As most wedding blog posts start, things aren’t as they used to be with more and more couples paying for their wedding on their own. Traditionally parents would pay the $30,000-60,000 bill but that came with all the negative aspects of your parents having far too much control over the guest list, the style of ceremony, style of the wedding, and pretty much everything.

Like true millennial we’re taking weddings back, which mean we’re usually paying for them ourselves.

I’ve got some thoughts on how you could get the money together, but before I share them, let it be known that there is only one way in the world you can authentically come up with a wedding budget.

How to plan your wedding budget

If you forget that you’re planning a wedding, and instead, you’re planning a marriage celebration then you are liberated from all of the “must dos” of a wedding, and in their place you can create your own celebration, something that accurately and authentically reflects you.

So you chose all the things, dresses, art, entertainment, catering that you like, then get their pricing, and that’s your budget. If you can’t afford it now, then you divide it by how much you can save per week and hopefully that number is less than 100 so you can get married sometime in the next 18 months.

How to finance your wedding

Now you have your budget you can start getting the money together, and like financing anything, you have a range of options available to you, with the exception of selling your body, unless you guys are into that 🙂

  • Sell all the things! A friend of mine disposed of his prized guitar and watch collection so he could marry his now wife, it was worth it, it was an epic party!
  • On sale! Some items you need for your marriage celebration may be cheaper at sale time, like suits or dresses at stocktake sales, or wedding vendors sometimes will hold sales or offer discounts in their quiet periods.
  • Invest wisely! A fellow celebrant fired of mine is currently spending his days in-between weddings investing in stocks and playing the currency market and he’s making way too much money. Let’s just say it’s his shout for lunch when we catch up.
  • Opt for a day that isn’t Saturday. Saturday is the stock-standard day to celebrate marriage, but everyone is doing it. So you’ll be hard-up trying to convince your wedding vendors to offer a lesser package, or a better deal, on a Saturday. Monday weddings however are subject to lots of awesomeness. A good example of this is that you won’t be able to convince a wedding photographer that’s worth hiring to get out of bed on Saturday for anything less than their full day coverage package. But on a Wednesday they’re more available to offer a 2 or 4 hour photography package for a more affordable rate.
  • Change everything up! Taking a point from that last note on photography, your wedding photography doesn’t have to happen on your wedding day. Imagine if your wedding photography happened on Tuesday, and on Saturday you just had a sunset ceremony and a party straight after.
  • Plan your wedding together! This last point is the craziest, but most true point. So many wedding purchasing decisions are made without an honest and open conversation about what the both of you want. So money is wasted, and stupid decisions are made, and it all could have been avoided by saying to your partner “Hey I don’t care if we have a cake, but I feel like you want a cake, do you want a cake?” and boom all of a sudden you’ve become a 1% better partner and you saved some dollars.

Ways not to save money

  • Hire cheap wedding vendors. This always ends up in disaster. Save the money by hiring no-one instead of a budget or cheap wedding “professional”.

The feature image for this blog post is by Izo Photography in Perth. Jimmy’s the best!