Hello all you lovely people! I have been meaning to tell you all how my husband and I managed to have our Wedding under $3500.00!! Honestly was the easiest and one of the happiest days of my life!! I can honestly say the only I wish changed was that I started eating the Aranchini balls as soon as they came out because they were delicious and I only had the few that remained…
Basically the idea of this is to run through a checklist and essentially tell you what we did (or didn’t do) and how much it cost us. I hope that this achieves two things; firstly I hope you enjoy the read and pictures! Secondly, I hope that this helps anyone to achieve what they want for a wedding but not spend an absolute fortune or their life savings on it!!
Starting With The Basics
First thing is first, do your research on what style or theme you wish for your wedding! I had been looking at Pinterest and Google for inspiration. I’m glad I did because there were so many things that I knew I didn’t want to have or want to deal with. For us, we chose a colour theme to base our Wedding around. Purple and Black (as you can see from the featured image we decided (well, I decided haha) that I needed something to break up the black and purple. Take suggestions people, they will help! You don’t have to like the suggestions but you could be amazed and how much this can relieve pressure and stress when deciding on colours!
Second thing was our budget, it is so very important to discuss a budget with your husband to be. This sets up how you will be allocating your funds and when to set your date. Everyone seems to set the date first however I found it so much easier and less stressful setting a date basically last. We decided we didn’t want to spend more than $5000.00.
Our checklist was not very big, I was looking up checklists on google and you know what… No thank you… too many things…. so overwhelming… pass…. would rather just start wearing a wedding ring and leave it at that. So I asked Grant what he felt was important details and this is what both he and I essentially came up with:
- Wedding Style (Sit down or Cocktail)
- Wedding Venue
- Bride’s Outfit
- Groom’s Outfit
- Wishing Well
- Cutlery For Cake
- Guest List
- Wedding Rings
What We Spent & Going through the Checklist
- We decided that the venue for us, was to be enough to fit and feed our guests, we kept the guest list to approximately 70 people and chose a local pub that would allow us to host our cocktail style wedding. Most pubs (taverns, clubs whatever you call your local waterhole) would not allow us to host our wedding at their venue or in their function rooms unless they slapped the room with a huge surcharge!! We found a local pub that did not charge room hire (tick), the only requirement was that we could not have more than 75 people and we had to order food from the bistro. We decided to order platters seven platters of a mixture of food that were “fan favourites” I suppose you would call them. We catered for the vegetarians and the meat eaters to prevent complaints and being a bistro they could order their own food if they wished. This cost us a total of $535.00 for food & venue, not price per head which minimum we were looking at $140.00 per person, which saved us approximately up to $9000.00 there.
- We don’t have a “style” as such. Grant has very classic but gothic inspired taste in things and I’m a mixture of bold glam but elegant! I love me some sparkle and glitter but love gothic inspired everything really. We chose the colour theme of Purple and Black with some some to break up the purple and black. This set the mood and precident of the rest of our checklist!
- Grant decided to go with a classic waistcoat suit, this cost us $530.00
- I decided to not go with a traditional wedding dress, I wanted something gorgeous and black! City Chic did not disappoint!!! This cost $200.00 which was such a huge saving of approximately $2800.00 minimum considering any actual wedding dress I liked was $3000.00 or more!
- Our cake was exactly what we were after and to be honest probably could have gotten away with one tier not two as we had so much left over and wasted. My lovely nan assembled and decorated my cake, we ordered my cake through a cake shop, such an amazing job! Couldn’t have had it this way if we hired someone to do it for us. This cost approximately $200.00 including all the icing and decorations too. I was quoted $750.00 from a local cake maker for something similar.
- Our wishing well was actually an old box I had with some of my daughters belongings in there from when she was born. I decided to spray paint it purple and bought ribbon and alphabet stickers to dress up the box! Cost me I think $15.00 for the stickers and ribbon from a local Newsagency. Absolute bargain! I also bought a purple pen, little envelopes and some blank cards. I think altogether cost about $40.00 for everything. Which is no different to buying a cheap nasty cardboard one that you can throw out afterwards. It was going to cost $75.00 to hire one!?! No thanks.
- Now moving onto other decorations, like table runners, candles etc. We had 4 or 5 table runners which my mother-in-law was kind enough to make for us, the materials used cost approximately $70.00-$90.00 for everything. So much cheaper than using decorations supplied by a vendor or wedding venue.. We bought a gold and a black bucket for cutlery and napkins $10.00 each from a bulk party store, we had light up letters (G & K, our initials) and they were $20.00 each. Disposable plates for the cake $6.00. From memory I think it was going to cost us altogether approximately $1200.00 for decorations through a vendour or wedding venue (including sashes for chairs, tablecloths, runners, centrepieces etc) however it only cost approximately $200.00 for ours!!
- Flowers, we had a recommendation for a florist and she did not dissapoint! My bouquet was amazing, I told her flowers I liked and didn’t like and colours I liked and she gave me a stunning bouquet! It was elegant with a pop of colour!! Beautiful! Absolutely beautiful! Still bummed I had to throw them out! haha! Great value of $365.00 and this also included 5 mason jars with flowers similar to my bouquet in them and had gold and black ribbon! Just beautiful!
- Here is what didn’t cost us a thing; Hair, Makeup, vehicles to attend wedding & the invitations. Why? I’m not a hairdresser nor am I a makeup artist, however I knew that I like my makeup how I like it and I didn’t want 100 bobby pins in my scalp! So I did my own hair and makeup and I loved it! Invitiations? Facebook… why? Because everyone we wanted to invite was on facebook and it I designed a digital invitation/save the date that I liked and created an event which had all the necessary details and links to anything like accommodation and the venue. I never worried about RSVPS because you never know who is actually going to come along and the other reason was because it was a cocktail style event. The vehicle we took photos with was a wedding present from a lovely friend of my mums. An old charger in the colour white!
- Our celebrant was also another recommendation and she was amazing! She wrote a beautiful ceremony from scratch and tweaked everything to what we wanted including the music (yay for punk and metal music). She organised everything to do with Births, Deaths & Marriages Registry so we didn’t have to and it was all included in her price of $590.00. We got included also, a copy of our ceremony, supplied the jar and sand for our sand section of the ceremony and the tree in which we used for our family tree part of the ceremony. All of this we got to keep! Amazing keepsakes, and our family tree is matte black with 3 padlocks on it, one for each of us (Grant, myself and Willow). We will add to that when we add to our littel family later.
- Now the weddings rings, Grant was so simple he wanted something black or silver or both. He found his and it cost $300.00 on special (my engagement ring I think was about the same actually come to think of it). I am in love with mine!!! It also was so so difficult to find wedding rings to suit my engagement ring which is a black sapphire with a halo of diamonds in a oval shape. Pandora, you saved me from spending way too much money on an over-priced custom designed wedding band that I probably wasn’t going to like. I bought four wedding rings two of each style that I fell in love with (they are thin bands) not diamond but I don’t really care about that and they were $40.00 each!!!! I spent $160.00 on my wedding rings!! I am so happy with them and still catch myself staring at them!
- Now photography, loved my photos!!! I edited some on own because I wanted something more specific for some other photos but was not unhappy with the photos that were taken! They make me smile eveytime I look at them. My cousin is a photographer and I love his style of photography! Very candid (which I love) but also took some staged photos which are beautiful. The only thing I will stress to anyone who hires a photographer, DO YOUR RESEARCH!!! You do not want to be dissapointed with your photos, it will just destroy any happiness you feel when looking at them later! Also, communicate with your photographer! I wanted the original, raw images that were taken but my photographer had edited over the originals and I was quite disapointed. I paid $200.00 for my photography and I will say this, you get what you pay for. Whether it be great service, crap photos or amazing photos and crap service or both crap! Just be mindful! I did save up to $1600.00 though in shopping around for a photographer, I suggest you do the same!
I Love Saving Money!!
So there you have it! A beautiful, memorable day that was completely tailored to us and our style!
The total cost (approximately) of our wedding was $3320.00 AUD
If we did this traditionally, I can assume we would have paid somewhere around the $20,000 figure based on quotes I was given and this includes everything except a Bridal party because we didn’t have one. Wasn’t necessary in our opinion 🙂
**Now I will mention this, our families and friends were very generous and we did not pay a cent for our wedding in the end because instead of presents our families paid for our wedding! However it did not cost them their life savings or a second mortgage!!