A wedding is one of the biggest milestones in a person’s life. Because of this, it’s little wonder why couples want their wedding day to be unforgettable.
Unfortunately, weddings don’t come cheap. According to a survey run by Bride to Be magazine, the average cost of a wedding in Australia is now $65,482. With so many costs to cover, the wedding of your dreams may seem out of reach. But, with careful planning and budgeting, your dream wedding doesn’t have to leave you broke.
How much does it cost to have a wedding?
Weddings can be as expensive or inexpensive as the couple wants it to be – after all, it is up to the bride & groom how modest or outlandish they want their wedding to be.
Using “Bride to Be’s” figures as a guideline, the new figure of $65,482 is extremely expensive, particularly when just 10 years ago the average cost of a wedding was just over $25,000.
By comparison, the government’s Moneysmart website has listed $36,200 as the average cost of a wedding in Australia. But it’s possible that this figure has risen in conjunction with the growing wedding trends of recent years.
In fact, the rising cost of weddings has more to do with the evolution of the wedding as opposed to simple inflation. Today, couples want that ‘dream wedding’ and tend to put more emphasis on achieving a ‘wow factor’ to impress their family and friends and make it a day to remember.
This desire for a big wedding with all the bells and whistles can have a lot to do with the role social media has played in recent years, along with the rise of outlandish wedding trends.
And to help pay for it, people are not just turning to their parents for financial assistance. Wedding loans have become a big part of the industry – one personal loan provider noted that the average wedding loan they provided customers within 2018 was $1,214.
Moneysmart gives a breakdown of the average wedding costs and has listed the most expensive items in order of:
- Food, alcohol & venue – $18,683
- Wedding clothes and accessories – $4,271
- Photography – $3,983
- Entertainment – $2,896
- Ceremony – $941
- Other (hair & makeup, accommodation, wedding stationery) – $2,534
Total – $36,200
Why you don’t need to spend big money on a wedding
Spending less on a wedding doesn’t mean having to miss out. There are a few ways you can still have the wedding of your dreams without the astronomical costs.
It’s important to sit down with your partner and really think about what your expectations are and how you would really like your big day to look like. How much do you expect to spend, and what can you realistically afford?
It’s a good idea to write down a list of priorities or must-haves along with items that can be negotiable. Has it always been your dream to have that exact wedding dress, even if it is on the higher end of the price tag? Are you stuck on the one venue or can you consider others?
When it comes to planning a wedding, a lot of couples become too caught up in the details of this one day and neglect to think about their life after they become man & wife. Discuss with your partner openly if having a family or buying your own home is important to you, and factor this in with the budgeting of your wedding.
While it’s nice to have an unforgettable wedding day, remember that in the larger scheme of things it is just one day and that your life together thereafter is far more important.
Tips for saving money for your wedding
- Opt for an inexpensive venue: The venue is one of the most expensive aspects of a wedding. Going with a dedicated wedding venue can be particularly pricey, as anything with the word ‘wedding’ attached seems to come at a higher cost.
Save money by holding your wedding outdoors in a public park or backyard, or renting a venue such as a local hall or function room. With an outdoor wedding, you and your guests will have a beautiful backdrop, and a hall can be spruced up with classy decorations such as fairy lights, lanterns, and decorative wedding arches.
- Buy your wedding dress online or second-hand: Apparently, $5,260 is the average price Australian brides will pay for a wedding dress. Save big by looking for a wedding dress online, or even finding one second-hand.
Many fashion retailers now provide customers with their own wedding range, selling wedding dresses including bridal gowns, bridesmaids’ dresses, and wedding guest dresses all for reasonable prices online. And there are websites such as Still White where you can buy beautiful dresses at a discounted price – only worn once!
- Stick to your budget: There are some wonderful resources available online that allows couples to create their own custom wedding budget. Sites such as The Knot’s Wedding Calculator are easy to use and will help couples to stay on top of their wedding costs.
Have the wedding of your dreams on a budget
Funding for a wedding can be difficult, especially when the average cost of a wedding keeps on rising. It is possible to have the wedding of your dreams however, without having to spend big or going into debt. Couples today are avoiding financial strain by funding their own wedding using a combination of the above tips.