The only things you need to get married are…
1. Another person, your fellow weirdo who has agreed to love you and put up with all of your weird habits and you to them.
2. Someone to make it official, a celebrant or a minister.
3. Witnesses (depending on where you are making it official.)
That is it.
Al of the other stuff, such as alcohol, donut walls, cute shoes, a pretty venue and cake are really just nice extras to make your wedding celebration, a celebration but they aren’t vital to making it a wedding.
Saving money when wedding planning, is about perspective and knowing what you value.
What aspects of the day are really important to both you and your partner? What are non-negotiables when it comes to the day?
Maybe you envisage a wedding week extravaganza with 300 guests and multiple events and parties, but your partner always imagined getting hitched in a bookshop with 12 people.
And if you’re engaged you really should give Mamamia’s podcast Hitched a listen. In our second episode, we talk about how to get married without going broke.
You can download the full episode from iTunes, your favourite podcast app, or listen here.
Perhaps you imagined eloping and just escaping to a tropical destination where you can get married barefoot on a beach, but your partner was hoping to have a big, formal black tie event with canapes and everyone wearing shoes!
Having an open discussion and hearing each other’s thoughts and opinions early on before you spend any money or make commitments will ensure you are both celebrating at the same event.
1. Go paperless
A great wedding invitation alternative is to use Paperless Post, a digital invitation service with beautiful designs that you are able to both send via email and then print a couple of copies if you want to send them to people like your grandparents who may not have access to emails.
2. Use in-season flowers
When selecting wedding flowers (if you want flowers at all), it’s a smart idea to choose blooms that are in season as they will be cheaper and, most importantly, readily available. You would be surprised how many flowers we see in florists that are flown in from all over the world, which can be very costly. Speak with your florist about what is in season and work backwards from there.
3. Ditch bomboniere
Many guests leave the reception without even taking their gifts home with them. Who really needs a scented monogrammed candle or a key ring? A lot of the stuff that people give is tacky and doesn’t have any relevance to who they are, it’s more of an obligation gift than anything.
4. BYO Booze
If your venue is self-catering, or doesn’t serve alcohol but will allow you to supply your own, then you are in luck! Wholesale alcohol is great for the budget, and there are always deals aplenty to find. When buying alcohol wholesale, make a note of the retailer’s return policy. If you end up buying too much, some suppliers are open to the return of unopened alcohol. Be sure to keep the original packaging intact and keep your receipts.
5. Gift overload
When it comes to weddings, we have entered a period of gift giving overload.
Gifts for the bridal party, gifts for the parents, gifts for the driver who drove you to the venue. The thought is lovely, but no one’s going to judge you, or think any less of you, if you don’t give them a special wine bottle with a personalized label that says, “Will you be my bridesmaid?” And another special box of perfume to say, “Thank you for being my bridesmaid.”
A card, or something handwritten and delightful, is perfect and much more personalized and thoughtful, especially if you’re on a budget.
6. Don’t waste your money on flashy cars that no one sees
Arriving at your wedding in a flashy old vintage car that you paid $900 to hire for an hour but no one will see you in, to me is a strange tradition.
Cars are an expensive and often unnecessary addition to the wedding day bill. Unless the car is pulling up directly in front of your guests, no one is going to witness your grand arrival in your flash, pricey car. I’m not suggesting that you turn up to the wedding in an old clapper but looking at alternative options will be a guaranteed money saver.
If you are struggling with your wedding budget and ways to save money, remember to pause and go back to thinking about what you want vs what you need. Consider what you value over what wedding magazines and Pinterest advise you to do are necessary details to include in your wedding and ditch the things that don’t have meaning to you…trust me, it’s very empowering and your budget will be all the better for it.