Spend or save? Top tips for planning your wedding

This is a guest article from Easy Weddings

Your wedding day is meant to be one of the most magical days of your lives. But when you’re trying to plan a wedding while also trying to save for other important things, like a house deposit, new car or that honeymoon you’ve always dreamed of, life can sometimes get in the way.

Luckily when it comes to planning a wedding there are areas where you can choose to go all out, as well as those that you might be able to reign in a little bit. When it comes to setting a budget for your wedding day, you should pick the three elements that are most important to you. That way, if you need to, you can find wriggle room everywhere else.

Here are our recommendations on what you can spend or save money on when it comes to your wedding day.

Wedding venues and catering

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When it comes to food and drink you want to make sure that you’re serving your guests the right amount. The last thing you want to do is have to throw food away or have people go hungry.

Most of the time, your wedding venue will be the biggest cost when it comes to planning a wedding. In fact, the average wedding venue comes in at an average of $14,512. If your venue is your priority then it’s easy to spend more money here, whether it’s on a larger food menu, bigger bar tab, custom decorations or adding more guests.

However if you’re trying to save money then see whether you can find a venue with more inclusions in that per head price. This is a great way to make sure you’re getting more bang for your buck as well as not having to do more yourself. You can also opt for a venue and hire external catering that could be more affordable (if they allow it), a venue that can bundle a ceremony location and reception space together, or if need be you can always cut down your guest list. You don’t want to be paying an average of $150 per head for someone’s plus one you’ve never met.

When it comes to your wedding cake there are also areas where you can save. A naked cake with less frosting will be more affordable than getting fondant icing. You can also save money on cake decorations by having a smaller display cake and have a spare non-decorated ‘sheet’ cake out the back when it comes to serving time.

The dress, suit and bridal party

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You can optimise your wedding savings in this area as well by knowing what to look for. Custom made dresses are fabulous, but sometimes they can also come with a fabulous price tag. However, if you are buying something off the rack make sure that it is still the closest fit to you as possible before purchasing it. Dress alterations can make the price of a seemingly-affordable dress go up very quickly. If you’re brave or savvy enough you can also try buying a preloved gown online or even at an op shop.

When it comes to the suit the same thing goes. If you’re trying to save money and you don’t mind what you wear, try to buy something off the rack or even look at the cost of hiring a suit. Make sure you compare the hire vs buying cost as well to make sure it’s worth it.

Finally, don’t be afraid to ask your bridal party to chip in a bit of money for their formal wear. These are your closest friends and family, and as long as you’re being reasonable in terms of what you want them to wear and spend most of the time they should be happy to help out. Try and organise an affordable bridesmaids dress or a non-descript suit they can keep and wear again.

Photography and videography

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This is one area that you don’t want to skimp on. 99% of all couples who are getting married have a photographer at their wedding, and it’s so important that you make the decision that is right for you. The last thing you want to do is regret missing out on capturing some of those priceless memories.

The same goes for the wedding video. Although less popular than photographers, not having a wedding video is one of the biggest regrets of married couples. If you are looking to plan a photographer and videographer on a budget, see whether you can get any bundle packages that might knock the price down a bit compared to if you were hiring two different companies.

Wedding flowers, decorations and more081518-CRA-LEAD-1

There are a lot of different ways you can deck out your wedding, and so a lot of different areas to think about when it comes to your wedding savings. It’s easy to splash out on your wedding flowers and save on your invites, or vice versa.

Ordering wedding flowers that are in season will mean that you’re not spending money on import fees. Also doing your research and choosing blooms such as lisianthus rather than roses, which are cheaper but have a similar aesthetic. When it comes to decorations see what you can double up on. Consider whether your decorations from the ceremony can be moved to act as table pieces during the reception. Or opt for a few nice centrepieces to deck out your reception rather than going for a busier look. Often the cost of decorations comes down to how many you have.

Stationery and your wedding invites are another area where you can try and save some money. If you have a wedding website for instance, set up RSVPs there and save money on return cards for your invites. Also don’t forget the cost of stamps when it comes to mailing out invites, and try and get as many out in person as you can. You can also replace stationery such as place cards by having named wedding favours instead, such as a cut out or mini labelled Nutella jars.

Seeing what you can double up on when it comes to wedding planning, or incorporate into the same cost or bundle, can help you optimise your wedding savings. But don’t forget to make sure that at the end of the day you’re going to have fun!

Easy Weddings is Australia’s number one wedding directory, used by more than 80% of engaged couples across Australia.