Only one in three couples are able to rely on help from mum and dad when they say ‘I do’ these days. So how did the 68 per cent who had to fund the entire wedding themselves manage to still have the perfect day with a shrunken budget?
Save, save and save some more
We all have very different ideas as to what substitutes the non-negotiation items at our wedding. For some, it might be the photographer and they simply can’t fathom the idea of not finding room in the budget for some professional pics. But others are ok to have friends and family share their snapshots in order to funnel that money into fine dining for their guests.
Whatever your priorities, they’re yours to decide with your partner. The hard part is then deciding what proportion of your budget should be spent on each aspect.
Before then, however, you need to lockdown your budget. And stay firm on it. The vast majority of newlyweds saved hard to make their dream wedding come true, with 81 per cent admitting in a recent survey by ServiceSeeking.com.au that they saved at least part of the costs ahead of the day.
Although it’s not advisable, some brides and grooms whipped out the credit card to ensure their big day was perfect with 13 per cent who married since 2011 admitting they used credit to help say ‘I do’. Another six per cent took out a loan to help pay for the day.
Timing is everything
We’re not really talking about the time you take to plan your wedding, although that can have an impact too. Some suggest a quickie wedding leaves little time to fluster over decisions and add in all the expensive extras, while others may suggest a long engagement gives you time to lock in good deals. Both scenarios can work.
But some big budget busters are the non-Saturday wedding – in fact, any day other than Saturday is guaranteed to save you money. It might not be traditional, but it’ll get you more bang for your buck if you marry on any other day.
And think about hosting a lunchtime soiree. You’ll have the added bonus of not having to worry about fading light for your photos.
Off-peak season is another way to bring the budget back into healthy territory. Avoid summer and opt for the less-populated wedding months from May-August to find more options at less cost.
Downsize, or even upsize to save
If your catering already includes dessert, then do you really need a three-tier wedding cake? Probably not. And wedding cakes – particularly the higher you go – can be very expensive.
A cute cupcake tower is just as impressive and considerably cheaper. You could even scrap dessert and just serve cupcakes for greater savings.
Rather than having your ceremony and reception in separate venues, think about combining the two and saving on transportation costs.
On the flip side, seating your guests on larger communal tables will not only equal more fun, but less cost on table decorations. And do you really want to pay for 50 half glasses of flat champagne? Let guests toast with whatever they are drinking and save on the expensive bubbly.
Let people help
Twenty-eight per cent admit to making their own invitations to save costs, 17 per cent had a friend make the cake and 19 per cent used their own cars or DIY’ed flowers so they could spend their budget elsewhere.
Your ipod, phone or computer can easily plug into speakers for instant DJ.
There are many ways you can DIY aspects of your wedding, from utilising your nana’s sewing skills for flowergirl dresses to repurposing old party decorations as table decorations.
Just be across quality control so saving money doesn’t turn into spending more money when you need to ditch the poorly-made DIY and buy things in the end anyways.
To find out more on wedding-related pricing guides, see our wedding services pricing guide.