Brides to be are set to hit the wedding planning market this month following a spike in engagements, as records from Facebook reveal Valentine's Day as one of the most popular dates for statuses to be switched from -in a relationship' to -engaged'.
Other research indicates supporting industries will benefit greatly with the price of weddings on the rise. For example, in a recent Cost of Love survey , the average cost of a wedding for the happy couple was set to be $65,000 – a far cry from three years ago when the average cost was $30,000.
To help navigate the costs and intricacies of creating your dream wedding, Oneflare and its network of expert connections have wrapped up these key tips:
Avoid the peak:
Data collected from Oneflare over the past four years shows that November is the most popular month for newly engaged couples to tie the knot, closely followed by March. If you are trying to save, consider a winter wedding or aim for early Spring, before the November peak.
Get the photography brief nailed:
A wedding without photos is like a bride without a groom, but Oneflare research indicates an average wedding photography brief are around one to two thousand dollars, with outdoor backdrops continuing to increase in popularity.
Leoni Bolt from Leoni Bolt Photography, one of Oneflare's expert partners, said research is key for couples planning their big day.
'Be wary of the DYI trap. By the time you buy all of the equipment and supplies, it can cost you a small fortune, not to mention the hours of labour and stress. You should also consider the time of day when briefing your photographer. Allow enough time to travel between various locations and take into account the best lighting times, within the last couple of hours before sunset."
Other tips to get maximum bang for buck include:
Connect with a nearby expert to minimise travel fees
Opt for just one photographer for a smaller wedding and if any of your friends are budding photographers, kindly ask them to help out as photo assistants to help with lighting and set up
Set up an Instagram hashtag to capture photos on a budget and keep the professional for the most important moments such as the ceremony, beginning of the reception and first dance
Ask photographers to provide you with a soft copy of the photos rather than expensive albums or lots of large prints so you can choose to print the photos you love the most
Be an early bird:
Around 40 per cent of couples prepare their engagement shots one to five months prior to the wedding day, and this early bird mentality is essential to finding the best deals possible, especially when venue hunting.
Key things to keep in mind include:
Rather than the weekend, consider a Friday night or a night before a public holiday
Always ask about special events planned for the space before or after your preferred date to see if equipment set up can be shared
Look for offbeat locations instead of dedicated wedding venues
Find a venue that doesn't require any extra setup. A venue without an audio-visual unit can cost you more than a traditional venue
Organise your wedding entertainment earlier for the best rates. Look on your community noticeboard for local bands, small scale DJs or if you have talented friends, ask them to prepare a performance to cut the time you need to pay a hired DJ
Take care with catering:
In the last year, bigger has been seen as better, with larger weddings being favoured over smaller intimate weddings. Here, figures show couples who invite over 150 of their closest family and friends can expect to spend minimum $5,000 on catering costs alone.
Eating with the seasons and being savvy with the details can pay off. For example,
Choose dishes which feature seasonal produce as it is not only easier and cheaper for the caterer, but it tastes better because it's fresher
Ask your caterer if you can organise the cutlery and potentially save on hiring costs by picking up your own from a wholesaler, warehouse sale or an op shop
If possible, opt to purchase the alcohol yourself so you can stock up over time and take advantage of sales
For more inspiration, information or to connect with the right experts and plan your big day, visit Oneflare.com.au.