How to save money on your wedding

We have a heap of helpful tips to help you save money on your wedding. Being thrifty or having DIY weddings can be fun and less costly that a traditional wedding.

Save money on your wedding

Setting a budget is key to saving money on your wedding.

  1. List all the expenses. We have made a list for everyone that includes those extra costs you might forget about.
  2. Set a maximum.
  3. Build a buffer for unknown expenses.

If you have any other expenses that you think we should add let us know! We are all about helping people and making things easier.

Before you click out of our site and download our spreadsheet please show us some support and give us a like or follow. It takes 5 seconds of your time and means the world to us.

Your support is really needed during COVID.

Click HERE to download our wedding budget list that even has sections to compare quotes from other vendors and a guest list to help you keep track of those attending.

Do you need more help? Check out our other pages dedicated to wedding planning.

money saving wedding tips
Jennifer Eagles
thank you so much James for the DJ lessons you gave to my son. It was fantastic for him to learn properly and you were very patient and soo helpful to him - receiving one of your vouchers for his birthday was such a great gift for my son! thanks again
Nicki Tamblyn
I cannot recommend James highly enough! He was the DJ at my daughter's 13th birthday party and right from the first time we talked to hiim he was engaging and accommodating and 100% focused on making her party the best experience for her. James was super easy to deal with and nothing was too much trouble. Belle provided her Spotify playlist, commuication was easy, he arrived with lots of time to set up, his equipment is the best and the music and lights were awesome. James is a great guy too so we couldn't have asked for a better DJ. Huge thanks James, we will definitely be recommending you to all our friends.
Molly Nyhuis
Estelle Tsimbis
James was an absolute superstar performer at my 21st. He knew how special I wanted this night to be and he did not disappoint; he helped make my dreams for the night come true! I, along with my friends and family were dancing all night long! He was very accomodating with my music selections and played all and the crowds favourites, especially RNB/dance 👌🏻🙌Thanks so much. Highly recommend!
Michael Franks
Had a great experience with James. Accommodated all our needs, courteous, polite and customer focused. Great DJ andMC. Would definitely recommend to anyone
yve edmonds
Massive thanks to James for DJ'ing my son's 18th Birthday. Easy to talk to, very responsive, great DJ! You rock tysm 💯
Ruby Bayley
Sharon Armstrong
Thanks so much to James for being the DJ at our School Graduation Disco for the last 3 years. James keeps the kids entertained with dance competitions and involving them as judges! This year was hard as the Disco had to be outside, without a stage!! But James adapted well to the challenge , and the kids had a fantastic time. Thanks so much James!!
Patrick Lithgow
Fantastic experience. James was really professional and considerate during consultations, he helped us plan a great night for our guests. On the night he knew exactly how and when to change the pace. He knew which Greek music to play and which modern music would go well with it. He checked in with us throughout the night as well and worked with our MC to make sure the formalities were perfect.I honestly couldn't have asked for a more perfect DJ. Thank you very much James.
Peter Kordos (ExY K3nT)
Had an absolute amazing 21st with James on the decks. James went above and beyond to make sure everyone was having a good night and was on top of everything. Polite, professional and kept me updated every step of the way! Would recommend for him for all future events!!
Paz Villacieros Zamacola
Thank you very much. The DJ did a fantastic professional job playing great music that got everyone going on the dance floor!.
Casey Dawkins
Natasha Turner
James was absolutely amazing, extremely thorough and happy to ensure our night went as planned. So many of my guests complimented me on the DJ and the music, he was an awesome addition to the night and I wouldn’t hesitate to book him again or recommend him. James, thank you so much for all of your effort and care, I can’t tell you how much Jesse and I appreciated it.
Luke Porter
James was excellent, my son loved the lesson and then DJ set with friends after for his 11th Birthday. The lesson was well planned, along with booklet and set up for future lessons.
Abby Islas
We used James for a store opening launch party and he was amazing! Read the room so well and was playing the right music for the crowd. Was so interactive with the kid's, getting them behind the decks to play some songs. Plus, he's super lovely! Definitely will use him again 🙂
smiley sez
Well worth the money!! James was very accommodating and did everything he could to make sure he gave us the very best service he could. He did a wonderful job creating a fun atmosphere and had everyone up dancing all night long! Would definitely recommend!!
Alexandar Darkovski
We had Only DJs dj our engagement party. They were very responsive and catered to all our requests. We had a great night and the dance floor was always full!
Carmen Carnovale
James from Only Dj's Melbourne was fantastic. We booked him in August for our wedding in November. In the lead up to our wedding his communication was excellent! James checked in every few days before the wedding just in case any details had changed - this was so reassuring. On the night, James came and introduced himself to us and kept checking in with us throughout the night to see if we needed anything. We would highly recommend James. Thankyou for an amazing night!
Vedrana Aracic
James is a titan in his industry, couldn’t have asked for a better DJ to do my wedding. He is a true professional, is passionate about his art, and gets to know you on a personal level so that he can deliver the best experience possible. That’s exactly what he did and everyone loved James. Will be using Only DJ’s for all my events!
Belinda Halley
One of the Best days of my Life😊
Luke Stevenson
Despite all the late challenges we created the night far exceeded our expectations. Our wedding reception was flawless and the dance floor buzzing! Thank you again for a fantastic night! we will be recommending you to our engaged friends for their weddings!
Madison Kelly
We booked James for a corporate event. He was great! He was quick to respond, arrived early, checked in with us throughout the night and overall was very professional! Everyone enjoyed the nightWill definitely be booking again
Jenny Zhang
I cannot thank James enough for performing at our wedding. He was on point with all the music and every guest enjoyed the night. He was so thorough with the preparation prior to the wedding and went beyond to make sure he could accomodate all of our needs. I cannot recommend him enough! Thank you so much for making it a memorable night for us!
Mary Claire Bailey
James was very helpful in the lead up to our wedding. He took the time to make sure he had a good idea of what we wanted, and used that to create a wonderful evening for us. Professional and very well priced, I would highly recommend him
Sotiri Petsis
My Fiancee and I had a blast at our Engagement Party last Saturday! DJ James Ellis was prompt engaging and professional from day one and really got everyone dancing on the night - even my grandmother! Thank you James we appreciate your energy and efforts to ensure that we had a danceful evening! Sotiri & Elena
Chloe Kunne
My partner and myself have had to move our wedding multiple times due to COVID and James has been the most amazing support and was always the first to call us when announcements where made. James communication through out the whole process has been above and beyond we cant recommend him enough!
Angelo Gnanasigamony
James Ellis was very easy to work with and everything just flowed to well and seamless. We had alot of suppliers we were juggling leading up to the day and on the day and James just did his thing with no fuss.Great product as well with the dry ice and made our dance looks magical.Will not hesitate to reccomend!
Choosing a DJ for our wedding proved to be more difficult than we thought, but over and over James from Only DJs was brought up.We couldn’t be happier with the decision we made to have James provide our wedding entertainment! He was professional throughout the whole process, and always made us feel looked after and excited for the day!He really considered what type of wedding we wanted and tailored it perfectly to the event. He provided us with a run down sheet too which was amazing!On the night the music flowed perfectly and everyone was always on the dance floor.Please, if you’re unsure on whether to choose only djs for your next event, do yourself a favour and go with it!Thanks so much James!
James was an absolute gentleman ran our event exactly as we asked got the kids involved and all of our guests had an awesome night. Would very highly recommend hiring James and the team at only djs for your next event. Thank you so much again James for making our daughter’s christening one to remember.Adrian, Elaine and Andi.
Lisa Galante
We have used James for a few years now and always has been fantastic. He is very accomodating and so easy to deal with. Will definitely use again.
Stacey Stavroula ODWAZNY
By far the best DJ, reliable, professional and caters to our school needs. I highly recommend this service for professional and private parties. Thank you for your service and we look forward to working with you again
Kevin Browning
James provided an excellent evening of music and entertainment for our students. He worked closely with us seeking an outline of expectations and was flexible in his approach to accommodate our requests. We would have no hesitation in recommending James for a school function and would certainly have him back again. Thanks, James!
Cihan Onal
Had rose petal confetti cannon for an event in Jan 2021. Transparent communication and responsive.
adam padgett
James was our DJ for our wedding and in the lead up to the day, he called me to check over all the details and gave plenty of reassurance that things will run smoothly! He was a total professional and has great communication. He was very flexible with song choices and had a really good idea of what we wanted. On the night his song choice has a lot of variety and played the right songs and the right times. He also checked in with us during the night to make sure we were happy, which we were! Thanks James for everything, highly reccomened.
Susan DOuglass
Great afternoon my daughter had a great time. It has definitely inspired her to explore this further. Thank you
Karin Forster
Had a fabulous experience with Only DJ’s. Friendly DJ’s very helpful in selecting when I wasn’t sure the vibe to go after. They were well organised and ensured all was considered on the night.
Camillia Chmait
The best Dj going around! Dancefloor was never empty the music and song choice kept us all on our feet! Thank you so much for making my night complete with the best beats. Ill definately be using your amazing services again! Thank you
Jessie Schleibs
James is an amazing dj to have for any of your functions. He is clear with his communication and adaptive to your requested and plays exactly what you want. He made our wedding! Keeping all our guests on the dance floor with his selections of music. He also made sure I had nothing to worry about on the day by just working it out. Thank you James, you where truly amazing
Mark Knight
Gavin Devane
James was fantastic to deal with. Set up on time, accommodating to everyone and great music! This is the first time I’ve used him but the second time I’ve seen him. Would definitely recommend. Totally professional, reliable and worth the money.
Jay D
James was awesome, had a great time and very flexible with all the different types of music to be played. Very friendly and helpful throughout the preparation leading up to our wedding and on the actual day. Had a great time and so did all of our guests. Will most definitely recommend and use again for future.
Grathnox-X YT
I contacted James for private DJ lessons for my son. He responds very quickly and efficiently to all of my queries and emails and presented himself very professionally from initial contact.James is very punctual, clear, patient and professional in the delivery of his lessons and my son thoroughly enjoys learning with him.We are so glad to have found James.Thank you Only DJ’s Melbourne!!
Linda Gatt
DJ James made my husbands 40th a night to remember!!! On point with all song requests, arrived super early to set up!! Was friendly, bubbly and involved himself with all our guests at the party, pretty cool MC aswell! When having another function I’d be sure to book him again! And his price was very reasonable compared to other quotes I got! Well done James and thanks again for an awesome night with awesome tunes!!!
Chris Atha
Craig Stevens
James did an awesome job at our wedding & made us feel very special. His attention to detail & professionalism was top class. I’m so glad we chose Only DJ’s Melbourne & will be recommending them toeveryone.
CRG Group Distribution
James is a great guy, has a great eye for detail, is extremely professional in his dealings and is really well rounded when it comes to modern and traditional Italian / Greek music. Made our special day heaps of fun, for us and our guests. Would highly recommend him and his team!
Jj Lattouf
James is an incredible DJ, he played at an event for the opening of my store. His music suited perfect, he is great with customers and very interactive with kids. Would highly recommend and will definitely be using him again for the next event.
Tammy A
We hired James for my daughter's 21st. He was very professional and attentive to all our needs. James was punctual and made sure that we were all on the same page. He also made sure that everything flowed throughout the night and I didn't have to worry about a thing I would highly recommend James for your next event.
Tracey Fletcher
James is very organised and reliable. He was very friendly and helpful before and during the event. The music was seamless and well presented and exactly what we had asked for. I thoroughly recommend him!

The Date

Tips for weddings

Get married on a Friday or Sunday. Saturdays are the busiest day of the week everyone wants to get married on a Saturday but vendors can only work so many events.

The basic rule of supply and demand dictates prices for all vendors will be higher on this day.

By just changing the day you can save 10-20% off traditional prices. At Only DJs Melbourne our prices are considerably less on these days.


Support local vendors if possible. On average a wedding may have up to 14 vendors for their wedding according to Wedding wire.

If you can support a local business and avoid a $50-100 drive out fee. This is a great way to save money easily.

Location Matters

Hold your ceremony and reception in the same location.

Not only is this easier on your guests who can mingle after the ceremony but it saves you spending hours commuting to different locations.

You can easily save between $300-700 alone not having to pay for transport for more than 2-3 hours.

Reception Style

Traditional 3 course sit down dinners are out and canapes/cocktail weddings are now in.

You can save big money per head by just making this little change.

Wedding receptions charge $150 – $200 per head, whereas if you hire a cool food truck you may pay as much as $70 per head as a maximum.

Hire a catering van that provides RSA staff. You pay just for their services and don’t pay the markup as you’re supplying the drinks. Try to find specials or multibuy discounts.

This might not sound like much, but saving 10-15% off $1000-1500 of alcohol can definitely add up.

Another tip with alcohol is to keep it simple, you’re not a jar of Nutella, you can’t please everyone. Try to have one red, one white, and just one spirit along with basic soft drinks.

Have A Surprise Wedding

Try a surprise wedding. This is such a fun way to start your married life. The other great thing is that you’re not expected to invite that third cousin twice removed

For more information about this fun and exciting money saver click HERE.

Have A Winter Wonderland Wedding

Getting married in the off season is a great way to save money.

Venues and vendors always offer better rates for off season.


DIY it! The choice of how much you want to DIY is up to you. This is a fantastic way to have a wedding and enjoy it with close friends and family.

In 2016 we performed for Sam and Jodi’s wedding.

They did this by a small farmhouse overlooking the bay in Melbournes South East.

Sam is a chef and prepared an amazing grazing table and had a colleague provide the catering. Jodi organised a celebrant, photographer and us to DJ. The night was a huge success.

Getting second hand items off Facebook forums such as Wedding Goods Buy Swap Sell Melbourne or DIY/Budget Weddings Australia is a great way to give something a new life and save money.


Use an E-invite service. This is not only a greener option for the planet but it also saves you a lot of money on postage and printing.

Sending out save the date, invites and RSVP’s with traditional post can cost upwards of $400 for just 100 guests. E-invites are significantly less and let you track everyone.

The drawback is that computer illiterate family may not understand or receive the invitation.

If you have enjoyed our tips please give us a like or follow:

What You Shouldn’t Try To Save Money On


Photography is one of the most important things to spend money on when planning a wedding.

Remember, the cake gets eaten, the flowers will wilt, only the photos last forever.

A fantastic photographer is worth their weight in gold.

If they are able to capture a moment that are gone in the blink of an eye that is what really matters.

You don’t want to miss that photo of your grandmother with a proud smile on her face, a teary father, or the groom’s reaction to seeing their gorgeous bride.

The DJ

This might be an area where you are considering to save some money. DON’T!

There are three main things that people will remember from your wedding one of them is THE MUSIC!

A great DJ will make your night and a horrible DJ will ruin it.

You may also be considering Spotify or a streaming service but this too can cause a problem.

  • Will you be using the venues in-house speaker system? These are normally designed for speeches only and won’t do the job well. Most Venues have this set to a maximum of 50% at best.
  • If you are using a streaming service, what happens if or when the stream stops? Will you have physical media as a backup?
  • How will you coordinate the music for your First Dance. Cake cutting, Father-Daughter Dance, Mother-Son Dance, Entrance & Exit? This must be exactly on point for a wedding.
  • Who will be providing a microphone? If you are using the venues equipment chances are your videographer won’t be able to plug in to record your speeches. If you are DIY-ing it and providing your own microphone, who will adjust the volume for those low speaking people or when you get microphone feedback.
  • If you plan on using your own speakers we have one very important question to ask, are they tested and tagged? This is a requirement in Australia for Electrical Safety and Venues won’t allow equipment to be used that isn’t tagged correctly.
  • Do you have the time to set up a playlist for 5 hours? If you’re planning your wedding, you’re already under the pump, save yourself the hassle and book a professional who can have your dancefloor packed all night.

The best way to save money in this area is to ask the DJ to MC as well. This might not sound like much, but it will save you a lot more than a professional MC.

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