Dream Wedding on a Budget ... { Part 2 }


Dream Wedding on a budget …. Part 2 …x

Sure, it’s the biggest day of your life … you want to remember it forever, you’ve been planning it since you were a little girl … but there’s no need to go overboard!

14 tier mud cake, stretch hummers and a 28 thousand dollar designer dress?

What are these brides thinking … now if you want to spend 40-80 grand on a wedding go straight ahead, that’s your choice and I’m sure you will have an amazing day …. But I’m here today to tell you … you can still have an amazing day for less expense!

I had my absolute dream wedding; on the less than average wedding budget of $10,000.oo which it you ask me is even still a lot of money for one day ….

So, breaking it down …. Here are the things we did to cut costs at our wedding, part 2 … Cars, Food and drink !


Cars ….

Cars can easily blow out once you start ringing around for quotes so before you look into hiring maybe try borrowing ?

 Do any of your friends own a hotted up car you could borrow for the day? …

We called in a lot of favours for our wedding and it saved us thousands in the long run! We had our own yellow VK to use, but Aaron had a vision of 4 similar cars delivering us to the ceremony Being a total rev head, finding peoples cars to borrow wasn’t a problem.

 We ended up with our car, Aaron’s brother car and two friends’ cars. We simply purchased the wedding ribbon from the newsagent and 2 meters of tulle for each car (once again from spotlight) to put in the back … All up about $ 50.00. ….  Much cheaper than hiring cars J people were more than happy to offer their cars to be used in our wedding in Lue of wedding gifts!

Now if you have your heart set on a stretch pink hummer, or two classic matching jags and don’t have any one to borrow them from, by all means go ahead and hire … Just do your research first, the cars play a big part in your entrance but you don’t always need to hire them for 6 hours like the hire company wants you too … be smart about it!


Food and Drinks ….

This is where it starts to get expensive !

  We organised to buy our wine bulk from the winery as we live in the Barossa valley (Wolf Blass)  and pay corkage for it at the venue, the wine corkage was only about $8, so it worked out cheaper than paying by the bottle for their house wine and we knew our guest would enjoy the selection. We also had a small tab for soft drink and beer.

Research your menu and be sure to arrange a tasting. The tasting is really important, you want to see exactly what you’re getting and most importantly how much you’re getting … make sure you feel satisfied with the portion sizes, there’s nothing worse than a wedding where there wasn’t enough food !

If in doubt, organise some canapés or dip platters to be circulated whilst guests wait for you to arrive, we had dip platters and soft drink for guests when they arrived at the reception, as we knew we would be arriving about 30 minutes after. We found this was the best way to stop any complaints about lack of food, or hungry tummies. It also helps to stop guests just hitting the bar hard while they wait; giving them something to nibble on means they won’t all be drunk before you arrive.

Consider your audience, for example, how many people you know feel like eating a 9 course seafood menu. Give variety but don’t overwhelm them with choices. Two options for entre and main is more than enough, for them and for your wallet!

We also chose to serve our wedding cake as desert, to many wedding you go to see the desert bar ignored, or the wedding cake untouched … make the most of that beautiful wedding cake you have been dreaming about since you were six. Most venues will charge between 2-7 dollars per person for the cake to be cut and served ( often with a fresh berries and cream …Yum).

And on the topic of cake …. Do your research, talk to brides about their cakes, what size cake, how many guests, did you have left overs.

Cake makers will often try to sell you a kitchen cake as well as your normal cake, stating that the wedding cake itself wont feed your entire guest list … Now I’m not saying all bakers are liars, but in my experience there is always left overs.

I’ve seen brides take home an entire wedding cake, since the staff at the venue only had to use the kitchen cake to feed her 70 odd guests, what a waste of a $500.00 cake.

 We went against our cake makers advice regarding a kitchen cake … and guess what, every guest was served a piece of red velvet cake and we still had an entire 9 inch tier of cake to take home !

 My advice, talk to other bride who have used you cake maker or venue to find out how much they actually used … also you can ask the venue to cut only the minimum piece of cake, this is a good idea for very rich mud cakes which people only eat a few bites of anyway J

Also, you get more slices out of a square cake than a round cake .. obviously !


Hope these few tips have helped some brides to be !

{Part 3 } , dresses, shoes and suits …Oh My !


Xxx Free Range Mumma xxx


  1. These are great tips, Shona! After the ceremony, food is the next most important thing. The couple should really focus on the quality and quantity of food to be served to their guests to make sure they will get the most out of their budget. Having something to nibble while waiting for the bride and groom to arrive at the reception is a good idea, by the way. It will really avoid guests to complain or get bored. Thanks for sharing!

    Hildred @ CGliv.com

  2. Those are amazing tips! Most people tend to rent expensive cars for their wedding – which is quite acceptable, since it is a very special day for them. But going with your own car, or borrowing from a friend, could definitely save you a lot of money. Anyway, thanks for sharing this post with us, Shona. Have a great day!

    Evan Blake @ Antique Limo of Indy

  3. I also want to arrange my dream wedding at venues in San Francisco. I don’t have much budget so what you will suggest me how I can manage my funds. I would like to book best catering services, but thinking to reduce funds of decorations. What you suggest?


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