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
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!!
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.
Caitlyn Tiley
James was so great! He created such a great fun atmosphere for our wedding where everyone honestly had a blast, the dance floor was full and everyone commented on how good the music was. Honestly cannot recommend him highly enough. He was also super helpful and easy to deal with through the entire planning phase with heaps of great ideas and advice!
Molly Nyhuis
Matty Steph
James was fantastic right throughout the entire process in planning for our wedding night. The organisation & level of communication was awesome and put us at ease. This allowed for a great night where James hit the mark with the mixture of Greek and English music and read of the crowd. We could of not of asked for anything more and have no observations. Personally a great guy who was also so genuine and cared a lot about how our night went. Would recommend him to anyone looking for a DJ. Thanks James!
Sarah Papageorgiou
James was so committed to making sure our wedding was one of the happiest days of our lives - and it was! Nick and I had the absolute best time, and so did our guests (who gave us plenty of compliments on the music selection). James is a great choice if you want someone experienced, reliable and personally invested in your day. Thank you for helping make our wedding day so special.
Steph Kershaw
There are not enough stars here to rate James high enough!That man seriously went above and beyond for my partner and I for our wedding day.From having emailing us from day 1 and knowing exactly what we wanted to messaging after to see how we were and congratulating up.If you would like someone who is talented, knows how to read crowds, a down to earth person then James is the DJ for you.
gayle athanasiadis
We booked James for our wedding about a year in advance. We had interviewed 5 or 6 other DJs/MCs prior to booking him however James’ experience with Greek music as well as how personable he was made him the clear choice.Our brief was “deep/tropical house vibes” for our cocktail hour and “2000s house party/club music with a few traditional Greek dances thrown in at the start” for our reception and he absolutely nailed exactly what we were after.Our dance floor was one of the highlights of our wedding with guests commenting on how fun our wedding was because of the DJ.We would absolutely book James again for any function we have.10/10 would recommend
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!.
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!
Erin Spragg
We had James DJ our wedding and I highly recommend him! He was immediately very responsive, answered all my questions and worked with us to create the perfect vibe for our day. He did our ceremony and reception and both were absolutely fantastic. He reads the room and sets the tone of the event perfectly. Thanks James!
Ben Traplin
We used OnlyDJs Melbourne for our engagement party and were thoroughly impressed with the whole package provided by James. We were provided a truely professional service with prompt communication throughout. James did an awesome job with the music on the night, kept everyone on the dance floor and accommodated all our requests. I could not recommend highly enough.
Viviana Rossios
Professions conduct and easy to work with . Made the night fun for all the children . Highly recommend
Kevin Le
James was so good for our wedding. Highly recommended! He was amazing!
Ruby Bayley
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.
Thamashiya Mudalige
We are sooo glad to have chosen to pick only DJ’s for our wedding. James was an absolute delight to coordinate with. We are so lucky that we went with them as we made a huge blunder with our dates and book the wrong date but James was quick enough to assure us not leave us high and dry but find us another DJ and MC for the night, Steven who was an Absolute legend.We also chose to go with the streaming service provided by Danii and our family and friends who joined internationally were not disappointed.Thank you James and the team for making our night memorable.
Jade Marshall
Could not recommend James enough! We booked James for our wedding and he made the whole process leading up to and on the night so seamless. Didn’t have to worry about a thing with James, you can definitely count on him for an awesome soundtrack tailored specifically to your taste.
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
Mark Knight
Donna Plunkett
James was fabulous!! He hosted my son's 12th birthday celebration and the kids had a ball. He played my sons favorite tunes, he was adaptable and catered to the mood of the group and most importantly made my son feel super special (yet still cool) on his birthday. James was also able to accommodate a booking change due to covid and was understanding of the current climate. Thankyou James. We will use you again for future events and highly recommend you to anyone else too 🙂
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!
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.
Lang Sim
James was absolutely amazing! Professional with high attention to detail. He made the process stress free and responded to queries immediately. Thank you!
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!
Alana Scott
James was so lovely in the lead up to our wedding and on the night. There was a minor hiccup with our first dance, but the rest of the night was great and everyone had an amazing time on the dance floor 🙂 would recommend
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
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!
Owen M
James was an awesome DJ and MC for our wedding.He’s approachable, responds quickly and checks through every detail with you in the lead-up to the big day. This was already great, but on the night James went to another level, ensuring everything runs smoothly and showing great knowledge of reading the crowd. The first dance set was a particular highlight!Would highly recommend James as both DJ and MC!
Henry G.
James was such an amazing guy to liven up our wedding day.He was easy to work with, replies straight away and just makes everything easy for you on the day.His new sound system was impressive and lucky to have his upgraded equipment on our special day.Thank you James!
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
Doctor Slow Cook
Mr James shows great patience & kindness in teaching our 6 yr old son the basics to DJ.
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.
Big shout out to James at Only DJ’s!Had James for my daughter’s 13th bday party last night and was an absolutely hit!Had us all on the floor dancing! Great music, great lighting and great to deal with!Highly recommended! Thanks again James! So lovely to meet you 🙂Angela
opetaia apaui
James was absolutely phenomenal for our wedding. He made everything so easy, was well prepared and responds promptly.James made the wedding of our dreams come true, he listened to all our requests and understood exactly what we wanted out of the night.Would 10/10 recommend!! 👏👏
ilya maer
Exceptional service from James and Daniil. Both guys really looked after us and it was a pleasure to work with them. Thank you guys!!
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!!
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
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.
Cihan Onal
Had rose petal confetti cannon for an event in Jan 2021. Transparent communication and responsive.
Chris Atha
Skye Piggott
James did an amazing job at mine and Jasons wedding last week, he was flexible with postponements due to covid, kept in touch with us throughout the process and made our night unforgettable. Highly recommend using only DJs for your wedding or event!
Kosta Bourandanis
James is an absolute legend ! Has the best music selection , reads the crowd perfectly , and all in all is a great guy! Have used Only DJs for a few events now and can’t wait for my next event ! Couldn’t recommend more highly 💪🏼💪🏼💪🏼
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!
Jason Poynton
We had James DJ and MC my Daughters wedding and he was awesome. Need a DJ for your event, James is your man.
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.
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!
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 💯
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!

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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