The Average Australian Wedding Costs $36,200 [Infographic]

The Average Australian Wedding Costs $36,200 [Infographic]

According to the Australian Securities and Investments Commission’s latest data, the average wedding in Australia costs $36,200 with the bulk of the cost going towards food and alcohol. This infographic breaks down where the money typically goes, along with tips on how you can save a few bucks here and there.

Weddings are crazy. Even marriage is a bit crazy. In Ancient Greek mythology, Hymen was the god of marriage, which tells you everything you need to know about the relevance of this archaic ceremony in modern times. Nevertheless, most couples still spend a small fortune to commemorate their decent into civil matrimony. Whatever floats your boat I guess.

Below you’ll find ASIC’s breakdown of average wedding costs as well as where the money typically comes from (not surprisingly, parent contributions and bank loans figure prominently).

How much did you spend on your wedding? Horrifyingly, some of our female colleagues indicated that the $36,200 estimation was far too low. Apparently, something in the region of $60k is more accurate. Personally, I’d rather put a deposit on a new house. Tradition, eh?

How much can a wedding cost? [MoneySmart]


  • What are you guys getting paid? Or what are the women who work in the office’s Husband’s getting paid?
    I fail to comprehend how the average can be anywhere near $36000!
    I can believe that the “Wedding Industry” wants you to believe that an “average” wedding costs so you think it’s perfectly normal for them to charge you 3 times the price…

    My wedding cost nothing like that, it cost nothing like half that! And it was widely acclaimed to be “the best wedding I’ve ever been to” by our guests. Sure, it wasn’t flashy, but it was bloody fun!

    • Yeah, I think it depends on how many attendees the “average” wedding has. $18k definitely seems high for food and drink if you’re just inviting close friends and family.

    • Just think how many 6-8k weddings it takes to “average” a few million dollar celeb style weddings back down to 36k.

      • That could well be it!
        We had 130 people.. it wasn’t a small event, (and I would have thought perhaps slightly above average?)..
        Food was our biggest bill thanks to us being able to source cheap (price, good quality) wine through one of the guests who works in the industry.

      • About 70 $8000 weddings per 2 million dollar wedding to average back down to $36k.

        Would would mean over 1700, 2 million celebrity weddings a year, on average! 3.4 billion dollars worth!

    • $18k broken up into 150 people works out to be about $124 each, which is about spot on for food drinks and venue (including the staff to serve and clean up said food drinks and venues). So that’ll vary depending on how many people you have coming. If you’ve got a very large extended family that absolutely MUST be invited, 150 people can come around pretty quickly…

      • 150 is more than just about any wedding I’ve been to or my relatives have been to. I only know one wedding out of 10 I’ve been to that has been 150 people. The rest have been 100. 36k is absolutely ridiculous. Any man who thinks they need to spend that much on a wedding is a fool and is being taken for one. You can have a completely over the top wedding for at most 20k including everything. Unless you are gullible and don’t do your research.

        • You can have a very nice wedding for $20k, for sure. It all comes down to the number of people there, more than anything else. You go to a Greek or Lebanese family wedding, my god, cousins’ or cousins need to be invited, you need to invite the cousins of your god parents because you were once invited to their wedding, in 1976, when you were 6 month old.

  • Yes, it’s a day you’ll remember for the rest of your lives, yes it’s a good day for everyone involved, but holy shit, if you have to get a loan for one day, it’s not worth it.

    My wife didn’t want a wedding (wanting to go to the courthouse and sign the papers), while I didn’t want any religious crap and wanted a party. So we settled on a Halloween wedding. Everyone came dressed up (Zombies, Ned Kelly, The Hitcher from the Mighty Boosh), there was a three course meal, enough booze to satisfy even the heaviest drinkers and about 100 guests. The total cost was $3,000 which included hall hire, decorations, outfits for the two of us (ordered from Amazon), the celebrant, food and drink and transport (mini bus to the hall).

    Uncle did the photography for free (wedding gift) and father was the MC / DJ (basically an iPod plugged into a small PA system).

    The only thing we missed out on, is having a hearse there. Dad was going to lay in the coffin, get wheeled in and spring up, starting the event, but my mother / mother in law said no.

    The lessons here are: It’s one day out of your life. If you think you “need” a big wedding, you don’t. And the best lesson is: Don’t listen to your parents or in-laws. If you want to have a hearse at your wedding and risk offending your Christian aunt, do it. It’s your day.

  • I don’t know what’s more idiotic: Getting married, or wasting that kind of money on a stupid ceremony and a party nobody will remember anyway.

    • I agree on principal, but some of our friends still talked about our reception ten years later

    • Clearly single, unmarried or have a very rare partner who agrees with your ways. We still have people talk about our wedding and we still fondly remember it. Life is about memories so spending 10k on a fantastic night for all our close friends and family was a fantastic investment imo.

      • The third case. We can just think of substantially better uses for the money, and we both view the entire concept of marriage as pointless and outmoded.

  • 36k for one day! No wonder so many choose not to get married. It’s only one day. Your wedding is suppose to be the start of your marriage together for the rest of your life (or until your divorce – what ever comes first).
    Obviously the sky is the limit if you let it be. I’m sure you could get get married for about the cost of the price of lodging the paperwork with Births, Deaths and Marriages – and that’s it. You can find celebrants who don’t charge, borrow dressed and suits and that’s it. It wouldn’t be much of a wedding but that’s still all that is needed. It depends on how the couple (ahem… bride) choose to celebrate the rest of the day.

    • Not all brides are bridezillas. Besides, if the groom can’t put his foot down on something important like overspending on a one day pay party, then he really needs to learn how to grow a pair (or just run for the hills until he finds a woman who isn’t a shallow shrew).

    • Hey, don’t blame the girls! My hubby-to-be wants the big, fat party, much to my disgust. Everyone who sugar coats the whole thing i.e. “It’s the biggest day of your life”, “It’s about celebrating your love”, “#YOLO” can BITE MY (now broke, thanks, fiancé!) BUTT!

  • Wouldn’t it be better to put that money towards the future rather than one big party? You may remember your wedding day for the rest of your life, but it’s just on fleeting day. Put the money towards something that will last longer than an average marriage (by today’s standards).

    Also, while we’re talking about marriage, engagement rings don’t have to be big, ugly, and expensive, nor do they have to be diamonds. Again, that money would be better spent towards a future, rather than an ugly piece of jewelry.

    • Or just have a ring custom made. You can easily have a ring made for 3k which values up to 8-9k, and has a better diamond in it than the higher priced ugly store ring they sold to 100 different women.

      • I was thinking a lot less than 3k. Heck, not even half that. I’ve seen some very lovely rings which aren’t even 1k. The only difference between them and an engagement ring is that they’re not labeled as engagement rings (rings are rings, right?). Oh, and they weren’t diamonds, or something. Or not really expensive ones anyway. But yes, a custom made ring would be best. It shows thought and effort, which means more to me than a price tag.

      • This is what I did. All the female relatives on my side (mum, grandmothers and aunts) gave me a piece of their jewellery and I got a jeweler to make a gold diamond ring from it. Cost me about $800 for a $3500 valued ring with huge sentimental value.

  • We threw an absolutely massive engagement party, was almost like a chilled out music festival in our backyard. Everyone loved it. Only cost us 3.5k for food, drink, decorations and music.

    I regret not having a celebrant show up…

  • I’m marrying into a party animal family who HAVE to turn every little thing into an epic celebration. (I get it. Life is beautiful. But sheesh, learn relax a little!) So, if I were to have the very intimate, destination ceremony (immediate family only) that I have always, it would have been over their dead bodies. Groomzilla especially! He is VERY lucky I love him. If I’d known then what I know now about wedding planning and what a highly stressful and extortionate rort the entire exercise is, I would have refused the proposal unless he agreed in writing to elope. Such is my life. I only ever seem to learn everything the hard way. 😛

    • When you said party animal family, I imagined John Belushi in a university sweatshirt guzzling a beer, then letting out a belch so large, he has to chew it at the end.

      But you could always do two celebrations. Big party where you sit in the corner and nibble on food while he dances on the tables, then a small thing with just your immediate family.

  • We’re spending 15k on ours, which is next year. We think that it is a reasonable amount, but we’re having to source from ‘non-wedding’ suppliers as they charge through the arse for normal things. The wedding industry itself perpetuates the high cost of weddings.

  • Our wedding cost us, personally, about $1000 including the rings.
    We had our wedding mid winter, on a mild day. We payed $80 for access to the park where we did the ceremony, the celebrant was my aunt. Decorations were done by my wife’s mother. The one car was hired by my mum as a wedding present. And the main cost savings? We had about 20 guests total and made the food ourselves.

  • I had 40+ family and friends come out from Ireland, and 60 Aussies.
    Best party ever – had a great time, drank the bar dry and sang into the early hours.

    Married an IT project manager in 2009 and needless to say the better half spent $75 shy of the $32K budget. No kidding – it’s all in a shared Google sheet.

    It’s not all about $$ though – I recently had a mate invite us round to a BBQ at his place with a bunch of the lads. The ‘lure’ of steak and free beer had all the good friends around. Just before desert a celebrant appeared and WHAM – now a Mr and Mrs!

    Would have cost him $2-$3K tops and we all had a great time!

  • When me and my wife got married we were both 19 and poor my wife was a Tafe student and I was a budding entrepreneur throwing all my money at crazy projects hoping one would pay off. My wife made her dress out of a white table cloth……..she could sew so it looked good. I borrowed a tie and a shirt. For the resection we all had pizza (thanks to a guy I knew who owned a pizza shop) at the park and for music a local band donated there time as a gift. All in all it was a nice relaxing wedding, everyone had fun and nobody had to settle for the lamb when they really wanted chicken…..cause we all had pizza.

    • Good stuff mate! That’s what it should be about! Like most things today, it’s become incredibly commericalised.

  • Per comments above … the biggest cost blow-out is from telling companies/contractors/etc that it’s for a wedding.

    We’re tying the knot in 2 months time and have tried to be rational while not skimping. We’re only having 50 guests (versus some friends’ weddings with over 200), no flowers, no “official” photographer, using standard private hire vehicles, and the musicians are friends as is the celebrant. The biggest cost saving is having the ceremony and reception at the same venue (flat hire fee and no extra transport costs). The wine though is a different story entirely …

  • Got an awesome partner and we spent our 50k wedding money travelling around the world for 6 months. Still not married and probably never will be. I still love her as much as your expensive on paper missus, probably more.
    No-one cares about marriage any more. Stop spending money on it.

  • That was an awesome infographic. My partner and I spent under $35K and had a wonderful wedding. Just because you spend more money does not necessarily mean you will have a better wedding. The people attending is a big part to a successful wedding.

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