Don’t blow the budget: 5 ways to save money on your wedding

Everyone knows that weddings are expensive – but they don’t need to be quite as crazy as Pinterest and bridal magazines would imply! There are heaps of ways to cut costs without only cutting down the guest lists (because, for some of us with big families, that just isn’t viable!)

So what are five great ways you can save money on your wedding?

1. Know your ‘must-haves’ vs. your ‘nice-to-haves’

This is quite possibly the best way to prioritise the money you do have for your wedding – list down what’s important to you (whether that’s great food, an amazing band, or an expensive dress) and the things that would be great, but you can live without. Spend up on the things that matter and, when you need to cut costs, the nice-to-haves list can easily be culled.

2. Weigh up DIY vs. getting it done for you

While DIY can be a great way to save money, that isn’t always the case. Especially here in New Zealand, where craft supplies can be pretty expensive, DIY can add up pretty quickly. So be sure to weigh up all the costs involved (including your time) before deciding whether DIY is the route to go down. If you’re keeping things simple, it can be cheaper – but if you’re wanting something super fancy, then you can often save costs by using your vendor or an event hire/coordination company.

3. Follow wedding buy & sell pages

If your wedding’s still a while away, one of the best ways to save money on your wedding is by keeping an eye on wedding buy and sell pages on Facebook and taking advantage of great deals from couples who have just gotten married. Whether it’s picking up tablecloths for half the price you would hire them for, getting a gorgeous dress for a bargain or finding the exact decorations you’re wanting already made, you’ll be amazed at what you can get.

4. Get off Pinterest!

Pinterest is an amazing tool – it can give you so many ideas and help you craft a vision for how you want your wedding to be. But once you’ve decided on your wedding, it can also be a black hole of distractions and temptations! So once you’ve settled on your theme, dress, and more, we’d suggest cutting yourself off from Pinterest. You won’t be tempted to add extra decorations to your tables, or decide that you prefer a different dress – all things that could quickly sap your budget!

5. Get your guests to help with the honeymoon

Planning an amazing honeymoon right after a wedding can be a bit of a strain on the bank account – so instead of gifts, why not ask your friends and family to help you turn your dream honeymoon into reality? Set up a registry with Honeypot and you can ask for funds towards anything you like (I mean, you could even ask for help with the wedding yourself if you really wanted!)

Ready to get started? Find out how it works now.

The ‘B’ word – how to make a wedding budget you can actually stick to!

Budgeting – the very word can strike fear in the hearts of many; not least if you’re planning a wedding! Luckily, we’re here with our top tips for how to plan a wedding budget, as well as our super useful free wedding budget template and wedding savings planner template.

So how do you set a wedding budget that’s actually do-able?

Figure out how much you’ve got to play with

A wedding budget is generally always finite – made up of how much you can save by your wedding date, and how much others (usually parents) are contributing. Setting your wedding date further away, or looking at ways you can cut down your spending can help you achieve the budget you’re hoping for. Open our free wedding savings planner template in Google Sheets and make your own copy to figure out just how much you’ve got to play with it. Check out our video below for how to use the template to figure out your potential savings!


Set your priorities

We talked about this in our last blog about how to get started with wedding planning, but it’s just as important here – figure out what the most important things are to you, and assign the most money to them. Is an amazing photographer a must have? Budget for the one you want and look for ways to cut costs in other places. Keen for a big bar tab? Make sure you’ve budgeted that in.

Do your research

Now it’s time to figure out what the average cost of things is – and unfortunately that can vary a lot! Use resources like the Wedding Discussion Group – New Zealand on Facebook to search for what others have paid, get recommendations, and ask for anything you are trying to gauge the price of. A photographer could be anywhere from a grand to well over ten grand, so getting an idea of what others have paid can be helpful.

Set your wedding budget

Now it’s time to put those numbers in! Decide what you’re comfy with for each item and put that into your budget. If the budget adds up to too much – look for where you can cut costs on the things that aren’t as important to you. And don’t be afraid to change the budget up as your ideas about your wedding changes – so long as the total doesn’t change, you should be all good!

Not sure where to start? Use our awesomely useful free wedding budget template to create your own budget. Get it here and watch the video below to find out how to best use it, plus get a view of a real-life wedding budget!

Get your wedding budget template now

One year (and 6 months) of being married – a husband reflects!

The Honeypot blog tends to be a bit female-heavy on perspective, so we pulled in our resident guy, Shane to give his thoughts on what changed – and what didn’t – after getting married.

This blog was initially going to be “one year of being married” but since deadlines aren’t my friend, it’s now 18 months later. Whoops!

So here we go – a guy’s thoughts on marriage 18 months after our wedding:

Some things were very different

Calling Katie my “wife” was very odd. Being engaged for just under 18 months before the wedding, I barely had time to adjust to “fiancée” before upgrading to “wife”. So for about 3 months after the wedding, I said things like “my girl f—, fia—, wife(!) Katie…”. And don’t get me started on the number of forms I had to scribble on after ticking “de facto” instead of “married”…

Then there was the ring – I never wear jewellery, not even a watch, so suddenly wearing a ring was a big deal. I noticed it all the time. It made my hand heavy, it clicked and bumped things, it was strangling my finger. It’s less noticeable now but I still don’t often wear it around the house only put it on when I leave the house (like shoes) or when people come around (like pants).

Some things never change

Life goes on – bills needed to be paid, food needed to be bought, Netflix needed to be watched. After this big hype of the wedding and the honeymoon, where everything pretty much got put on hold, within a week everything else in our lives just went straight back to normal.

What’s more, Katie was still the same person – she didn’t suddenly become the “old ball and chain” (a cringeworthy phrase) or some homemaker housewife. She still left open olive jars on the kitchen bench and I still didn’t make the bed before going to work. We still laughed and argued about the same dumb things.

We suddenly had money again

Weddings are expensive. Most the money related matters leading up to the “big day” (and by that, I mean the day before the wedding when all the suppliers needed to be paid in full!) involved sticking to our budget and saving extra money where possible. But now, we’ve got money again! Suddenly payday meant there was disposable income!

I didn’t know what to do next

A weird feeling I had for a bit after the wedding was emptiness of purpose. We’d spent just over a year focusing all our time and energy on planning a wedding (and launching Honeypot!) that afterwards I didn’t really know what I was supposed to do. It was more that I could do a whole number of things but had taken a year hiatus from thinking about them.

Funnily enough, the practice we had budgeting, planning and saving for the wedding was very handy. We ended up applying for 2-year working visas and moving over to the UK for our OE.

The “kids” discussion

Apparently there’s a social script that suddenly starts running when you get married (and don’t already have progeny) and it dances around the innocent query of a particular time frame. Most people navigate the “so… kids..?” questions subtly enough, but there others who are (a) more bothersome (siblings), (b) have less shame (parents), or (c) aren’t good at nonchalant (grandparents).

My current response is we’re getting a puppy first.

So the wedding was a big, stressful, exciting, one-off event but 18 months later? A lot of stuff changed, a lot of stuff stayed the same. Some things happened and some things didn’t happen. All in all, it feels a lot like just getting on and living life. Just now it’s with my wife beside me instead of my girlfriend!