Planning a wedding is an exciting time.
One of the first steps a newly engaged couple takes to plan their big day is to settle on a budget.
At NOW FINANCE we would love to help your wedding budget be as close as possible to the actual spend.
With that in mind, let’s take a look at the overall cost and breakdown of the average cost of an Australian wedding.
What is the Average Cost of a Wedding in Australia?
Couples’ original expectations rarely match their final spend. Popular website Easy Weddings states the average budget expected by Australian couples before planning is $22,055. When all is said and done, the average total cost of an Australian wedding can vary between $32,333 (Easy Weddings, 2019) and $53,168 (The New Daily, July 2019).
How Much Should We Spend on Our Wedding?
Some argue that it’s more sensible to prioritise a housing deposit or luxurious honeymoon over an extravagant wedding.
While it may make financial sense to prioritise a long-term financial benefit over a moment in time, many other factors usually come into play. Familial expectations and your own personal daydreams also play a large part in your willingness to invest in the celebrations.
Work with your partner to decide what is most important to the both of you, and you’ll likely come to a reasonable answer.
How Should You Breakdown Your Overall Budget?
Whether you’re planning to spend $5,000 or $50,000, you’re probably wondering which aspects of the wedding will absorb the majority of your budget.
Save Most of Your Budget for the Venue
Traditionally, the lion’s share of any wedding budget goes on hiring the venue.
In recent years, couples have begun to move away from the traditional church wedding, preferring to declare their lifelong commitment in a place that holds special significance to them personally.
Australians can expect to spend between $14,000 to $22,000 on wedding venue hire in 2019 (Easy Weddings 2018). Generally, venue hire quotes include bar tab, food, staff hire, accommodation and any special services the venue may offer.
Letting the venue take care of these aspects can save you and your spouse a lot of time and energy in the planning phase, but if you’re looking to save money, there are some actions you can take.
- Book early.
Investigating your options earlier ensures you’ll have more flexibility in venue availability and cost. If you have a long-term engagement and are sure of the venue and date you want, book your venue in advance so that you don’t end up paying for two year’s inflation.
- Consider getting married on a weekday.
If you have a small, committed entourage, a weekday wedding could save you thousands in venue costs. Many venues offer special deals to couples looking to get married outside peak times. As always, if a discount is not specifically stated, it never hurts to ask.
- Get quotes from your top three venues and enquire about optional extras.
Some venues are highly inflexible, offering one fixed wedding package that covers all major aspects from catering to accommodation. Other venues are more flexible and will allow you to bring in third-party contractors to fulfil similar roles. It is worth investigating what aspects of a venue’s wedding package are optional, and whether the venue will allow contractors on the day.
- Hold your reception at a family home.
If a member of your family has a large home suitable to host the number of guests you’re planning to have, why not make the day personal and have your reception at home?
Next Up, You Need to Feed Your Guests
As stated, catering costs tend to be included in venue hire and are usually calculated on a “per head” basis.
True Bride gave an average cost of $100 per head in their own study. So if you plan to have 100 guests at your wedding, that is already $10,000.
Based on the national average, you might be approaching a cost of $30,000 just on the venue and the food!
Dresses, Suits, Hair & Make Up
Looking amazing on your wedding day is every bride’s must.
Whether you opt for a traditional “white dress wedding” or adopt a specific wedding colour or theme, you’ll want to look the part when you’re both the main focal point.
The most obvious garment on the list is undoubtedly the wedding dress. According to Easy Weddings, the average cost of a wedding dress hovers around $2,500. If that sounds steep, there are a few options.
- Rent Your Dress
- Don’t Buy A Traditional Wedding Dress
- Get Your Dress Made
These options are all great ways to avoid the “bridal surcharge” that many vendors place on anything remotely associated with a wedding.
Outside of this cost, you also need to dress the bridal party and factor in hair and makeup. These costs can come to an average total of $5,203 (Popsugar, July 2019).
What About the Wedding Rings?
The cost of your wedding rings will depend on the extravagance of the design you both opt for.
A traditional, metal-only wedding band will be cheaper, but could still represent a significant outlay!
According to Australian jeweller Larsen, the average 18 carat gold wedding band costs $800 for a lady’s ring, and $1,300 for a gent’s, with a platinum wedding band costing $1,000 for ladies and $2,300 for men.
And We’re Only Just Getting Started!
We’re potentially well over the $40,000 mark already and haven’t yet considered extras such as wedding entertainment ($2,989), photography ($3,812), videography ($3,665), flowers and decorations ($6,832) (Popsugar, July 2019).
Be careful when planning your wedding entertainment, as costs can quickly escalate! You might hire a live band or a DJ, but how much will the other things on your wish list, such as a photo booth, fireworks, or a magician, take out of your budget?
That we’ve reached the ballpark average cost of a wedding in Australia already, while dealing in average prices, perhaps highlights that many Australians are very good at prioritising what they want out of their wedding.
Your challenge when planning your own wedding is to decide what’s most important to you. Are you happy to have less budget left over to get the dream venue you want? Would you rather have all your friends and family there but as a trade-off are happy to say your vows in a less glamourous location? Perhaps you want to forget about all of this and dedicate your entire wedding budget to your honeymoon instead!
Covering the Costs of Your Wedding with NOW FINANCE
NOW FINANCE offers unsecured personal loans of up to $40,000, which you could use to help cover the extra costs of your dream wedding.
You can now take out a joint personal loan with NOW FINANCE, enabling you both to share the responsibility of repaying the loan as you start your new life together, while allowing you to pay off over a period of up to 7 years.
To get started with a NOW FINANCE personal loan, get your interest rate now and check your estimated repayments. If you need to discuss your options with us, you can contact us here or call us on 1300 275 669.
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