Listen up ladies and gents—we’re about to have some real talk about money.

It’s no secret that weddings are expensive business—in fact, the average Australian wedding costs $36,200. First, there’s the dream dress, then the expensive venue, followed by guests to feed and photographs to be taken. Not to mention the florals, the cake, the stylists, the videographer, the celebrant, the bridesmaid’s dresses, the makeup and hair artist, the music, the styling features…. the list goes on!  

So, how do you achieve your dream wedding, without having to eat baked beans for dinner every night? We’ve pulled together some tips and tricks to help you ease the strain on the piggy bank.

 1. Create a budget

Rule number one—create a budget and stick to it. Set an amount for the total figure you’d like to spend on your wedding, with consideration to everything else in your life. If you’re saving up for a home, consider the impact of wedding expenses on your ability to save, then budget accordingly.  RC_Weddings_SammyandAJ_075

Image: Sammy + AJ’s Wedding, Photography: Glass Slipper Photography

 2. Decide what’s most important to you

Next, decide what elements are most important to you and are worthwhile spending money on. If you’re totally flower-obsessed (like us!), spending big on flowers might be important to you. Or, you might be completely set on an ideal venue, so forking out the cash on that will be a number one priority. Budget for your ‘must haves’ as a first priority, then let your budget for everything else flow from there.RC_Weddings_NikkiandNelson_17

Image: Nikki + Nelson’s Wedding,  Photography: Christian Gideon

3. Cover your upfront expenses

Once you’ve got the budget locked down, it’s time to start booking. At this stage, you will often need to pay upfront costs to book your venue, your photographer and so on. If you’re in between pay slips and need the cash fast, do your research on short-term loans, and consider getting a short-term loan through a company like Nimble. That way, you can lock down your ideal vendors before they get snapped up by anyone else!RC_Wedding_HelenandTrent_39

Image: Helen + Trent’s Wedding, Photography: Pheobe Dunn,  Image Play

4. Spread out your wedding bills

If possible, try spread out other wedding bills across the year prior to your wedding. Arrange to make payments at different times with your florist, venue, car hire, dressmakers, and so on. This tactic will ease the burden across time.RC_Weddings_SammyandAJ_095

Image: Sammy + AJ’s Wedding, Photography: Glass Slipper Photography

5. Keep an eye out for hidden costs

Be sure to keep some money aside for hidden costs. Things like shipping costs, transport and logistic costs, cake cutting fees, administrative fees and venue overtime charges can all add up! Keep an eye out for these costs and set some budget aside for hidden costs as they arise. RC_Wedding_Jodie+Brendan_45

Image: Jodie + Brendan’s Wedding, Photography: Callie Marshall, Florido Weddings