Through our High life for less series, we look at how to enjoy the richness of life without an abundance of riches. We looked into dating, Christmas, travel and beauty. Another significant, (hopefully) once in a lifetime cost, is one’s wedding, estimated at $53k per couple. Interestingly, other research from 3,000 couples revealed that if couples spent more than $20k on a wedding they’re 1.6x more likely to divorce! So not only are weddings expensive, there appears to be a law of diminishing returns (jokes! 😉 How can we save for the special day?
How much are Australians spending?
Wedded Wonderland’s median cost of a wedding of $53,168, a 3.75% increase from last year. Let’s look at the breakdown.
Tracey Sofra points out to the ABC that you might want to consider that the financial decisions you make today will have a huge effect on your life in the future.
“A wedding is just one day. Think of the long-term effects of putting down that $30,000, that is a lot of money.” – Tracey Sofra, financial planner
Where can you save?
We asked our Xinjas where they saved on their weddings and we got the following savings suggestions:
Agree a budget, estimate costs and regularly sweep funds into your savings account. Determine your savings strategy and keep each other honest! Stagger bookings and pay costs upfront to avoid interest! Credit: nanoxinja
Get hitched off-peak
Wedding season in Australia runs October to March and the most popular day is Saturday. To score some savings consider Thursday, Friday or Sunday weddings. Credit: earthyxinja and barefootxinja
Invite close family to a wedding ceremony and have canapes & drinks ceremony at night.
That way you get to save on sit-down meals and the budget is spent on booze. Credit: earthyxinja
Spend those funds travelling the world, it’s the best investment anyone can make! Credit: checkpointxinja
Buy a second hand gown
Buy or sell (or both) your dress on Still White (or ‘mildly beige…’)- an online marketplace for dresses. You can find beautiful pre-loved (and sometimes brand new) wedding gowns from all the best designers at a fraction of the price. I bought my dress for $3K but sold it for $1.5K so net my gown cost me $1.5K. Not only is this good for your pocket, it’s good for the environment! I also made a new friend in the process. Credit: sportyxinja
Buy bridesmaids’ dresses from Bali
I owned a beautiful black silk Bianca Spender gown. I sourced the material from the market in Bali and got the dress copied in 4 different sizes to give to my bridesmaids. Each dress cost me $32 in total compare that to buying it at RRP$899 from Bianca Spender! Win. Credit: sportyxinja
Groomsmen go DJ-less
If you’re getting married in peak season, get your groomsmen to go without jackets. That way you only have to buy pants and ties. Credit: brainyxinja
Fake your cake
Only get the top tier of your cake made – and don’t tell the baker it’s for a wedding. Fake the rest. Alternatively, opt for a naked cake – the icing is where the cost is! Credit: travellerxinja and brainyxinja
Host a website and send digital invites. “It cost me about ~$60 to send my wedding invites and about $2 to set up my domain and $16/month for the website which I ran for about 6 months.” Credit: sportyxinja
Make your own bouquets – with youtube videos and Pinterest to show the ‘how’ it’s so easy to make your own bouquets. You need access to a decent flower market and some patience. Credit: sportyxinja
Do DJ or enlist family & friends
Crowdsource your spotify playlist and hook into the venue’s speakers. Or get a cousin in charge of the tunes! Credit: earthyxinja
“We used a friend’s wishing well that they had at their wedding to save buying/building our own. A lot of the groomsmen already owned tuxedos from attending other weddings, balls events. So, rather than buying new suits for the wedding, we went with a black tie theme and the guys could just wear their own tuxedos.” Credit: sportyxinja
Crowdsource your entire wedding
You know we’re fans of crowdsourcing! Whilst researching this topic we came across crowded wedding – a crowdfunding platform for weddings, gifts and honeymoons – that plugs into Paypal. A convenient way for your guests to contribute!
Buy booze on discount
Use vinomofo and other wine clubs to source booze on discounts. Keep the selection down to a minimum. Credit: nanoxinja
Create your own photobooth / photography
Create your own photobooth by buying a bluetooth remote, tripod and hook it up to your old ipad. Head to your local costume store and buy fun props. Set up a free app like wedpics or wedsocial to crowdsource photos for the wedding. Credit: nanoxinja
What is the bare minimum cost to get married in Australia?
If you wanted it in writing but without the fuss, what would it cost? All marriages need to be lodged with the registry of births, deaths and marriages in your state or territory. In legal terms, you’ll need an authorised celebrant, a ceremony and the paperwork, such as the notice of intention and the marriage certificate. Here’s the minimum cost by state:
NSW – $422
WA – $371
Qld – $332
Vic – $320
SA – $291
NT – $250
ACT – no registry weddings, a standard marriage certificate is $55
Tas – no registry weddings, a standard marriage certificate is $48.05
What do you think? Have you got any other ways you saved on your wedding? Join the conversation here. Tell us your thoughts and ideas at our forum.
Sarah May is Marketing and Community Lead at Xinja.
The content above does not represent any form of advice and Xinja has obviously not considered your individual circumstances in preparing this. It is simply a few thoughts on savings techniques to get the conversation started.