Hello, it’s Britt here, Josh’s better, prettier, smarter and more feminine half. I heard that a lot of you enjoyed the Kardashian blog post and ever since, Josh has been pleading with me to write another. So here goes.

I think it’s important to not have a “budget wedding.”
Josh and I were married 500 days ago and although it seems like an eternity, I still like to think of myself as a bride. When Josh approached me to guest blog for him, I was a little stumped for what you would consider helpful and worthy of important ‘wedding planning’ time. So, this is what I’ve noticed from reading different Facebook groups, blogs, forums and a lot from the wonderful engaged people in my life: the word ‘budget’ is a yucky and overused word.

When I hear people say the word budget I think of cheap cheap cheap. While it’s important to make a budget and stick to it, and go over where sensible, I think it’s important to not have a “budget wedding.”

Let’s be honest here, we’re amongst friends aren’t we? When Josh and I were engaged we looked at our finances and set ourselves a budget of $10,000 for our wedding.Yes, you counted the zeros correctly. Ten thousand, 10K, $10,000 was what we felt was a nice amount to spend on one of the most beautiful days of our life.

Let me give you my background- I am the daughter of a naval officer turned accountant, and I am ever practical- so when my parents offered up that nice round amount, I made it my goal to stick to the budget.

Then I found Pinterest …

Oh boy, Pinterest. The budget seemed so far away from my mind as I played with the ideas of mason jars, hay bale chairs, coral peach blush bridesmaids gowns, chandeliers and of course my toy poodle needed to carry our rings. I felt overwhelmed, not wanting to spend our life savings on this day but still wanting things to be story-book-beautiful.

I did it. I had my perfect day. I had the photographer I wanted. The makeup artist, the chairs, and my dress, oh my dress!

Here are some of the ways that I stuck to my $11,870 budget:

Photographer

Our photographer quoted around $4000 for the entire day, including me getting ready and our reception, giving us the photos on a disc to print as we desired.

And although this was an amazing deal, I approached him and asked if he was willing to shoot only our ceremony, the photos after, and then a few of the details from our reception quickly. This would work out as about five hours work rather than the 12+ that he originally quoted us for.

For our reception, we bought an old school polaroid camera and passed it around.

wedding polaroids

This dropped the price to $1500. Paul Bamford worked miracles and of course we still highly recommend him, and his full day packages!

Saving: $2500

Reception

We had our reception at my parents’ house.

They have a beautiful open plan space, with a stunning pool and outside area (this also acted as our rainy plan B). We originally booked a venue, a beautiful space on the Gold Coast and got my (wonderful) Dad to put down a $1000 deposit.

However, at $79 per head for canapés with a drink package on top of that- it dawned on me that I wouldn’t go out for dinner and pay $79 for food alone. So we forfeited our deposit, hired the most amazing caterer, music man, waiter, and a cleaner for the day before and day after. This freed me up to be as creative as I wanted with our decor and we could take our time moving things around.

The day before the wedding, I went to Coles about spent about $200 on flowers, using the glass jars that I had everyone collecting- I got the ‘homemade chic’ feel that I was aiming for. I wanted everything to be beautiful, but I wanted people to feel relaxed and comfortable.

Wedding flowers from Coles

And with no curfew, my mum slipped cash to the DJ to stay long after Josh and I had left.

On a side note: Alcohol is always one of the most expensive costs of a wedding. Having the reception at a private venue meant I could go to a bottle shop and people could BYO if there were any particular requests.

Saving: (at least) $10,000

Wedding reception

Bridesmaids

I love my girls, they travelled from far and wide but each showed up and created memories that I will cherish forever … but women are expensive. Think- hair, makeup, spray tan, dress, shoes, jewels and ‘bridesmaid gift’ and I was looking at around $1000 per chicka and times that by four, you get the point.

Here’s what I did, I chose a cheaper, but equally pretty dress, for them and asked that they buy it. I booked a cheaper makeup artist and although they paid for her, I paid half of their hair. As it seemed that I forced spray tans upon them, I paid for that too. Their jewellery was their gift, along with matching robes for us to all get ready in. I wanted something practical, and I know that they still wear their dressing gowns!

IMG_0289

As for shoes, I wasn’t bothered- I said “nude, silver, gold, flat or high’- two wore shoes from previous weddings and others went out and purchased new ones- like I said, I wasn’t bothered.

Flowers

Flowers are ridiculous. I showed them the designed I like. Got the quote. Died. Came back to life. Halved the bridesmaids size, bought a fairy wand for my flower girl. Then paid the bill.

Saving: around $1000

063_WithersWedding 109_WithersWedding

Bombonire

I still don’t quite understand this. I invite you over, pay for your dinner and drinks, you dance and then I give you cake and a present for coming?! Doesn’t make sense, but not wanting to offend anyone- we made them a mixtape. Thats right- a CD full of all the music that had been featured throughout the day. My aisle song, signing song, first dance etc. I had our invitation graphic designer make album covers and have them printed then I gave Josh a list, locked him in a room and our thankyou-for-letting-me-buy-you-dinner gifts were created.

Saving- $10-30 per head 

CD Wedding Gift

Depending on the response from this blog, I could keep going on the different ways I made our dream wedding work at a price that we liked; wedding cars, wedding cake etc, but I’ll leave you tonight with this: It is one day, one beautiful day, and although you need a budget, you needn’t have a budget wedding.