The average wedding in Australia cost $36 000, which is crazy when you think about how rarely most of us will drop that amount of coin on one thing in our lives- especially just one day. When I got married in 2018, my husband worked full-time in retail, and I worked part-time at the same place while studying. Neither of us wanted to ask for parental contributions, and we had some- but not a lot- of savings. While we still spent about a third of the national average, it was still significantly less than most of our friends and family who had gotten married in similar circumstances. Here are some ways we purposefully (and accidentally) saved money on our big day.
Getting married in off season
Because of my partner’s background, it was important to us that we could get married on a day that was auspicious. Once we figured out a rough time of year that meant overseas guests could make it, wouldn’t interfere with my study and when we could get leave- we looked at what dates were auspicious during that time. One random Thursday in the middle of winter looked back at us. At first, we were appalled, how were we going to get people to come to a weekday wedding? But as it turned out, it was perfect for us! To start with, we had vendors and venues tripping over themselves to give us their business- this is a time where they would normally not have any business at all! Our venue coordinator was crossing off extra charges before we’d even seen the place. We ended up at a beautiful winery with venue hire, drinks package and 3 course meal for just over a quarter what we would normally pay.
Just the right amount of DIY
There’s a fine line between DIYing too much and too little- and while there’s definitely things if I did it again, I’d just spend the money- everything my loved ones and I worked on make me look back and smile. We hand-painted our invites, printed our own seating charts and dumped a whole bunch of candles, pinecones and flowers in random glass jars on the tables. My favourite were the thrifted candle holders, teacups and other knick knacks that we planted succulents in as wedding favours. I still see them at my friends’ houses, and it makes me so happy.
Spending money where it counted
While we tried to save where we could, we didn’t scrimp when it came to the things that were important to us, things like the photographer, flowers and a nice celebrant. Spending money on professionals- especially people like DJs, MCs and videographers are worth their weight in gold when it comes to ensuring that everything runs smoothly (click here to begin booking your professional- starting with Melbourne’s best DJ and MC).
Find vendors who work with you
A lot of ways we saved money were actually suggested by vendors and businesses themselves. It was how I knew I had chosen the right people. Our cake lady made us a four-tier cake with two false layers so we could have the effect of a big cake with the correct amount of cake for our guests. My wedding dress boutique found me the perfect dress for half the price because it was a sample size. And my shoes, accessories and other decorations were found on sale - because, truthfully, I didn’t care that much about them and neither did anyone else. It’s hard to know exactly how much the right amount is to spend on a wedding- but only spending money on the things that matter to you is a good place to start.