A wedding can be one of the most special days of your life – but it can also be one of the most expensive. The high cost means it's just as important to prepare financially as it is emotionally. So, whether you’re planning a formal affair with a three-course dinner and 200 guests, or a more relaxed event, here's how to budget for, and pay off, the wedding you want. The average cost of a wedding A common mistake people make when they start planning their wedding is to underestimate costs. Australian couples set a wedding budget of $20,913 on average, according to a survey by Easy Weddings. Most couples, however, end up revising their estimate to $24,932 as they start researching the prices of everything on their wish list. Typical expenses can include: · Save-the-date cards, invitations, place cards, thank you cards. · Wedding dress, suits, shoes and accessories. · Hair and make-up. · The ceremony. · Venue hire. · Flowers and decorations. · Food and drinks. · The wedding cake. · Transport to and from venue. · Photography/videography. · Entertainment. Costs can be higher than you expect, and can add up quickly. In fact, the average final cost of a wedding in Australia is $30,985 – about $10,000 more than the average original budget. Establishing a budget and savings plan To minimise financial stress and anxiety, work out a realistic budget for your wedding. This involves researching costs associated with the type of event you're planning. Divide the total cost of the wedding by the number of months you have before the big day to set monthly savings targets. For example, if your budget is $32,400 and you want to set a date 18 months away, that’s $1,800 a month. If you’ve been putting money aside for a while, you might want to consider investing it in a term deposit to help you achieve your goal more quickly. This way your money will be earning interest while you continue to plan the wedding. You're also guaranteed a return when the term matures. You might choose to put this back into the wedding fund or towards your honeymoon. If your dream wedding will cost more than you can realistically save in the interim, a personal loan might be a good solution. With term lengths from one to seven years, you can customise your repayments to suit your post-wedding budget. Setting aside an emergency fund No matter how determined couples are to stick to their budgets, things don’t always go to plan. Make sure you have a financial strategy to deal with any extra expenses that may arise. This might involve locking a small amount of money away in a separate term deposit, where it's safe from temptation. Alternatively, if you need to make upfront payments or cover unexpected costs, a credit card might help stretch your finances that little bit further. A credit card may also make purchasing wedding-related items online or over the phone easier and more secure, thanks to purchase and fraud protection. Don’t let money issues spoil your special day. With proper budgeting and the right financial support, you can relax and enjoy the wedding you’ve always wanted. Whatever wedding you’re dreaming of, we can help you find the right financial solution. Search and compare term deposits, personal loans and credit cards now.