The average Australian wedding now costs more than $30,000* – that’s some serious cash! Given this hefty sum, it’s hardly surprising that the ultimate dream wedding is now a budget wedding.
Rather than putting their special day on hold until they can afford the big bucks, more and more brides are getting hitched on the cheap.
By opting for a low-key budget wedding, couples won’t have to start their married lives in the red – scrimping and saving until they’ve paid off the long list of other “optional extras” (horse and carriage, anyone?).
Instead of blowing all their hard-earned cash on a few hours of fun, they’ll have enough cash leftover for a decent honeymoon – and maybe even a house deposit.
While eloping is still probably the cheapest option, if you want to share your big day with family and friends then a budget wedding is the way to go.
Despite popular belief, your grand and glorious wedding plans don’t have to be crushed just because you’re on a budget. There are plenty of ways to cut the costs without compromising on quality.
While venue hire and catering are typically the biggest expenses, photography is also right up there.
Photography packages can be priced from $3,000+ however, most of the expense isn’t in the actual photography, but the time spent printing and preparing the formal wedding album.
To save money, Sue Taylor from Global Sanctuary Photography recommends simply purchasing a DVD of the edited images. “Many photographers pressure you into expensive packages,” she warns, “but you can always get an album made up later down the track.”
Hiring a photographer with less experience is another top budget wedding photography idea. “We have lots of great trainee photographers with a minimum of 1 year experience who offer lower rates,” Sue reveals.
The key here is LESS experience, not NO experience – there’s a massive gap between a trained photographer who doesn’t have a lot of field experience and a mate with a handheld “digi”.
While you won’t be stuck with a bunch of a bad, blurry shots of your big day you will notice the difference between a photographer with loads of experience and a “newbie”.
“As long as it’s a pretty typical wedding with no tricky requests you should be happy with the results,” says Sue.
Some clients also get caught out with travel time. Most photographers charge per hour so any extra running around will cost you. This is especially crucial if you’re wanting “before” shots of the bride and groom getting ready.
“I had a job last weekend where the homes were an hour away from the venue,” Sue tells. “Rather than wasting money paying your photographer to drive around it’s a good idea to book some hotel rooms close to the venue.”
For the ultimate budget wedding check out our other handy tips:
- Choose seasonal flowers.
- Pick a venue which allows BYO alcohol.
- Consider having a cocktail party instead a sit-down dinner.
- Do your own hair & makeup.
- Ask your bridesmaids to pay for their own dresses.
- Use an iPod for music rather than hiring a DJ or band.
Another great way to keep costs down is by rolling two occasions into one and surprising your engagement party guests with an impromptu wedding. We spoke to someone who did just that! Stay tuned for the real life budget wedding story.
*Figure from www.i-do.com.au