Image by White Rabbit Productions via Mel & Jamie’s Lovely Yarra Valley Wedding

According to Australia’s largest wedding survey conducted by Easy Weddings, an average Australian wedding costs $20,913 and you must admit it’s a big number. So, before couples even start to plan their wedding, they have to deal with this horrendous figure, which can be a bit intimidating. Not only do they struggle with a million things involved in planning a wedding, but they also have to think about the financial pressure they’re going to put on their families and themselves. However, there’s no need for an awkward situation like that because there are a number of ways you can have everything you’ve imagined but without the high cost. I was my niece’s help in planning and organising her wedding just this summer, which motivated me to share our experiences with you.

Here are some tips on how to cut back on your expenses and still have that perfect wedding you’ve always dreamed of.

The guest list

Image by Whisper Photography via Ciara & Jonny’s Modern Waldara Farm Wedding

Even though it’s your big day and you want everyone to attend, stop for a second and think about it really hard. You don’t want your wedding to turn into a circus, with tons of people running around, some of which you don’t even know. Cut the cost by cutting out people you’re not really close with; that way, you’ll be able to make the entire ceremony more intimate and pleasurable for all. Surround yourself with your loved ones only and have a celebration which you’ll enjoy and not the one that can turn into an overcrowded fiasco.

The dress

Image by Long Way Home Photography via Kimberley & Justin’s Surprise Wedding At Brunswick Foodstore

You probably already have your heart set on that special gown which will make you look like a princess. However, Katherine Oyer from Aisle Planner advises that, instead of spending a small fortune, you first check out some of the sample sales instead. “At the end of each season, bridal salons and designers will typically sell their gowns ‘off the rack’ at a deeply discounted price,” says Oyer. Just pay attention when you’re trying out gowns to make sure there aren’t any tears or stains, otherwise, you are good to go. In the end, you can have that perfect dress without causing a huge damage to your budget.

The venue

Image by Abigail Varney via Andrea & Ben’s Mid-Century Inspired Melbourne Wedding.

The cost of the wedding venue takes up the largest chunk of your budget. It’s something couples waste their money on the most. One thing you can do in order to spend less is to book the venue off season or during the weekdays. The other thing is to take more time and really look for the perfect opportunity. You just have to be patient and believe that the perfect venue is out there, waiting to be found.

The flowers

Image by Abigail Varney via Andrea & Ben’s Mid-Century Inspired Melbourne Wedding.

Another huge waste of money is flowers. We are all well aware of the importance they have for the ceremony; however, spending a fortune can easily be avoided. Set a certain budget and pick the flowers accordingly. Shop around and see who can offer you the best price. Also, try repurposing any and all flowers used in a wedding. Take your bridesmaids’ bouquets and put them in vases after the ceremony. Your girlfriends won’t probably miss them that much. Taking the flowers from the ceremony and moving them to the reception is a really good way to save money. Make an arrangement with your florist to help you with this or ask a friend or a family member. And don’t worry, no one will know the difference, except for you and your wallet.

The help

You don’t have to hire an expensive wedding planner in order for everything to go smoothly. Instead of spending your money on hiring someone to help you, ask your friends and family like my niece did. You’ll be surprised with a number of great ideas your loved ones have to offer. The bottom line is, they know you best. Also, they might know someone who knows someone who can offer you a good deal on a number of things. And they’ll surely be ecstatic for being able to contribute to your special day.

The most important thing you can do is carefully plan everything out, take your time, don’t rush, ask your closest ones for advice and don’t stress about it. Don’t forget to enjoy yourself and have fun; after all, that’s all that matters in the end, other things will fall into their own place eventually.

Image by Madeleine Chiller via Brittany & Peter’s Gorgeous Glasshaus Wedding

Ms Zigzag says: It’s so important to plan out your budget and not go over it (too much!) You really don’t want to start off marriage broke and stressed about the cash you’ve spent or owe. Thank you Olivia for sharing this wonderful advice. 

About Olivia Williams Jones: My name is Olivia and I am a psychologist, but a passionate writer, an entrepreneur, a traveler and conscious consumer, seeking healthy and sustainable products to incorporate into the lives of my family.