Wedding saving and budgeting
Happily ever after
Your wedding is one of the happiest days of your life. But you
don't want to get into so much debt that you're still paying it off
2 years later. There are lots of ways you can keep costs down and
still make sure your big day is memorable.
Work out how much money you
Decide what kind of wedding you want and can afford. You may
plan for only a handful of guests with a no-frills ceremony and
small reception but even a small event can cost thousands of
Do your research on the internet or ask friends how much they
spent on their weddings.
The cost of a wedding will depend on the:
- Number of guests
- Venue of ceremony and reception
- Bridal party dress and hair and makeup
- Food and drinks
- Wedding cake
Work out how much you want to spend on each item to come up with
a total cost. Use the savings plan to write down
each cost and how you plan to save for it. If your
parents or friends offer to contribute, take this into account.
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
Start saving for your wedding
Try to start saving as early as possible for your big day. Open
account or a term deposit to earn a high interest rate
on your savings. Learn more about the compound interest you could earn on a
savings account. Don't be tempted to use the money for anything
Work out how much you'll need to save each week to reach
Savings goals calculator
If you can, try and pay for big items like the wedding
dress or reception in instalments, and avoid using your credit card
Case study: Peggy and Denis prepare for their big day
Peggy and Denis are
getting married in six months. They worked out that they could
afford to spend $30,000 on the wedding. A year ago they put
$15,000 in an online savings account paying 5% interest. They also
made deposits of $750 a month into the account. With not long to go
before their big day, they have saved $25,000 and are well on
Cheap wedding ideas
There are many ways you can reduce the cost of your wedding.
Have a picnic or backyard wedding
Have your wedding in your backyard, at a friend's house or
at a local park or beach. Just remember that if you organise your
wedding in a public place you may need to book the area with the
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 friends.
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.
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 shortcuts
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.
Hire a photographer for the formalities only and arrange
for a friend with a keen eye to photograph the rest of the night.
Create a hashtag for your wedding and put up signs to ensure guests
tag their pictures on social media.
Reduce decorating costs by skipping the floral centrepieces at
the reception venue and using simple tea lights or candles instead.
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.
Think about buying the wedding dress and tuxedos second-hand or
Cut your cake, guest list and bridal
Scrap the dessert course at the reception 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. Making your own wedding cake can really keep your
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. Make your own invitations to save money.
Reduce the number of people in your bridal party. This will mean
less bridal cars, less bouquets and less floral button
holes. Give special 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.
Start saving early and look for ways to cut
costs. You want your wedding day to leave happy memories, not huge
debts that will take years to pay off.
Last updated: 16 Oct 2018