How much does a wedding cost?

Key Points

  • Weddings can be expensive, depending on who you ask the average wedding has been estimated at anywhere between $36,000 to $65,000
  • In addition to the actual cost of the wedding you should factor in the cost of engagement parties, bucks nights/hens nights as it all adds up
  • You don’t have to spend a large sum of money to have an amazing day. Talk to your partner and agree on those things that are really important and those things that may be an unimportant excess

How much does a wedding cost? How long is a piece of string?

The cost of a wedding can be significant, especially as there has been a trend (reinforced by social media) to make weddings more luxurious and lavish. Based on a few surveys, weddings can cost $36,000 (ASIC Moneysmart survey), $51,000 (Marie Claire Magazine) and $65,000 (Bride to be Magazine).

Obviously the cost will depend greatly on the number of people you invite and the type of wedding you have. There are some common things that you should budget for and a list of those from Money Smart are below.

Average Australian wedding costs*

  • $18,683 – Food, alcohol & venue
  • $4,271 – Wedding clothes and accessories
  • $3,983 – Photography
  • $2,896 – Entertainment
  • $2,896 – Flowers and decorations
  • $941 – Ceremony
  • $2,534 – Other (cars, hair, makeup, accommodation, stationary)
  • $36,200 – Total cost

* IBISWorld, ‘IBISWorld Industry Report X002 Weddings in Australia’, April 2012

Keep in mind that there is usually a “wedding premium” when it comes to services providers and that you are likely pay a surcharge for getting married on or around public holidays.

Aside from the wedding there are other events that can contribute to your costs such as an engagement party, bucks/hens night as well as costs associated with hosting family/friends that may be travelling to your wedding. There is also of course costs of a honeymoon if you plan to go on one!

It is easy to become caught up in the hype surrounding getting married and the associated events, however overspending on a wedding (even if your parents contribute to the costs) can hurt your financial fitness by putting you in unnecessary debt or delaying your saving for things like buying a home or having children.

Understanding the cost of a wedding allow you to prepare for how you will pay for it and will enable you to enjoy your day without the stress of financial consequences.