If you’re engaged and currently in the process of planning and booking your wedding, congratulations from the entire wedBooker team! What an exhilarating time for you and your partner – we bet you’re right in the thick of making decisions. Perhaps you’re currently deciding on a South Coast or Blue Mountains wedding or whether to have a low-key cocktail or three-course sit down affair? Either way, your wedding should be as unique as you.

However, one of the hardest parts about planning and booking your big day is the dreaded ‘b’ word. Yep, those budgets. Whilst it seems like keeping track of your spending is sapping all the fun out of planning a wedding, we all know it’s actually really important – considering the average wedding is costing some couples over $60,000, it doesn’t hurt to be a little bit cautious with the credit card and mindful on where the dollars are going.

What matters most to you both?

Now, we’re not saying to do your wedding on the cheap and compromise on quality. Whatever your budget, you can still be smart with your spending. When it comes to wedding planning, it’s often the little things that start to add up and blow the budget. And, it’s about compromise – if you really, really, really want a six-tiered white chocolate cake with edible flowers, then that’s your choice (we’re feeling a bit jelly), but maybe there’s something that you might be able to pull back on, so you can keep those dollars in the bank.

And it’s certainly not about penny-pinching and haggling down prices with suppliers like you’re at a market. It’s just about working out what’s important to you and where you see the most value in your spending. We’ve put together five considerations that you and your partner might want to think about when it comes to budgeting for your big day.

wedding couple
Jimmy Raper Photography

Consider your guest list numbers

It might be obvious, but the more people at your wedding, the more you have to spend on them. Many couples are put in a difficult position, having to invite distant relatives, new partners of friends, or coworkers that they barely know. But remember, it’s your day and people should be understanding and respectful of your decision. Whilst you don’t want to upset anyone, sometimes it comes down to being practical and pragmatic about the whole thing. Think of it this way – if you invite 100 people to your wedding, spending $100 per person just on catering, your bill will be sitting at $10,000. Drop that number to 70 guests and you’ve quite literally saved yourself $3,000 – remember when you and hubby-to-be were eyeing off that honeymoon to Bali but were worried about the flight costs? It might just happen now.

Keep your bridal party tight

The beauty of modern wedding planning is that you can do whatever you like – you can keep traditional touches like the big white dress, old school style vows and tossing the bouquet whilst mixing in 21st-century elements. And, gone are the days of having 12 bridesmaids dressed in less than flattering taffeta dresses (à la 1984). It’s all about Marie Kondo-ing your bridal party, with some brides choosing to have a couple of bridesmaids, one maid of honour or even none at all. Like the guest numbers, the bigger the bridal party, the bigger the budget – dresses, shoes, nails, spray tans, hair, makeup – and that’s just the girls. In some cases, your bridesmaids and groomsmen may contribute, but there are still expenses involved and added extra pressure when you have multiple people to consider. What’s their shoe size? Will they be happy wearing a bow tie? Will they want to do a speech at the wedding? What order should they walk down the aisle? Are they all going to be comfortable in a strapless dress?

So why the big bridal party in the first place? Where did the idea come from? There’s evidence to suggest that having a bridal party dates back to Ancient Roman times, where bridesmaids and groomsmen would dress like the bride and groom to ward off and confuse bad spirits who might want to harm the married couple – thankfully, there’s no need for this in the modern age. Ultimately you want your bridal party to be there to support you and your partner, stand by your side on the big day and take the pressure off you, not the other way around. When groups get big, there are more people to manage so, in this case, we say cheers to quality over quantity.

bridesmaids and bride
Thomas Stewart Photography

How about a mid-week wedding?

Imagine finding your perfect venue and then being told it’s booked out for the rest of the year. Heartbreaking right? Save your sanity and your spending by considering a mid-week wedding. There’s plenty of couples out there opting to say ‘I do’ on a Wednesday purely because it can be significantly cheaper than a weekend wedding. Lots of venues offer mid-week packages and incentives to encourage couples to book, saving you thousands of dollars. And, don’t panic about your guests being able to make it. If you provide plenty of notice, they’ll be able to organise leave from work and, quite frankly, what a great way to break up the week, right.

Go against the grain with an off-season date

Much like the ever-popular Saturday wedding, you might want to have a spring or summer celebration. The trouble is, so do many, many, many other brides. According to McCrindle, 56 per cent of weddings take place on a Saturday, with November and March being the most popular months for nuptials. It’s the winter months, like June and July that are the least popular. So why not consider a winter wedding? At least your guests won’t be sweating up a storm and you’ll be able to rock a gorgeous long-sleeved gown. Think open log-fires, mulled wine and a colour scheme of deep plums and ever-green, so chic. And, much like the mid-week wedding, many venues and suppliers will be able to offer competitive pricing, really great packages and deals. Plus, there’s a good chance that your list of favourite wedding suppliers will be free for your date. Talk about stress-free planning.

wedding in winter
Tealily Photography

Shop around for pre-loved wedding accessories

Something to consider when planning a wedding is, does it always have to be brand new? When it’s new, you know you’re going to spending on the premium. Often you can get something second-hand, barely used for half the price – things like candles, table decorations, signage and even crockery and glassware can be sourced second hand. Not only are keeping your budget in check, but you’re also doing your bit for the environment.

But what about spending when it comes to your outfit? How can you save a buck or two? Take wedding dresses, for example, purchasing a sample dress rather a brand new one can save you hundreds of dollars. If your wedding is throwing vintage vibes, then take it one step further and rock an actual vintage gown or rework a family members wedding dress with a professional dressmaker. Or, if you’re after a high-end designer number, then it’s always worth shopping around on dress sites like Still White. You might source yourself a piece of haute couture for a fraction of the original cost.

Spend on your wedding celebrations, but spend wisely

When it comes to managing your wedding budget, it’s about being balanced – where you can compromise in parts, you can put more money towards other areas. We understand that every couple is unique, so it’s about asking yourselves, what matters to us? What are absolute necessities and what can we forgo? Having every relative and distant family member there might be more important than hiring a luxury wedding venue or you might want to put more money into your florist and floral displays than catering. It doesn’t matter, because it’s your day.

At wedBooker, we want your wedding to be as spectacular as you could possibly imagine, no matter the budget. If you’re ready to start booking your wedding, then reach out to us today, we can help you find your dream venue, source the best makeup artist in the area or even scope out a spectacular fireworks display, the choice is yours.