Cheap wedding ideas
Save money on your wedding
Do you solemnly swear to make a budget, honour it, be true to it
in good times and bad, in sickness and in health from this day
Over the course of your relationship you will have many
financial challenges including buying a home, saving for holidays
and maybe even having kids. Creating a budget for your big day and
sticking to it will start good financial habits that you will
benefit from for the rest of your life.
Follow these MoneySmart wedding tips to save heaps on your big
Talk about money early
Have a discussion with your partner early about how both of you
will fund your wedding. You don't want to start married life with a
big debt and lots of stress.
If your parents are willing to help out with the cost, speak to
them about how much they might contribute. Add their contribution
to the money you have put aside for your wedding and make this your
If you don't have any money put aside you will need to start a
savings plan. You can use our savings goals calculator to create
this plan or try our TrackMyGOALS app.
Saving goals calculator
If you can avoid it, try not to pay for your wedding on
credit. Interest can add hundreds, even thousands of dollars
to your bill. Check out our credit card calculator to see the
impact paying by credit will have on your married life.
Credit card calculator
Think about what you really want from life after you get
married. If buying a home is a priority for you, then have a
low-cost wedding and save your money for a home deposit or an
investment that will grow your money.
Prioritise those aspects of your wedding that are most important
to you. Use your budget to juggle your priorities. Can you happily
wed without a photo-booth but would love a wedding car? Write a
list to help you figure out what really matters and what doesn't.
By compromising in some areas, you can afford to splurge (or spoil
yourself) with others.
Have a picnic or backyard
Make your wedding really cost effective by having your special
day in your backyard, at a friend's house or at a local park or
beach. These weddings are often the most memorable because you can
do it exactly as you want and put in those personal touches.
Just remember that if you organise your wedding in a public
place you may need to book the area with the local council. Before
you book a caterer or hire a marquee, do your research and compare
suppliers' quotes. For some items, you might be better off buying
than hiring. You can also try borrowing some items from family and
Have an out of season wedding
Is your heart set on having your wedding at a restaurant or
reception centre? If so, consider a winter wedding and expect to
save a third of the price. A summer package of $120 per head at a
wedding reception centre can easily become $80 over winter. Venues
and guests are also more available during the cooler months.
Or have a Friday wedding. It's usually cheaper and you and your
guests can enjoy a self-imposed long weekend.
Car, photography and decorating
Cut your car hire costs by finding a reception venue that will
also hold your wedding ceremony or choose a reception venue close
to the church or park you want to get married in. Alternatively,
ask a friend who has a nice car to drive you to the wedding.
You can also save by hiring a photographer for the formalities
only and arrange for a friend with a keen eye to photograph the
rest of the night. If you're into social media, create a hashtag
for your wedding and put up signs to ensure guests tag their
pictures. That way you can enjoy more natural and less staged shots
taken by loved ones.
You can reduce your decorating costs by skipping the floral
centrepieces at the reception venue and using simple tea lights or
candles instead. Many venues will set up candles free of charge. If
table centrepieces are a must-have, buy less by putting more guests
on fewer tables or make your own.
Save on drinks
Find a venue that offers an all-inclusive food and beverage
package, as you may save taking that option. Try to avoid paying
for alcohol on consumption at reception venues as the bill can
skyrocket on the night.
You can also try finding a venue or restaurant that lets you
bring your own alcohol, and keep an eye out for liquor sales in the
lead up to your big day to get the best deal.
Cut your cake, guest list and bridal
If you are at a reception venue you can scrap the dessert course
and just have your wedding cake for dessert. Your cake doesn't have
to be three tiered and white - try another kind of cake and keep it
simple. This can really keep your costs down.
Be tough when you are working out your guest list. Ask yourself:
'Is this person an active part of my life?' before you add them to
the list. You can save a lot on venue costs by inviting less
If you reduce the number of people in your bridal party you'll
need less bridals cars, less bouquets and less floral button holes.
Consider giving the people not in your bridal party other important
jobs, like ushering or doing a reading or a speech.
Also when you are buying things for your wedding try not to tell
the suppliers the item is for a wedding. You may get it a little
cheaper. Of course this will only work for items that are not
obviously wedding items.
Read our case study on bridesmaids
Spread out your wedding
Try spreading out your wedding bills across the year. When you
book cars, flowers, venues, suits or dressmaking, arrange the
payments for different times. This will reduce your temptation to
put everything on credit.
Use the TrackMySpend app to keep track of your wedding expenses
as you go and get payment reminders in the lead up to your big
How much can a wedding cost?
Check out our wedding infographic to
find out how much people spend on their weddings and the sacrifices
they made to get down the aisle.
Don't blow all your hard earned cash on
your wedding day. Have no regrets, get savvy and put that money
towards building your life together.
Last updated: 13 Jan 2015