If you don't want to begin married life by blowing the budget then an intimate gathering - with an affordable price tag - is the ideal start to married life. To compromise on cost you needn't compromise on quality and there are plenty of top tips and tools to help devise your dream day without losing sleep over the numbers.

backyard wedding ideas

Benedict Morgan Photography

By managing the budget and reducing, or eliminating some traditional wedding items you'll be surprised how far your budget will go. We have broken down the budget for an intimate gathering of friends based on a guest list of 70 people.

Total Budget
$ 15,000.00
Attendants Gifts $ 102.78
Bomboniere $ 205.56
Bridal Gown $ 1,162.98
Bridesmaid Gowns and Accessories
$ 211.13
Civil Celebrant or Chaplain $ 405.56
Ceremony Venue $ 256.95
Ceremony Musicians
$ 475.15
Wedding Night Accommodation (gift from bridal party)
$0
Flowergirls and Pageboys
$0
Personal Flowers $ 411.13
Reception
$ 5,203.33
Hair and Make-Up $ 202.99
Honeymoon $ 3,083.46
Invitations and other Stationery $ 282.65
Shoes & Accessories $ 195.50
Men's Attire $ 308.35
Photography $ 1,541.73
Pre-Wedding Beauty Treatments
$ 128.48
Wedding Bands $ 513.91
Wedding Cake $ 308.35
   

For this wedding the bride didn't have flowersgirls or pageboys nor did she need to hire cars so this extra money was allocated to the reception budget - as was the wedding night accommodation that was a gift from the couples bridal party. The reception supplied the DJ so the couple hired a string quartet to play during the outdoor ceremony and during the pre-reception drinks.

Following are some ideas on how to stick to budget for other key inclusions :

The Wedding Dress

Possibly the most you'll ever spend on a dress and well worth it!  If Couture isn't in your price range don't think you have to compromise on quality.

This bride bought a pre-loved gown, a Collette Dinigan design and after a couple of nips and tucks in alterations, had her dream wedding dress. Another option is to find a good dress maker. Designer fabric specialists such as d'Italia offer dressmaking services that can be made to budget as opposed to couture designers made to measure ranges.

The final option is to blow the wedding dress budget, then sell it back to the designer (some designers offer to buy back dresses) or through to sell it throug a specialist store online. Visit our wedding dress directory for a list of designers and specialists.

Bomboniere

Bomboniere doesn't have to be a Wedgwood tea set, although your guests would love it!! Putting a little time rather than money into your bomboniere can be just as rewarding for your guests as for you.

At this wedding all guests received a framed photo of themselves with the bride and/or groom from the past. It had been printed and mounted in simple white wooden frames. This brought on no end of chat, memories, tears and laughter as to where and in what situations the photos were taken. They also doubled up as the place cards! A wedding favour well worth keeping!

The Honeymoon $3,080 

When money matters, a short escape makes financial sense. Take the opportunity to upgrade and indulge for a few nights. You might not be able to afford the super-swish suite with the stellar view for a fortnight but a long weekend? Could be a different story.

Check out city hotels or nearby regional retreats that offer 3-4 night mid-week packages that include upgrades, champagne on arrival and more. For more mini-moon ideas click here

Wedding Tip:

Seek out wedding guests who may have a hidden - or well-known - talent which you can call upon such as a wedding singer or musician, a cake decorator, calligrapher, DJ or someone with decorating flair. You may be surprised by the stylish and accomplished people you know!

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