Get Married Without Going Broke
With the average spend for a wedding in New Zealand being approximately $30,000, it’s not surprising that getting married can often drain the couple’s finances; and with so many different things being marketed, it can be very easy to lose track of what’s truly important and end up spending too much!
Setting your wedding budget should definitely be one of the first things to do, although we all know how hard it can be to stick to one! If your and/or finance’s parents are willing to help, have a discussion with them early on to figure out how much they can contribute towards the wedding and how much you can add out of your own pocket to top it up. If you are paying for the wedding yourselves, you will need to decide how much you can spend; and if you need to borrow money, calculate whether you can afford the repayments.
Drafting a guest list is very important, as this can easily get out of control – for example, having to invite people’s partners (even though you don’t even know them that well) and family members (can’t really invite one auntie and not invite the other ones). Cutting your guest list can be the single easiest way to save money on your wedding – especially if you want an intimate affair and/or if you are getting a venue with a high cost per guest. A great way to do that is to have two guest lists, with the first one having the “must invite” guests, and the other one with “would like to invite” people. If someone from the first list is unable to attend, you can then start inviting people from the second list.
Overall, I think it is important to learn the art of striking the right balance between splurging on your priorities and resisting the urge to spend too much on things that are not as important. I knew that the main priorities for us were a great photographer, good music and a beautiful venue – so we spent the biggest chunk on these things; and we didn’t really care about having cars, expensive favours for guests or fancy stationery.
Call on talented family members and friends for help – especially if they can sew, DJ, bake, and so on – not only will that save you money, but it’s a great way to bond!
Consider shopping online: this can be a bit hit-and-miss, especially when it comes to buying the wedding dress! I have heard hundreds of horror stories about custom-made dresses from China which, when arrive, look nothing like the ones on the website – but there are also success stories where brides managed to save hundreds, even thousands, of dollars by purchasing online. Perhaps, buying a used dress from TradeMe or a handmade one from Etsy can be a safer option. Borrowing or getting a dress made often ends up costing way less than purchasing a designer gown from a shop.