For some couples, the most expensive day of their life will be when they tie the knot, with around 35%1 of newlyweds blowing their wedding budget before they walk down the aisle.
The average Australian wedding costs $36,2002, but you might prefer to focus your finances on other goals rather than blowing a small fortune on one single day.
Here are 11 tips to help you avoid a wedding budget blowout:
1. Talk about money early with your partner and families (if they’re going to be involved). Decide what you’ll be able to pay for and if your family can help with any expenses. Use our budget planner calculator to set a budget and stick to it.
2. Start saving early. Use MoneySmart’s guide to average wedding costs to understand the amounts involved in each aspect of a wedding, then start saving using our Bett3r account which allows you to automatically set aside money towards your savings goal.
3. Book in advance. Try to book the venue for your ceremony, reception and honeymoon well in advance to avoid disappointment, or being forced into a last-minute, more expensive option.
5. Have an out-of-season wedding. Be different! Have a July wedding to cut costs without sacrificing your precious memories. Many venues and suppliers have lower-priced deals during winter.
6. Be realistic with your guest list. If you haven’t been in contact with friends in the last 12 months, why do it now? And lay down the law with family, so you don’t end up with tables full of relatives you’ve never even met!
7. Explore your network. Call on talented friends who can swap a service for a gift, such as a photographer, a hair stylist or make-up artist. Maybe someone knows a band that can play at the reception?
8. Cut the ties. Times are changing and so are weddings. It’s ok to shed some traditions. Be practical about whether you need all the trimmings, like a videographer, bonbonnieres, gifts for parents or even the bridal party, if you need to cut costs.
9. Adopt informality. Swap a formal sit down dinner for a cocktail party and save on room hire and catering costs. Or if the venue allows it, organise the drinks yourself.
10. Pay attention to the fine print. Read your suppliers’ contracts, even if they are long and complicated. Don’t get caught out by any extra charges which are sometimes in the fine print.
11. Wishing well. If you’re already living together, chances are that you have most of what you need – a wishing well is a polite way of asking for money. You can then use this to pay for the honeymoon or pay off some of the wedding expenses.
Start planning now
If you haven’t already, review your finances and make sure you give yourself enough time to save for the wedding you want.
For professional help, speak to your financial adviser, or if you don’t have an adviser, call us on 131 267 from 8.30am - 7pm (Sydney time), Monday to Friday, or use our find an adviser tool.
Then you can relax and enjoy the celebrations, knowing that declaring your love doesn’t have to come at a price you can’t afford.
If you thought it was taboo, it's customary in many countries around the world to give money.