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Wedding Budgets!

August 6, 2013


Depending on the article you’re reading the average Australian wedding costs between $30,000 and $50,000. Now that’s a big difference, but even going on the lowest figure that’s one hell of a chunk of change to spend on a party.

I spend a lot of time with brides and there is one key item that pops up in my conversations with them – budget!!! Or shall I clarify… blowing the budget. Most brides enter wedding preparations with a pretty naïve view of just how much it’s all going to cost. Before you know it, you’re spending a thousand dollars on custom invitations when you were actually going to do them yourself. I end up meeting brides pretty late in the planning process, so it’s always interesting to hear just how exasperated they are with the budget blow out.

Now, I’m a planner by nature and I love a gantt chart and an excel spreadsheet. I’ve been married for 9 years but I still have my wedding spreadsheet and I can tell you right now how much my wedding cost, almost down to the last cent! That’s not to say my wedding was cheap, quite the opposite, but at least I know exactly how and where the money went.

Using a template I found online I tweaked and refined it. I’ve got drop down boxes and auto calculators by ‘payee’. There are tones of templates available on wedding directory websites and I’d highly recommend you download one. Now you don’t have to be as extreme as me, but a budget template is an absolute MUST. Here are a couple to try out: Bride Online  or  Easy Weddings Budget template. If you can’t find a template that works for you, don’t hesitate to contact us at and I’ll email you mine!


Here are some wedding items and estimated costs to get you started on your wedding budget.

Here are my top 5 tips for wedding budgeting:

Plan the budget, not the wedding:

My advice is to spend the first couple of months planning the budget, not the wedding! Call your local suppliers, send them pictures of what you want and get a good idea about how much it all costs. Use local suppliers where possible to avoid travel or postage fees. Then sit down and decide what is REALLY necessary. Do you really need that imported rose that no one else will even appreciate??

Talk to your parents:

Have you had the conversation with your parents about how much they’ll be contributing, if any? It’s sometimes an awkward conversation, but a necessary one. How much can you personally afford if they don’t contribute? Ask yourself if you are willing to get into debt for this event?

Talk to your bridal party:

Suit hire, dresses, hair & makeup, shoes, accessories, accommodation etc etc etc…..have the conversation early with your bridal party and ask them whether they’re willing to contribute to these costs or whether you’ll be paying. The conversation may be awkward but you don’t want to get to the check out when paying for the dresses to find out you’re paying the full amount if you hadn’t budgeted for it, and in the same way, your bridesmaids may not be in a position to purchase a $200 dress!

DIY or draw on the skills of your friends and family:

I’m very partial to a bit of DIY (we’ll dedicate a whole blog, or two, to that in the future) but I’m well aware of my shortcomings and sometimes you do need to outsource. If there are things you can do, then do them yourself and if not ask family or friends for some help. My only caveat here is to be very careful about who you ask to do what. There are some crucial services such as the cake, hair & makeup, music and photography for example that you should pay a professional for. Just yesterday I had a client call me desperate to re-book  for her wedding this weekend (eik) after cancelling me to do her hair and makeup because a ‘friend’ was going to do it for her instead – that friend then cancelled on her so she was left without a stylist. I get calls like this all the time. Choose the services/products that are essential and leave them to the professionals.

Don’t always choose the cheapest option:

This may sound like a contradiction, but the cheap option often ends up costing you more. You want to select reliable service providers that will deliver what they promise at the price they quoted. Cheaper quotes often mean things are missing or their customer service is inadequate leaving you more stressed than if you’d spent a little bit more.


Happy spending!


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