"> A guide to wedding budgets - EasyPlan Financial Services

When the day of your wedding is meant to be one of the most important days in your life, it’s hard to put a price tag on it.  It’s also why couples get so carried away and end up spending way over their budget.

Many world coins in a money jar with wedding label on jar, beautiful flowers on background

The Australian Securities and Investment Commission estimate the average cost of a wedding to be roughly $36,200. To put this in perspective you could buy 18 round the world plane tickets, or put a solid down payment on a house. The cost of your wedding will ultimately depend on what type of day you’re looking to have, but if you’re looking for ways to save, read on.

Use your Guest List to Fill Roles on the Big Day

It may not be traditional but when you don’t want to scrimp on your wedding venue or open bar you have to find other ways to cut costs. Trawl through your guest list and find roles for your loved ones to fill. That cousin who went to beauty school? That’s your make-up artist. Your friend who moonlights as a part-time photographer? That’s your wedding photographer.

Wedding Tip – If you’re bringing two families together then get the kids to help design table centre pieces, not only will it cut costs but the outcome will be a beautiful and touching result.

Use Technology to Replace Wedding Planners

With sites like Pinterest you’ve got access to a wealth of wedding ideas and inspiration without using the expensive services of a wedding planner. Without completely discounting the benefits of hiring a professional, using such sites can provide ready made wedding paraphernalia for you to copy, or even modify at a reduced cost. You can also use the services of websites to print your own invitations and save-the-date notices.

Move the Reception to a Public Place

Your reception will have your other half, and a whole team of friends and loved ones so is the location really all that important? If the answer to that question is yes then it is worth it to spend big on the reception of your dreams, after all you’ll only get married once (hopefully!) But if it isn’t the end of the world then consider using a gorgeous public park or beach to take your guests and celebrate long and hard. Not only will these areas cost infinitely less than hiring a large space, but the back drop will make for an incredible photo op at a fraction of the price.

Wedding Tip – If your backyard is big enough consider moving the reception to your home. Nothing can compare with the intimate and romantic setting of your family home and a back yard full of loved ones.


Below is an average cost of what you can expect to spend on your big day and how you can save.

Food, alcohol and venue $18,683 vs $3500 for DIY catering and backyard venue (for a party of 100)

Tip: Moving the reception home or to a public place will lower this cost by thousands of dollars. Consider making your own appetizers to lower the food bill further, as many caterers charge in the thousands, you can freeze your own creations and re-heat them before your guests arrive. When it comes to the alcohol you can go all out, but try serving just one signature drink to your guests before they pay for their own beverages. If you and your partner love cocktails then serve all the men with a classy Manhattan and all the women a fresh French Martini to really make it personal, and memorable.

Wedding, clothing and accessories $4271 vs $1000 for second hand wedding dresses

Tip: Look up sample sales and factory outlets in the area. Depending on your style, you can find white dresses that cost $100-$500. The Zimmerman outlet for example has a range of long white dresses that would be great for bridesmaids and the bride.

Photography $3983  vs  $100

Tip: Download Wedpics to crowdsource your wedding pictures. Or ask a friend to bring their SLR camera.

Entertainment $2896  vs $500-$1000

Tip: Ask your guests to recommend song choices on their RSVPs then hire a live musician to play their songs. Doing the same for your reception’s DJ means you can cut your entertainment budget to under $1000.

Flowers and decorations $2896 vs $500-$1000  

Using a combination of in-season flowers or even silk alternatives can mean huge savings. Alternatively, purchasing a $500 wedding bouquet set then transporting it to the reception before the guests arrive means you can cut your flower and decoration costs in half. If you or any of your bridesmaids have a knack for floral arrangement, consider heading to the flower markets the day before the wedding. A good selection will only set you back about $500.

There are many ways you can splurge and save on your wedding day and budgets may not always go to plan. If your budget needs a boost, speak to one of our consultants at Easy Plan about personal loans.