It’s no secret that weddings are expensive. I totally agree with you here. With the same money, you could buy a car, put a deposit for a home or go on a 3 month trip overseas!
Some people choose to have a huge lavish 3 day event, or plan to a destination wedding overseas. Maybe brides are choosing custom made wedding dresses or super stylised theming that is quite frankly, a bit OTT!
One thing to remember despite all of this talk about money is that you can plan an amazing wedding without being a tightarse.
You just need to find out what is most important to you and prioritise these things, and skimp out on the rest of the smaller less significant things that really are not that important in the overall picture.
Ready for 17 great ways to save money for your wedding?
1) Have a small wedding party or none at all
There is no hiding the fact the bigger the bridal party the bigger the costs!
Most brides and grooms would buy their bridal party their dresses, suits and accessories which quickly adds up to a whole lot of money.
I personally had a small bridal party of 6 (including me and my wife) which was enough to make my day fun! Or better yet, have none at all.
2) Hold your ceremony and reception at the same place
Having your ceremony and reception at the same place, you save money on hiring two spaces and also the travel costs incurred from getting everyone from A to B.
You also won’t need to hire a car to get around (more savings)
Makes complete sense for eveyone involved. If the space has great photo opportunities that’s even better.
3) Get married mid-week
You don’t need to do what everyone else does and get married on a Saturday.
These days, weddings are on every day of the week, including Monday!
My opinion is, if someone is not willing to take a day off work to attend your wedding then they don’t really care about you that much. Its true!
Best thing about not getting married on a Saturday means you’ve got more room to negotiate with your venues and suppliers. You’ll save yourself heaps of money and still have an epic day.
4) Choose a venue that is already stunning and doesn’t need too much decorating
Just add a few flowers, some pretty lights and you’ve got an unforgettable space on your hands.
You don’t need to spend extra money on necessary decorations if you do not really need to.
If you hire a hall that’s empty you’ll need to dress it up to make it look nice which will add thousands to your budget and a lot more time to get it ready.
Some venues are a blank canvas that requires quite a lot of input just to make it look half decent. Try to avoid those venues and find one that looks good without adding anything.
Need help finding a venue that looks good already? I’ve got the guide just for you
5) Enlist local wedding vendors
Travel costs money. Try and save here by hiring wedding vendors that are local to your wedding venue. You’ll also be supporting the surrounding community, which is a feel-good thing. This point is particularly important if you are having a destination wedding outside of your home town.
6) Don’t order dessert, make everyone eat cake instead
Quite often at weddings i’ve been to the wedding cake that the couple have spent huge dollars on doesn’t even get touched. Why does this happen? The guests have had their dessert option, had their coffee or tea.
The young and groovy ones are on the dancefloor and the oldies (yes, you know who they are) have decided it’s time for bed.
So where does that leave your wedding cake? Cut up into 100 pieces and thrown into the bin afterwards 🙁
My suggestion to you is, skip the dessert course and make everyone have their cake because it’s darn good. Don’t let good cake go to waste!
7) Be smart about your wedding dress
We have a few tips here:
Check out non-bridal shops to find gorgeous dresses that you could wear as a wedding dress, without the price tag.
This bride bought her dress for $250 on sale off the shelf at David Jones.
Hire a dress – hey, you’re likely to only wear it once, so renting-a-dress isn’t that crazy if you can find one you love
Buy a second-hand dress – there are plenty of different online outlets that allow brides to buy and re-sell used wedding dresses
8) Buy alcohol when there’s a deal
Purchase your own alcohol instead of going for the beverage package. You’ll end up saving a lot of money, but also you can actually have what you like to drink instead of someone elses’ poorly conceived idea of what alcohol they should serve (often they choose cheap nasty wine and beer to save money).
They may charge you corkage but it will work out better overall.
For our wedding we went to Costco and stocked up on some beautiful wines that were on sale, and the best thing is, if there are leftovers you can take it home and drink it yourself YAY!!!
9) Share food
Having an share banquet style platter where everyone has to mingle with each other is a great idea.
It’s also good because everyone has a variety of food rather than being stuck with what you get (and saves arguments on who gets the chicken or the beef).
It also is cheaper for the wedding venue to produce (less washing up to do, and time to make) so it will save you quite a bit per head
10) Talk to your vendors and provide them with a budget
This may sound obvious but vendors are the pro’s and will know how you can save $$ on your big day and where you might not want to skimp. Your florist might suggest you opt for more green foilage rather than the out of season flowers you’ve shared on your Pinterest board to match your budget. By being upfront and honest with what you are looking for rather than asking for a quote you’ll be totally on the same page and be able to work together.
11) Accept all offers of help
Does one of your mates have great stage presence? Get them to be the MC. How about a friend who has a nice car? How about borrow their car for the day.
We had a friend setup a camera on a tripod to shoot video for us during the ceremony and speeches instead of hiring a videographer (i’ve only watched it once by the way) as I don’t really like videos that much.
We also had a friend who loved doing table decorations setup a snack table after our ceremony. Not only was it amazing, we saved a few hundred dollars in the process.
These guys helped out by putting together a ice cream stand for their best buddy 🙂
12) Be smart about your wedding dress
We have a few tips here:
- Check out non-bridal boutiques to find gorgeous dresses that you could wear as a wedding dress. This short dress haul will get the inspo flowing.
- Shop the sales – sign up to all the e-newsletters from all the boutiques and designers you love, so you’re the first to know when there’s a discount up for grabs.
- Hire a dress – hey, you’re likely to only wear it once, so renting-a-dress isn’t that crazy if you can find one you love
- Buy a second-hand dress – there are plenty of different online outlets that allow brides to buy and re-sell used wedding dresses
13) Design your own invites
Have you heard of Canva? It’s this genius, free online design tool that enables even the most uncreative person to create surprisingly professional-looking design work.
Save cash by putting together your own bespoke invitation, and shop around for the best printing price.
OR: forego paper invites. While they’re a beautiful keepsake for you, for everyone else they’re just a fridge ornament and then most likely a piece of recycling (was that too harsh?).
Consider cutting costs by using a service like Paperless Post to send out stylish digital invitations.
14) Share your wedding vendors
Once you have your venue locked in, find out if they have a booking the night before yours or after and if they’d be happy to share your details with the other couple – you could potentially share floral installations or extra hire items? Or if it’s a destination wedding and you’ve got your heart set on a photographer from your hometown they might discount their price if the other couple books them in too.
15) Skip the wedding favours
Probably the best tip I can give you is to don’t even bother with those little gifts you “must” give to each and every guest that came along.
I think you’ve done enough for them already by inviting them to your wedding and paying for their food and drink all day.
If you do decide to have them, make sure that it’s not junk you can throw away and make it edible or perishable so it doesn’t go into landfill.
Still need more help planning your Sydney wedding?
If you liked what you just read, keep your eye out for a few more awesome tips from someone who’s seen their fair share of weddings over the last 8 years. I love weddings of all shapes and sizes
I wanted to share with you some of my favourite Sydney wedding vendors who I love working with so you can have the most amazing team on the day