Wonderful Weddings on a Budget

There’s no doubt that weddings can be expensive! 

The average cost of an Australian wedding is $36,000 according to a Moneysmart survey which is a sizeable investment in anyone’s language.   

The days of the bride’s parents paying for the entire wedding are long gone and many couples fund their wedding with savings, loans, and credit cards.  

For the budget conscious couple, it makes sense to reduce costs where possible. Follow these savvy tips to save $$$.

Wedding Gown:

  • Choose a simple, elegant bridal gown rather than one with a full skirt, train and a lot of hand beading.  Think Megan Markle rather than Princess Diana.  You will pay a premium for the extra detail and material.
  • Consider wearing a second-hand wedding dress.  Princess Beatrice wore one of the Queen’s dresses at her recent wedding, which created a lovely, sentimental touch. Facebook Marketplace can be a good place to start, and you may be able to purchase the gown of your dreams at a fraction of the price.
  • Rather than shopping at a bridal boutique, investigate home-based import businesses where the prices are much lower. 
  • Seek out sales at bridal salons.  Often the dresses are shop-soiled but can be revived by dry cleaning.
  • Ask for recommendations from recently married friends or relatives.  You could also ask to borrow a dress.
  • Find a talented seamstress who may create your dream dress much cheaper than a bridal salon. 
  • Broaden your horizons by looking for a white or ivory off-the-rack dress.  Or forego tradition altogether by wearing a coloured gown.  Show off your unique style!

Wedding Venue:

  • Consider having your wedding on a weekday rather than the weekend to save big $$$.
  • Investigate package deals as venues can often negotiate good deals with savings passed on to clients.
  • Contact your local council about holding your wedding in a park or botanic gardens. 
  • Choose a home wedding and book a wedding celebrant (religious or secular).  You could also have the reception at home in the garden.  Hired caterers can provide the food, or you could also ask relatives or friends who are good cooks to provide food.
  • Limit the number of guests to slash costs.


  • Use flowers that are in season rather than out-of-season and keep your bouquet simple.  Choose a limited palette of flowers to further stretch your savings.
  • If you have a creative friend, perhaps you could make bouquets together with flowers purchased at a flower market. 
  • Decorate your wedding venue yourself.  You could use votive candles, lanterns, fairy lights, ribbons and artificial greenery or flowers.  Look online for creative inspiration.
  • Consider using artificial flowers rather than real ones.  The quality of artificial plants is high these days with many flowers looking surprisingly like real ones.

General Tips:

  • Print your own stationery from your computer.  There are many design ideas online or you could hand-write the information for a personal touch.
  • Restrict the size of your wedding party to just a few attendants.  Not only can this save money, but it can also reduce the stress involved.  Have your best friend or close relative act as maid of honour and best man.

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