11 ways to manage your wedding budget

The happiest day of your life doesn't need to be the most expensive. 

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.

4. Grab a bargain. Search eBay or Gumtree, or hunt down end-of-stock bargains, such as DIY wedding stationery, pre-loved decorations or even a wedding dress!

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.

Manage your money the smart way

The new AMP Bett3r Account is a smart bank account that helps you manage your money and save for your goals.

Find out more

Explore your goals

Try our online tool to explore, prioritise and create your own goals timeline.

Start exploring

Budget planner calculator

Use our Budget planner calculator to assess your current financial position and how much you may be able to invest. 

Start budgeting today

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Any advice in this page is general in nature and is provided by AMP Life Limited ABN 84 079 300 379 (AMP Life). The advice does not take into account your personal objectives, financial situation or needs. Therefore, before acting on this advice, you should consider the appropriateness of this advice having regard to those matters. AMP Bett3r Account is issued by AMP Bank Limited ABN 15 081 596 009, AFSL 234517. Consider the terms and conditions available on request by calling 13 30 30 or at amp.com.au/bett3r and whether this product is appropriate for you. Fees and charges apply.

Although the information is from sources considered reliable, AMP does not guarantee that it is accurate or complete. You should not rely upon it and should seek qualified advice before making any decision. Except where liability cannot be excluded, AMP does not accept any liability for any resulting loss or damage.