Weddings are getting fancier, quirkier, larger and more glamorous. Just because you want to keep your costs low, doesn’t mean that it needs to look like a budget wedding. There will be things that will gobble up the bulk of your cash however, there are also some areas you can save money; the key is to shop around but know where to splurge and where to be frugal. Here are my top 5 splurges and top 5 saves… I’ve also thrown in a couple of don’t even bother’s, just for good measure!
Where to splurge:
5. The rings – The rings will be one of the few things from your wedding, apart from the vows, that will last forever. Shop around but search for quality; we were quoted $5,000 for both our rings but shopped around until we got the same thing for the budget we had set. Stick to your guns, persistence will pay off.
4. Hair and makeup – Your hair and makeup need to last ALL DAY no matter the weather and you will have a gazillion photos of you and the wedding party. Make sure you seek several quotes but always ask to see a portfolio and get trials included in your package.
3. Wedding party attire – Like number 4, all eyes will be on your wedding party for the entire day. There’s a reason why the term “cheap suit” is used and not in a good way, you can see it a mile away and same goes for the dress. No need to go overboard, you can find gorgeous wedding gowns for around $2,000 to $3,000 and remember my last post? A smaller bridal party means you can have your bridesmaids and groomsmen in some nice quality attire too (assuming you’re fitting the bill of course).
2. Music & entertainment – You want your wedding to look beautiful but you don’t want your guests yawning at their tables from boredom. Make sure that after the formalities are done, your guests can let their hair down on the dance floor and really celebrate the special occasion. You’ll also have a chance to catch up with people when you’re all dancing and having fun, everyone will talk about how great your wedding was so make sure your entertainment is quality and discuss the set list too.
1. Food & alcohol – This is number one because it’s the first question people ask when you’ve been to a wedding… how was the food? Make sure when visiting potential reception houses that they offer a tasting session. Also consider the portions in proportion to the alcohol served. You want your guests to be jolly but not plastered where there is potential for disaster. You don’t want to run out of alcohol either so consider the different packages the reception house offers and don’t be afraid to haggle; I did and got a good deal!
Where to save:
5. Cars – Do you have a friend or family member with a nice car? They might be happy to drive you around for the day. Alternatively, check out gumtree.com.au for self-drive classic cars that are cheaper than having chauffeur driven cars. You can also contact specialised car clubs to find out if they would be happy to drive you for a small fee. We went half/half, one self-drive and one classic car with a driver.
4. Flowers – This one can be a little tricky but you need to make sure you shop around. Have a good idea of what you like so that your quotes don’t end up being huge because they’ve included 14 different types of flowers and foliage. Pick about three of each and see how you go. Gumtree.com.au also has many “at-home” local florists that do weddings at a fraction of the cost of the mainstream bridal florists, worth looking into.
3. Photographer and/or videographer – Your photos and video will be one of the most important parts of your day however you’ll need to consider what you would like to capture. If shots of you getting ready and artsy shots of dresses hanging on chairs are really important to you then shop around for a professional photographer; however if you really just want to capture the moments during the ceremony and reception, think about whether you have any friends or family who are avid photographers with good equipment… if you think about it, we all know at least one! Many people opt to have their friends take all the photos and then send them the snaps afterwards. With all the technology available these days you can get your IT nerd friend to touch them up for you.
2. Cake – Think about the last 3 weddings you went to and describe each cake in detail……. Exactly. The honest truth is that no one cares! You’ll have 3 photos of the both of you cutting it and then it’ll be chopped up and thrown in bags. 2 tiered wedding cakes serve about 50 people and they can start at $500! If you know someone who can make a decent cake, ask them if they can help. Pinterest has some great inspiration for wedding cakes too.
1. Invitations and/or save the dates – Traditionally, wedding invitations are sent 3 months in advance however many people are opting for mid-week weddings these days so a save the date would make life easy for your guests if they have to organise an annual leave day or day off school. Even if you are making your own invitations, you could save on paper and postage by sending your invitations 4 months in advance instead. Search online for invitation templates and wording; there are a plethora of options on wording from really traditional to fun and modern.
3. Bonbonniere / wedding favours – Many couples opt not to give wedding favours these days but it you do feel the pressure of doing something, a donation to an organisation that has special meaning is also a popular option.
2. Gifts for the bridal party – If you’ve paid for their attire for the day, there is no need to get them a gift. Re-consider if you have asked them to purchase their own attire for the day.
1. Outfit change – Some couples like to have a “leaving outfit”, although that isn’t as popular anymore it’s better left for the old days. Getting changed will eat into your time celebrating and saying your goodbyes and besides, you only get to wear your gown for one day… keep it on for as long as you can.
These are my top 5’s however they may not be yours. Take a look at what’s important to you and apply the same principle, guaranteed you’ll be pleased with what you can save.
Good luck and happy planning!
Purple Orchid Brides