The Rising Cost of Australian Weddings: What You Need to Know

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Remember the days of backyard weddings or casual receptions at the local pub? Those simpler times, when getting married in the nearby church and having a few drinks at the neighbourhood scout hall, were the norm? Well, those days are long gone.

Today’s weddings are a different story. With the rise of fashionable wedding must-haves, from personalised bomboniere to specialised videographers, the cost of the average Australian wedding has skyrocketed. It’s no longer just an event; it’s an experience and an expensive one.

According to the 2024 report by Bride to Be magazine, the average cost of a wedding in Australia is now a staggering $65,482. Yes, you read that right. This figure reflects a significant increase from the $36,000 average just three years ago. However, these reports often underestimate the actual spending. Most friends spend at least $60,000 on their weddings, making the reported averages almost modest.

What caused this sharp rise? The answer lies in the explosion of extravagant wedding trends. From champagne towers to destination weddings in exotic locales and from fancy wedding invitations to hipster photography sessions, the list of new wedding trends is lengthy and pricey. Couples also invest in entertainment and immersive experiences such as oyster shucking and cocktails throughout the night.

The expense of wedding hinges on several factors, such as the guest count, the chosen time of year for the wedding, whether it’s a weekday or weekend event, the experience level of the vendors, the range of services required, beverage and catering preferences, and more. Here’s a detailed breakdown of wedding budgets to offer deeper insights into the financial landscape of Australian weddings.

In light of this, it’s hardly surprising that budgeting is the most significant stressor for couples planning their weddings. Despite this, living costs have yet to make a visible dent in the average wedding budget.

What is the economic impact of weddings in Australia? The answer is a staggering $4.5 billion, a figure that speaks volumes about the significance of weddings in our society. With over 110,000 marriages occurring annually, the industry is a vital part of the nation’s economic landscape, according to ABIA’s data and findings.

No wonder so many couples are opting for cash gifts at their weddings.

Despite the hefty price tag, most couples agree it’s worth every penny. It’s now more common for couples to pay the bill rather than rely on the bride’s parents. This shift has given couples the freedom to create the wedding of their dreams, with no holds barred.

So why not splurge on a lolly buffet and Polaroid cameras for every table? After all, everyone wins as long as there are musk sticks, cake, and dancing.

However, it’s crucial to remember that no element of a wedding, bar the marriage certificates themselves, is necessary. Doing things in a manner that is proper for you and no one else is essential and can significantly cut down the cost of a ceremony. For instance, elopement is an excellent option if you don’t want to break the bank. Changing the date is a small but effective way to reduce wedding costs. Mid-week weddings are becoming a popular way to save money.

No one should ever go into debt for their wedding. Living within your means and picking something that aligns with your budget is vital. Money can be a massive thorn in a newlywed couple’s side, especially if you are drowning in post-wedding credit repayments during your honeymoon. Remember, you will need more money to make your wedding better or worse.

What do you think? Is it money well spent or money down the drain?

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Written by The Bridal Journey Editorial Team.