How to save money on your wedding


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Getting married is definitely a big step and undoubtedly it is also an expensive one.

According to a poll by Bride to Be magazine the average cost of a wedding in Australia, including the honeymoon, was a whopping $49,202 in 2008!

And with the days of the parents of the bride having to open their wallets long gone, if you're planning on tying the knot you better start saving.

One decision you need to make is what type of wedding you want - a big, lavish do or something more intimate.

Make sure you and your partner talk about what you want and agree. You don't want to have a big fallout before walking down the aisle.

Many brides tend to think of it as their day. The word "bridezilla" has become part of our vocabulary, but it's important to include your fiance in the planning. Once you've decided on the style of wedding, sit down and work on a budget.

There's a wedding budget planner at that you might find handy. It lists all the possible expenses including reception, cake, ceremony, photographer, wedding dress, invitations etc.

Having done your budget, you should take a close look and identify any areas where you might be able to cut back. One way to save is to avoid the word "wedding" when booking anything.

A Choice undercover shadow shop revealed last year that if you mention the word "wedding" when booking an event, more than half the venues and suppliers will charge more than for an identical birthday event.

The reception will take a huge chunk of your cash. The easiest way to cut this cost is to trim your guest list. Only include people you see as long-term friends and don't feel you have to invite all your colleagues.

When you're getting prices for the reception, make sure you find out exactly what is and isn't included in that quote.

For example, you might get a price for food, but alcohol or chair covers might cost you extra. Look for a venue that doesn't need much in the way of extra decoration.

Saturdays tend to be the most popular day for weddings, so having it on another day might save you money. You might also consider having a cocktail party instead of a sit-down dinner, to keep costs down.

The wedding dress will be a significant expense. If you don't fancy breaking the budget on a dress you'll wear only once, consider buying a "pre-loved" dress.

There are second-hand wedding dress stores and you can also check out eBay. Alternatively, opt for a less-expensive evening gown.

Having great photos, and possibly a video, to remember the big day is a must, but that doesn't mean you have to spend a fortune using a professional photographer.

You may choose to hire a photographer for only a couple of hours in between the ceremony and reception for a few formal shots.

Or try approaching a photography student - they may be willing to do it for a small fee just to get the experience. Of course you can always ask family and friends to help out.

Often guests are more comfortable posing for someone they know rather than a professional, so you might even end up with better shots. That was my experience with the video - I prefer watching the one a family friend shot rather than the professional video.

As for wedding flowers, you may want to save by making your own arrangements - or get a friend or family member to do something for you. If you want to use a professional florist, make sure you choose flowers that are in season.

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Maria Bekiaris is editorial campaigns manager for Canstar and former deputy editor of Money. She holds a Bachelor's degree in business.
Maxwell Smith
February 11, 2020 10.06pm

Do NOT ask a family member to photograph your wedding. No matter how good their camera is. Professional camera does not equal professional photographer.

If you're gonna splurge on one thing, I'd say a professional photographer would take priority since the food, the venue, the music, etc. all get left behind after your wedding day. Your photos, however, will be with you for years to come.