Updated 19th February, 2017
You’ve just said ‘yes,’ and now it’s time to start planning the wedding you’ve secretly had a Pinterest board for since you were 17. But those euphoric feelings of finally being able to find unique wedding ideas on a budget and affordable honeymoon spots start fading away when you realise one thing: how much it’s going to cost you.
The average Australian wedding costs $36,200 – not small change for anyone. And when it comes down to starting your wedded life with a house deposit or a mountain of debt, it can be pretty tempting to just run away to the registry office. But before you go planning how to break it to your parents that there won’t be a big white wedding, here’s seven tips to help you plan your wedding on a small budget so your can muster up that home loan.
Budget Wedding Tip 1: THE VENUE – How to Avoid Unnecessary Minimum Spends
The first thing you book is also the most expensive, so you can either sell your kidney or you can take the slightly less invasive route and find a way to lower your dream venue’s minimum spend. If you’re planning a wedding on a small budget, try searching for a cocktail wedding venue and save even more when you turn your reception into a weekday soiree. Bonus savings also come when you have your wedding between January and October. Here at the Pineapple Hotel we’ve covered all bases for you, with cocktail, buffet, gourmet BBQ and sit down reception options, in the best Brisbane function rooms and all with a minimum spend that’s a whole lot friendlier.
Budget Wedding Tip 2: THE FOOD – How to Satisfy Hunger on a Budget
It’s not everyday that you have to feed such a large group of your nearest and dearest, and while you want everyone to eat in style it can be hard to figure out how to get that gourmet menu without shelling out half your budget. If you’re searching for some low budget wedding reception ideas, take the time to put together a crowd-pleasing set menu and lock it in at a price that won’t kill your appetite.
Budget Wedding Tip 3: THE DRINKS –Set Drinks Packages Save Serious Cash
Now you’ve got the food sorted it’s time to tackle the eternal reception question; to open bar or not to open bar? We say why not have the best of both worlds? Enjoy an open bar as you celebrate the evening away, but save yourself some cash by having a set drinks package to accompany your meal. There’ll be no one quietly complaining about that.
Budget Wedding Tip 4: THE PHOTOGRAPHER – How to Save on Creating Memories
‘You charge HOW much?’ was probably the response to your first quote for wedding photography. Yep, those treasured memories will cost you, but before you agree to mortgage your soul, consider negotiating a photographer for your ceremony only. After all, your friends and family will be snapping everything at the reception, and photo booths exist for a reason.
Budget Wedding Tip 5: THE MUSIC – Epic Playlists over Performers
Avoid the chance of a tipsy performer messing up song lyrics during your first dance and create your own wedding playlist. It’s an option that costs little to nothing and it can add a wonderfully personal touch to your celebrations. Plus you can keep the playlist and relive memories of your big day whenever you listen to it.
Budget Wedding Tip 6: THE EMCEE – Don’t Splurge on an Emcee – Make it Personal
Rather than hire a stranger to be the master of your ceremony why not save money and make it a more personal and unique experience by asking a friend or family member to do the honours or prepare wedding speeches? As long as you get your reception plan down pat before the big day, there’s no need to fret that things will go awry (but maybe don’t pick that friend who tends to get a little too fond of the open bar).
Budget Wedding Tip 7: THE DRESS – Customise, Customise, Customise!
This one’s a big one, and likely an area you’re reluctant to skimp on, but don’t worry, we’re not expecting you to forgo the dress of your dreams. If you’ve got a specific vision in mind for the dress you’ll wear on your big day why not create it rather than search high and low to find it. With a good tailor by your side you can find a dress with great bones and customise it exactly how you like. This way you get the perfect dress without the luxury price tag that usually comes when you find it in store.
Budget Wedding Tip 8: ‘Thanks, it’s rented’
Here’s an affordable wedding tip that often slips our client’s minds! Get the wedding dress of your dreams for a fraction of the price tag by renting or borrowing for the day! With fantastic online services now available, you can get the dress you’ve always wanted without trying to figure out what to do with it after your big day.
Budget Wedding Tip 9: Skip the Signage
Planning a wedding on a small budget can be tricky, which is why sometimes keeping it simple can be best. Our recommendation? Save time and money by skipping unnecessary decorations like ‘Mr & Mrs’ signs – if you’re guests can’t figure out who is who, you probably shouldn’t invite them.
Budget Wedding Tip 10: Give your nametags a touch of homemade charm.
Fancy letterpress services and the like can be costly to start with and frustrating if they get it wrong. So, if you’re looking for some truly unique wedding ideas on a budget we recommend trying to craft your table place cards yourself. For a rustic spin try writing guests names on pretty leaves or strips of bark from your garden.
Budget Wedding Tip 11: Digitise your memories
Guests books are a great way to keep track of all the wonderful people who shared your special day, but to be honest half your guests will forget to sign it and the other half are likely to forget they’ve already signed it and will sign it again – we’re looking at you Uncle Mark. We recommend skipping the process altogether or using an iPad app to keep track and avoid embarrassing double ups.
Budget Wedding Tip 12: Does there have to be a morning after?
We’re not sure who started the ‘wedding recovery’ tradition, but we wish they hadn’t. While it’s always a nice idea to keep the party going as long as possible, planning a wedding on a small budget doesn’t always accommodate for two celebrations. Keep it simple and ditch the customary family brunch the next day, trust us, your budget will thank you for it!
Start Planning Your Dream Wedding
With these seven tips in mine, find out what your wedding budget can stretch to at the Pineapple Hotel. Take a look at our function packages and start planning your reception at one of the best wedding venues Brisbane has to offer.