By Jasmine Kazlauskas

A DIY bride has revealed her incredible budget hacks for saving over £4,500 on her dream wedding.

Sam Willcocks, 29, and partner, Andrew Willcocks, 33, took matters into their own hands when they realised the high costs involved for planning their wedding.

**MANDATORY BYLINE** Pic by Sally McCann Photography/Caters News

The couple, who tied the knot in an elegant outdoor ceremony in the picturesque Bellarine Peninsula in Victoria, Australia, managed to save over £4500 [$8,000 AUD] thanks for their own DIY and budget decor.

Sam, who works with her husband in their family-owned pub, stunned her guests with her wedding decorations and still managed to save thousands of pounds.

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.

Pic by Sally McCann Photography/Caters News

And her elegant wedding dress – which was unworn with tags – was bought second hand from an online store for £566 ($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.

Pic by Sally McCann Photography/Caters News

“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.

Pic by Sally McCann Photography/Caters News

“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.”

Pic by Sally McCann Photography/Caters News

The newlyweds said their entire wedding cost around £22,500 ($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.

Pic by Sally McCann Photography/Caters News

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.”’

Pic by Sally McCann Photography/Caters News


1. Reuse the decorations used during the ceremony in the reception. We reused the flowers from the bridesmaid’s bouquets for table decorations.

2. 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.

3. 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.

4. 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.

5. 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.

Pic by Sally McCann Photography/Caters News


Budget Savings                             Bought For         Cost New

Wedding Dress                                $1000                  $3200

Budget Décor

o   Candle Holders                           $84                      $295

o   Table Menus                               $72                      $270

o   Table Numbers                            $18                      $75

o   Signs                                          $12                      $60

o   Table Napkins                              $72                      $405

o   Robes                                         $60                      $150

o   Guest Favours                             $160                    $450

o   Gift Tags                                     $6                        $80

o   Ceremony Programs                    $120                    $360

o   Wishing Well                               $40                      $120

o   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

TOTAL                                              $5,034 [£2848]      $13,445 [£7606]

SAVING: $8,011 [£4,520]