10 Tips to Saving Money on Your Wedding

1. Create a budget.

How much you spend doesn’t equal the best wedding.

We mistakenly believe that the result is in the spend.

Work out how you much you want to spend on your wedding.  Its amazing how when you decide how much you want to spend how you can create an amazing wedding for that spend.

A rough guide to how the budget works on a wedding:

48 – 50% – reception

8 – 10% –  flowers

8 – 10% – attire

8- 10% – entertainment

10 – 12% –  photos

2 – 3% invites

8%  – miscellaneous

5 – 10% – surprises – those unexpected expenses that crop up.


Always remember people won’t remember what they ate or what was said or even what you wore but they will always remember how you made made them feel.


2. Classify your cash.

Determine what are your big rock items. Write down a list of all the details that you will need cash for.  Then place a 1, 2 and 3 beside them.  1 means it is a high priority and 3 means it is not quite so important.  For example you might decide a designer dress, photo’s and good food are your highest priority but the invitations and music you can compromise on.




Styling for Reception



Styling for Ceremony




Remember you can’t have a 1 next to every item!

Classify your cash

3.Work hard at your guest list.

Ensuring that you have the right guests turning up can make a huge impact on your budget.

For example:  If you pay $90 per head for the meal and you cut your wedding guest list down by 10 then you will have saved $900.

Work at your guest list

In the old days people celebrated the wedding at the church.  It was where the wider community gathered to give their good wishes.  It is why the confetti was such a big event as the bride and groom came out of the church.  It is at this point that the wider circle of friends gave  small tokens of love to the bride and groom.  With the move to garden weddings for some reason this custom has largely disappeared.

However, you could consider inviting one group of people to your ceremony and another group of people to your ceremony and reception.  For those attending just the ceremony you could have a few platters bought around and arrange for a cash bar on the wedding green.  It does mean that the gap between the ceremony, photo’s and reception is lengthened but it is an alternative to feeling like you have to invite everyone to your reception.

picnic basket
Food is one of the greatest pleasure of life.

4.Getting guests to pay for their own meal.

If you have been together for a long time then you won’t need gifts for the house.  Getting your guests to pay for their meal can be a real way to keep the budget under control.  One small suggestion is to consider putting an extra $5 – $10 on the meal price for your guests.  The extra bit of money can then be put towards your drinks package.

Allow your guests to gift their meal


5. Ditch the DJ

With the advent of the IPod music has changed.  Many brides end up giving their DJ a list of songs they want to dance to.

If the budget is really tight consider ditching the DJ and putting together your own list of music on an IPod.  You could ask guests for their top 5 favourite songs when they RSVP.  This way you will have your guests put together the play list and you know they will enjoy because they created the list.

Music Weddings
Let your guests choose the music

6.DYI your own styling for your wedding.

You can put your bridesmaids, interstate guests to work and have them help you create some fun and effective ways of decorating your room.  At the Tailrace Centre you can hire some items for a nominal fee and we also have some that we provide for free.  You can view what we have on our pinterest page.

Just be careful with things like lolly bars and ice cream bars.  We often think its cheaper to DYI.  However, our experience is that there is a lot wastage when brides do this and they would have saved money if they had let us take care of the lolly buffet.  We have all the jars, and the chef’s know how much people eat.

Wedding styling
DYI your wedding styling

7.Hail a Cab

If you have to choose between a honeymoon and hiring a car then why not consider hailing a cab.  The reality is that if it is an outdoor wedding your guests may only glimpse the car for a few minutes.  If it is indoors they won’t see the car at all.  You can create a fun story and get some really different great pics simply by doing something really different and hailing a cab or borrowing grans’ mini.

wedding transport
Often people don’t even see the cars so why not hail a cab, ride a bus?

8.Bring Your Own Cake

We love cake buffets.  Some of the best cakes we have tasted have been made by granny or friend Sophie.  Why not ask those guests that are good at baking to make a cake and create a cake buffet.  The guests will love it because it is so different and they love variety.

Wedding Cake
Grandma’s are often amazing cake makers

 9.Limit the selection on the bar.

One simple way to keep the cost of the bar down is to restrict people’s access to beers, wines and soft drinks giving them opportunity to pay cash for top shelf drinks.  Another way to save on bar money if the budget is tight is to not start the drinks package until the bride and groom arrive at the reception venue.

Wedding drinks
Consider your bar selections

10. Consider the date

Choose a weekday or a Sunday for your wedding. Or during the down season months.  Often there are discounts offered to weddings during these times.

At the Tailrace Centre we offer a 10%  discounts on Weekday and Sunday weddings in January.

Discounts are often given for weekday weddings and for off season weddings.


If you would like to receive a copy of 10 Tips to Saving Money on your Wedding  in a PDF format please contact us and we will email it to you.