Weddings are often considered one of the happiest days of our lives, but according to the 2015 Cost of Love survey by Bride To Be, the special day costs, on average, over $65,000. Your big day shouldn't be dampened by the feeling that your bank account and back pocket are now empty, so we've got four tips to help you reduce that final bill.
Start the preparations earlier
Starting the wedding preparation as early as you can will maximise your chances of cutting costs and finding the best deals available, especially when it comes to venue hunting. Starting the preparations earlier ensures you get first dibs on time slots such as a Friday night or the night before a public holiday.
November is the most popular month for couples to tie the knot, closely followed by March. For those trying to save, we found July and August were quoted as the least expensive months to get married, so consider setting your wedding date before the November peak.
Wedding photography is an important and popular part of the tradition, with most couples requesting outdoor-style wedding shoots. Photographers can cost between $1000-$5000, but connecting with a nearby expert will minimise extra travel fees.
Opt for one photographer for an intimate wedding and if any of your friends are budding photographers, kindly ask them to help out as photo assistants or to help with lighting and set up.
Ask friends to help out
Leverage talent among your friends by asking mates to perform. This will shorten the length of time you need to have a hired DJ or entertainer.
Also, keep an eye out for community noticeboards -- local bands and small-scale DJs often post notices looking for gigs to perform at to help get their name out.
On average, couples who invite between 50-150 guests will budget at least $5000 towards their catering.
Save on your catering bill by opting for dishes that fit the season. Dishes that feature produce in season make it easier and cheaper to source ingredients.
Ask your hired caterer if costs can be adjusted if you organise the cutlery and alcohol. If so, keep an eye out for forks and knives you can pick up from op shops. Don't forget, alcohol will keep for a while so you can slowly stock up on wine as it goes on sale.
Planning a wedding can be both daunting and exciting for the newly engaged, but with a little bit of help, dreaming and organising your special day can be enjoyed without the stress and frustration.