35 Ways to Save on Weddings for Brides-to-Be



So you just got engaged - congratulations! But by the time the dust has settled and the excitement has died down, you’ve probably quickly realized how much planning needs to be done to pull off the wedding of your dreams.
How Much Does the Average Wedding Cost?
As wedding planning begins, it’s hard to ignore the cold, hard facts of how much it will cost to get married to the man you love. The average cost of a wedding today weighs in at a whopping $48,296, according to a survey from Bride to Be Magazine.
This amount equals out to a sum as large as many brides’ and grooms’ average incomes. In order to plan the perfect wedding day, 33% of brides are willing to take on a part-time job to pay for extra expenses. This willingness to spend freely in the name of love has helped the Australian wedding industry to earn close to $5.8 billion to date.

35 Budget Wedding Tips to Save Money on Your Big Day
Although these numbers are shocking for many engaged couples, the good news is that you don’t have to spend an arm and a leg to make your dream wedding come true. Consider these helpful money-saving tips from experts in the industry to plan a beautiful wedding without the high price tag:

  • Set a budget in advance. Creating a practical budget before you begin planning your wedding will help you stick to a dollar amount when hiring vendors and buying decorations. Use this helpful budget calculator from Easy Weddings to track spending and price catering costs based on your guest count.
  • Don’t stick to tradition. The truth is that you can do anything that you want when planning your wedding. Don’t let long-lived traditions dictate how much you should spend on your big day, such as hiring a live band or having a large bridal party. A list of wedding traditions from the University of Southern Queensland can be found here.
  • Consider your timing. If you’re willing to get married in the off-season or earlier in the day, you could save hundreds on venue and catering costs. Get quotes from leading vendors with off-season rates from the A List Guide.
  • Ask a friend or family member who is a musician to play at the ceremony.
  • Forgo a traditional wedding cake. If you don’t have your heart set on a three-tier wedding cake, you can save significant money by setting up a dessert bar or serving trendy cupcakes instead. Find inspiration for non-traditional wedding cakes here.
  • Order a plain wedding cake and decorate it yourself. Consult this user-friendly wedding cake decorating tutorial for help.
  • Recount your guest list. Use a wedding guest list planner to reorganize your guest count and cut out any unnecessary attendees, like old family friends or childhood pals.
  • Keep it a secret. When booking vendors, don’t mention that you’re booking for a wedding since the “magic word” can often cause cake, flower, and catering prices to double. Consult a special event vendor’s guide for more information.
  • Hire an all-inclusive caterer that will provide dishware and table settings.
  • Serve appetizers and hors d’oeuvres instead of a complete meal at the reception.
  • Set up a buffet line instead of serving a traditional sitdown meal.
  • Book a wedding venue that will allow you to buy your liquor separately.
  • Set up a cash bar instead of an open bar.
  • Skip the champagne toast for all guests.
  • Remember that less is more when it comes to flowers and decorations. Use a seasonal colour guide to pick the best local flowers from a backyard or neighbourhood park.
  • Make your own invitations. Use a simple template to create your own personalized wedding invitations for a fraction of the cost of hiring professional printers.
  • Or, order invitations online instead of using a print shop. Many online wedding invitation vendors offer free international shipping.
  • Rent a wedding dress instead of buying a designer gown. Depending upon the area, wedding dress hire may start as low as $550.
  • Buy a polyester instead of a silk gown. According to Heritage Garment Preservation, a polyester gown is easier to clean and press and is less likely to wrinkle.
  • Skip complicated detailing and beading on your gown. A plain wedding dress without ornate detail may be hundreds of dollars cheaper.
  • Borrow a wedding gown from a relative or friend to stick with the “something borrowed” tradition.
  • Buy a used wedding gown. At Worn Only Once, you can buy a gently used wedding dress from a local bride for as little as $200 ranging up to $2000.
  • Sell your gown after your wedding. If you don’t want to keep your wedding dress as a memento of the occasion, you can also use Worn Only Once to resell your gown by listing for only $30.
  • Ask a family member or friend to make your wedding dress for you.
  • Buy a bridesmaid’s dress instead of a wedding gown in cream or beige.
  • Buy silk flowers for the wedding party. While you can still carry fresh flowers in your bridal bouquet, you can cut costs by renting or buying silk wedding flowers for bridesmaids’ bouquets.
  • Make your own wedding favors. Take inspiration from the expert Martha Stewart to make your own simple DIY favors at little or no cost.
  • Donate to charity instead of giving wedding favors. A new trend in the bridal industry is donating money to charity on behalf of the wedding party instead of giving out knickknacks or keepsakes. Consider this list of top charities for inspiration.
  • Ask a friend to do your hair and makeup. Here are 101 wedding makeup tutorials to choose from.
  • Host your reception in a hotel ballroom that may already be decorated.
  • Host a small wedding in a party room at a restaurant.
  • Rent a community centre instead of a banquet hall.
  • Hold the wedding outdoors in a public park instead of an indoor venue.
  • Host the wedding in a family member’s backyard in warmer weather.
  • Book a wedding photographer far in advance for discounted rates.

Related Links

Wedding Photographers: Sydney, Brisbane, Adelaide, Melbourne, Perth
Celebrants: Sydney, Brisbane, Adelaide, Melbourne, Perth
Wedding Planners: Sydney, Brisbane, Adelaide, Melbourne, Perth
Reception Venues: Sydney, Brisbane, Adelaide, Melbourne, Perth



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