Today, the average Australian wedding costs couples $36,200 (according to Money Smart) with most of the budget going towards food, alcohol and the venue.
If you are planning your big day, these figures are almost enough to scare you off getting married altogether! However, it IS possible to plan a stylish wedding on a budget without having to completely forego all the little creative touches that will make your day unforgettable.
For inspiration and motivation we’ve put together 4 creative ways to bring your wedding in under $5000.
1. The backyard wedding
A backyard wedding not only adds sentimentality to the day – it’s also somewhat rustic, allowing for simple personal touches with a creative flair.
Rustic wedding decorations can easily be fashioned from dried or seasonal flowers, pine cones, succulents, twigs and twine, and fruit and vegetables. Visit op shops for vintage jars and vases or even unusual items like ornate birdcages which could be used as a ‘wishing well’.
Look to borrow rather than buy or hire; use family linen and ask friends/neighbours for tables and chairs. Finger food means no cutlery is needed and there is less washing up.
However, make sure you have a ‘Plan B’ if the weather doesn’t hold; have a strategically placed gazebo/s and a cleared covered or inside area.
2. The overseas wedding
Getting married on a beach in an exotic location is becoming an increasingly popular alternative to a traditional wedding. Popular places include Bali, Cook Islands, Fiji, Hawaii, New Zealand, Philippines, Thailand and Vanuatu.
There are many wedding packages available, some of which come in at less than $2000 (excluding airfares). Some packages throw in a honeymoon too, giving couples their tropical wedding and the romantic honeymoon for less than $5000.
Do your research thoroughly though. Ensure operators are properly accredited and check what is included in the package; some extras, such as transport, alcohol at the reception and hair and make-up, will incur extra costs.
3. Stylish simplicity
Whatever style of wedding you chose, costs can be minimised by simply limiting the number of invitees! As well as reducing the food and drink bill, an intimate wedding means you’ll also spend less on hiring chairs and tables, wedding favours and other costly outlays such as invitations. You can use a cheap table runner to add more style on your table with a lesser cost.
Savvy shopping can also seriously reduce the cost of the dress. Many online stores offer designer dresses at heavily discounted rates, and it’s worth looking at white or ivory evening dresses (rather than actual “wedding gowns”) instead.
Even if you’re not super creative, stylish and unusual invitations can easily be made using templates found online, and decorations can be as simple lanterns and candles.
Be sure to trawl through Pinterest for creative wedding ideas and inspiration. This amazing resource is filled with millions of DIY ideas and tutorials on absolutely everything wedding-related.
Rather than spend money on a band, upload your favourite songs to an iPod and ask guests to suggest their favourite songs in their RSVPs.
4. Venue vision
Function centres, 5 star hotels and renowned local buildings often come with a hefty price tag, so get creative with your venue! Many smaller wineries, art galleries, lesser-known historic buildings and city halls now offer room hire for competitive rates. Plus, many of these venues allow outside catering.
Hotels often give cheaper rates for off-season or mid-week weddings, whilst the timing of the wedding (such as an afternoon or morning celebration) can reduce food and drink bills drastically.
Also look for venues which have just opened up; these venues sometimes offer lower prices because they want the business to build a reputation. For a smaller guest list, consider asking your favourite restaurant if it can accommodate; some restaurants are happy to section off a selected area for wedding parties, and if you’re a regular, will probably give you a discount.
Funding your wedding
Creative weddings don’t have to cost the earth; simple ideas, negotiating with providers and savvy shopping ensure costs are kept to a minimum.
Most guests will probably remember the good company and a fun atmosphere far more than the colour of the organza on the chairs!
If you are planning your upcoming nuptials and are looking to obtain some extra finance to help cover the costs then be sure to investigate all available options. Credit cards are the obvious choice, however be aware of the high repayment charges you could be left with. Other funding options such as an unsecured personal loan with affordable repayments is a practical option worth considering. New peer-to-peer lending platforms (funded entirely by Australian investors) offer personal loans at competitive rates and are a smart alternative to going to your bank. There are also organisations in Australia that offer specific wedding loans.
Your wedding is one of the most important days of your life, and it can be costly! What were some of the ways you saved money on your wedding? Let us know in the comments below and earn BWA Dollars to spend on rewards!