So, you’re getting married - congratulations! You’re about to embark on the next exciting chapter of your life. But we’re not talking about the ‘life as a happily married couple’ chapter yet, we’re talking about the rollercoaster ride we like to call ‘how to avoid getting divorced before you’re even married’ - or, more aptly, ‘planning your wedding!’
Weddings are a big deal. Such a big deal, in fact, that these days the average wedding cost in Australia is $27,228*. Even if you’re planning a low-key wedding, traditional costs like your wedding ring, venue, flowers, food, drinks, and a very special wedding dress can quickly add up.
If a cheap wedding like eloping or a backyard barbie are out of the question, and you’re not keen on a whopping credit card debt, there are still some other ways to make sure you don’t break the bank (or your relationship) and have an affordable wedding.
A budget is a great tool for managing your day-to-day finances, but it’s also a great tool to help you stay on track as you plan for your wedding. The easiest way to determine your total budget is to sit down with your partner and write everything down so it’s concrete.
It’s normal for partners to have different priorities for the wedding expenses, so work together to compromise until you’re both happy. Once you agree to an amount you are happy to spend, work together to keep each other accountable for sticking to your wedding budget.
It’s the old supply and demand effect - the cost of wedding venues and other wedding services can be a lot cheaper in the ‘off wedding’ season. But you don’t have to wait until Spring or Summer to tie the knot. Instead consider a gorgeous Winter Tasmanian wedding with faux fur jackets, fire pits, and mulled wine. If you’re still set on a beach wedding, then a sunny Thursday is just as nice as a Saturday.
Do you love cupcakes or macrons? You could use these as cake alternatives. Does your favourite Auntie make a mean mud cake, or can your wedding cake work a little harder and double as dessert? There are more options today than just a three-tiered fruit cake to consider – think a little creatively to help reduce your costs.
These days a lot of weddings take place at the one venue. A garden ceremony and reception in a private function room. If you’re inviting interstate or overseas guests, and your venue includes accommodation, maybe you can negotiate a better deal based on your numbers.
The other stuff
Don’t forget to think about:
- Cars - check with friends and family, maybe someone has a prestige or vintage car they’d kindly let you use.
- Decorations - flowers are costly, so fairy lights and candles are a great cheaper alternative for tables.
- Photography - professional photos do look, um, professional, so if that’s what you’re after then perhaps you can have some taken professionally and enlist your guests help to take some more candid shots on their phones. Get them to tag you in on social media (after you’ve gone first, of course) so you can check them out later.
When it comes to planning your wedding, the internet and apps like Pinterest are your friends - create an online mood board, with all your favourite bits and pieces. Compare prices and you might even end up with a bargain.
At the end of the day, when you look back on your wedding, it will be the memories of sharing your special day with your favourite peeps and not what style of wedding invitations you had, that you’ll cherish the most.
*Source: Easy Weddings 2021 Wedding Industry Survey Results (note: this was even higher in previous years and has decreased due to smaller weddings in 2020 due to the COVID pandemic.)