Monday, March 22, 2021

Weddings are expensive. Even for us; two spreadsheet loving, DIY-obsessed planners with a very modest budget.

Things just add up. The flowers, the dress, an epic photographer, the perfect venue, the cake, the rings, the suit, a band (if you're fancy!), oh and the actual person you need to have there to marry the two of you.

And that's just the stuff you need regardless of how many of your friends and family you agree to invite.

If you want it all (and it's totally cool if you do!), it's going to cost you.

Well, we wanted it all (and then some), but we knew the budget we'd set just wouldn't cut it if we weren't strategic. So instead of settling for anything less than perfection, we decided to get savvy, crafty and hands-on instead.

Here are my 5 favourite ways we've managed to save thousands on our wedding...


Despite what many, many florists have advised, we've decided to ignore their advice and do all the flowers, (bouquets, boutonnieres and all) ourselves for the big day!

But don't worry, it isn't as scary as it seems, because we've done a few things to make sure doing our DIY flowers isn't something we'll come to regret.

To start, we've spent hours researching what we want, what will be in season, and have even done multiple 4am trips to the flower market to check stock, note prices and familiarise ourselves with exactly what we need to do come wedding week!

Yes, we've got a spreadsheet of exactly what we need to buy, down to the colour, amount and approximate price of each bunch, so that when we go to pick out our flowers the day before the wedding, we will be as prepared as possible.

Then, to ensure the flowers stay fresh, we've hired a cool room to keep them in (as well as a bunch of other stuff) on-site at our wedding location. This means we can head to the market the day before the wedding, rather than doing the ghastly 4am start the morning of, without worrying about the flowers lasting.

To make things even easier, we've decided to make the majority of our floral arrangements from dried flowers. That way we can do things like arrange the bouquets, make the boutonnieres and dress the wedding arbour weeks in advance if we want to.

We'll do a seperate trip to the market a month or so before the wedding to purchase all our preserved bunches and have them prepped well in advance.

That way on the day of the wedding we'll just need to prepare and add a few fresh florals to what we've already done!

By doing the flowers ourselves we are able to afford way more than we would by going through a florist, and while it has already taken hours of prep time, research and planning, it's the kind of thing we didn't mind being hands on with!


When it came to deciding on decorations, we quickly realised that the decorations we'd been pinning for months just weren't realistic if we wanted to stay on budget.

Unless, we could find them second hand...

So, after months of waiting for the perfect pieces to come through on marketplace, we finally sourced all our table decor, ceremony and other styling must-haves second hand.

This was surprisingly easy, given that most brides + grooms buy these things, use them once and list them for sale in basically perfect condition, considering they've only used them once.

We found it an awesome way to get things like candles, table cloths and signage, even though it meant waiting months for exactly what we were looking for to come through. If you have the time to wait, it's absolutely worth it!

The best part is, if we keep them in good condition we're likely going to be able to sell them for the same price we paid, essentially making this part of our wedding free!

Not to mention that recycling decor is way less wasteful too!


Forget fancy, we're feeding 100 of our favourite people from a food truck.

Think loaded fries and dirty burgers, because honestly, isn't that better than playing roulette with basic chicken or beef anyway? Not to mention a way more cost effective alternative!

Having a food truck simplifies everything, because they come self-contained with all the supplies, facilities and staff they need (which for a DIY wedding is awesome!). Plus, because they don't need people to serve food or wait tables, the cost is really fair at just $30 per head, no matter how much they eat.

Yep, our guests can order from the truck as many times as they like, so if they want to smash 3 burgers and 2 plates of loaded fries we aren't stopping them!

It's definitely not traditional, but we couldn't think of anything we'd rather eat on our wedding night, and out of the handful of friends and family we ran this idea past, approximately every single one of them were drooling at the thought.


Not only are we printing our invitations at home, but we even went to the effort of making our own paper too.

Yep, every little piece of our minimal, texture filled invites will be put together at home. Think handmade paper, silk ribbon, twine and a handful of other bits and bobs designed to bring it all together.

The total of which have come to just $120.00.

The main cost savers being my ability to design the invitations myself as well as make the paper by recycling old cardboard boxes and packaging. 

Although this will take us a few weekends to complete, a few failed attempts and a whole lot more effort than going through a professional, we love the idea of making our invites that little bit more personal.

Plus it means I get to spend an entire weekend doing crafts, and that is always an idea I can get behind!


We booked a venue without a bar, so we could bring the booze ourselves! And as it turns out, this was one of the best decisions we made for our day, and our bank account.

Why? Because booking an unlicensed venue means we can bring whatever alcohol we want, rather than purchasing them at a premium through the venue.

It also means we can do things like premix our own cocktail jugs, purchase whatever we want, customise the menu and get everything at bottle shop prices.

We'll buy all the drinks we need in advance, (probably when they are on special) and have a cute caravan bar there on the night to serve them!

The caravan bar will come with things like glassware, ice and RSA staff, so things will still be professionally managed on the night.

We'll just need to give them all the alcohol when they arrive on the day to start serving!

We love this option because it is way more affordable, means we can serve exactly what we want and we get to keep any leftover alcohol afterwards! Plus we don't need to worry about tabs running out, or paying per head when a lot of our guests won't even drink.

While finding an unlicensed venue was a little bit trickier, we think the search was well worth it!

For us, a lot of the ways we're saving money is by spending more time instead. Wether this means clearing an entire weekend to hand make something, filling our days researching or committing to hours of extra planning.

It's a trade off that for us, is absolutely worth it! We adore the process of planning, revel in the idea of doing things ourselves and want to be as involved as possible in all elements of bringing our wedding day together.

But if we didn't have the time, the creative energy or the passion that we do, I'm certain we'd have an entirely different day planned for our marriage.

So, when considering the above for your own day, if the idea doesn't excite you, inspire you or ignite something in you, that's ok.

There are millions of ways to plan a wedding, have a wedding and get married. But I hope this helps at least a few of you!