A savvy bride from Queensland, Australia has used some very crafty negotiating skills saved her thousands on her wedding day. 

When Kavanna Vanstone’s now husband Jason proposed, the events management student began researching celebrants, and she was stunned by the costs.

“I get that the celebrant is the most important part of a wedding, but we knew we could never afford something so pricey,” Kavanna told

“Getting married so young, and with me as a student, it was important to cut costs.”

Kavanna, now 21, and Jason, 23, were married in February last year.

And according to Kavanna said without their service swap idea, as well as other cost-cutting measures, their $AUD15,000 (€9.5k) wedding would have easily ballooned to $AUD30,000 (€19k).

So how did they mange to save so much?


Kavanna secured a local celebrant to marry the couple in exchange for a business video produced by Jason’s company.

Cost: $0

Usually: $1000-$2000


A major part of any wedding is music, so it was essential for Kavanna and Jason to lock down a great DJ.

They found someone willing to keep their guests entertained throughout the reception as part of the business swap.

Cost: $0

Usually: $1000-$2500


Hosting the wedding of your dreams can be difficult and expensive.

You need flowers, fairy lights, furniture and someone to pull it all together.

Kavanna found a Brisbane stylist who was willing to set up their ceremony and reception area as part of the service swap.

The bride’s handy negotiations resulted in a picture-perfect ceremony at Mount Coot-Tha and reception in Bundaleer Rainforest.

“We arranged for the stylist to set up the floral arbour, chairs and aisle decorations, as well as parts of the reception,” she said.

“She even provided free pieces like the floral centrepieces, the table runners and the chairs.”

Cost: $0

Usually: $1000-$5000

Photo booth

The excitement of a photo booth can take a wedding reception to a whole new level after a few champagnes.

Jason’s video skills locked in a free photo booth for the night.

“We never thought we could afford a photo booth, so we were thrilled when that was suddenly an option,” she said.

Cost: $0

Usually: $800-$1200

Buy and sell

As an aspiring wedding planner, Kavanna said she also saved cash by purchasing things to sell after the wedding.

They purchased centrepieces, a wishing well, easels, artificial flowers and lawn games then advertised them on Gumtree and Facebook.

“We bought things like tablecloths for the same cost as hiring and have managed to sell them on for nearly the full cost,” she said.

“Plus, the money that keeps coming in from the stuff I sell is supplementing our future travel plans.”