You’re getting married – woo hoo!! The ‘average’ cost of a wedding in Melbourne is now a whopping $36,000. But don’t let that figure dampen your excitement, there are plenty of ways to budget correctly for your wedding day without losing out. Saving money and budgeting is a hot topic right now. With the extreme cost of living, it’s become less of a national pastime and more of a necessity. Here are some helpful tips that will help keep the budget under control and are actionable right now!
Plan, prioritise and be realistic. Set a budget and stick to it. For some, creating spreadsheets (hello you type A’s out there) sparks joy. Put those figures in and choose vendors that will work within your budget. Work out the absolute must haves and splurge on those items. It’s so easy to get a bit distracted and carried away with things that aren’t really that important.
This may seem an obvious one but more guests = more money. Most venues now charge somewhere in the vicinity of $170 – $300 per head so an extensive guest list will quickly add up. No plus ones, no great great cousins you’ve only met twice, no inviting guests because you feel obliged to. Only your nearest and dearest, not only will it feel more special and intimate, you will be able to get around to everyone on the day.
Whilst there’s no doubt that designing your own invites is more time consuming, it’s also a lot more fun and are really only limited by your imagination! Beautiful invites can be designed through Canva or for a very small fee, have a graphic designer from Fiverr create something for you. Printing can be handled via Vistaprint. Better still, use Paperless Post for stylish and environmentally friendly e-invites.
Bonbonnaire fall very much in the nice to have rather than must have category with many couples now forgoing them altogether. No-one will come away from your wedding wondering where their bonbonnaire is! If you do decide you’d like to provide this, we’ve thankfully moved on from sugared almonds (why was that even a thing anyway?!) Providing your guests small, DIY favours are a lot more meaningful and will be appreciated more than something mass produced. Consider yourselves an earthy couple? Why not give beautiful hand reared succulents or seedlings. Own a side hustle? Hand made cookies, soap or honey will be well loved by your guests.
Purchase off the rack. Gowns ready to wear will save you money that a custom made one. Love a particular designer? Sign up for their newsletters and stay abreast of sales. Consider pre loved. Boutiques and online stores such as Love me Twice and Still White sell good quality pre loved and upcycled wedding gowns.
Winter weddings are gaining in popularity, and for good reason. Venues are not in hot demand so generally offer a percentage discount off their price. Look at getting married on any day other than a Saturday. What better way than to lead into the weekend than get married on a Friday, you can have 2 days to recover before heading back to work!
A gorgeous venue will negate the need for flowers or decorating. Add some festoon lighting, create your own floral arrangements and you’re all set! Warrawong Estate is a personal fave! Food trucks are a fun, interative way for your guests to enjoy their meal. Looking for something casual? Consider a pizza truck such as Happy Camper Pizza Or look into a catering company that can dish up a hearty and wholesome food. Going Gourmet and Locavore are my absolute faves and will leave your guests licking their fingers! For the sweet tooth, you could consider a traditional Italian gelato van such as Vanilla and Co. Buying alcohol in bulk will also save you a shedload.
Know a talented home baker? They’d be honoured if you shared your vision for a cake with them. This could be their gift to you. There are lots of other ways to satisfy a sweet tooth. Who doesn’t love a good donut?! Or maybe cupcakes. Or perhaps you’re more of a cheese connnoisseur. Cheese towers provide an elegant difference.
For videography, I work closely with some of Melbourne’s top videographers to provide combined packages. Not only do we work cohesively on the day, it may just be more cost effective and convenient to book the same company that offers both. Perhaps your florist can help with decorations, or signage or your band can perform for the ceremony, then rock it out at night for the party!
Expos are a fantastic way to meet a whole heap of different vendors under the one roof and really get to know them on a face to face level. Vendors will often have a discount on offer too. Have a look at Affordable Wedding Expo which is held 4 times per year across different locations. Bridal Expos Australia host various expos throughout the year with their major ones being in January and July. They also host smaller expos in suburban and regional areas such as Ballarat, Geelong, Preston and Mornington to name a few. Get your hands on Melbourne Wedding and Bride magazine for an old school approach to searching for vendors.
If your venue holds multiple weddings across a weekend, check what rentals the other couple has chosen and look to share the costs. This could apply to a range of things such as the marquee, flowers and decorations, signage, even cutlery!
There’s my top tips for planning a wedding on a budget (and really EVERYONE) has some sort of budget to work towards. I’d love to hear your thoughts and tips on how you’ve saved money while planning for your wedding day 🙂 Comment below.
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Photography is a celebration of love, life, laughter and family. It is capturing the joy, the tears, the raw emotions and the connections with our loved ones. I love to photograph people and places, photography is not just my job, it’s my passion.