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Hire a hall where you can then organise the catering & the grog yourself. Don't skimp on a good photographer, get a small package for good photos. Get your hair & make up professionally done. Find a car club & hire a couple nice old cars, or friends might have some cars that will do. Don't mention wedding when organising hall & catering & hiring etc, especially in the beginning, your organising a celebration (A birthday, which turns into a wedding)
Look, break your shit down into categories. So venue, decor, food, clothes, invites, etc. And focus on ONE THING AT A TIME.
How can I save money on the venue? Oh in a quiet public park. Then research that.
Decor? Well if it's in a pretty spot, decor will be minimal. Maybe see if there's a cheaper option for your bouquet and shit (I had a $10 bunch of roses)
We have a huge yard, decorated it with fairy lights husband built a arch, dress was only $40 online, was summer so didn't do a full suit just shirt vest and pants. We got lucky that the guys and girls bought their own stuff but each was not more than $100. We hired a spit from our butcher, made salads ourselves, all good for about 80 was about 550, then got one small cake the rest were cupcakes for the amount of people to match that was only $230. Celebrants can be $350ish, it's doable. Just plan it out and look around. I also got artificial wedding flowers from a business and sold them afterwards.
I went to a wedding in a nice park. Afterwards was a buffet afternoon tea (could be home made) and outdoor games. Was really nice and casual.
Op can you give us an idea of what you do want?
Venues on days other than a Saturday will be a lot cheaper. Just give guests plenty of notice in case they need to arrange time off work.
A friend got married in a park then had afternoon tea after (cakes sandwiches scones tea coffee) everyone was invited to that part. Then at 8 they had a room at a pub and invited their friends to have a few drinks. We all got three drink vouchers. I think all up it only cost about $5000 and allowed them to spend on what they wanted.
Spend on your officiant, music and photography. Have it at your home. Make a simple cupcake tower instead of buying a fancy cake. You must have friends who cook, ask them to help you make all the food. Do a theme like a clam bake, bbq, or something else simple and crowd pleasing.
Don't say wedding to any suppliers, for your cake say it's for a 59th wedding annuvery and buy the topper yourself and decorate yourself don't wear a wedding dress, have cocktail food and a limit on the bar. DO NOT skimp on a wedding photographer, decorate venue yourself with helium tank etc good luck we did all this but had 60 people and our budget was 5 grand
If you wanting a party rather then a formal wedding, do it at night. Ceremony at 6.30 or 7 then there's no need for a proper sit down meal, have platters of finger food. As someone else suggested book a hall, bowls/cricket/rugby club and decorate it yourself. If you have time get on wish or Ali express to order decorations. Make sure you still have tables and seats as not everyone wants to stand about all night. Hire a jukebox soundsystem instead of a band. Or if your local tech has a music course get in touch with them as young upcoming cover bands will be cheap. Do get a decent photographer and get your hair n makeup done.
Hire your dress (you only wear it once!), make your own playlist through spotify, make your own invites, have the ceremony at the place of the party, decorate with lights and greenery, if you can self cater - roasts & salads are a good option + cake/cupcakes/donuts for dessert, you will save a lot on drinks if you can buy in bulk from Dan Murphy's...
Check out boutique fashion shops. I got my wedding dress new for $200 in one of these. I could try it on still and it was perfect.
Agree about not mentioning the word wedding when booking anything. They up prices at the word for everything.
Do spend more on photography as you want quality pictures to remember the day. Same for the officiant as you need someone reliable as the wedding relies on it.