Marriage | Money

Why a wedding shouldn’t blow your budget

29 March 2017 | By

Welcome to the first post in the Wedding Tip Wednesdays series!

Weddings are can be expensive. REALLY expensive. From venue hire, to dress purchases and shoes and makeup, to guest lists and invitations, to an entourage of cars and hundreds of other possible extras… it can easily add up to costing thousands of dollars and push you so far into debt that you’ll barely see your way out.

It’s an unfortunate reality that the wedding industry is notorious for often being over-priced, with vendors tripling any costs whenever the W word is thrown into the mix.

Life With Isabelle | Importance of a wedding budget - credit card

Sounds daunting?

It doesn’t have to be that way!

It’s all in your hands…

Read on to discover why it’s totally worth sticking to a budget, and that it’s not something to worry about or be ashamed of doing! Also, stay tuned for a later episode of the Wedding Tip Wednesday series where I’ll share my top ways of saving money during wedding preparation.

Life With Isabelle | Importance of a wedding budget - wedding rings

Frivolous vs. frugal

I’m not suggesting that you need to be ultra-frugal and obsessively scrape for every saving possible or give up everything you ever dreamed your big day to involve, because yes it’s true that it’s a “once in a lifetime” experience and you and your partner both deserve a beautiful ceremony and celebration. It’s preferable though to lean more towards the prudent end of the spectrum, rather than falling into the temptations of frivolity.

Personally, I find that huge flashy weddings can come across as being way over the top. The focus can quickly shift to “oh those chandeliers must have cost a fortune!” and “I wonder how they afforded those 8 Rolls Royces!” and people become fascinated by the materialism of the event, rather than on the couple getting married.

This is your day, girl! People’s eyes should be on you and your hubby, not gawking over the choice of venue or the elaborate crystal glasses. Go for the style/theme you dreamed of, and shop around to find affordable options. Even better, get some girlfriends together for some DIY. Don’t feel any pressure whatsoever to pour excessive amounts of money into anything – do your best to stick to a reasonable budget!

Life With Isabelle | Importance of a wedding budget - beauty quoteImage source

No need to add extra stress

Spending a lot of money necessarily means that there’s much more at stake if something falls through. Expectations are set higher, you’re more financially invested, and this can definitely add up to extra stress on your already busy plate!

Realistically, guests aren’t going to fuss over the tiniest of details.

Make it meaningful. Make it special. Make it the most magical day of your life.

But don’t get overly caught up in the little things.

An example I like to give people from my personal experience is the menu cards that are generally put on all the tables at the reception. It was one of the things that I had left until the last minute because I thought I’d make them myself rather than ordering a set (because the ones I had looked at and liked were rather pricey). But over the final few weeks before the wedding I got caught up with other things and ended up forgetting about them completely, with absolutely no criticism or comments from anyone in the aftermath! (Was I the only one who realised..?) Ended up being an easy, albeit inadvertent, saving.

Moral of the story is that it’s not worth stressing or fussing over every single little detail and making things into a big drama if something goes wrong, because I can guarantee you that people aren’t going to go home afterwards complaining about your choice of font for their place card.

If in doubt, just remember:

Life With Isabelle | Importance of a wedding budget - quote

Remember the other costs

If you’re spending loads of money, chances are you’re trying to make the event super extravagant. Sure, maybe that’s your style, but just consider what else you could possibly be putting some of that money towards instead.

Personally, I found that there was plenty to save up for after the wedding! The biggest upcoming expenses included:

  • Honeymoon (feel free to splurge a little on this one!)
  • Buying a home / post-wedding living arrangements
  • Buying things for the house

You definitely don’t want to kick off married life deep in wedding debt!

Life With Isabelle | Importance of a wedding budget - wedding piggy banksImage source

Don’t lose focus on what the day is really about

Realistically, after many months of preparation, your wedding day will probably be 12-18 hours of amazingly wonderful craziness – getting ready, the wedding ceremony, the reception and after party.

You’ll barely notice the extra bit of glitter you insisted on placing around the centrepieces, or the style of tying the ribbons at the back of the chairs, or the meticulously placed petals strewn across the cake table.

Believe me when I say that you’ll be totally in love with your fiance, trying to savour every second with them and your family and friends who are there to celebrate with you.

In fact, it’ll fly by so quickly and before you know it you’ll be leaving the reception venue with your husband ready to face the world together as a married couple.

There are heaps of things that need to be organised during the wedding prep process, but not all should warrant significant spending or focus. Really think about and prioritise what matters most to you. How? Take the time to sit down somewhere quietly and write (from the heart) a list of what your wedding day means to you. Every person will probably end up with different lists, with different priorities.

But here’s my advice.

Don’t make it about the money.

Don’t make it about trying to impress your friends, distant relatives or people on social media.

Make it about you and your partner – uniting as one through marriage on this joyous occasion.

As long as you’re happy and your spouse is happy, that’s all that really matters.

(Of course hopefully your guests have a fantastic time too!)

Life With Isabelle | Importance of a wedding budget - married couple sitting on a bridge


If you, a family member or a friend is in the midst of wedding organising at the moment – best wishes and good luck in this wonderful time! I’d love to hear about how things are going And if you have any questions, feel free to reach out or subscribe to more wedding updates below! ↓

Isabelle xx

I love weddings!

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  1. If you are the kind of person who believes in marriage, yes, making it meaningful is the only way to go. It doesnt matter how expensive or not is it, as long as you are with the right person and feel great about your decision right?

  2. These are all great tips! We definitely went over our budget for our wedding day and we had a wonderful day but after looking back I always tell my newly engaged friends that it is so easy to go over budget and to really consider if you really want that horse and carriage for the 20 minutes or if you would like to save money after. I was very lucky and I had a lot of financial support for my dream wedding, but there are always days I look back and think I was crazy for spending as much as I did! Don’t get me wrong our wedding was beautiful and was my dream wedding!

  3. I saved thousands on my wedding by getting my dress on eBay, skipping the band, and having it at a beautiful but inexpensive venue (on a lake.) There are definitely ways to cut down and I agree the little details don’t matter as much.

  4. Well put together….I enjoyed reading this post…There is beauty in simplicity but then again to each his/her own…as long as you fill fulfilled at the end

  5. It’s so easy to get carried away when it comes to wedding expenses! I know, I’ve been there. I think is a lovely list that will help brides and grooms to-be to keep their budgets in check

  6. I had an elaborate first wedding and it really wasn’t my thing. We ended up divorcing. I got remarried 8 years later and my husband and I got married on the beach where we had our first kiss – in the sleet (it was 38 degrees!) in blue jeans and hiking boots, just our children, my mom, his best friend and our barefoot pastor. It was perfect and I treasure that moment everyday!

  7. Lots of good points here. I totally agree that weddings are so overblown sometimes. We really tried to watch our budget when my husband and I got married, and it was still perfect!

  8. You are so right, that just mentioning the “w” word seems to triple to price on anything. I remember getting annoyed when planning our wedding when vendors would say “what’s your budget” as it would make me feel as though they would charge what ever we were willing to pay. I just kept saying “How about I tell you what I want, and you just tell me what it costs”. It seems they will rip you off every chance you get! I ended up forging decorations of any sort and just had lighting, and these simple lights on the tables that changed colour and sparkled instead (they were only $3 each)… I don’t think anyone even noticed the difference!

  9. I totally agree with this!! I have been to SO many weddings and I see so weddings that are completely over the top. At the end of the day, it’s about you and your husband being married. Not the centerpieces.

  10. What an awesome article, and I totally agree with you. I’m planning a vow renewal and going to apply these money saving tips. Thanks for sharing.

  11. Love your point about remembering what his day is realy about. So many people get caught up in the wedding itself and lose sight of a lifetime with your partner. That’s what the real focus should be.

  12. I agree to not go over board with the wedding, I didn’t. I would much rather own a home and put money towards that and a fabulous honeymoon!! I guess it all depends on individual priorities!

  13. Speaking as someone who got married a few years ago, watch who you invite. There will people when you look back that you can’t even remember who they are.

  14. Great tips and definitely agree! I’m actually wedding planning now, and things are crazy expensive. We still want to have a fun time and a beautiful wedding, so we’re splurging on a few things, but we’re sticking to the budget for everything else. We’re even doing a few projects to stay on track. But we’re saving a good chunk of our money for the honeymoon, and asking for “donations” or stuff to help furnish our new house!

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