In a recent survey that was done in Australia, it was determined that the average cost of a wedding would run between $36,000 and $65,000!! (Source: Bride To Be Magazine.) I felt a little overwhelmed and stressed about the expenses involved but fortunately, I came across 6 amazing tips that helped us save BIG TIME!
1) Limit your guest list
Keeping your guest list as short as possible can help you cut down reception costs drastically. Most caterers and banquet halls charge per-person. The difference between 200 and 150 guests can make a difference on your budget.
2) Cut down cuisine costs
About 39% of your wedding budget would go to your catering. Research your options! You’ll need to consider a buffet rather than a sit-down meal; or host a brunch instead rather than a multicourse meal. Another option for holding down costs while not sacrificing good cookery is “drop-off catering”. Catering companies deliver ready-made food and set it up for you. If you are brave enough, cater for the reception yourself with the help of some friends and family.
3) Don’t buy an expensive wedding dress
You don’t need to shop at a conventional bridal salon. You can buy a dress at a store or from a sales outlet in the special occasions ready-to-wear space. Additional cost-conscious choices include:
• Shopping for a vintage or once-worn dress.
• Renting a dress
• Visiting an online auction to search for your dress.
• Re-designing your mother’s wedding dress.
4) Break down your wedding budget
Breaking down your wedding budget into percentages makes it easier to know exactly how much you spend. This process also helps in identifying which services need more attention. EasyRegistry allows you to share your personalised registry link with your guests that will help you to recover after the big day.
5) Avoid getting married on a Saturday
Getting married on a Saturday might sound like an awesome idea because most people are not working and have time to attend the wedding. However, in terms of cutting costs for the wedding venue it is a bad idea. Most caterers and banquet hall owners tend to increase booking fees due to a high level of bookings from different couples getting married.You don’t have to drown in debts after your beautiful wedding.
6) Register for a gift registry account on EasyRegistry
Gift registries allow you create personalised wish lists so that your family and friends can help you at your wedding and beyond. While there are plenty of these to choose from, EasyRegistry is set up for couples in Australia that want a personal experience from a local company.
With a free EasyRegistry account you get your very own easy-to-build, flexible and all inclusive registry. Signing up for a free account will enable you to:
• Add gifts to your registry
• Share your registry
• Receive a lump sum payment
Now that you have established your wedding date, it is now time to find the ideal wedding venue. Sitting down with each wedding venue will be critical to ensure that there are no surprises on the big day.
Using this list:
Review all questions and mark those most relevant to your type of wedding
Print out questions before you meet with the venue
Make note of the feedback you receive. Especially if you are chatting to more than one wedding venue.
Is our date available?
How many other weddings will be booked that day?
Is the venue available for exclusive use?
What is the seating arrangement?
How many guests does the venue hold?
What type of tables do you have (shape, size)?
How long do we have at the venue? How much are additional hours?
Is the site accessible (for wheelchairs, etc)?
Is parking and/or valet parking available?
How many parking spots are available?
Is there an overflow or separate car park available?
Is public transportation easily accessible from the venue?
Is a shuttle service available?
How many bathrooms are there?
If an outdoor venue: Is there a backup plan for rain?
Is there a coat check available?
Are there restrictions for the photographer in terms of flash usage?
Is the venue child friendly? What facilities are available for entertaining children?
Is there somewhere secure to store wedding gifts?
Music and sound
Are there any noise restrictions?
Can the venue accommodate a DJ or live band? Are there any restrictions?
Where does the band/DJ set up?
Where is the dance floor, and how large is it?
Do you have a sound system with speakers, or will that need to be rented?
Do you have microphones for speeches?
Can I hook an iPod or laptop up to your sound system?
Vendors, food, and rentals
Is there a required/preferred vendor list to stick to? Can we use other vendors?
Are tables, linens, chairs, plates, silverware, and glassware provided, or will we have to rent them or get them through our caterer?
If catering is available, can we do a tasting?
Can you accommodate special dietary requirements?
If using in-house catering, what is the service charge?
If I hire my own caterer, are kitchen facilities available to them?
Can I bring in a cake from an outside baker?
Is there a cake-cutting fee?
Is there an option for a dinner the night before or a brunch the day after?
Do you have a liquor license?
Can I bring my own booze (and what kind), and is there a corkage fee?
Is a champagne toast complimentary?
How is alcohol priced, and is there a charge for bar staff?
Is there a bar minimum that must be met?
What is the average bar tab for my size guest list?
When can we get access to the space to decorate/set up?
How early can vendor deliveries be made?
How long do we have to clean up/tear down?
Are there samples of the rentals available to look at?
What are the restrictions for decor (including what you can and can’t toss, lighting restrictions, what you can hang from the ceiling and on the walls, candles, etc.)?
Staffing and coordination
Is there an on-site venue coordinator?
What services are included with the venue coordinator, and are there additional charges?
Will the coordinator serve as day-of coordinator?
How much assistance can I get with the set up/decor?
Is any set up/tear down service available? How much does it cost?
Do you have signage to direct guests to the wedding?
Do you provide assistance getting gifts or decor back to a designated place?
Shared ceremony/reception spaces
Can I hold my ceremony here, too? Is there an additional charge?
What is the setup for a shared ceremony/reception space?
Do you provide a transition setup for a shared ceremony/reception space?
How much time is allocated for the ceremony rehearsal?
Are there any suites or private rooms available to get ready or have alone time?
Can the wedding party get ready at the venue?
What overnight accommodations do you provide?
Do you have any partnerships with nearby hotels? Can you provide a list?
Do you offer a discount for booking multiple rooms?
Money, payments, and liability
What’s included in the fees (rentals, catering, lighting, parking, etc.)?
Is there a discount for an off-season date or Sunday through Friday?
How much is the deposit, and when is it due?
When is the balance due?
What forms of payment do you accept?
What is your cancellation policy?
Is the deposit refundable in case of cancellation?