The average Australian wedding costs $36,000, according to MoneySmart. Whether you’ve decided to save up and pay for your wedding in full, or just borrow a portion of the costs, here are some savings tips to help you afford the wedding you want.
1. Check your current balance
The first step is to check exactly how much you’ve got in the bank that you’re prepared to put towards your wedding. If you have a little set aside already and don't need immediate access to this money, consider locking it away in a term deposit for a set amount of time – you may get a more competitive interest rate than a regular savings account.
2. How much do you need?
Make a list and price things up. This will help shape your budget. You’ll soon discover that most things wedding related are surprisingly expensive and will help you to decide what are ‘must haves’ vs ‘nice to haves’ for your big day. Consider using a budget planner to help guide your saving approach.
Giving yourself plenty of time to save up is important. It helps reduce stress, means you’re more likely to be able to afford the wedding day you want and don’t have to go into debt (unless you choose to).
3. Set a savings goal
Shop around for the right joint account or savings account if you don’t already have one - banks generally offer bonus interest rates for regular savers (remember to link your savings account to your everyday account too).
Once you’ve opened your savings account, set a savings goal and nickname it, e.g. 'Our wedding'. Couples who do this tend to be more motivated to save.
You may already have a budget in mind, but your next step is to discover how much you could save based on your incomings and outgoings, how long it’ll take and how much you’ll need for your wedding day.
A savings calculator can really help with this. Use the info to decide how regularly and how much you want to save, e.g. $500 per month. Then set up scheduled payments so you’re regularly putting money away into your savings.
If you’re thinking of borrowing to fund your wedding, here are some other ways you could pay for your wedding.
4. Cut your costs
There may come a point where you need to make some compromises. Some couples choose the do-it-yourself approach (make their own invitations and place cards) or to change suppliers or change the day of their wedding to mid-week. There are lots of ways you can save and help to take the pressure off your budget.
You might also be able to ask suppliers about payment plans. That way you can spread the cost of your wedding over several months, rather than being hit with all of your invoices at the same time. Don’t forget to keep on top of these payments to avoid late fees.
5. Get organised
It goes without saying that paying bills is the very last thing you want to be thinking about during your honeymoon. Keep a running list of when suppliers need paying and how much you will need to have saved by different dates in the lead-up to your wedding.
Consider using an app or online service to help keep you organised and on top of your to-do’s, so you can focus on your ‘I-do’s’ instead.