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 need

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 dollars.

The cost of a wedding will depend on the:

Smart tip

Do your research on the internet or ask friends how much they spent on their weddings.

  • Number of guests
  • Venue of ceremony and reception
  • Celebrant
  • Bridal party dress and hair and makeup
  • Food and drinks
  • Wedding cake
  • Music
  • Cars
  • Photography
  • Flowers

Try and 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.

See our case study on bridesmaid's costs where Lisa from MoneySmart talks about her experience of being a bridesmaid.

Start saving now

Try to start saving as early as possible for your big day. Open a savings 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 else.

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 wherever possible.

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 track.

Find ways to reduce costs

There are many ways you can reduce the cost of your wedding.

For instance, you can:

  • Make your own invitations
  • Ask friends who are good photographers to take the photos
  • Think about buying the wedding dress and tuxedos second-hand or online
  • Make your own wedding cake

See our top wedding tips for more ways to save and read our infographic to find out how much a wedding can cost.

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.

Related links

Last updated: 07 Aug 2016