While most people consider spring or summer as the perfect time to hold a wedding, those planning to get married may want to consider the merits of tying the knot during the colder months.
An off-season wedding generally costs up to a third less than a spring ceremony, according to Australian financial advisory organisation MoneySmart.
This is a significant saving when you consider what a typical wedding costs. An infographic released by MoneySmart shows that the average cost of getting married is $36,200, which many young couples struggle to afford.
In fact, a survey of MoneySmart readers found that 60 per cent of Australians chose to take out a personal loan in order to pay for their ceremony. A further 18 per cent simply paid for the wedding using a credit card.
Starting married life with this level of debt can significantly impact on a couple’s ability to buy a marital home or afford to have children. The survey revealed that 12 per cent of couples delayed buying a home due to the debt, while 7 per cent chose not to have a baby until the debt was paid.
If you’ve been planning to tie to the knot in the near future, here are five ways to save money and start married life without the shadow of your wedding’s debt.
When organising a wedding during the off-season, you have the upper hand in price negotiations. Chances are, the venue, florist and caterers will not be under high demand in the winter months, which means they may be willing to drop their prices to win your custom. This goes hand-in-hand with shopping around and obtaining quotes from a numbers of different vendors so you can ensure you are getting value for money.
Hold an outdoor wedding
Often, a significant portion of the ceremony cost comes from paying for a venue. Consider instead holding an intimate wedding at a local park or in a family member’s backyard. The outdoors during the winter months in Australia are often very pleasant (particularly without that scorching summer heat!) and can make for a more enjoyable wedding for everyone involved.
During the winter months, it is recommended that you organise an alternative venue or a marquee to provide shelter if the weather refuses to cooperate on your big day.
Be sale savvy
By planning your wedding well in advance, you can potentially take advantage of any significant sales or deals that may crop up. This could include an end-of-year clearance sale on suits for the men or discovering the perfect dress, or even bridesmaid dresses, in an outlet store.
Allow virtual guests
Rather than paying for every member of the family to travel to and attend the ceremony, consider live-streaming the event into their homes. This will enable those out-of-towners to witness your marriage without you having to worry about the cost of food, accommodation and drinks. While you are going to be concerned about the cost you and your partner incur from your wedding, it is often also an expensive exercise for those attending a wedding.
Instead of paying a professional to create gorgeous wedding invitations or bake a intricate cake, ask your friends and family to help out. A talented friend may be able to donate their time to design invitations or carry out other favours at a fraction of the cost of a professional.
How did, or will you, cut costs at your wedding?