How To: Luxury Without The Price Tag

Article Collaborators : Still Photography

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Your wedding in the country or on the beach can be just as luxe as a city wedding, but without the hefty price tag. Here are six tips on how to stick to your out-of-town wedding budget without compromising on quality

Popular out-of-town destinations will often have an established wedding industry with similar prices to the city. According to Hunter Valley wedding planner Kelly Papaioannou, from The Wedding Connection, most suppliers “match their price to Sydney-based competitors” in order to keep the local industry alive. One way to avoid those high upfront prices is to stick to lesser-known locations, but if prime position is your priority, consider these other tips.


If you have your heart set on a high-profile location, plan a wedding during the colder months. “Mid-week and off-peak season may give you a stronger position to negotiate better rates,” says Kelly. Research prices online or enlist the help of a local wedding planner so you’re well informed about costs in the area.


Consider using local suppliers where possible to eliminate the need for travel costs, which you will have to cover. South Coast wedding and events planner, Clare Foreman, recommends going a step further and building relationships with local makeup artists, photographers, and florists. “A local wedding planner gets discounts by getting close to her suppliers, but there’s no reason why couples can’t do that themselves,” she says.


Having your wedding ceremony and reception in the one place will save you from transporting guests between venues and paying extra for ceremony venue hire.

Alternatively, look for venues near to a church, such as Peppers Convent in the Hunter Valley, which includes a chapel, wedding grounds, and two reception halls on-site. If you’re planning an outdoor wedding, don’t be afraid to get creative. “One of my couples had a rustic bush-band wedding in a caravan park,” says Clare. “It was absolutely beautiful.”

Some local holiday homeowners may also allow small weddings to take place on the grounds of their property, which can save you money in multiple ways. “I’ve hosted marquee weddings on the lawns of private properties, where the accommodation was part of the venue,” says Clare.



Providing your own wine and beer is an excellent way to save money, but not all venues allow it and those that do may charge corkage. Make sure you read the fine print and are aware of hidden costs such as this. It also pays to do research into smaller bottle shops. While they won’t have discount prices, they may offer other services like buying extra wine back from you after the reception. Your favourite winery might also offer more affordable beverage packages compared with other venues, since the wine will be at cellar door prices.


Planning a wedding out of town gives your guests the perfect opportunity to have a weekend away. Kelly recommends hiring a coach as a cost-effective way for guests to travel together. Approach accommodation providers to enquire about discounts on bulk bookings. For small wedding parties, the mountains, beach, and country are full of large summer homes that couples can rent out for the weekend.


Many couples are opting for cocktail receptions to save the money and effort that goes into organising a three-course meal. If you’re planning an outdoor reception, you can have finger food served all night long and still pay less than a seated reception. You won’t have to worry about hiring linen, tables or (many) chairs, and can invest more in a live band or some good wine. Your guests will be thankful for the chance to mingle with whomever they please.


By Farah Ahmed

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