While many of us have spent the past few years in angst about economic conditions, others are forking out nearly $50,000 to get married. That's the average cost of a wedding, according to research from Bride To Be magazine.
Clearly weddings are big business, yet more Australians are tying the knot than in the past. In 2009 over 120,000 marriages were registered, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics' most recent figures. That's a 10 percent increase on 2005 numbers.
So as the cost of living goes up, is there a way to declare your love for someone without having to max your credit card or elope? We think so and here are our top tips to reduce the cost, rather than quality, of your big day.
- Trim the guest list
Thinking about inviting a long-lost relative? Don't. Gathering your nearest and dearest can be a more intimate way to celebrate a wedding. According to wedding site theknot.com, the average wedding guest list has dropped by 5 percent to 141 in 2010 from the previous year.
- Don't pay a band
Hiring a DJ is typically cheaper than a live band and more reliable than an iTunes playlist. So shop around for a good deal online.
- Buy off the rack
A bespoke dress can run into the tens of thousands of dollars, if you have designer taste. In order to cut costs (and save time) consider buying a wedding dress off the rack, online or even from a mainstream retail store. A number of Australian designers create wedding-appropriate lines each season, so shop around for some great buys.
- Traditional, not original
There's no longer a sense that brides- and grooms-to-be have to follow a set of traditional rules, so feel free to break the wedding mould! If you think bonbonniere, welcome baskets, calligraphers and ceremony programs are needless expenses then leave them out of your big day. Wedding cakes are costly too, so why not roll out a dazzling dessert in its place?
- Set a limit
If a $50,000 wedding seems exorbitant, then determine your limit and stick to it. Creating a budget can rein in your spending and keep wedding costs within a range you can afford.
- Choose the best finance options
Finally, if shelling out for a diamond has sunk your bank balance into overdraft and you're struggling to outlay deposits to secure venues, photographers, florists and dress makers for the big day. Then consider applying for a low-rate credit card to cover the upfront costs. Compare cards online and look for one with at least a 50 day interest-free period and low fees to keep costs down, and be diligent with repayments.