Russell Ward Finance Writer
Getting married can be an exciting moment in your life journey, when you commit to sharing everything with the love of your life. According to recent figures, the average cost of an Australian wedding is now at more than $65,000. Even if you’re planning on a less expensive event, here are some essential savings tips to help you prepare for your special day.
1. Set realistic wedding expectations
With the high cost of a wedding, it’s easy to get into debt fast, but you can have a wonderful day to remember without blowing the budget. Examine your finances and get creative with your plans, keeping it simple rather than Kardashian. Instead of splurging half a year’s earnings on one single day, set aside a portion of your income over the year and cut right back on non-essential spending to plan for a wedding that meets expectations but doesn’t cost the earth.
2. Create a wedding budget and stick to it
The biggest day of your life can quickly end up costing you more than you think. To keep costs under control, set a budget based on those things you absolutely must spend money on, and stick to it. Make a list of the essential items – the wedding dress, photographer, reception costs, and more – then add a small contingency to allow for overspends. Once your budget is in place, start saving for, and spending on, the wedding of your dreams.
3. Set your savings goals, then save
Now you’ve created your wedding budget, you need to be able to achieve it. By setting a specific wedding savings goal based on your incomings and outgoings, you can start to understand how much you could potentially save overall, for how long, and exactly how much you’ll need to save for wedding-related items. Consider scheduled payments from your regular bank account into a savings account set up specifically for the wedding – look around for the best accounts and rates.
4. Shop around for the best deals and cut your costs
Where possible, try to avoid mentioning the word “wedding” when spending on your big day, as you’ll likely pay a premium for the purchases you make. Do your research and call around for the best prices in your area, using terms such as “celebration” and “event”, plus look at ways to reduce costs by doing some things yourself. If you want to save big on your wedding day while retaining many of the elements you desire, consider an overseas wedding at destinations such as Thailand and Bali. You’ll often replicate the same experience that you’d get in Australia but for a fraction of the price and in a spectacular location.
5. Get organised and reduce wedding stress
As the wedding approaches, you’ll have bills to pay, suppliers to meet with, and untold activities to finalise and take care of. It pays to be organised so that debts don’t rack up and people aren’t chasing you for money on that hard-earned honeymoon. Create a list to stay on top of your wedding outgoings - who you need to pay, how much to pay, and when to pay them by. You don’t want to be stressing about unpaid bills on the big day.
About the author
Russell Ward is a professional business writer who has been published in The Huffington Post, The Telegraph, CEO Magazine, Global Living, Mamamia and Thought Catalog.
Please note that this article is not financial product advice and does not take into account any person’s individual objectives, financial circumstances or needs.