t forget to double check that the venue you choose does not have an exclusivity contract with a particular vendor. If you are forced to use specific vendors your ability to negotiate and get the best price possible will be totally nullified.
3. Avoid the High Season
Technically, there are never any “off months” when it comes to weddings, but winter months tend to be less popular. You can probably save a bit on vendors and the venue during this time.
According to the wedding cake experts at Pearl’s Creations, “If you book a date between January and June you could end up saving anywhere from a few hundred to a few thousand dollars. The most popular month for Australian weddings are November through March, which usually translates to higher prices. Booking out of season can mean big financial savings.”
4. Use Paperless Wedding Day Invitations
The fact that people are still sending out paper wedding invitations in this digital age is still puzzling. Besides your parents, grandparents, and a few other older invitees, most of your guests probably prefer a digital invite as an alternative. You can find companies that offer lovely options for digital invitations.
The digital invitations simulate opening an envelope and you can quickly add the date to your calendar. You can also RSVP online, which is generally much easier than having to remember to put the RSVP card back in the mail.
If you still feel attached to the romance of sending paper invites, you can at least consider sending a digital “Save the Date”.
5. Request People to RSVP Online
If you feel that it is a bit too tacky to send your invites digitally, you may consider saving some money on your RSVPs. Create a website where people can RSVP and find all the details for the wedding. Rather than sending out stamped RSVP cards with the invitations, simply direct guests to visit the website.
6. Buy Your Wedding Flowers at the Grocery Store
Grocery store flowers are the best kept secret for keeping your wedding costs low. You have the bride’s and bridesmaids’ bouquets designed and put together at your local grocery store. The best thing is that they will not only still look artfully done by a fancy florist but they will actually cost less than half the price.
According to the wedding photography specialists at Strong Images, just like saving money on flowers, being creative can be applied to all your wedding services. They say, “ you can hire your photographer for less time to help you save money.At the same time, you can hand out cheap disposable cameras to guests for lots of candid photos, at a fraction of the cost.”
7. Minimise the Table Decorations
In all honesty, tall table decorations may look great in photos, but can be a pain for your guests. People are usually unable to see over them, which means that they end up obstructing the views of people across their table along with the speeches and first dance. Table decorations should be kept to a bare minimum and you will save a lot of money on large vases at the same time.
8. Be Choosy with Your Guest List
Keeping your guest list small is the best way to reduce the price of your wedding. For couples with large families or those that have a hard time ranking their friendships, however, this can be a tall order. Still, keeping your guest list below 200 people makes it easier to stay within budget.
9. Identify the Two Most Important Details to Both of You
According to wedding celebrant Jermaine Clarke, “It can be easy to feed into the craziness that is the wedding industry. Everybody in your life will have an opinion on what is important and how you need to spend your money for that special day. However, you and your partner must identify the two most important things to you.”
Do you want lovely photos and a killer meal but care less about the dancing? Or do you want to ensure that there’s an open bar with the best DJ around? Whatever matters most to you as a couple is where you need to put more of your budget toward.
Scale back on everything else after that. It’s perfectly fine if you want to tap into the most popular wedding trends for 2019, but as long as you and your partner agree on the most important things, you can be sure to love your wedding day since it was you truly desired.
Charlie Wilson is an Australian writer and uni student living in Melbourne. He is passionate about technology and the latest innovations. Charlie also has a love for animal welfare, regularly taking breaks from work to volunteer with the local pet rescue.