Five Ways To Finance Your Dream Wedding

Getting married is a big deal. Your wedding is one of those special events that you will both remember for a lifetime. A huge amount of effort goes into organising a wedding – booking a venue, agonising over the guest list, choosing food and transport, wondering how much Uncle Kevin will drink in an evening and deciding if you should book two photographers in case one is no show. 

Paying for a wedding is either top of your list or low priority, depending on what kind of person you are. With the average NZ wedding costing around $30,000, it pays to get on the same page with each other’s ideas of their dream day sooner rather than later. With lots of different elements to consider when planning your wedding, the small details really can add up. This blog will take you through the practical side of agreeing on your wedding budget, and help you to understand how you can finance it too.

A bride and groom kiss on their wedding day

Setting your wedding budget

Newly engaged? Congratulations! You might be still settling on a wedding date, but it’s never too early to sit down and draft a high level wedding budget. A big part of your decision-making will be to agree what other financial goals you have for the year. It might be buying a house, having a luxury honeymoon, or starting to save some money for things you’ll need for your first child. Whatever your goals might be, it’s a good start to agree these early, together. You can also prevent big surprises when it comes to planning your big day.

Another good thing to establish early on is what kind of wedding you both want. Large or intimate? Formal or casual? These decisions can have impacts on your wedding budget. Bear in mind that a large but casual wedding (serving finger food) could have the same ballpark costs as an intimate but formal affair with an elaborate sit down dinner at an expensive venue. Setting expectations around the kind of event you want and your priorities can certainly cut down on your planning sessions early on. 

There are some great wedding budget templates and planning tools online. These can be hugely helpful in getting you both in the right headspace to start your planning. 

Top ten typical wedding costs

Of course, many of the below items depend on the type of wedding you’re after, but we’ve pulled together a basic list of wedding expenses to help you prioritise where you want to direct your hard earned money:

1. Wedding venue
Size matters, and typically the larger the venue, the more you’ll need to pay in hireage or commit to in terms of minimum spend of food and beverages

2. The wardrobe
Think about the wedding dress, groom’s suit and bridal party outfits. Will you be buying or renting a suit for the day? Are you planning on getting a custom-made dress or a secondhand option? You can also save by reducing the size of your bridal party. Your bridesmaids, groomsmen, flower girls and pageboys will expect you to at least contribute to their attire, so cutting back numbers in this area can be helpful to your overall budget.

3. Flowers and decor
Unless you know someone who’s a florist, flowers can get expensive. It’s good to confirm if these are a priority for your big day.

4. Photographer
Most people will agree that photos are essential to remember your big day, but perhaps you could make savings by using a talented friend? Some people also want to capture the day with a video, but adding a videographer to your budget can escalate costs for you.

5. Catering
These can be some of your biggest ticket items and will very much differ depending on whether you have a formal sit down meal or a casual finger food affair. The venue you settle on can determine food and beverage pricing too. Are you restricted to using the venue’s food and alcohol pricing, or can you bring in cheaper caterers and serve beer by the keg? A wedding cake is also a special tradition so agree if you want to get one made, or whether a talented family member can arrange this for you?

6. Marriage licence and celebrant
The practical details include the cost of submitting your licence and hiring a celebrant if you’re not having a religious service. These costs are fairly fixed and difficult to trim back.

7. Entertainment
Spotify playlist, DJ or live band? There are plenty of options for bringing the fun to your wedding reception once the formalities are over. The pricing can differ significantly depending on what you choose though.

8. Wedding car
You may want to hire vintage cars to get you to and from your special day, or perhaps arriving by helicopter is more your style? Depending on the venue, you might need to consider hiring a bus or mini vans to help your guests get to the venue too. Again, these costs can be fairly fixed, so budget carefully for these.

9. Accommodation
Do you need to arrange and pay for accommodation for out of town guests? For yourselves following the main event? Or allow for an accommodation budget for your honeymoon? Booking in advance and securing rooms for a reasonable number of people can be a good way of getting decent discounts, so explore this carefully.

10. Wedding Planner
There is clearly a lot to consider, so some people opt for a Wedding Planner to take the hassle out of organising what can be a large, complex event. This is of course an additional cost, so plan carefully around this.

Wedding table setting with candlesticks

So, how will you pay for your wedding?

We’ve taken a look at five ways that couples in New Zealand can help to finance their big day:

1. Saving up and paying for your wedding yourself

For many couples, this is the only way to make your dream day happen. Often, you plan your wedding day some time in advance, so it’s simple to put a little aside each month over a 12 month period, or pay for items each month to spread the overall cost. You may also have savings you can use, or a little money from your family to help out with wedding expenses.

2. Asking for help with your wedding expenses

There is nothing wrong with asking for help! Your friends and family will understand that a wedding is a significant financial outlay and may be happy to help out. Perhaps a parent can contribute to certain wedding items, or you may have friends or family with connections to help you source discounted products or services. Think carefully about who within your network is a cake decorator, photographer, florist, dressmaker etc.

Be aware that asking for help can come with conditions. The family member who helps will likely expect an invitation. Or the parent that’s offered to pay for the food, may want their friends to come and celebrate your special day.

3. A wedding personal loan

Taking out a personal loan to top up your wedding budget is an option for some couples. It can take away the discomfort of asking for money from friends or family. It can also be a great idea, if you’re wanting to have your wedding quite quickly, and don’t have enough time to save up in advance.

Nectar offers personal loans for weddings, so you can take advantage of their simple online approval process, competitive interest rates, and enjoy money in your bank account on the same day.

4. Financing your wedding with your credit card

You may already have a credit card, so this could be a simple finance option as you can take advantage of your credit card’s interest-free days. You’ll want to be sure you can pay off your credit card each month without incurring interest payments, and any frequent flyer points or cash back could go towards your dream honeymoon.

Bear in mind that not all your suppliers can accept credit cards, and some may charge you additional fees to use your credit card to make payments. Interest rates can often be higher on credit cards, than for a personal loan too.

5. Look into getting a side hustle

Think about ways you both could make some extra money to save for your big day. A second job between now and the wedding can make a big difference, or perhaps it’s time for a big clear out and to sell some things on Trade Me. Some couples rent their house out on Airbnb, while they move back in with their parents or friends, drive an Uber for a few months, or use their talents to make things to sell.

Regardless, any sacrifices you make now, will help you get the day you’ve always dreamed of. Most people hope to only get married once so it’s worth making your day special and personal to you both as a couple. 

Getting started with Nectar

Don’t let your wedding day stress you out – there are lots of options out there to help you pay for dream day. Find out how much you can borrow today and check out our competitive wedding loan rates. 

Get started with Nectar for an instant quote now. Borrow better, faster today!

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