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Saving and planning for your wedding

07 September 2023
• 5 minute read
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According to a recently-released survey of 5,000 newly-married couples, the average cost of a wedding in Australia is $40,700. This being the case, it’s reasonable to assume that all but the most understated of events is going to end up north of 20 grand - and it’s probably best not to even think about how much the bigger spenders are forking out.

The fact is, while it might not be especially romantic to say, getting hitched is an expensive business.

In this article, we’ll take a look at various ways to cut the cost of your big day, how to set and stick to a wedding budget, and some options for how to fund it.

The importance of setting a wedding budget

Whether you’re aiming for minimal expense or a celebration worthy of the Kardashians, the importance of setting a wedding budget can’t be overstated. This is especially true when you consider that the average couple typically spends 18% more than their original estimate. After all, the last thing you want to be worrying about as your big day approaches is how you’re going to pay for it.

For this reason, it’s a wise move to tot up all the expenses you can think of and allow yourself a bit extra  wiggle room.

Here’s a by-no-means-exhaustive list of costs to factor into your budget:

  • Wedding dress and other apparel (e.g. groom’s suit, bridesmaids’ outfits)
  • Stationery
  • Flowers
  • Venue and catering
  • Music/entertainment
  • Photography and videography
  • Transportation
  • Wedding rings
  • Wedding cake
  • Celebrant
  • Honeymoon

How much you’re willing to spend on these various items is entirely up to you. But unless money is no object (in which case, lucky you!), it’s a good idea to decide which are non-negotiables and which you might be prepared to cut corners on.

Speaking of which, let’s take a look at some ways to save money on your wedding.

Ways to save money on your wedding

However much you might love a bargain, nobody wants their wedding to feel like one. Here are some ways to save money on your big day without compromising on quality or the specialness of the occasion.

Buy a second-hand dress

One expense you can confidently cut in half is the dress if you’re prepared to buy second hand. Considering the average cost of a new wedding dress has been estimated at $2,637, you don’t need to be a genius to appreciate the savings potential here. And unlike other second-hand items of clothing, you can be reasonably sure this one will only have been worn once before.

Having said this, if you really can’t bring yourself to go the pre-loved route, you could save almost as much by buying new and selling it after.

Choose cocktail-style catering instead of a sit-down dinner

Sit-down dinners might be traditional, but they can get VERY expensive if you’re feeding 100 people a three-course meal. Not only is cocktail-style catering many times cheaper, but it can also be a whole lot more fun too. Think gourmet pizzas, mini fish and chips, barbecue food, picnic hampers… the possibilities are endless!

Have your wedding on a weekday

For some reason that probably made sense a long time ago, everybody wants to get married on a Saturday. Consequently, as per the law of supply and demand, it’s cheaper to tie the knot literally any other day of the week.

Better still, there are other benefits to getting married on a weekday beyond simply saving money. For one thing, you have a better chance of securing your preferred celebrant/photographer/caterer/venue. For another, your guests are less likely to be double-booked. And if you need one more, who doesn’t love a day off work?

Source local products and services

Travel and transportation cost money. If you’re using caterers, florists, musicians etc… from out of town, it’s necessarily  going to impact your budget. When you add the feelgood factor of supporting local businesses, this one’s a no-brainer.

Starting your wedding savings fund

The best time to start saving for your wedding is the moment you know you’re getting married. Because although it might take a while to work out the finer details of your budget, you can’t start saving too soon.

A great way to do this is via a high-interest savings account. All Great Southern Bank Savings Accounts come with competitive interest rates and $0 monthly fees, while some pay generous bonus interest when certain conditions are met.

But if you want to turbocharge your savings, we have a couple of clever tools to help you reach your goal quicker. With The Boost, you simply set an amount between $0.01 and $5 to be automatically transferred to your Great Southern Bank Savings Account every time you use your Visa Debit card. Once you’ve done this, every time you tap and pay, you’ll be adding to your big day.

Another useful tool to consider is The Vault. When this is set up (it takes less than five minutes), the balance of your savings account will be hidden from view, so you’ll be less likely to dip into your wedding fund.  Don’t worry though, it’s not a real vault. You can still access your money whenever you need to.

Getting a personal loan for a wedding

Depending on your circumstances and priorities, saving for your dream wedding could take longer than you’re prepared to wait. Or, as we’ve already seen, there’s always a chance you’ll underestimate the total cost and need to make up the shortfall in your savings.

This is when a personal loan could come in handy. Great Southern Bank Wedding Loans range from $5,000 to $75,000 and are unsecured so you don’t have to worry about tying your loan to an asset. They also come with:

  • A personalised interest rate.
  • $0 monthly account fee.
  • Fee-free extra repayments.
  • No penalties for early payout.
  • Free redraw – in case you need your additional repayments.1

We’re here to help

If you would like to talk to someone about opening a savings account or applying for a wedding loan, please feel free to give us a call on 133 282. Alternatively, you can always pop into your local branch for a chat.

Important Information

1A $200 minimum withdrawal amount applies for redraws conducted in-branch. Redraw facility is available for Great Southern Bank Personal Loan products on offer from 6 June 2017.

Great Southern Bank, a business name of Credit Union Australia Ltd ABN 44 087 650 959. AFSL and Australian Credit Licence 238317. Conditions, fees and charges apply. This is general information and does not take into account your objectives, financial situation or needs. Consider the appropriateness of the information, including the Terms and Conditions (T&Cs) booklet, before acting on it. The Financial Claims Scheme may apply to this product; refer to the T&Cs for more information.

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