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When it comes to planning a wedding, one of the biggest stress points is “how am I going to afford this?” In Australia, the most recent stats suggest the average wedding is now sitting at the $55,000 mark. That’s a huge sum. And something my partner and I just didn’t feel comfortable spending. We were aiming for the $30k mark. So how did we do it?

Well, it turns out there’s one very simple trick, that not many brides know about, that will save you thousands of dollars. And no it doesn’t involve cutting out all your second cousins that your Mum insists on inviting.

Any ideas what it could be…? Winter! That’s right, by simply moving your wedding date a few months away from summer, you can literally save thousands of dollars on your big day! Many vendors actually advertise discounts of between 5-20% of their regular costs for any weddings held in June, July or August. And most who don’t are happy to offer winter discounts if you ask.

Think of it like travelling. If you go to a destination in the low-season, not only are hotel prices much cheaper, availability is high, streets and restaurants are not crowded, hotels will often throw in free upgrades, plus you’ll get a better service overall as you’re not competing with hundreds of other guests.

Plus, in winter you get that beautiful soft light during your portrait session. You can wear luxurious an elegant faux-fur coats if it gets chilly, or carry gorgeous clear umbrellas which make for amazing photos under the rain and the stars. When it comes to theming, you can never go wrong with a cosy fireplace, candles, marshmallows, mulled wine and warm hearty meals.

So here’s how we saved $7,422 at our wedding simply by having it in winter!

Venue: 50% discount on hire fee: $3000

Drink package upgrade: $1690

Band 5% winter discount: $332

Celebrant winter discount: $200

Photographer winter discount: $600

Dress winter sale: $1300

Complementary veil: $300

Total Wedding Cost: $7422

That’s over $7000 straight back into our pocket without doing anything. And best of all, by having a winter wedding, your wedding will be memorable for guests as it will be unique and it’s not crammed into the busy summer wedding season.

So before you lock in that last remaining date in summer at your favourite venue, consider the benefits of a winter wedding and go find that faux-fur cape of your dreams!

Kat Barber is an Australian freelance writer, currently living in Germany. When I’m not writing, you can find me drinking strong black coffee, reading, exploring Europe with my dog and my husband and learning to snowboard. Want to see her beautiful big day? Click here!

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This post features the following wedding vendors. If you've been featured below, we'd love to get to know you. Click here to join Polka Dot Bride.

We would be nowhere without the expert knowledge and wisdom of suppliers, vendors and anyone else who knows the wedding industry back to front! We LOVE that they share their wisdom with us and help to sort through the noise that comes with an overload of info! Today, for our final round up of 2019, we are celebrating wisdom and re-sharing some of the amazing posts we’ve had the pleasure of reading this year. Hold on to your veils and take note – these ones are not to be missed – even second time around!!!

Image via SH Jewellery

THE 5 MUST-HAVE INCLUSIONS WHEN BUYING AN ENGAGEMENT RING IN 2019

It’s easy to get swept up in the romance of buying an engagement ring – the bright lights, velvet displays and shiny diamonds dancing to a loop of Debussy wedding classics. The immaculately manicured and sweetly perfumed sales assistant obviously knows what she’s talking about, right?

Assuming she does, it still pays to have a personal checklist of what’s important to you when making one of life’s most precious investments… So you don’t end up making impulse decisions with your Bling Goggles on.

ALL THE TRENDS YOU NEED TO KNOW FOR BRIDAL WEAR IN 2020

Barcelona Bridal Week was a buzz of activity as international designers and buyers alike converged on the cobblestoned streets of Spain to bring all the beauty of new-season 2020 bridal wear to the world. While we saw current hot looks such as off-the-shoulder, statement lace and mixed-medium lace continue to light up the catwalk, we also witnessed the emergence of a whole new crop of upcoming trends we can’t wait to get our hands on.  Here we’ll take you through the most drool-worthy looks we’re sure to see popping up in the hottest weddings of 2020.

Image via Designer: Elizabeth Kennedy

2019 AUTUMN/WINTER MOTHER OF THE BRIDE/GROOM TRENDS

If you’re a mother and you’re struggling to find that perfect dress for your child’s wedding day then you’re not alone!! We understand how difficult it can be to find a pre-made gown that suits your style, shape and desired colour. It’s important to understand that your child’s wedding day is just as special and meaningful to you, as it is to them.

Photo by Sean Fennessey

WHAT WOULD THEY KNOW? NADA GLUMICIC OF GLASSHAUS INSIDE AND GLASSHAUS OUTSIDE

For plant and nature lovers, there are few places where more magic is captured than a nursery. And lucky for us, we have two right here in inner city Melbourne that provide the most stunning backdrop for wedding and events. Glasshaus Inside and Glasshaus Outside in Richmond marry the beauty of nature, with industrial, city vibes as spaces that not only house a working nursery, but also turns on its party mode for those tying the knot. Surrounded by greenery that spills over, twines around and creates a living picture creates spaces that are lush and yet peaceful at the same time. It’s the best of both worlds and today, we sit down with Nada to learn all about these hidden gems.

Image via Miss Ladybird Cakes

HOW TO DECORATE A WEDDING CAKE WITH FLOWERS

One of my absolute favourite things to do (aside from make cakes) is to work with flowers! For bouquet month, I thought I would explain a little bit about how we prep the flowers for the cakes, because let’s be honest, some of these cakes pretty much have an entire bouquet on top of them!

Photography by Cassandra Ladru Photography

WHY HOLDING YOUR RECEPTION AND CEREMONY ON DIFFERENT DAYS COULD BE THE BEST THING EVER!

“Our wedding was everything we ever dreamed of, however planning it was hard and we didn’t get to our final decisions very easily. We wish we had the foresight of knowing the great possibilities of splitting up our reception and ceremony before we were ‘in the thick of it all’ so here is our story.”

Image by I Got You Babe Weddings

HOW TO PLAN YOUR ULTIMATE BRIDAL BOUQUET

So you’re getting married. Congrats! Hands up if you’ve got approximately 5000 screen shots on your phone, dozens of “saved” posts on the gram and a Pinterest board that goes for days? Don’t worry, friends. You’re not alone! But what happens now? Or more importantly, where on earth do you start when it comes to planning your bridal bouquet?

Image via Studio Hudson

HOW TO ENGAGE YOUR GUESTS IN YOUR WEDDING CEREMONY

When I work with couples, one of the first questions I ask is “how do you want your guests to feel during the ceremony?”. This helps me to understand the kind of ceremony the couple want to have, the vibe, and then I can help guide and make some suggestions as we design the ceremony together.

My ceremonies tend to lean towards fun and laughter with a pinch of romance. I am also a big believer in making sure your guests are present and engaged in the ceremony. Not just bystanders.

Image via Nina Hamilton Photography

GREEN & GORGEOUS – OUR FAVOURITE ECO FRIENDLY WEDDING IDEAS

It is often assumed that an eco-friendly wedding entails a compromise in style, yet it’s actually the opposite! Eco-ethically focussed suppliers are usually small businesses, creating by hand and with love, or with materials that aren’t available on a larger scale.

Farmer-Florists may grow heirloom flowers that aren’t ordinarily available. A sustainable dress designer might work with unique vintage fabrics, silks and laces. Ethical jewellers will create bespoke pieces by hand, and can even recreate old family jewellery into a new, one of a kind piece.

Image By The White Tree

BOUQUETS: THE LOWDOWN

We all imagine ourselves carrying one down the aisle on the most special day of our lives, but what does it actually take to make a bouquet? How much should you spend? How do you find the florist that’s the peony to your bouquet (i.e your perfect floral match), to help you bring your floral dreams to life?

From watching the sun rise over the sweeping grapevines at Ironbark Hill, to taking their first stroll into the sunset as a married couple — Tiana and Lachlan’s wedding day couldn’t have been more perfect.

Wed in an intimate ceremony overlooking the beautiful Hunter Valley, the couple locked eyes and hands while promising to love each other unconditionally. Signed with their signatures, symbolised by their rings. Continuing the celebrations with their nearest and dearest, the two danced the night away until the (neon) lights came on.

Lovereel’s videography team was there to capture all the hugs and all the kisses, the smiles and silent whispers. The first day of a new chapter, and a memory to keep forever.

Ms Tweed Loves: The sophisticated florals and the stunning colour combinations of crimson and blush. Beautiful!

About Lovereel: With various wedding film options to choose from and all the raw footage at your fingertips, Lovereel offer an affordable yet highly professional wedding videography experience.

Polka Dot Dream Team...

The below wedding vendors made this magic happen and are an approved part of the Polka Dot Directory. Visit their portfolios to learn more and enquire about their services!

Credits

This post features the following wedding vendors. If you've been featured below, we'd love to get to know you. Click here to join Polka Dot Bride.