5 tips for planning a budget-friendly wedding

Love is grand but when a wedding costs a couple the equivalent to a home deposit one must surely start to ponder whether one-day-in-one’s-life is worth all that money. Wedding costs sure add up and fast.

If you want to look pretty (which is a given) there’s the expense of the perfect dress. Then, there’s the oysters and Champagne, which – when devoured by your well-meaning guests in an unprecedented never-before-seen eating frenzy, these costs can become ridiculous. I know this, because I know I certainly take full advantage of the wonderful delicacies on offer at a wedding. Why? Because oysters and good Champagne are expensive and I like to take up any opportunity to enjoy such luxuries for free.

The list goes on too. If you want your party to sparkle you’d probably also invest in some amazing decorations and lighting. Of course, the flowers would need to be fresh and the DJ or live band would have to be the best DJ or band in town. Then there’s photos and paying for the venue…

Woah…hold up.

There goes the home deposit. See what I mean?

Weddings are expensive because you have an emotional attachment to the day. Have you ever noticed that anything in life that comes with a big emotions or passion costs more.


Emotional purchases

Here are some examples of emotional purchases we all make and we are very likely to overspend on:

  1. First home – Because you’ve waited all your life to own your own home and it has to be your ‘dream home.’
  2. Wedding day – Because you are only planning to do it once – and it needs to be extra special. You want the photos and memorabilia to be amazing and something you can cherish forever.
  3. Baby – Because babies are just so damn cute and they deserve the best little cotton socks money can buy.
  4. New kitchen – Because cooking in a crap kitchen is no fun and the kitchen is often the ‘heart’ of a home where conversations, dramas. Laughter tears and general daily life comes together.

With any emotional purchase such as a wedding, the costs soon add up and can become astronomical.


Divorce rates

Now I don’t want to be the bearer of bad news but the current divorce rate in Australia is this:

Divorce continues to be a pervasive feature of Australian social life: 32 per cent of current marriages are expected to end in divorce and it has been predicted that this may increase to 45 per cent over the next few decades if current trends in recent marriage cohorts continue (Carmichael, Webster & McDonald 1996).

So even though you might take a ‘till death do us part’ vow – the reality is that divorce is on the rise and here are some of the reasons (many of which are unrelated to love!) that people divorce:

Top 10 reasons people divorce

According to Brian Slupski at Patch.com

  1. Lack of communication
  2. Finances
  3. Feeling constrained
  4. Trust issues
  5. Lack of understanding from a spouse
  6. Inability to compromise in a changing lifestyle
  7. Jealousy
  8. Religious and cultural differences
  9. Abuse

Note: If you are experiencing abuse in a relationship please contact visit relationships.org.au for help.

So – based on all of the above information I believe it is best NOT to overspend on a wedding when the money can be put to better use in your future life together. Unless your parents are loaded and they are paying for it, you might want to read this:

Wedding logic if you aren’t rich

  1. Weddings can cost too much money
  2. This could lead to starting a new marriage off in debt
  3. Debt leads to financial trouble
  4. Financial trouble can lead to divorce

Here are five tips to make your wedding more affordable

1. Hire a catering company with flexible catering options

From finger foods and buffets to sit-down, three course meals, be sure to hire a catering company that offers a range of options, such as Noosh Catering . Having the flexibility to choose from all of these options allows you and your partner to customise a menu that works for your budget, while satisfying you and your guests’ dietary desires and requirements.

2. Plan your wedding at off-peak times

Depending on where you are, peak wedding season will differ. Regardless, it is best to avoid these months, as wedding photographers, caterers and other wedding services will charge their clients extra. Opt for quieter months so you are able to snap up some great deals. Wedding related companies are also more expensive on Saturdays, as this is the most popular day for weddings. By choosing a Sunday or weekday for your wedding, you can save lots of money. Remember: flexibility is key when planning your big day.

3. Buy a secondhand wedding dress

Wedding dresses are often very expensive, especially for designer brands. They are generally worn once and then are sold, given away or collect dust in the back of your wardrobe. Buying a wedding dress second hand is a great way to save money, while still looking like you spent full price. Often you can buy designer dresses for half or quarter of the price of a new one.

4. Narrow down the guest list

Big weddings are glorified. Yes, it would be great if you could invite everybody you know, so nobody is left out, but the reality is, each person at the wedding costs you more. You need to be sure that every person you invite is essential. Of course invite your family members and close friends and colleagues, but anyone else should be considered very carefully.

5. Set wedding priorities

In an ideal world, both the bride and the groom would get everything they wanted at their wedding, but often this is too expensive and unrealistic. When planning your wedding, both the bride and groom should create a list of priorities. What can’t you do without? What do you consider essential for your wedding? Then consider what you least value in a wedding, and what you could live without. You can then ensure you have the necessities, but know what to cut if need be.


Weddings don’t come cheap these days, but by planning your wedding in an off-peak month, considering second hand attire, hiring a flexible catering company and setting priorities, you can save yourself a lot of money. What other wedding budgeting tips do you have?

Got some great ideas on how to save on your wedding? Be sure to share them in comments below.