A thrifty bride has revealed her incredible budget Kmart hacks that slashed $8,000 off her dream wedding.
Radiant bride Sam Willcocks, 29, tied the knot with her husband Andrew Willcocks, 33, back in February this year in an elegant outdoor ceremony in the picturesque Bellarine Peninsula in Victoria.
The newlyweds took matters into their own hands when it came to plan the wedding – and managed to save over $8,000 on their special day by using budget Kmart décor and incorporating DIY elements.
Sam, who works with her husband in their family-owned pub, said she was ‘shocked’ at the exorbitant prices involved in organizing a wedding – so she decided to ‘cut some corners’, which ended up saving her thousands.
All the wedding décor was purchased from Australian budget department store Kmart, while Samantha also used her creativity to design her own ‘save the date’ cards and gift tags.
The bride perfected her wedding dance with free lessons off YouTube, and saved on transport costs by having a friend drive her to the ceremony.
And her elegant wedding dress – which was unworn with tags – was bought second hand from an online store for $1000, saving the bride thousands on a brand-new designer dress.
Sam said: 'When I started planning my wedding, I was really shocked at the crazy price tag when you mention anything wedding. I was confident I could find similar pieces for a much better price.
'I headed to my favourite budget store, Kmart, and managed to slash the prices to decorate my wedding and saved thousands.
'I worked out a styling theme early on. I wanted a mix of classic colours such as white, gold and navy, mixed with rustic such as natural timber and greenery. I then hunted for budget items which fitted that theme.
‘We used Kmart candle holders, photo frames, plaques, table numbers, signs and tablecloths. We also bought Kmart dressing robes for my bridesmaids to wear in the morning while getting ready.
‘The whole ceremony looked gorgeous, and it felt amazing that we were able to do so much of it ourselves.
‘Not only did it save money, but it puts our own spirit and energy into our wedding. It was such an incredible day.’
The newlyweds said their entire wedding cost around $40,000 – but Samantha said it would have been ‘a whole lot more expensive’ without her budget hacks.
Samantha and her husband Andrew are now expecting their first child in January next year, with the mum-to-be revealing she will be using budget Kmart décor for her baby shower and to decorate her newborn’s bedroom.
She said ‘In total our wedding cost us around $40K, which probably isn't considered a budget wedding.
‘But I know we saved a few thousand dollars with some tips and tricks. It all makes a difference.
‘I’m 20 weeks pregnant, and our first baby is due in January next year.
‘I’d love to challenge myself and do a budget Kmart themed baby shower, as well as decorating their room with Kmart décor.’'
SAMANTHA’S TOP FIVE BUDGET TIPS FOR BRIDES
- Reuse the decorations used during the ceremony in the reception. We reused the flowers from the bridesmaid’s bouquets for table decorations.
- Ask friends and family for help. If you have a baking goddess for a sister-in-law, or a make-up savvy cousin, ask if they can help you out by baking your cake, and doing the bridal party make up.
- Choose a couple of key things are most important to you for the day. Set aside money to spend on that, and then budget everything else around it.
- Consider the size of your wedding invitations. If they are bigger than an average card size they will require two stamps to post instead of one. This doubles your postage costs. When sending out over 100 invites, it really adds up.
- Instead of printing individual table menus, have a couple in the middle of the tables that all guests can read. They will probably only look at it once, so guests won’t need one each. This will save on printing costs.
SAM’S WEDDING SAVINGS BREAKDOWN
Budget Savings Bought For Cost New
Wedding Dress $1000 $3200
Budget Kmart Décor
Candle Holders $84 $295
Table Menus $72 $270
Table Numbers $18 $75
Signs $12 $60
Table Napkins $72 $405
Robes $60 $150
Guest Favours $160 $450
Gift Tags $6 $80
Ceremony Programs $120 $360
Wishing Well $40 $120
Cake Stand $30 $70
Dance Lessons (off YouTube) $0 $430
Photographer friend $3500 $3800
Re-using ceremony decorations $0 $260
Wedding Transport $0 $800
DIY save the dates $60 $220
Wedding Stylist/Coordinator $0 $2200