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How to save money on your wedding

Your wedding day is one of the most special, memorable and life-changing moments of your life. It’s a time you’ll look back on as one of the best days of your life. But if we are honest, it’s a big day that takes a lot of money out of your savings.

Even with the best budgeting skills, we can’t deny every detail of the wedding from the catering, venue hire, to decor pieces all add up to a lot of money.

With the average New Zealand wedding now costing over $35,000, of course, you would want to look for ways to minimise the cost of your wedding. On the other hand, this does not mean you have to sacrifice the dream you’ve always had for your wedding.

If you’re a bride to be, you can stay excited because there are many ways you can still have your dream wedding

Here are my five top tips:

1. Ask friends about their wedding

Ask questions during your wedding. Photograph:

Everyone has a different story about the positive aspects of their wedding, and also parts where they could have done it differently.

The great thing about asking questions is that you also gain the perspective of how they felt on the day and what was most important to them. This is true, honest advice compared to all the hype we get fed through the media about needing the perfect venue, flowers and dresses, etc.

One friend once said to me: “Photographs are the only physical thing you are going to have left to remember your wedding, so get a good photographer.” This was so true, and she also gave me the details of the photographer she used.

You don’t have to take all the advice – decide what is helpful to you and leave the rest.

2. Create a priority list

A checklist of your wedding priorities. Photograph:

What matters most to you about your wedding day?

Find the areas that are worth investing in, and identify the areas that you might be able to cut completely.

For example: If you love fashion and it’s a passion of yours, then you may want to buy that dream dress you have always wanted and opt to go without a professionally made cake or wedding favours.

You don’t have to include everything from a traditional wedding. Just make sure you spend money on what you value.

3. Reuse and thrift

Boho apple crates wedding decor. Photograph: Gemma Morgan on Flickr

I have two words for you: boho wedding.

Boho/vintage wedding decor gives you the freedom to be a bit creative with your decor, and this trend is so cost-effective and cute.

In the time leading up to your wedding rummage around each op-shop in your area. You can find beautiful vases and vintage decor pieces for around $1 each.

You can also search the word “wedding” in your local area on Facebook Marketplace and Trade Me. There are so many near-new wedding supplies on Facebook Marketplace and Trade Me from people who have just married and are looking to sell their goods for cheap.

You will be surprised how cheap people will sell their wedding supplies for because they want to get rid of them – you also could sell your items after your wedding too.

4. Choose a venue that requires minimal styling

Outdoor venue in Geogia USA. Photograph: Kay Gaensler on Flickr

The venue itself shows you how much you will have to decorate.

An outdoor botanical garden wedding would save money on decor as you would not have to pay too much money on trying to make the venue look pretty.

It can be a good idea to spend a bit more money on a more beautiful venue that doesn’t need a lot of styling because styling an old building can add up to a lot at the end of the day with curtains, lighting and floral decor.

5. Take on DIY tasks

DIY ceremony decor with recycled jars and wildflowers. Photograph: Bodegas Andrade

If you have a bit of time before the wedding comes along – try some DIY decor projects.

Pintrest is such a great platform to find some creative ways to make wedding decor. You can easily brainstorm what you would like to DIY on Pintrest.

For example: You could make your own wooden welcome signs, table seating signs and even wedding alters.

Ask your friends who have a creative bend if they would help you with some DIY projects. It’s surprising how many people want to be involved creatively.

Final Thoughts

Yes, weddings can be expensive, but there are so many ways to minimise these costs. It’s all about being creative, strategic and thinking outside of the box.

Priorities your “must haves” so when you look back on your special day you know you included everything you ever dreamed of.

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