Unspoken Conversations are the topics that are often swept under the carpet, whispered amongst the closest of friends and bitched about by many. I want to create awareness about difficult things that people face in life; grief, mental health, money, illnesses, family troubles, relationship difficulties and putting yourself first. I want to tell the truth about things that really matter.

Sunday, 8 July 2012

How to create a priceless wedding without the price!

The beautiful Mr and Mrs Mont!
Please welcome my second amazing guest blogger Lain. Lain is a gorgeous young lady who lives in the country, is a teacher and has recently married her best friend. Lain's wedding broke "tradition" in many ways. You will be able to tell by her story and the photos in this blog that you don't have to pay an arm and a leg to create an amazingly beautiful, relaxed wedding day. Learn about Lain's tips on how to create a priceless wedding without the price in this blog. Thanks Lain. I know I will definitely be using your tips when we start planning our wedding next year.

Weddings. Weddings come in all shapes and sizes. They fill the front of your fridge (and sometimes the sides too) with a range of design genius. They give us a reason to buy a new outfit and they always guarantee to provide a great time.

What is more exciting than being invited to a wedding? Well, that would be getting invited to your own!

Lots of people say that they don’t want to get married because they would rather put the money towards a house. If I had a dollar for every time I heard that, I would be able to pay for a wedding AND buy a house! It's always important to remember what a wedding is actually about. A wedding is a ceremony that unites two people in marriage. It gives the bride and groom the chance for their favourite people to be a part of that day where they proclaim their love for each other.
The relaxed atmosphere with the couches and the cheeky fun dancing!

That’s what a wedding is; it’s a ceremony.

The fact that weddings come in all shapes and sizes is the great part. A wedding does not have to fit a mould and it certainly doesn’t have to fall into a budget category. Here’s a few tips that I used, have heard of, or have seen that don’t need to cost you a house deposit and can still offer the perfect day for you and your partner.

 Helpful tips for planning your special day


First of all it is important to consider your budget, and decide on who pays for what. We used a spread sheet to write down all the items that we would need to pay for and then we thought about what we believed would be a reasonable price to spend on each item. We put the tentative price next to the item, and then as we purchased goods it reflected against our budget.

Some things come in below your expectations and some can be quite high!


We asked our parents if they could cover the costs of the alcohol for our wedding, which they were too happy to do. My parents bought the beer, and my partners bought the wine and champagne. It is a big expense to add to your budget, but not if it is split this way.


Itemising your budget is another way to decided what is actually important and ditch the pointless items that will just cost you money.

The next thing which I recommend is buddying up with the old faithful Internet. Your friend, the Internet, is full of fun, easy and cheap ideas. You can Google such things as free wedding templates and use them for invites, signs, photo booths, etc. When you have your invites sorted, you can then order them to be printed through online sites, such as Snapfish and Vistaprint too.

We were able to print our invites for $15!


The next great thing about your mate, the Internet, is online shopping, in particular sites like Etsy and eBay.

Etsy is a fantastic website focused on handmade or vintage items as well as art and craft supplies. It has lots of one off pieces like dresses, jewellery and bouquets. Lots of the items that are available on Etsy are also quite easy to make yourself, so it’s a great way to pull together ideas that you can whip up on your own.

EBay is sensational for buying items in bulk, or used items that people no longer need. By simply searching wedding decorations, wedding shoes, wedding jewellery, wedding dresses, etc, you are instantly connected with pages and pages of items.


I was able to buy 100 stamped envelopes for $48, which saved a huge amount of money when sending the invites!

 I scoured eBay to look for cheap dresses that I could buy and alter if needed. I actually tried my wedding dress on in the store Carla Zampatti, which at the time was priced at $1000.
The bargain dress that is abolsoutly stunning!

Quite some time later, after I couldn’t stop thinking about the dress, I searched the description of the dress on eBay and there was one listed for $600! The person selling it hadn’t even worn it. I watched the dress for a while before deciding to try it on again to make sure it was what I wanted. When I went back in to Carla Zampatti the dress had actually been reduced, and I ended up purchasing it for $400. What a bargain! I was very lucky!

EBay is also helpful if you want designer dresses because sometimes you can buy expensive dresses for reduced prices, or even copies of the dress. It’s definitely worth a look!
The gorgeous affordable bridesmaid dresses!

So speaking of outfits, and the Internet, I searched bridesmaid dresses quite a lot on eBay and Google. I came across a website in America called Zappos. I saw a simple dress, which matched the colour we wanted and the style. It was only $90 each, so I ordered one for each of my bridesmaids. I figured if they didn’t like them, then I could just sell them on eBay! The girls loved them, they looked amazing, and lots of people commented on them on the wedding day.


The bridesmaids picked their own shoes, with the only criteria being that they had to be a gold colour. I didn’t want the girls to have to wear shoes that they normally wouldn’t wear, so they could choose whether they would have a heel or not.

The other thing that I considered was that they had dresses to the ground, as did I. It’s not really important to wear expensive shoes, or particular shoes, if they are not a feature of the outfit. That almost kills me to say that, considering I worked in a shoe shop for 5 years, however it also means that I know how important it is to be comfortable!

I sold a fabulous pair of blue shoes to a close friend who wore them under her wedding dress! They made for great photos when she lifted her dress.

The photo booth.

When you buy anything, shopping around is important. If you check out a few different shops, you will find that they stock the same sorts of items, with small differences. Many shoe labels have the same style shoe, with the only difference being the name, or the price. Have a look around before you settle on something.

This is definitely the case with men’s clothing. There are lots of shops where you are able to get quality items for cheap prices. When it came to dressing the boys, we also considered the fact that it’s not necessary to have matching belts and shoes. If they are all the same colour, it gives the same effect.

 I don’t think it is important to have your mates’ fork out an extra $100 just so they have all the same items which are again not a feature.
Beautiful marquee and the amazing friends and family who helped them to make their day special and affordable!


A big thing to consider is- what is ‘Your thing’?!

Are you a foody? Are you a car person? Are you a visual person?

When you decide what is truly important to you, you know that that is where you are not willing to budge when it comes to money, or simply where you are happy to spend money.

Where and how to save money

Home made desserts!

We didn’t believe that the cake cutting was important, so we didn’t have a cake and instead incorporated cupcakes into the lolly and dessert buffet.

We had family and friends make a batch of sweets and add it to the table.

The amazing wire flowers that can be kept forever!

We also didn’t see that flowers were an important part of our day, considering their costs, their longevity and the point of them. Instead each of us girls carried a wire flower that suited our earthy theme. We each got to keep our flower as a reminder, and they looked great in the pictures.

Their beautiful decorations!

Decorations can contribute to a large part of your budget. We chose to have a ‘loungey’ cocktail reception, with the roof mimicking that of a marquee. The furniture and labour of the roof were our biggest expenses because it was something we couldn’t do ourselves. 


Doing jobs yourself cuts back many costs.

MUSIC!We created a strategic play list and ran that from our laptop to the PA system, and everyone danced all night!


We made the majority of our food. It really isn’t that hard to buy chicken breasts in bulk, dice it, put it on skewers and freeze it with marinade. We did the same for lamb kebabs, which my family donated the meat, and the same for beef and prawn kebabs, which my partner’s family donated. A friend, my partner and myself 300 oysters in bacon, which were given to us from another friend. This list goes on.

I recommend if you can DIY, then do, and if you cant, then network!


Networking is a super important part of wedding planning. What can your friends and family do for you?!

Well here goes- My friend did all our hair as a gift, another did all of our make-up. My friend controlled the music at our ceremony, a friend let us borrow his PA system for the reception, and set it up for us, and my brother played guitar and sang at the reception. Friends set up the arch for the ceremony and the seats. We borrowed family cars to use for photos, and asked cousins to drive them. Friends and family made cakes and sweets for our dessert buffet, family friends volunteered to work the bar. One of our groomsmen worked at a bottle shop and organised our alcohol when it was on sale. Friends helped make food. A friend, Cassandra Mamone did our wedding bands. Friends and family provided seafood. Family donated meat. My brother filmed the ceremony and wedding dance. Friends who had already been married loaned vases and fences. The local pub loaned us dividers for our make shift photo booth.

The list is endless. Think about what your friend and family can do for you! They all want to be involved so give them a job!
Lain and her husband mucking around in the photo booth!

There are many ways that you can cut back costs and enjoy the journey of getting married! Make sure you do! Remember getting married is simply a ceremony!

All and all our wedding was around $16,000 for 190 people.

Are you planning a wedding? What tips have you found to save money? Or are you already hitched? Do you have any red hot savings tips?

Have fun planning your wedding,

Mrs Mont xxx

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