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21 Ways to save money on your wedding and keep costs down

As of March 2022, according to Moneysmart, the average wedding cost in Australia is $36,000. To put that into perspective, that was just shy of 20% of a house deposit for the average home in Australia as of March 2022. To put those funds to better use, we can begin by looking at ways to save money on your wedding with some affordable wedding savings tips.

Ways to save money on your wedding

For many of these wedding savings tips, you’re going to need to get crafty. Many MyBudget clients came to us in the hopes of having the affordable wedding of their dreams and the feedback (and photos) we’ve seen has been truly heart-warming.

It’s all about timing

The wedding venue is one of, if not the, most expensive item on a wedding checklist. It’s always convenient to get married in Autumn on a Saturday afternoon but venue owners know this. If you plan ahead, look for an indoor venue and schedule your affordable wedding for a weekday in Winter, you’ll be surprised just how much you can save. Just make sure you give your guests enough time to book their annual leave in advance.

Marketplace

Who says everything for your wedding needs to be brand new? By simply typing ‘Wedding’ into Facebook Marketplace, you can find a wide range of items that people are selling or renting from their own wedding.

Look for food and alcohol sales and stick to beer and wine

Having an open bar is like having an open bank account. Instead, limit your alcohol selection to beer, cider and wine. If you’re happy to buy the alcohol yourself and pop them into some eskies and ice buckets, you can buy your alcohol in bulk when it goes on sale. Just make sure to not drink them before the wedding, no matter how tempting it may be.

Quick, bite-sized snack meals

A wedding with a dinner menu and multiple courses is going to set you back a pretty penny. Having quick, bite-sized meals guests can eat throughout the evening is a great way to keep wedding cost down and the general mood up.

Wedding cupcakes, anyone?

Who doesn’t love a good wedding cake? They’re always so beautifully decorated and taste amazing. However, no one seems to mention the bitter aftertaste in the form of a cake-shaped whole in your account. Opting for cupcake catering or a few dozen muffins can save you a lot of money and even provide flavour options for the guests. It’s love at first bite!

Avoid bombonieres

Wedding bombonieres are a common gift handed to guests but after all of the dancing and merriment, you’d be surprised by just how many get left behind. While they’re a sweet gesture, if you’re looking for ways to save money on your wedding, this should be one of the first items crossed off the list.

Use the same floral arrangements for your ceremony and reception

Why buy two sets of flower arrangements when you can simply take the flowers from the ceremony venue to the reception venue? Just tell Uncle Jack to bring his van (perhaps empty it out and clean it first) and once the ceremony is over, get a group to load and unload them from one venue to the other.

Better yet, just have one venue

If Uncle Jack’s van is at the mechanics, why not forgo the second venue and simply have your reception at the ceremony? Not only will it keep the wedding cost down but it’ll also save time from your special day.

One bouquet, two uses

The last of our last floral wedding savings tips combines two into one. There is such a thing as having too much of a good thing, so perhaps consider having your bridal party use their bouquets as the floral decorations on the bridal party table.

Bouquets on a wedding table - Affordable wedding savings tips - keeping wedding cost down and ways to save money on your wedding

Do your own hair and makeup

In the age where tutorial videos are just a few clicks away, doing your own makeup can save you a lot of money. If you don’t feel confident in your own abilities, perhaps see if anyone in your bridal party is skilled with a brush and palette. It’s worth looking into before shelling out for someone else to do it.

DIY signage

Wedding signage, while pretty, can cost an arm and a leg when done professionally. Nowadays, online tools like Canva can help provide you with the tools to easily make your own at a fraction of the cost. Get them professionally printed and just like that, you’ve saved hundreds of dollars on name tags.

Pre-loved wedding dress

Who says your wedding dress has to be brand new? When buying a new dress, you’re likely looking in the thousands for an item of clothing that’ll only be worn once. When looking for ways to save money on your affordable wedding, the dress is a considerable expense but at the end of the day, it comes down to what’s important to you and your partner. Or, for a more sentimental motif, consider asking your mum (or your partner’s mum) to wear the wedding dress they wore when they got married.

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Keep your guest list manageable and limit plus-ones

Does the boyfriend of your third cousin’s niece really need to attend your wedding? Each guest and their plus-ones are an additional expense. Keeping in mind seating and catering, it pays to keep it simple with a smaller guest list of more immediate family and friends. This also allows you to consider smaller venues, ensuring the affordable wedding of your dreams.

Create your own Spotify playlist

DJs and live bands, while lovely, are not cheap as you’re essentially hiring a professional musician (or multiple) to perform for hours at both the ceremony and reception. While it may not have the same personal touch, you can save a lot of money by making a custom Spotify playlist. Gone are the days of asking the band whether they know various songs, Spotify always knows. Professional music is a wedding cost we can avoid and still get around!

Photographer friends

For a long time, wedding photo booths were all the rage, and a cheaper alternative was to provide disposable cameras on every table and get the photos printed after the event. Nowadays, everyone can use their phones to take photos; make a sign at each table with Facebook, Instagram and Twitter hashtags so that you can flick through everyone’s photos the next morning. This is one of our favourite wedding savings tips.

“Thanks to MyBudget my wife and I were able to have our dream wedding,” – Ashley (MyBudget client)

Expectations schmexpectations

Who says your wedding needs to be done a certain way? Some of the best weddings we’ve seen are ones where the couple has taken creative liberties and made their wedding their own.

No rush – buy items as you go

Not everyone will have this luxury but if you have enough time to be able to plan your wedding year(s) in advance, get in the habit of checking for sales and bargains. By avoiding last minute purchases and paying an arm and a leg for them, you can grab bits and pieces as you go.

Elope

A grand ceremony and reception may not be for you and your partner. At the end of the day, love is all that matters and as long as you can share that special moment with those most important to you, who’s to say you can’t simply take a drive down to town hall and get married right then and there? The money you save could be better spent on your dream honeymoon or perhaps go towards your future home.

Sell once you’re done

Ask yourself: after the big day, what do you plan on doing with everything you’ve bought? You may want to keep a few items for sentimental reasons (perhaps the wedding dress or a centrepiece) but whatever is left can always be sold on Marketplace to another couple looking for ways to save money on their own affordable wedding.

Make a list, check it twice

Let’s take a page out of Santa’s rulebook and give that list one more check. Is that orchestral band crucial to making your wedding day special?

Create a budget

Once you have worked out your price, the next step is to save. Creating a budget that lists all of your income and expenses will help you to know how much you’ll have saved for every wedding cost.

There you have it, 21 ways to save money on your wedding. Which of these wedding savings tips will you be looking to use on your special day? In the spirit of tip 21, MyBudget can help you to save for your wedding, your honeymoon and everything that comes after that. Give MyBudget a call on 1300 300 922 or enquire online for a free appointment or request a callback today.

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This article has been prepared for information purposes only, and does not constitute personal financial advice. The information has been prepared without taking into account your personal objectives, financial situation or needs. Before acting on any information in this article you should consider the appropriateness of the information having regard to your objectives, financial situation and needs.

All customised budgets and consultations with money experts are subject to MyBudget’s qualification criteria. We recommend that you read and consider our Product Disclosure Statement.

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