5 Insider Tips to Save Money on Your New Zealand Wedding

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Leah from Rosemary & Twine shares her insider knowledge on how to have a wedding on a budget.

Today I’m going to be sharing with you all about a topic that I’ve learnt a lot about over the years, and something that I consider to be a passion of mine.

I have worked in the wedding industry for the past six years, with wonderful brides planning their weddings.

My Top Tips for an awesome wedding on a budget
Photo: Nathan Fertig

5 Budget Wedding Tips from an Industry Professional

I absolutely love everything about weddings and I loved that my job gave me an excuse to obsess over anything and everything wedding-related!

One thing I did manage to pick up on while working in the wedding industry was a few tips and tricks to save yourself money and help you to stay sane throughout the process too!

I’m going to let you in on a few industry insights today.

If you are in the middle of planning a wedding or maybe know someone who is, I hope these tips will come in handy for you!

1. Plan An Off-Season Wedding

This is probably the best tip I can offer anyone planning their wedding.

It is amazing how much money you can save by having your wedding outside of the popular season.

Here in New Zealand, wedding season runs from late October to early April, with the big months being January to March.

Reasons for this are that people really want the best guarantee that they will have nice weather, which is understandable!

If we’re honest though, New Zealand’s weather can be unpredictable at best.

Unless the forecasters are predicting severe drought, there’s no real guarantee that you’ll get a perfectly clear sunny wedding day, even in the height of Summer!

In my opinion, off-season weddings are this industry’s best-kept secret.

Most vendors tend to be quiet and run off-season specials and discount rates.

Suppliers don’t need to fit your wedding in with the 28 other weddings they’re doing the same weekend, so they can be a lot more accommodating to your needs and give you more of their time.

Where some venues are booked up years in advance for popular summer dates (February 14th, anyone?).

Off-season, you will most likely get your pick of dates, as long as they’re May to September (and opposite in the Northern Hemisphere).

The same goes for photographers. Off-season weddings are the best time to ask “what can you do for me?”.

Vendors want your business in their quiet off-season months and are willing to throw in some freebies here and there, so it’s worth asking!

My Top Tips for an awesome wedding on a budget
Matt+Leah Pickering. Photography by Allen Carbon

2. Have an At-Home Wedding

Weddings are a fantastic excuse to head back to your hometown, not only because it’s a great weekend escape for your friends, but also because provincial towns charge much lower rates than big cities.

A little research into venue and vendor prices in small towns might help cut your venue budget in half!

Or help you step up a level of fanciness for the same amount you’d pay for a modest venue in the city.

Beachside baches make great wedding party accommodation, and the local economy can always benefit from your friends and family dropping by for the weekend, not to mention the local caterers, florists, car hire, bottle stores and the like that would love to work with you!

Y’know they’re probably also really friendly too.

Having your wedding at home is also a great way to involve family who otherwise may feel left out of the planning process.

My Top Tips for an awesome wedding on a budget
Photo: Dave Meier

3. Ask For Help

So often it’s easier to do things yourself.

You know how you want it done, and you’d rather just to do it than explain to someone else (and end up re-doing it later, let’s be honest).

The truth is, your family and friends would love to be involved, they just need an opportunity.

I’ll tell you now, doing everything by yourself with no help is not going to work out well for anyone.

Delegating jobs out to people will help them to feel like they have a part to play in this most important of days. Ask talented friends to bring their skill in place of a wedding present.

Tips for saving money on your wedding. You can have an amazing wedding on a tiny budget. A professional wedding planner shares her top tips for saving money and some other things to be aware of when you are planning a wedding on a budget.

Got a hot home baker pal? Get them onto the wedding cake!

That aunt who just has a knack for making things look good? Put that skill to use for the reception table set-up!

Your future brother-in-law is a technical whizz? He can man the PA system.

Your Type-A super-organised friend from college will be perfect for making sure the day runs smoothly.

A wedding is supposed to be about a community coming together, let some of these things off your shoulders so you can focus on the main thing: the getting married bit.

My Top Tips for an awesome wedding on a budget

4. Research Thoroughly and Save Yourself Money

Most wedding dress shops charge a fee to try on dresses.

In New Zealand, it’s usually somewhere around $50-70 for an appointment.

Some stores don’t charge if you would just like to browse without trying on and most should have pictures of their dresses on their website.

You can save yourself hundreds of dollars by looking on their website first and seeing if you like the dresses they stock and if they have free browsing sessions.

Going into a bridal store just to browse can give you a good impression of the store and if it’s a place that you would pay to visit.

I’ve had brides book up to two hours in a boutique with me, only to realise we don’t stock the type of dress they were wanting to try on.

If you don’t know what styles of dresses you like, that’s OK! Most people go into wedding planning with no idea what they would want to wear, it’s completely normal seeing as most of us have spent very little time in formal gowns!

See if there’s a free place to try on and get an idea of different styles, colours and fabrics first and go from there.

My Top Tips for an awesome wedding on a budget
Photo: Ben Rossett

TIP #5 Choose Carefully The Things You DIY

DIY is all the rage these days for weddings, and it’s a wonderful thing!

It’s a great way to save money, get your friends and family involved in wedding preparations and it’s a lot of fun.

Good easy DIYs include invitations and stationery.

Anyone with a home printer can make simple DIY invitations, and there are lots of downloadable PDF files you can buy off places like Etsy for less than $20. Just fill in your details and print!

What’s important with DIY is to cost up your projects before you start them.

By the time you have purchased all the necessary materials and tools to make something yourself, you may have spent more than if you’d just bought that thing ready-made!

It’s also good to avoid feeling pressured to DIY.

Some people love being crafty and would DIY their wedding even if it wasn’t trendy.

Other people just plain hate it and even thinking about getting elbow deep in PVA glue and tissue paper makes them cringe.

If you’re not a DIY person but have friends who love that stuff, recruit them to be your “Creative Team” and hand over all the decorative things to them!

If you trust them and their ideas seem good, let them take that whole area off your hands and create something handmade and beautiful for your wedding.

Thanks for letting me share these tips with you today!

For those people planning weddings, or even big celebrations and gatherings, I hope these were helpful.

Emma

Emma

I'm a mum of two boys and passionate about building wealth and living a fulfilling life without breaking the bank.

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