So you’re recently engaged and planning your big day. Big day indeed – depending on which survey you read, the cost of an Australian wedding averages between $36,000 and $65,000. Either way you look at it, that’s a lot of money to spend on one day of your life. However, it’s probably one of the most memorable days in your life too. So make it special, but keep a lid on your spending and make sure you have something left over. Marriage is the beginning of your life together, not the end of your savings! Here are our top tips to help you save on your wedding.
Set a budget
This may sound pretty obvious, but give serious consideration to what is a reasonable amount for you to be spending. It might be $10,000, it might be $50,000. But whatever the figure is, make sure you think beyond the day itself. As a newly married couple, there’s a high chance you’ll want to buy a house and start a family together. Perhaps one of you would like to start a business or progress your career through education. Expenses will continue to roll in after the confetti settles, so make sure you take a long-term view when considering how much you can afford.
Stick to your budget
This may sound even more obvious, but there are some things you just won’t be able to do. Rather than cutting them out altogether, why not get creative and find a different way of doing them? Perhaps you could create your invitations or ask a stylish friend to do your flowers. A little extra effort won’t just save you money; it might make your day more unique.
Start saving early
Unless you have savings aside already, give yourself enough lead time to save for the wedding. Once you have set a budget and worked out the cost of your wedding, establish out how much you’ll need to save to meet this target and how long it will take you to get you there. Be realistic about what you can achieve, and if necessary, either push the wedding back or consider ways to make it less expensive. For example, if you plan to spend $20,000 for a wedding in one year’s time, you’ll need to save around $1,600 a month. But if you start saving two years before, you’d only need to save $800 each month.
While it may be tempting, avoid borrowing money to fund your wedding. Interest can add hundreds, even thousands of dollars to the cost of your wedding. Plus it’s a fair assumption that if you’re unable to save the money in the lead up to your wedding, you’ll struggle to find the money pay it off after. You don’t want to start married life in debt with financial stress.
Did you know that two coffees a day each could add up to $4,160 over a year? This could be a significant chunk of your wedding budget. What’s more important to you, coffee or the wedding dress? You can quite easily link expenditure like dining out, takeaways and cocktails to key parts of your wedding. We recently worked out for a client that walking one station closer to the city saved them $426 per year. That 10 minutes of extra walking per day covered the cost of the cake, and put her in better shape for her big day!
If you have time on your side, you can often get a better price by pre-paying and can shop around for things on sale. Not only are you getting better value for money, it also prevents bill shock from all of the expenses rolling in at once. Spacing the expenses out over a longer time frame also helps you manage your budget better and there’s less chance of having a blowout.