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How to Afford your Dream Wedding on a Budget

How to Afford your Dream Wedding on a Budget

Making your dream wedding come true can be expensive. An average Australian wedding costs around $36,000. According to a survey by Moneysmart, 82% of groom and bride used their savings to pay for their wedding. Another 60% got a personal loan and 18% used their line of credit.

Worst case scenario is debt will follow you into your marriage, however, this can be avoided. The key is to have a budget as well as a wedding plan checklist.

Your dream wedding budget

Your wedding doesn’t have to be perfect to be wonderful. However, coming up with a budget and sticking to it is the challenge. You can start with a figure that you can afford to spend, then decide on what style and size it will be. Ask and compare from past weddings to get an idea where yours could fit, but don’t get caught up in what others spent on their wedding.

How does your dream wedding fit with the budget? If your expectations and budget don’t meet, bring them closer together with efficiency and creativity. There’s always an alternative to everything without compromising your vision.

“Every wedding is unique and personal to the couple, and yours can be absolutely ‘perfect’ in a way that is meaningful to you, even if you don’t have a huge budget.” — Megan Hutchinson, She Said Yes

Wedding date

Your wedding date is very significant on your budget. Even if you plan your wedding a year in advance, once you lock in a venue, catering, or photographer, you usually have to make deposits.

But just because the average wedding budget in Australia is around $36,000, doesn’t mean you can’t pull it off for less. Talk to your partner about the money you can set aside or access. You can also accept contributions from your families and friends, as long as they insist.


The number of guests you invite will have a huge effect on your wedding budget. Expect to pay around $100-$200 per guest, excluding wine, for an all-inclusive wedding venue with a full-service catering. You might want to consider a smaller guest list for a more intimate celebration.

Prioritise and be realistic amidst daydreaming

While there are a lot of wedding budget suggestions online, someone who’s soon to be married should have learned to prioritise by now. Once you’ve figured out your budget and priorities, you may already have an idea and a vision of what your wedding might be.

Choose a few key elements in your planning. Allocate a little more on ‘save’ from your budget or ‘splurge’ on those crucial things. For example, the flowers are a ‘save’, the wedding dress is a ‘splurge’. Have your wants in other areas, while you make savings in other areas.

Stick to your dream wedding budget

As they begin to add up, stay on track with deposits and due dates. Stick to your budget and save yourself from being overwhelmed throughout the countdown to your wedding.

Don’t be confused of what the day is really about, which is the start of your marriage, and try not to let budget and money-discussions cloud what’s important to you and your partner.

If you liked our “How to Afford your Dream Wedding on a Budget” and find it useful, check our blogs regularly for more info on how to get out of debt and updates on the best budgeting apps in Australia.