The average wedding cost in Australia is said to range from $36,000 to $51,000, so it’s no wonder we love to find creative ways to get the price down.
But attempts to save money on your wedding plans don’t always pay off.
From paying more for a DIY venue to getting ghosted by a budget photographer, these four Aussies share their words of warning when it comes to cutting corners on your wedding expenses.
'DIY isn’t cheap'
Dimitrious, 27, from NSW is currently planning his wedding but has quickly learned that DIY options aren’t as cheap as you might expect.
“I can already see that trying to DIY can sneak up on you,” Dimitrious said. “We were quoted $20,000 for a marquee and furniture, which is actually more than venue-hire fees. [In comparison] venue-hire fees we have looked at have been between $5,000 and $15,000.”
Venue-hire fees tend to include staff and table settings as well.
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Dimitrious said the quote that “really hit home” was one that matched the $20,000 DIY quote, but included two nights of accommodation for 140 people.
Dimitrious’ lesson: Don’t assume DIY is cheaper.
'Waiting for a discount ended up costing me 25% more'
Amy, a virtual assistant from NSW, explained that trying to hack the cost of dresses for her six bridesmaids turned out to be a time-intensive mess.
“I thought getting bridesmaids dresses from a wedding outlet would be better overall [than getting cheap ones online], but I spent so long looking for a discount code that the prices jumped up 25 per cent by the time I bought them," Amy said.
“Then, two of my bridesmaids found out they were pregnant after trying them on, so they needed further alterations. I should have just got cheap dresses online. The time spent looking for a hack ended up costing way more.”
Amy’s lesson: Trying to hack the cost ended up costing more in the long run – and there’s nothing wrong with getting affordable bridesmaids dresses online.
'Get a proper photographer'
Mariana, 35, from Victoria got stung when trying to save on wedding photography, but lost out big time in the process.
“We went frugal on a wedding photographer,” she said, explaining that they saved almost $3,000 on a full-day photography package by hiring someone they’d heard about through a friend.
“She ghosted me after delivering digital copies, and I never got the hard copy. We spent some money on printing digital copies but, obviously, it wasn’t nearly as good as we were promised.”
Unfortunately, Mariana learned from others who had hired the same photographer that her incomplete service was actually one of the better outcomes.
“I heard she didn’t even show up for someone’s wedding.” Yikes.
Mariana’s lesson: Hire a proper, reliable wedding photographer.
'I had to fly back to the UK for my fittings'
Alice, 28, from Victoria ran into several costly mistakes when planning her wedding back in the UK - where she’s from. Two big blunders cost her a “minimum $5,000 extra”, and serve as a helpful lesson for anyone getting married in another country.
Alice planned her wedding to be in the UK so her family could attend.
“I thought it would be easier to find my dress in the UK to save having to fly it over with me from Australia,” she said.
“I had completely forgotten that I’d have to fly to the UK for my fittings.” Some brides need upward of three fittings – and yeah, you have to physically be there for them.
“Mistake number two was that we decided to get legally married in the UK because we thought it would be easier. Turns out we had to travel to the UK months before the wedding to give a Notice to Marry.”
To top off the costly international drama, Alice now needs to pay $150 to change her name in Australia. “You can’t just use your overseas marriage certificate. It was all little things we didn’t think of.”
Alice’s lesson: If you’re travelling for your wedding, do your legals in your home country first, and please have your dress fittings there too.