First comes love, followed by the engagement ring….then comes the wedding bills. Weddings are a wonderful celebration of love but they don’t come cheap.
Research shows it can cost over $36,000 to tie the knot – money that could be spent elsewhere, like a home deposit or round-the-world trip. We look at the 11 simple but smart ways to create your dream wedding on a budget.
Set a date that lets you save
Setting a date close to the end or start of summer can mean saving with ‘shoulder season’ prices while still taking advantage of warmer weather. For supersized savings, consider an autumn, winter or mid-week wedding when near-empty reception venues offer generous discounts.
Secret Saving Tip 1 – Celebrate with a wedding brunch or lunch. It’ll be far cheaper than the traditional evening meal, with the alcohol tab guaranteed to be a lot lighter.
Chic receptions on a budget
Aussie couples spend an average $18,683 on their reception. For a wedding that reflects who you are as a couple, skip impersonal reception halls and rent a house. Think grand country farmhouses or a chic beachside pad and hire a caterer. For smaller, intimate weddings consider a top notch restaurant.
Secret Saving Tip 2 – Supply your own alcohol. Wholesale auction sites like Grays Online offer Moet Chandon champagne for as little as $39 per bottle – almost $20 cheaper than the regular retail price.
Wedding gowns with dollar-friendly dazzle
Brides spend an average $4,271 on bridal wear and accessories making your wedding dress the most expensive garment you’ll ever buy. Check for sample sales or visit bridal factory outlets and pocket discounts of 70% or more.
Secret Saving Tip 3 – Consider pre-loved wedding couture with affordable price tags with The Bare Faced Bride or Still White.
Clever savings on accessories
Most brides don’t even wear their veil to the reception. Rather than buy new, ask a recently married friend if you can use her veil (there’s your ‘something borrowed’), accessorise with family heirlooms (‘something old’) and save on a headpiece by using gorgeous fresh flowers for hair adornments.
Secret Saving Tip 4 – With a floor length gown your shoes will make a cameo appearance at best. So leave the Manolo Blahniks on the shelf, and pick up shoes at high street sales.
Bouquets – avoid a blooming rip-off
Skip the hefty price tags by heading to a wholesale flower market to pick up armfuls of fresh blooms and make your own bouquets.
Secret Saving Tip 5 – Choose fuller blooms to create an impressive bouquet for less. Hydrangeas, sunflowers and calla lilies require just a few stems to create a generous bouquet.