Let’s get one thing straight, budgets are a b%$*h. I have always been the “bury my head in the sand and hope for the best” type person when it comes to budgeting. If you were to ask me today how much my wedding actually cost, I couldn’t tell you. Looking back I had great intentions of budgeting for my wedding, I created a spread sheet and a folder to keep all of my receipts in. I then put it all in a drawer and never looked at it again.
According to a survey run by Bride to Be magazine, the average cost of a wedding in Australia is now $65,482. Let’s think about that for a second, that is one very large bill for one party… yes, it is the biggest party you will ever throw but does it need to cost you a house deposit?
Here are a few things you need to consider when budgeting for your wedding.
Who is contributing?
So we have all heard the tradition of the bride’s family footing the bill for the entire wedding but in today’s day and age, this is rarely the case. It is pretty common these days for a couple to pay for their own wedding but if you are lucky enough to have parents who wish to contribute, this can be done in a few different ways:
- Split the bill straight down the middle!
- Each family pay what they can afford
- Both families can allocate expenses eg: bride’s family pays for the venue, grooms family pay for the drinks.
- Everyone split the bill, including the bride and groom.
What are your priorities?
Make a list of what your priorities are. For some brides it is the wedding dress, for others it is the flowers. Pick your top priority items and spend your money on areas that will make you and your groom the happiest.
Where can you save?
There are many ways to cost cut when it comes to weddings. Below are just a few ideas to get you thinking;
- Try finding venues where there is a reduced fee for a Friday or Sunday wedding. You can also ask if there are any “off peak” times that you may be able to take advantage of.
- If you don’t have your heart set on a specific designer and wedding dress, check out the samples rack or better yet, buy second hand at Still White More often than not, these dresses are heavily reduced and may just need a dry clean to bring it back to its former glory.
- Decorate in seasonal flowers. Ask your florist what flowers will be in season at the time and work in with these. For example, don’t order peonies for a March wedding.
- DIY anything and everything you can think of such as Invites, bonbonnieres and decorations.
- Consider a photographer who is just starting out and building their portfolio.
- Share and use second hand items from friends and family
There are some fantastic resources available online that you can utilise to keep your spending under control. Here are two of my favourites.
The Knot – wedding calculator is much more than just an excel spread sheet. You can set your wedding expenses and it will add them up to break down your estimates and total spent. There are also some great budget tips included in the app.
Keep track of your spending with this easy to use calculator from easy weddings. This calculator allows you to itemise all of your wedding expenses, including quotes, actual costs and payments.
Although most of us would prefer to avoid budgeting, it can avoid a lot of headaches and empty bank accounts in the future. Setting a realistic budget for your wedding will require discipline but always remember, your wedding day should always be a day that you look back on and smile, without thinking how broke it made you!