One of the earliest decisions most couples make is where to hold the ceremony and reception. If you get married at your local church and hold the reception in the social hall, your cost may be nothing at all. If you prefer to get married and/or have your reception in a large, popular, commercial venue, this price could rise into the thousands of dollars. If you choose an outdoor location, be sure to factor in the cost of a marquee and furnishings.
It is tough to put an average price on a wedding gown, because each bride has her own sense of style. Some women fall in love with vintage gowns that can be had for under $100, or marry in a family heirloom dress. Others hire a seamstress friend to make their gown. Still others pay tens of thousands of dollars for a personalized creation from a celebrity dressmaker. Men’s attire is fairly inexpensive to rent, although some grooms prefer to purchase a custom tuxedo.
If you are flexible and don’t mind renting or purchasing clothes second-hand, it is possible to outfit the entire wedding party for just a few hundred dollars. Some brides invest in professional hair and makeup appointments for themselves and their attendants, while others have great fun making each other over on the morning of the wedding.
No matter what type of wedding you have, it must be solemnised by a licensed marriage celebrant. Most couples choose someone they know or hire someone inexpensive. This is typically not a large portion of the wedding budget.
Flowers, Catering, Entertainment, Photography, and Transportation
These are largely optional costs, although few wedding couples would choose to do without them altogether. However, they can be had for any budget range if you are willing to be flexible. Do you need a limousine, or do you have enough volunteer drivers to get everyone where they need to be? Do you have a friend who takes excellent photographs, or is a tremendous cook? Even the wedding cake need not come from the latest trendy bakery. Sample cakes from a variety of bakers, and you might be surprised to learn that cost is not always the best indicator of quality.
This is another category that can be as pricey or as inexpensive as you choose. Elaborate wedding bands can easily run into the thousands of dollars, but simple elegance is a tasteful and often more practical choice. Some couples even choose to exchange vintage rings, whether purchased at a second-hand shop or passed down through their families. Shop around and decide what you both truly like before plunking down thousands at the closest jeweller.
Many couples order engraved invitations, save-the-date cards, and other items from the local stationery shop. Yet modern technology provides numerous additional options. You can design your invitations on your computer and print them out yourself on high-quality paper. You can design and order them online. You can obtain semi-customised cards from your local big box office supply outlet. Consider your options carefully before setting a firm budget.
It is traditional for the bride and groom to provide gifts to the wedding party, and favours to those who attend. To keep your costs down, engage your imagination. Hand-made favours show real thought and concern for your guests. Gifts for your wedding party should reflect the closeness of your relationship and your sincere appreciation for the role they are playing in this most meaningful time of your life. Yet throwing money at such an auspicious occasion is no guarantee of quality. Take time to think through what each person truly loves, and choose a heartfelt gift that need not be expensive.
Traditionally, these costs are borne by the groom’s family, but today anyone involved can foot the bill. You will need to pay for the celebrant’s time and the venue, which are fixed costs. However, the rehearsal dinner can be as simple or as elaborate as you like. Some people host a restaurant dinner for everyone in the wedding and their immediate families, while others invite the wedding party for a rustic home-cooked meal. Let your budget and personal tastes dictate your selections.
How much should you budget for your wedding? The simple answer is as much as you can comfortably afford to spend. The only things that are technically required for a wedding are a willing bride and groom, a celebrant, and witnesses. Remember that everything else is merely trappings, and can be had for a huge range of prices. Even the type of ceremony, from formal to casual to themed, can be tailored to your budget and preferences. Resist the urge to spend more than makes you feel comfortable, and you will start your marriage off on a solid financial footing.
At Betta Party Hire, we are here to help. If you desire personalised assistance, please phone us on 1300 472 793. Our dedicated wedding team (Jan and Damian) will be delighted to share our knowledge and recommendations for trusted professionals who can help you ensure that each aspect of your special day is perfect.