The third step


We have given you the First Step to plan your perfect wedding in our ‘Bride-to-be Just Engaged and Completely overwhelmed. Read This’ (here) and the second step of ‘Guests First, Budget Second (here), now we have our third step which is talking about the all mighty budget planning. 

The truth is, when you start planning your wedding, chances are you just don’t know what things will cost (and you’re probably underestimating prices). Your wedding is probably the priciest party you’ll ever throw in your life. It’s easy to say you’ll stick to a budget, or have tons of fabulous DIY details, but at the end of the day, your venue and catering bill could amount to way more than you imagined. It’s important to understand how your budget will be broken down. Saving up for the wedding isn’t an insurmountable task—we promise. Here’s how to save up and pay for your wedding by spending smartly and cutting back a little along the way.

Wedded Wonderland recently surveyed over 500 brides who married in the last 18 months to determine the cost of a wedding in Australia, and the results are officially in!

According to our findings, the cost of a wedding across almost all fronts has steadily increased over the past two years, with the overall 2019 median cost of a wedding being $53,168, a 3.75% increase from last year. If you have a big budget goal that seems daunting, divide it into smaller chunks that are easier to digest. The simple math trick that makes it all work? Take the sum of your desired budget and divide it by the number of months you have to save up. Getting married in a year with a budget of $20,000? Divide $20,000 by 12 (which equals about $1,700 per month). If that amount seems like too much per month, add more time or try cutting back on a few of your big-ticket monthly expenses to help you save. 

The amount you’ll need to put aside if you’re saving from scratch would be: $1500 per month $375 per week to save $45,000 over 12months. If the average wedding costs $54,168 that’s $4514 per month $1128.50 per week. Put things into perspective and what is realistic.

Our Overall Budget 

What we can afford to spend:

What we want to spend:

What is roughly 2-3k under:


I’m a big advocate for working with what you have over getting a loan or using credit cards. The way you feel about your wedding now will be very different when you’re still paying things off three months or a year after the fact. Note that the majority of wedding suppliers will require everything to be prepaid.

Knowing what you want to spend while knowing what you can afford to spend will – you guessed it – make your decision-making significantly easier down the line. Working with the under-budget figure will also give you an additional security blanket of flexibility.

When is your wedding coming in and when? Have you already saved? Are you planning on saving while planning? Figuring out wedding cash flow can mean asking a lot of painful questions. 

Start your calculation by picking the highest overall wedding budget figure you think is achievable. eg $30,000

Subtract any savings you already have that you are willing to contribute eg: $5,000

Subtract any contributions your families are making eg: $10,000

Divide the remaining total by the number of months you want to give yourself to save eg: $15,000 / 20 months = $250 p/month

Assess this figure against your household budget. Are you already saving $250 per month? If not is there anything you can do without to meet this total savings per month?


The Wedding: $53,168

Wedding Dress: $5,260

Groom’s Suit: $1,952

Engagement Ring: $11,753

Venue: $21,958

Honeymoon: $10,145

Florals and Styling: $6,832

Entertainment: $2,989

Bridesmaid Dresses: $926

Groomsmen Suits: $1,322

Videographer: $3,665

Photographer: $3,812

Hair: $520

Makeup: $483

Cake: $955

Transport: $1,214

If yes, you have the overall amount you can afford to spend on your wedding.

What you need to do is:

  • Set a target number, and then create an actual budget.
  • Look back at your priorities and don’t forget to budget for items that are your non negotiables.

Allocate roughly 30% of your ‘want to spend’ budget to venue + catering costs.

The average time it takes to plan a wedding is 12 months (approximately 52 weeks) so I will base our figures on this time frame.


Want our easy Wedding

Budget template to keep track of your spend?

Luckily, we created just such a tool for you: a wedding budget spreadsheet! We’ve made it available as an Excel file. This is hands-down the best way to make sure you avoid the kinds of nasty surprises that can ruin the big day. We have two free downloads to help with your planning. Need help planning your guest list? Downnload our free template here or our negotiables list plan here.

Click on the image or here to download!