Budgeting, Lifestyle, Personal Finance, Wedding

Creating Our Dream Wedding | Chapter 1


Hi friends,


It sounds fancy and official, but really, it’s a practical and sentimental record of our wedding planning journey – a diary to share my inspirations, reflect on in the future with sweet nostalgia, and of course, keep ourselves mindful with money. I’m excited to share with you every part of this journey – of creating our dream wedding that will be both magical and money-conscious.

This month, we:

  • went to a gorgeous wedding open day
  • started making a financial plan for funding our big day
  • started requesting quotes on florals, lighting, photography & more
  • booked our wedding venue!

When I say ‘wedding’, I mean our wedding reception – the big party. I’m happy to say that our ceremony has already been taken care of – what will be a beautiful mountaintop wedding in Queenstown! It’s a more intimate, more meaningful, and more simple affair which I am excited to share with you later on.

1. Wedding Open Day at Rydges Hotel, Auckland

Wedding Open Day (5)

Wedding Open Day (6)

Our ‘real’ wedding planning began this month with a wedding open day at Rydges Hotel, where their spacious, airy Rooftop Terrace offers stunning views overlooking Auckland City. We were lucky enough to view the venue on a day when the weather was absolutely perfect – with the rooftop open, we got to enjoy blue skies, fresh air, and plenty of natural sunlight! The venue was set up like a real wedding, with tables, flowers, cakes, a singer, a DJ, a photographer, a photobooth, and more – we were even offered delicious cake, treats from an antipasto platter, juice, and sparkling wine.

2. Quotes, quotes, quotes

Feeling inspired after the wedding open day, shortly after I started requesting quotes from every vendor I’ve ever dreamt of having at our wedding – from lighting, to flowers, to cookies and more! I now have more of an idea of how much to budget for things like installing fairy lights, having hanging greenery, and custom-stamping guests’ names in icing on their own heart-shaped cookies.

Later this month, we’ll be meeting with our potential wedding photographer to discuss details & pricing. I’m looking forward to it as he’s a photographer I’ve followed on social media for years! His style is bright, vibrant, but elegant and sophisticated; different to the trendy photography style that is dark, desaturated and moody. I couldn’t imagine anyone better to capture our wedding (except my inspirations Jasmine Star and Jana Williams, but they’re in California).

3. Sorting our wedding finances

So we’re getting married and have fallen in love with a venue. We want to feed, entertain and spoil about 60 guests, and decorate the space to feel beautiful and exciting, but warm and cosy. How are we funding it?

I enthusiastically came up with the idea to work out how much income we would be earning between now, until the month our full wedding balance is due. In order to do this, I took our incomes and made some tables. I used:

  • My rental income, which is weekly;
  • My full-time work income, which is weekly and guaranteed until September as I am on an almost year-long contract;
  • My quickly diminishing student loan balance from a course I took after university (my university student loan was paid off years ago);
  • My partner’s full-time work income, which is fortnightly

This gave us a good idea of how much we can expect to be able to save, and what it would look like whether we saved 20%, 30%, 40%, or 50%.

What I didn’t count was income from my part-time/casual job as the hours and income vary and so is inconsistent. I also didn’t factor in financial help from family because even though my mother has offered to contribute as a wedding gift, I don’t actually want to ask for or expect anything. I’ll accept whatever amount is offered with gratitude.

I’ve recreated my table using hypothetical figures to show you what it looks like!

So let’s say you get $600 per week in your take-home (net) pay and receive $200 per week in rental income / part-time income / any other income. You are on a fixed term job contract that finishes end of July. You also have a student loan payment of $200 coming out of each pay, which will have your student loan paid off by end of April, at which point your take-home pay becomes $800 (yay)!

This would be the result:

Savings Chart

I made two of these; one for my partner and one for myself. This one is set up in the same way as my own one, because it’s more complex and actually accounts for potential real life situations where you may be saving for a wedding and have changing incomes throughout the year. My partner’s simply replaces ‘weeks’ for ‘fortnights’, one fortnightly pay instead of two weekly pays, and the exact same amount every month.

What do we get out of this? For one thing, we know how much we will have saved between now until our wedding balance is due and have the peace of mind of knowing what we will have and more because we are locking everything away in a 3.25% interest-bearing savings account. The aim is, of course, to earn not only interest, but compound interest as our savings accumulate month by month.

But we also know that even if we do need to borrow money to pay for any remaining difference we may need to cover, we minimise that as much as possible and save on interest. I’d say we have a comfortable time frame that I feel good about. It is currently April 2019 and our wedding is in April 2020, which means we have 11 months of wedding planning and saving (from May 2019 to March 2020)!

4. We booked our venue

We absolutely loved Rydges, and so did everyone else. So, exciting news: we booked our dream wedding venue!!

What we’ve done so far:

  • paid the deposit of approx. $3000
  • upgraded the limiting set menu to a delicious buffet menu consisting of 3 entrees, 3 salads, 3 mains, 3 sides and 3 desserts for our guests to enjoy
  • chosen our wedding cake flavours and asked a dear friend of over a decade, who is an incredibly talented pâtissier, to make our wedding cake

I’ve also chosen my wedding dress!

Looking forward to sharing more wedding planning updates with you all in Chapter 2. May will be an eventful month, with both the Bride & Groom Wedding Show and the Wild Hearts Wedding Fair. I can’t wait. If you are a fellow bride to be, I might see you there!

With love,



2 thoughts on “Creating Our Dream Wedding | Chapter 1

  1. Pingback: Creating Our Dream Wedding | Chapter 3 | Mindful with Money

  2. Pingback: Creating Our Dream Wedding | Chapter 4 | Mindful with Money

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