Choosing a location for your wedding involves more than just picking a spot. The atmosphere of your party depends greatly on the venue you pick, which may consume as much as 50 percent of your overall wedding price. Don't freak out if you have to write a big check and the notion of doing so is making you ponder running away. Wedding locations don't have to break the bank to be beautiful and unique.
If food and drink, decorations, or photographs are particularly important to you, then selecting a more affordable venue will allow you to allocate more funds to those areas.
Having a wedding that everyone remembers fondly is a common fantasy, but few people look forwards to the financial stress that comes following. Finding practical, budget-friendly solutions to reduce the cost of a wedding without sacrificing the experience or the memories it creates is the best course of action.
Wedding Budget Breakdown
50%: Expenses for the Location, Food, and Utilities
The venue, food, alcohol, and rental goods like tables, chairs, and crockery will consume the bulk of your wedding money. For some couples, the cost of the wedding cake is factored into this allocation of funds.
12%: Photography and Videography
Budget at least 12 percent of your wedding's total cost to capture the day in photos and film. Remember, these are the kinds of things you'll keep forever and ever since they were part of your wedding. Photographers and videographers have time costs that must be covered in addition to payment for the end output.
9%: Clothing, Hair, and Cosmetics
Make sure that you set aside at least nine percent of your total budget on clothes. Of course, you'll also need to factor in the cost of renting a dress and tuxedo, as well as shoes and any additional accessories like jewellery and cufflinks. The price of your makeup and hair is something else you should add to your total.
Check out our ultimate list of Wedding Hair and Makeup Artists to make you into the princess that you are.
Budget 8–9 percent for ornamentation during the wedding and reception. Among these are garlands, centrepieces, and other floral arrangements.
The cost of hiring musicians or a DJ might vary widely depending on a number of factors. Determine how much money you'll need to set aside for this aspect of the wedding by doing some preliminary research. We recommend allocating seven percent of your total budget on sound equipment and musical entertainment.
3%: Wedding Planner
When it comes to organising your wedding, having a professional on hand can make a world of difference. If you hire a professional to handle all the planning for your event, you can rest assured that everything will go off without a hitch. Put aside three percent of your overall budget to pay for a wedding coordinator.
Wedding invitations are a crucial part of the big day. Guests' first glances of your wedding will be on the save-the-date invitations and formal invites you send them. Programs, menus, thank you cards, and other stationery items are all included in this allocation. We recommend allocating 2% of your total wedding budget towards stationery.
Budget two percent of your total to pay for the officiant's services if you plan to get legally married.
In order to guarantee that their guests arrive on time and at the correct location, many couples choose to engage transportation services. A bus or shuttles service may be chartered to transport guests between the hotels. For the reception, some couples choose for a grand getaway car, while others prefer to have the entire wedding party arrive in a stretch limo. Budget at least two percent of your total wedding cost for transportation costs.
2%: Wedding Bands
One of you is probably already wearing a beautiful engagement ring, but you should also start thinking about wedding rings. You should set aside about 2% of your total wedding budget for the rings you will wear every day for the rest of your lives.
2%: Treats for the Group
The remaining half of your wedding money should be allocated to thanking individuals who contributed to the success of the big day with gifts and party favours. It's customary for many newlyweds to provide the guests with a memento of the wedding as they bid them farewell. It may seem insignificant, yet it will have a major impact.
How to Save Money and Still Have a Gorgeous Wedding
Simplify Your Nuptials Guest List
The cost will rise dramatically with each additional guest on the invitation list. It's not just the price of food that adds up; there are also supplementary expenses for decorations, party favours, venue rental, etc. You shouldn't invite people you haven't spoken to in over a decade. You shouldn't feel forced to let those who are single bring dates. Don't feel like you have to invite everyone from the office. Also, please don't invite your friends' kids. In the same vein, you may decide to exclude "friends from volunteer work" or "relatives more distant than first cousins." If you don't invite anyone from that party, you reduce the likelihood of any animosity being caused.
Sending Out Wedding Invitations Can Be Expensive
Don't bother with the inner envelope or blotter paper, vestiges from the days when ink had to dry before people could use a fresh envelope. Request responses from guests by email or phone instead of a reply card. It will save you money in two ways: on the printing bill and on the shipping.
Wedding Gowns Might Be Found at Reduced Prices if You Shop at Sample Sales or Online
Sample deals are worth looking into if you wear a size six, eight, or ten. Now is the time to snag a designer gown at a steal of a price. Used wedding dresses can often be found at a discount on online marketplaces such as eBay, Craigslist, and similar sites. Keep in mind that it could cost up to $250 to clean the delicate material of a wedding dress, so skip the cheap one with the dirty hem. You may save a tonne of money by renting your wedding gown instead of buying it, and you can find these services in many local businesses.
Adapt the Weekday
We recommend a weekday or Sunday for the wedding. Because of the lower demand during these times, you can often negotiate a better price with most businesses. Make sure to ask your wedding venue if it is available on those specific dates. If you're worried that some guests won't be able to make it because of other obligations, remember that many of them would do the same thing on any given Saturday. Traveling guests may have to make a few more arrangements, but they would have had to miss work anyway if the wedding had been on a Saturday.
Church Decorating on a Budget
If your wedding will be a religious celebration, try to schedule it around a significant holiday. There will be no need to buy expensive flowers to decorate the church because it will already be decked. Try to keep things basic on the days when you don't feel like complicating things. A ceremony with only candlelight can be beautiful, intimate, and cheap.
Get Better at Asking for Financial Aid
Gather your loved ones together and share your resources for a more affordable wedding. Think about people you know who can help you with the music, the officiant, and the assembly of the decorations. In most cases, they will be thrilled to be included in such an important event as your wedding. You should also be on the lookout for ways to save cash. The best way to cut costs on your wedding is to learn from others' experiences, so look online and talk to family and friends for ideas.
Just Improvise and Fix It Yourself
Do-it-yourself elements of a wedding can add a creative and personal touch. Host a "pitch-in party" and encourage your friends to help you with the wedding favours, invitations, centrepieces, and other DIY projects to keep costs down. Make your guests feel like they're at a party and not a production line by setting out tasty treats and playing motivating music.
Find Budget-Friendly Menu Options for the Wedding
If you're trying to cut costs, be up forwards about that with the caterer. Inquire as to whether a banquet is less expensive than a table service meal and what the cheapest meals are. Instead of paying for a full bar, you can save money by seeing if they will allow you to bring in your own alcohol or offer solely wine. You may also serve a cheap wine with dinner and only open the bar for cocktail hour. You might want to consider holding a dry wedding if neither you nor your intended drink.
Think About Inexpensive Wedding Invites
Instead of engraving, just have the invitations printed. Inexpensive wedding invitations can be found all over the web. DIY wedding invitations printed on a home printer are a fun and affordable option for a more relaxed ceremony. Inexpensive wedding invitations can now be purchased at office supply stores on pre-printed paper designed for use in a home printer.
Not sure how you want your wedding stationery to look? Check out our list of 28 Wedding Invitation Ideas to help you choose.
Always Keep In Mind That the Free Places Are the Cheapest Options
You can save money by having the ceremony as well as the reception in the same location if you have access to a backyard (either your own or a friend's or relative's). Renting a tent, some chairs, and a few tables can make for a lovely and inexpensive wedding reception in the backyard.
Have the Ceremony in the Town Hall and the Reception at a Local Eatery
As a result, you'll need to have a very small wedding guest list if you choose this alternative. Make sure to have a witness and a small group of individuals present at the short ceremony in the town hall. Getting married in a big city typically requires waiting in line with other newlyweds, which can be a fun and exciting experience in and of itself.
Following the ceremony, guests will gather at a local, reasonably priced eatery to break the fast and celebrate. Plan ahead by calling for a reservation and maybe bringing a cake.
Look at Affordable Wedding Venues
There are many different types of inexpensive venues to choose from. Regardless of whether you're looking for a rustic, elegant, contemporary, or ultra-casual setting for your wedding, you can find the perfect one. The Wedding Spot's convenient search criteria make it easy to narrow down your venue selection to those that are within your pricing range.
Make a Reservation at a Local Vacation Property
You can have a beautiful wedding at a rented home in the offseason if you live near a tourist hotspot. This option comes pre-loaded with outdoor area plus inside space and restrooms for guest comfort. Tell the proprietor up front that you intend to host a small wedding reception there.
Decide on a Realistic Wedding Budget and Establish Your Top Priorities
You've committed to each other by answering yes. It's time to settle on a realistic wedding budget. Schedule a time to talk about how you intend to spend the money in the future. In any case, you should have this discussion, as it will help you set priorities and gain insight into one another's values.
Talk about your options for spending the money you've put up for your education. Maybe you'll start saving for a down payment on a house or your child's education using the money. Perhaps a long trip across Europe is more appealing to you than a fancy celebration.
You and your partner will soon have to make a plethora of financial choices: A wedding might be extremely expensive or extremely frugal, depending on the couple's preferences. You should set a "guiding star" to assist you stay frugal as you make plans.
If either of you is feeling down about not being able to afford a larger wedding, keep in mind that studies show that couples who spend a lot of money on their wedding are more likely to end up divorced.
If You Can Do It Yourself, You Should
You and your fiance could save a lot of money if you did some of the work yourselves, but be careful to only do so when the results will be worthwhile. Also, make sure you leave yourself plenty of time to finish any do-it-yourself tasks. Whether it's icing cupcakes or assembling centrepieces, staying up until 3 a.m. on the morning of your wedding is not something you want to do.
Do you really want to spend A$1,200 on something that will eventually end up in the trash, no matter how beautiful the wedding invitation? Invite guests to your wedding without breaking the bank by producing your own invitations. A high-quality printer at home and a premade invitation set from a local stationery or office supply store are all that is required.
Remember that you can do it yourself online too! Creating and ordering online wedding invitations from sites like Moo.com is a quick and easy way to save money. Use a free website for design, such as Canva.com, and you may reduce your costs even further. Compared to a gold leaf or an invitation printed on a souvenir tea towel, this option may not be as elegant, but it will certainly be more budget-friendly.
Don't waste money on a caterer when you can do it yourself! Work together as a group to plan a menu and shop for bulk ingredients and serving utensils. Create floral arrangements for your home with materials from a discount store or a commercial florist. Flowers can be gathered right from one's own backyard.
Find Out About Any Extra Charges or Fees
If you know all the expenditures in advance, you can rest assured that they will fit comfortably inside your budget. Think about the total cost before you agree to anything. We've included some of the most typical hidden fees below:
- The overtime charges for the photographer and the venue manager can add up quickly if the party is a success, so keep that in mind. Plan for overtime pay if you think the wedding might run late; if it doesn't, the money will be a pleasant surprise.
- Venues generally add on a "service charge" of 20%-25% of the total food and drink cost to offset the money they have to spend on staff to serve guests, check their coats, and help with parking and bathrooms.
- A florist's sample may be free the first time you use it, but if you make significant alterations, the florist may start charging you. Your hair budget should also include the cost of a trial run with your stylist.
- Little things like wedding licence fees and postage for RSVP cards and favour ribbons may add up quickly, so be sure to budget accordingly. If you go "just over budget" in multiple areas with the hope that you can compensate in another way, you may find yourself in over your head.
- Even a modest amount of gratuity given to everyone from the sexton who cleans the chapel to the hotel steward who brings your welcome bags can add hundreds to your wedding budget. Make sure you've factored in these expenses when drawing out your preliminary budget. A minimum of A$1,200 in tips is also recommended. Unless you are completely dissatisfied with the service you received, tips are anticipated, just as they would be with a waiter or a hairdresser.
Following the aforementioned guidelines should help you save costs significantly, but you should still expect to pay at least a little bit for each and every guest. To show their gratitude for being welcomed to your wedding and to express their joy and support for your new union, they will likely want to spend money on you as well. To ensure that everyone who attends your wedding gives you a present you'll genuinely appreciate, it's important to set up a comprehensive and detailed register.
Finally, keep in mind that the quality of your wedding day is not proportional to the sum of money you spend on it. A wedding that is beautiful and memorable doesn't have to cost more than A$31,000.
The bulk of your budget will go towards the location, catering, alcohol, and any necessary rental equipment like plates, silverware, and serving utensils. If the thought of writing a large check is making you consider running away, try not to panic. It is possible to have a beautiful wedding on a budget by making some smart choices. There should be enough left over to buy gifts and party favours for the people who helped make the big day a success. As the number of invited guests grows, so does the price tag for sending out invitations.
Instead of sending out reply cards, have guests respond via email or phone. If you decide to rent your wedding dress instead of buying it, you could potentially save a lot of money. Online auction and classifieds sites like eBay and Craigslist frequently feature gently used wedding dresses at steep discounts. A religious wedding is more meaningful if it is held in conjunction with a special holiday. Candlelight ceremonies can be romantic, low-key, and economical.
To get your friends involved in making wedding favours, throw a "pitch-in party." Wedding invitations made by the bride and groom and printed on a home printer can save the couple a lot of money. If you have the ceremony and reception at the same venue, you can save money. A beautiful and reasonably priced wedding reception can be created by renting a tent, some chairs, and a few tables. By taking on some of the tasks yourselves, you and your fiance could save a significant amount of money.
Printing your own wedding invitations is a great way to save money without sacrificing quality. If you're going to spend money on food, make it yourself rather than hiring a caterer. Plan a meal and go grocery shopping for supplies as a group. If you anticipate the wedding will run long, arrange for overtime pay. It is also suggested that you tip at least A$1,200.
A few extra dollars in tips can quickly add up when you're dealing with a large group. You can have a stunning and unforgettable wedding for under A$31,000.
- Choosing a location for your wedding involves more than just picking a spot.
- Determine how much money you'll need to set aside for this aspect of the wedding by doing some preliminary research.
- Put aside three percent of your overall budget to pay for a wedding coordinator.2%: StationeryWedding invitations are a crucial part of the big day.
- One of you is probably already wearing a beautiful engagement ring, but you should also start thinking about wedding rings.
- The cost will rise dramatically with each additional guest on the invitation list.
- Don't feel like you have to invite everyone from the office.
- Also, please don't invite your friends' kids.
- You may save a tonne of money by renting your wedding gown instead of buying it, and you can find these services in many local businesses.
- Make sure to ask your wedding venue if it is available on those specific dates.
- If your wedding will be a religious celebration, try to schedule it around a significant holiday.
- Host a "pitch-in party" and encourage your friends to help you with the wedding favours, invitations, centrepieces, and other DIY projects to keep costs down.
- Think About Inexpensive Wedding InvitesInstead of engraving, just have the invitations printed.
- You can save money by having the ceremony as well as the reception in the same location if you have access to a backyard (either your own or a friend's or relative's).
- Renting a tent, some chairs, and a few tables can make for a lovely and inexpensive wedding reception in the backyard.
- As a result, you'll need to have a very small wedding guest list if you choose this alternative.
- It's time to settle on a realistic wedding budget.
- Also, make sure you leave yourself plenty of time to finish any do-it-yourself tasks.
- Invite guests to your wedding without breaking the bank by producing your own invitations.
- Remember that you can do it yourself online too!
- Creating and ordering online wedding invitations from sites like Moo.com is a quick and easy way to save money.
- Don't waste money on a caterer when you can do it yourself!
- The overtime charges for the photographer and the venue manager can add up quickly if the party is a success, so keep that in mind.
- Plan for overtime pay if you think the wedding might run late; if it doesn't, the money will be a pleasant surprise.
- Venues generally add on a "service charge" of 20%-25% of the total food and drink cost to offset the money they have to spend on staff to serve guests, check their coats, and help with parking and bathrooms.
- Your hair budget should also include the cost of a trial run with your stylist.
- Make sure you've factored in these expenses when drawing out your preliminary budget.
- A minimum of A$1,200 in tips is also recommended.
- Finally, keep in mind that the quality of your wedding day is not proportional to the sum of money you spend on it.
FAQs About Budget-Friendly Nuptials
There are numerous people and things involved in a wedding: caterers, the reception, photographers, videographers, makeup artists, etc.
Because of the need for each of these elements, the total cost might quickly balloon.
Receptions can be held in a non-wedding venue for a reduced cost. Venues that specialise in hosting weddings might charge more because they have everything the happy couple could possibly need in one convenient location.
Wedding venues across the board tend to offer significant discounts in the month of March due to the month's status as an off-peak time of year with less reliable weather. Although April and May are high season in much of the country, those who live in areas with a longer winter may be able to discover more reasonably priced locations.
Costs for weddings held throughout the week tend to be lower than those held on weekends.
The difference will, of course, depend on the location; upscale venues will maintain their upscale status regardless of the day of the week
Although it's not what you'd expect, hotels can be excellent financial choices for wedding venues.
You can save a lot of money by having your event at a hotel instead of renting expensive equipment like tables, chairs, dishware, a dance floor, votive candles, etc.