This post is brought to you by SnappyPhotoBooths.com.au.
Some romantics and wedding planners will tell you that you can’t put a price on love.
Taking into account the venue, dress, caterer, photographer, flowers, car hire, tuxedos and bridesmaids dresses, hairdresser, makeup artist, wedding party gifts, music and cake–you’re not getting change from that $50,000 and, depending on your choices, it all heads North from there.
Call me a tightwad, but I can’t help comparing expensive weddings and the astronomical cost of wedding planners with taxis–it costs you a heap of money for something you can easily do yourself.
For those first starting out in married life, money is rarely in abundant supply, so it seems a little ludicrous to be blowing a pile of it on one day. This is especially so when you consider many of the most enjoyable and memorable weddings are those which have been done on a shoestring budget with a quirky or unique twist to them.
So, direct from my miserly mind, I offer you some cost cutting tips which will also supply guests, family and friends some fun and frivolity.
The cost of hiring a wedding photographer will set you back anywhere between $2,500 to $10,000. In fact, couples can blow a big chunk of their entire budget just on the photographer alone.
One solution for those located in a big city like Sydney, is to consider hiring a photo booth in Sydney. Unlike the old cumbersome units we remember from our childhood, amongst other features, these modern beauties have the capacity for:
- Group shots
- Easy transportation and movement
- Video messaging
- Instant social media connectivity
- Personalisation capability
- Digital photo strips
- A dedicated attendant to streamline the experience
Venue and catering
The package deals offered by many venues will cover room hire and set menus. These sit down dinners where you pay per head can set you back an average of $18,000, once food and alcohol are accounted for.
Consider avoiding the cost of venue hire by utilising someone’s beautiful backyard and catering with ample, sumptuous finger food. The relaxed atmosphere of a marquee wedding reception, can result in some of the happiest memories for guests.
The estimated cost of flower arrangements can run from $2,000 to $10,000.
This exorbitant cost can be mitigated simply by creating one feature piece–for instance, a floral arch. Other money saving tips for bridal bouquets and adornments can be:
- Use freshly picked, garden flowers
- Buy from wholesalers or market stalls
- Choose simpler, cheaper arrangements
- Purchase realistic silk flowers
Dress and suits
Exploring the cost of suit and dress hire can make you realise it may be cheaper simply to buy sale clothes. Look for bargains on eBay or hire shops getting rid of old stock.
The fact is, pre-loved bridal and bridesmaid dresses will only have been worn once and then for only a few hours. It pays to at least browse through sites such as eBay and Gumtree. Dresses that may be out of your price range new suddenly become affordable when worn briefly by a previous owner.
Makeup and hair
If you simply must have professional hair and makeup for your bridal party, it makes sense that a smaller bridal party means less cost.
There are always local, mobile hairdressers and makeup artists offering their services through sites such as Gumtree, at far lower cost than large salons. Ensure you see actual examples of their past work before engaging their services, to avoid last minute hiccups!
Ask for cash – cough….cough…
Couples often balk at asking guests to give money rather than gifts as they feel it goes against the spirit of the occasion. For guests however, it can seem like the ideal situation as they don’t have to put any thought into gift giving or shopping.
Invitations can be creatively constructed to include a clever and informal way of inviting guests to give money rather than gifts. There are many suggestions online which tactfully bring up the subject of money…try this one on for size:
Create a little ‘donation well’ to provide guests with a receptacle for their contributions.
If you truly must have THE wedding of the season with all the accoutrements, may I suggest begin saving well in advance? Starting out in life with huge credit card debt is not ideal.
Do your research and set a realistic budget. If done early, you have given yourself the best chance of reaching your wedding goals.
Before spending outrageous sums of money on your wedding, consider what else you could buy with that cash–perhaps a deposit on a flat or furniture. It is far better to plan for a long marriage rather than a short wedding day. Best of luck!