We all have a fairly good understanding that weddings can be an expensive exercise, but do you really know just how much the average wedding costs in Australia? Slightly over $36,000, based on Australia’s Money Smart website. And that was in 2012! Nowadays, it’s likely somewhere around the $50,000 mark. I guess if you have rich parents it wouldn’t be an issue, but unfortunately most of us don’t.

Let’s face it, $50,000 is a great deal of money! You could buy a company, place a down payment on a property, settle your student loans, or perhaps travel the world! The fact is though, weddings are a celebration of two people who commit to devoting the rest of their lives together. Sure, we ‘d all like to have the wedding of our dreams, but we shouldn’t forget what’s really important.

While I’ve never walked down the aisle myself, I have a close group of friends, and two of them managed to pull off the most memorable weddings on a shoestring. Needless to say, it didn’t involve classy bridesmaid parties and catering for 300 guests, but it was unique, intimate, and every person who came had the time of their lives. If you’re about to get married on a budget and looking for ways to save money, then here’s how.

Location
There’s plenty of ways to save thousands of dollars on your wedding location. One of the most spectacular weddings I was invited to was in the garden of a friend’s house. Other options you could look into is hiring a neighbourhood park for the day, or maybe the beach. The atmosphere is incredible, you can personalise your wedding to precisely how you want it, and the costs are unbelievably low. If you opt to have your wedding in a public area, just don’t forget to call the local council and book well in advance.

Wedding Date
Although many people prefer their weddings on a Saturday, the prices of venues are much more expensive on Saturday than any other day of the week. Contemplate having your wedding on a Friday or Sunday where Monday is a public holiday. The time of year will likewise have a substantial influence on the price of your venue. If you’re dead-set on having your wedding reception in an indoor area, then organise your wedding date in winter and you’ll save around a third of the costs for venue hire itself.

Photography
The price of a professional photographer will frequently cost close to $4,000 for the entire day. With the exceptional specs of smartphone cameras these days, think about hiring a professional photographer only for the formalities and ask your friends to take photos throughout the duration of your wedding celebrations. You can create a hashtag on Twitter and ask your friends to publish their pictures, ensuring that there’ll be lots of natural pictures that resonate the true spirit of your special day.

Food & Drinks
If you really want to save money, then catering businesses are your top target! They charge extravagant prices and aren’t really necessary whatsoever. Consider arranging your own food and drinks and don’t hesitate to go against the grain here.

You could hire a wood fire pizza truck that serves gourmet pizza, or consider hiring a professional to roast a whole pig in the ground and make the sides on your own. For me, there’s nothing better than a pulled pork burger with mouth watering sauce and cheesy smashed potatoes! Don’t forget that most of the time, being original is much more memorable than being conventional. Also, look for a venue that enables you to bring your own alcohol. You’ll save a heap of money this way, and you’ll have the opportunity to work out a sizeable discount when buying in bulk.

Don’t Borrow Money
It’s not out of the ordinary for newlyweds to borrow money to fund their weddings, not realising how challenging it can be to pay back. Not only will you be paying for the wedding itself, but also interest on top of that, which can in some cases take years to pay off. If you’ve had an extravagant wedding and found yourself in financial difficulties, always seek financial assistance sooner rather than later. The sooner you take action, the more options will be available. For any financial advice regarding your personal situation, speak with Bankruptcy Experts Gympie on 1300 795 575, or visit our website for further info: www.bankruptcyexpertsgympie.com.au