Close up shots of bride and groom holding hands Budgeting

Save Money on Your Wedding and Start Your Marriage Off Right

A wedding celebrates the beginning of your lives together. Between bridal party outfits, catering, cake, flowers, and other details, many couples are left overwhelmed and in debt. Follow the simple tips below to save money on your wedding and start the marriage off on the right foot.

1. Set a budget

A budget lays out a plan for your funds, especially if they are limited. But even lavish events benefit from having a spending outline before any credit card swiping occurs. Decide on what you can comfortably afford, and have an upfront, frank conversation with family about everyone’s contributions. Do not assume mum and dad will cover the bill if they did not explicitly promise to do that. Figure out any shortfalls and how to finance them, and take out a small personal loan, if needed.

2. Prioritise

What is important to you and your partner? Is it a fantastic dress, an award-winning photographer, or live music? Decide on the best place to spend the money, and simplify the rest. Don’t forget about the honeymoon. Would you rather spend the money on one day (wedding), one week (honeymoon), or perhaps on years of enjoyment (deposit on a house)? There is no universally right answer, so consider what means the most to you and set up your plans accordingly.

3. Simplify

Will the guests treasure personalised, expensive party favours as much as you think they will? Probably not. Focus on the important things – tasty food and a good time for everyone. And simplify! Can’t afford a three-course dinner for 100 guests? Either cut the guest list or do a dessert reception during early afternoon, serving cake, sweets, and champagne. Still want to feed everyone dinner? Go for a buffet with simple but good food, or have a BBQ and a casual, fun party.

4. Pick the date wisely

Most weddings take place on the weekends, so venues often offer discounts for other days of the week, even Friday evenings. Pick your date with that in mind and negotiate the rate with the vendors. Call around to see what option is the most reasonable.

5. DIY

Sites like Pinterest are full of do-it-yourself ideas for weddings and other events. If you have the time (or talented friends), pick a few simple ones and see what a few dollars worth of crafting supplies can accomplish. Remember to focus on what makes the most impact. Will the guests notice hand-painted decorative beads in the vases that you’ve spent days on? Probably not. But they will notice cute vases re-finished in your wedding colours, or creatively re-purposed mason jars filled with plants or fruit.

6. Pick the right venue

When picking a venue, consider food and drinks. If the venue allows outside catering, you can freely price compare different providers. Beware of locations that require the use of the in-house caterer as that can be expensive. Also remember the drinks. If your event is small, consider purchasing bottled wine and bringing that to the venue. A few bottles per table is all that’s needed to create a festive mood.

While planning for a wedding, remember that it is only one day. It is special and wonderful, but the details of the venue or the cake decorations are not what make marriages special. Have a plan, stick to it, and simplify what you can.