*This advice is brought to you in partnership with our friends at TFE Hotels
Planning a wedding can be expensive. Not only is there the venue, transport and formal wear to organise, but you also have the honeymoon, decorations, and little bits and pieces like bomboniere. It all adds up! So it’s no wonder that planning an affordable wedding is a priority for many couples who would prefer to put their money towards other life goals.
When it comes to planning your big day, reminding yourself (and others) that it doesn’t always have to be a BIG day can come in handy. The average Australian wedding costs $31,368, but there are plenty of ways you can plan your wedding to suit any budget.
Doing a little bit of research for your wedding day can go a long way. Whether you’re wanting to save on your entertainment budget or your formal wear, knowing what you should be paying for each service can be ideal.
One tip is to look for an unexpected wedding venue to help make more room in your budget. Everyone makes a beeline for traditional venues, but sometimes the best venues aren’t always the most obvious ones. For instance, you might think that hotels are only good for wedding night accommodation. However, most have exceptional event capabilities and offer competitively priced packages that might give you more bang for your buck than a traditional venue.
When it comes to the outline of your day, here are our tips on how to plan the wedding of your dreams to cater to any budget.
Focus on what is important to you
There’s no point in splashing out on a wedding if you’re going to look back on what should be a special day and regret it. Focusing on what is important to you can help you decide what you do and don’t put your budget towards.
We suggest choosing a handful of wedding features that are important to you and focusing on them as your must-haves. That way, if your planning starts to get a little bit out of hand, you can look back at these must-haves and compromise on the rest.
Don’t lose sight of what you want your wedding to be about, and your budget shouldn’t lose sight of it either.
Book your most important suppliers first
Booking your most important suppliers first can help you manage your budget throughout the wedding process. There’s no point splurging on parts of your wedding that you’ve agreed you can budget on, and then not having enough when your dream photographer comes along. Making a list of what to book when can be helpful to keep your mind on the task at hand.
We advise starting your wedding search with your venue. The average cost of a wedding venue equates to about 45% of the average wedding budget and can also help you set the date, which will, in turn, help your budget.
Search for inspiration…but don’t use it all
Instagram and Pinterest can be great aspirational tools when it comes to planning your wedding, but they can also lead us into a false sense of what is the ‘wedding norm.’ Keeping an eye on the latest trends through celebrity weddings is all well and good until you find yourself spending more than you can afford!
If you do see weddings online that you want to replicate for your own special day, pick one or two elements to bring across instead. That way, you can still have your very own luxe vibe while keeping your day affordable to your budget.
Know what you can and can’t DIY
DIYing for your wedding can be a great way to save money, but knowing what you should and shouldn’t do yourself is also key. Sometimes going down your own route will actually cost you money than if you’d had someone else do it for you from the start. If you are looking at DIY for your wedding, research advice from what couples before you have done. It could very well save you in the long run.
Get married outside of peak season
One of the most tried and true ways of keeping your wedding budget on track is to get married on a less expensive day or time of year. Many on-the-day suppliers such as venues, photographers and wedding car companies have different prices for weekday weddings or weddings during non-peak times of the year.
For instance, Saturdays and weekends are by far the most popular days to get married, while Spring is a much more popular time of year as well. So getting married on a Saturday in November is likely to cost you more than having a Thursday wedding in July.
Researching what days and seasons are most popular can help you to keep your costs down while still being able to book the venue or suppliers you like.
Cut down the guest list
A big cost when it comes to planning your wedding is the guest list. Making sure that you have your most important friends and family around you for your wedding is invaluable to your day. But inviting more people than you need can add to your wedding stress.
When it comes to cutting down your guest list, we always advice starting with the plus ones. The average cost of a wedding per head is now $150, which is a great figure to pull out the next time someone asks for a plus one without reason.
Those who you haven’t seen in years or who will be unnecessarily demanding should also be reconsidered.
Find a venue that can do more than one thing
To save on costs, finding a venue that can also cover other elements of your day is a great way to save both time and money in the long run. Packages that can be tailored to you with their own venue wedding planner are a great way to save money, and they give you the chance to be as lavish, intimate or classic as you can be. A wedding planner will also be there to help guide you along the way, letting you know what packages and features will be the most valuable to your planning, theme, and of course budget.
Enter a competition
What’s better than planning an affordable wedding? Not having to pay for one at all!
Entering a competition to win a wedding is not only great fun, but there’s a potential bonus at the end as well.
TFE Hotels are currently giving one lucky couple the opportunity to win their dream wedding. You’ll have the chance to choose from your choice of venue across all Australian capital cities, including Rendezvous Perth Scarborough, Vibe Hotel Marysville, Vibe Hotel Rushcutters, Rendezvous Melbourne, Vibe Hotel Darwin Waterfront, Vibe Hotel Gold Coast, Vibe Savoy Hotel Melbourne or the Hotel Kurrajong Canberra.
To enter, all you have to do is tell them, in 25 words or less, why you want to marry the love of your life in 2018.