Q: My fiancé and I are starting to plan our wedding, and it’s crazy how expensive things become as soon as you mention the word wedding. I know this is a bit left field, but can you offer any tips on how to financially plan for a wedding or ways to save some money?
A: There’s no doubt about it, weddings can be expensive and possibly one of the larger costs we encounter in our lifetime.
I’ve been through it myself and with one of my children, so I know how quickly things can add up.
If like most people you don’t have an unlimited wedding budget, realism is key. Here are some tips and things to consider that may help you cut costs and be financially savvy when planning a wedding:
1. Decide on a budget
A budget gives you a benchmark to not spend over it. It is a good idea to have a per person budget so you can control guest numbers, and make sure you put everything you’ll need for the wedding into your budget. Our wedding planning checklist is a good place to start.
2. Start saving early and know how you’re going to pay for everything
Once you know your budget, make sure that you can afford it! Even a wedding 12 months away will require a considerable amount to be saved, and if you’re going to need to borrow for your wedding make sure you’ve thought that through so you don’t end up with a pile of bad debt after your big day.
3. Shop around
Weddings are an expensive business, so try to get lots of quotes. Comparing costs with friends who have tied the knot before you may also help to work out what’s reasonable to pay and what’s not.
4. Consider a winter wedding or a weekday
Most wedding venues have a high and low season, so you will find that you can save a lot of money just by having a wedding in off-peak times, whether that’s winter or any day other than Saturday!
5. Control the guest list
As harsh as it is to say, every guest is a cost so if budget is tight or the wedding venue space is limited, you could consider cutting the wedding numbers and bolstering them for the engagement party.
6. Save on decorating
Cutting out unnecessary extravagances and doing some DIY decorating, like buying your flowers yourself straight from the flower markets, can save a fortune.
7. Save on invitations
Using an online invitation designer or simple template invitation can save a lot of expense.
8. Be wise on the wedding dress
Remember, you will only wear your wedding dress once excluding the dress fittings, so price it accordingly. Websites and pre-loved gowns are a good bet.
9. Save on Photographer
Get a friend who is a photographer to take the wedding shots or book a professional for a shorter time frame, as the costs can blow out otherwise. Getting the photos in digital form and creating your own photo album is another way to save costs.
10. Negotiate on price for everything!
Try to never accept a first offer. Ask if there is any wriggle room to bring costs down. Every dollar saved is a dollar in your pocket, or spent on the honeymoon!
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