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Saving for a wedding

Planning a wedding? These tips may help you achieve your wedding goals.

Did you know the average wedding in Australia costs around $36,000?(Source: ASIC 2012 )* That’s hardly small change! When you start adding up all the expenses – think venue, food, alcohol and entertainment – not to mention a dress – it can add up pretty quickly.

Balancing up the wedding you want … and the wedding you can afford 

Ok, you probably don’t want to put ‘wedding’ and ‘budget’ in the same sentence; but if you don’t, you could end up paying for your big day for several years to come. 

By focussing in on a few key areas and being prepared compromise on others, (say, the number of guests you invite) you might be able to spend more on what really matters to you (perhaps the venue). 

Crunch the numbers – how much can you afford? 

Take a look at your finances as they are now, and what they’re likely to be by the time you reach the day. Questions to ask include: 

  • How much do you both have saved up now?

  • How much are you likely to be able to save until the wedding date?

  • What about any extra money that you might get, such as a tax return or bonus?

  • Are your parents or family likely to help out? 

Working out the wedding budget 

When you’ve got an idea of the type of wedding you want and what you can afford to spend, the next step may be to get quotes and prices so you can come up with a total budget. 

Expenses you’ll need to consider include: 

  • The venue

  • The celebrant

  • Food and beverages

  • Photography

  • Clothing

  • Flowers

  • Invitations

  • Decorating

  • Wedding cars and transport. 

Make sure you get more than one quote for each item on your list. By the time you’ve finished, you may have a good idea of how much your wedding will cost – and what you’ll need to budget for. And once you know how much it’ll cost, you’ll be able to get your wedding savings plan in order. 

Sorting out your wedding savings plan 

A good idea could be to open a dedicated wedding savings account – perhaps one that could benefit you for good savings habits by paying bonus interest when you make a minimum monthly deposit and make no withdrawals during that month. 

Setting up a wedding saving plan is similar to saving for any other goal – you identify the goal (your wedding), work out the budget, the date you want to achieve it by (your big day) then work out how much you’ll need to save on a regular basis in order to reach your goal. 

 

Find out more about creating a winning savings plan

Top tips for keeping costs down 

  • Shop around for the best deal and always get at least three quotes

  • Don’t tell suppliers you need a quote for your wedding – when you add in the ‘W’ word, prices tend to go up

  • Have your wedding out of season or during the week (Friday afternoon can be good)

  • Got a friend with a great place? Perhaps you could ask about getting married there

  • Got any creative friends? See if you can enlist their help and you could save on decorating costs or flowers 

     

*The Australian Securities and Investments Commission’s (ASIC) latest data (2012) determines that the average cost of an Australian wedding is $36,200.