Your wedding day is about celebrating the love between you and your partner, not about how much money you spend. In Australia this year the average cost of a wedding was around $65,000 (Bride To Be, Cost of Love Survey, 2015). For $65,000 you could create a magical, extravagant wedding, but it’s totally possible to plan an extraordinary wedding on a much smaller budget.
Here are a few ideas on how you can plan a budget-friendly tipi wedding that is inexpensive, but not cheap.
Start planning ASAP
As soon as you set a date it’s time to start planning. Whatever you do, don’t leave your bookings until the last minute. You could miss out on your preferred suppliers, meaning your choices will be limited and you may have to spend more money than you originally budgeted to get what you want. Start planning early. Write a to-do-list (this will be the first of many) and start booking vendors as soon as you can.
Keep your guest list under control
It’s hard, but you need to be pretty ruthless when it comes to your guest list and saving money. Yes, it would be wonderful to invite everyone to your wedding and have one hell of a party, but remember, every extra person you invite is more money you’ll have to spend.
So how do you keep your guest list under control? Tell your family from the start who will and won’t be invited. This will save some awkward conversations, disappointment or invitations only based on a sense of obligation. Don’t feel pressured to invite long-lost cousins or family members you haven’t spoken to in years. Explain that you’re having a small wedding with only close friends and family invited. They will understand.
If you’re feeling particularly ruthless, try the rule – if you don’t have their number saved on your phone, don’t invite them.
Friends and family love helping out at wedding time. If they have things they can contribute, including catering, music, flowers or a venue, let them! Embrace it, as long as you still have control, it can be fun having family and friends involved in the process and it will save you lots of money.
Have an outdoor wedding
All-inclusive indoor wedding venues can be expensive and you may end up paying for things you don’t necessarily want.
Have your wedding outdoors, save money and have more flexibility with the decisions you make. This way you can decide on what to contribute yourself and save money by exploring DIY options.
Also, if you have an outdoor wedding you’ll save on decoration costs. Nature itself is the decoration and the natural beauty of your surrounds will be all you need.
If you do shop for decorations, keep it simple and use pre-loved or recycled items to decorate where you can. Some of the most treasured items can be found for next to nothing at your local op-shop or re-purposed from your own home.
If you’re planning a tipi wedding it’s easy to keep decorations to a minimum. The neutral tones of our Kata tipis contrast beautifully with a few gorgeous greens and scattered blooms. Add festoon lighting and that’s all you’ll need to set the ambience for a magical and romantic reception beneath the tipis.
Hire food trucks or vans for catering
We absolutely LOVE the idea of having a variety of food vans set up alongside our tipis. This type of catering is a unique alternative to traditional wedding catering and is often more affordable. There’s a huge range of this type of catering on the Gold Coast, wood-fired pizzas, Mexican, Spanish, burgers or Ice Cream, the possibilities are endless!
Take a trip to your local market to find suppliers
Your local farmer’s market is a treasure chest of potential wedding vendors. Caterers, beautiful cakes, in-season flowers and local performers can all be sourced at your local market. You’ll save money by shopping local. Take a stroll, taste their wares and speak to the stallholders to see how they could be a part of your special day.
There are certain traditions you’ll want to keep, but some can be ditched to reduce costs.
Save money and let your bridesmaids choose their own dresses that fit their budget. You decide on a colour or style, but let them choose a dress that they’ll wear again.
Remember it’s your choice. If you don’t want bridesmaids or groomsmen, don’t have them. If you don’t want a traditional tier wedding cake, don’t have it. Don’t feel like you have to do it just because it’s ‘wedding tradition’, you can create a beautiful wedding by following your own path and sticking to your personal budget.