Brides to be, hold on to your Pinterest boards for a sec. The average cost of an Australian wedding these days is at an all-time eye-watering high. See how they crunch the numbers below plus here’s a load of money-saving wedding budget tips too!
I KNOW how easy it is to be caught up in the engagement love bubble. You have dreams. You have Pinterest boards and hundreds of Instagram posts saved for inspo. You want to throw one hell of a party to celebrate your nuptials and dance into the night – we get itttttttt. But aye carumba, at what cost?
The average cost of an Aussie wedding is … gulp.
It’s been reported that the average cost of an Australian wedding is said to be $54,295.\
Let’s just let that number sit on the tongue for a minute. FIFTY-FOUR THOUSAND DOLLARS. And then some.
Curious to know how much is spent on what? According to One Fine Day, it goes a little like this:
- Venue – $21,994
- Floral arrangements and styling – $9,704
- Wedding dress – $5,180
- Photographer – $3,611
- Videographer – $3,507
- Entertainment – $2,514
- Groom’s suit – $1,834
- Groomsmen suits – $1,087
- Wedding cake – $990
- Bridesmaids dresses – $929
- Transport – $828
- Hair – $515
- Makeup – $475
- Celebrant – $1,127
And that’s just the tip of the iceberg.
You might still have catering and drinks to cover (if your venue doesn’t offer it), accommodation and your honeymoon. There’s also the services required AFTER your wedding day like dry cleaning, flower preservation and maybe an extra-long massage to rid you of all that stress!
I’m not going to lie, the numbers make my heart race. I’m more shocked than Oprah conducting a Royal interview.
Wedding Budget TIPS
Don’t have a lazy $55,000 to spend on your wedding? I don’t imagine many of us do. Alas, there are PLENTY of ways you can cut down costs for your big day – and still have the most beautiful, special wedding.
1. The most important tip is TO SET A BUDGET. Discuss with your partner what you can realistically afford and save for. No one wants to start their married life deep in debt in return for an all-out wedding day.
2. Discuss what is most important to you both and where you think you’ll spend the bulk of your budget. For example, photographs are forever, so it’s wise not to skimp on those. The bride’s wedding shoes (if tucked under a full gown) go unseen? You get what I’m putting down…?
3. Look at how you can ‘cut corners’ to achieve the things you want – aka – DIY. You loved Harry and Meghan’s wedding flowers and your budget says definitely not? Do you know anyone with contacts at the flower market or a floral wholesaler? Could you possibly do your own floral arrangements? Hit up the local TAFE floristry lecturer and ask for some hints and tips.
4. As you can see above, the wedding cake can be a money pit. Check out this Costco wedding cake hack! The whole cake was purchased at Costco, a few flowers and extras and voila! It cost them hardly nothing in comparison!
So how did YOU keep your wedding costs down?
We asked our Mum Central Facebook Community for their best wedding money-saving tips and here are some of the pearlers:
- Hire as much as you can from signage to the men’s suits.
- Get married on a weekday or Sunday afternoon.
- Buy white bedsheets instead of white tablecloths. #sooooomanysavings
- Serve your wedding cake as dessert to save on catering costs.
- Have your photos taken at the reception venue to save on car hire and travel costs.
- Facebook Marketplace is a GOLD MINE. Look there often for things you need.
- Use faux flowers instead of the real deal, saving you money AND you can keep them forever.
- Choose grazing tables, canapes or a food truck over sit down meals.
- Turn your engagement party into a surprise wedding. No bridal party, parents as witnesses, perfect!
- Borrow friend’s fancy cars instead of hiring.
- Wear your mum’s / nanna’s / sister’s wedding dress.
- DIY as MUCH AS POSSIBLE! (Men’s buttonholes, table decorations, invitations etc).
- Keep your guest list low with a micro-wedding. Like, SUPER LOW. 50 is good, 20 is brilliant. If you haven’t heard from someone within a year, they don’t get an invite. #SavageYetSavvy
- Shop around and check out Bridal Expos – they often have great offers!
- Don’t mention the word ‘wedding’ when ordering flowers or cake. It will save you hundreds.
But my favourite tip came from a Mum Central reader with this tip on how she saved on her wedding: “We had exactly what we wanted, instead of what people expected.” PREACH IT!
Now if you think DIY is going to look shabby, I want you to think again. Bunnings staged a stunning how-to DIY garden wedding and it is everything worthy of your Pinterest board, at a fraction of the cost.
COVID-19 and weddings
With state borders opened, closed and then opened again due to COVID-19, combined with restricted dancing, singing and social distancing, there’s no better excuse to cull your wedding guest list to the bare minimum and enjoy an intimate wedding day. It might be disappointing to some and a relief to others, but it’s a sure-fire way of keeping costs down!
COVID-19 restrictions in regards to weddings vary from state to state so DO be sure to check what you are and aren’t allowed to do.
Things you can spend $55,000 other than a big white wedding
Just in case you’ve convinced yourself $55,000 isn’t a lot of money for one day, here’s a handful of other things you could buy with the same money, just to add some cheeky perspective.
- Louis Vuitton bags – expensive, right? You could buy around 23 Louis Vuitton Neverfull Tote bags ($2360 each)! WHAT?
- A great start to a house deposit (depending on where you buy of course). Add to this the government first homeowners or builder’s grant and you’ve got your foot in the real estate door, baby!
- You could buy round-the-world flights for twelve people, flying with Qantas / Oneword, leaving from Sydney ($4,492 per ticket).
- Need a new car? You could buy a brand-spankin’ new, top of the line Mazda CX5 Akera (from $52,490) and STILL have money left for registration, insurance and a road trip.
- And because I know you’re eager to know – you could buy around 22 golden retriever puppies (based on a $2,500 pup price tag). Wouldn’t that be a golden start?
HOW Some sage advice from an old married person
I know it’s not really what you want to be reminded of as a bride-to-be, but the wedding is just one day. It’s a special day, but it’s ONE day. Twenty years down the track, you won’t remember what napkins you had, who sat where or what shade your nails were. You probably won’t even remember how your cake tasted. However, you will remember how much fun and how special the day was, above all else. So celebrate into the night!
Have the kind of wedding you want – and can afford – not the kind of wedding Pinterest or Instagram says you should have. You do you, boo!