Despite some trends to the contrary, weddings are a natural conclusion for a number of Australians in committed relationships. While it’s a fun event to attend as a guest, the reality is that the event can rack up some serious debt. The true cost of that amount splashed on a single event has to be seen to be believed. Here’s how much the average wedding costs in Australia.
Having never seriously considered hosting my own wedding, I am blissfully unaware of the true cost of a wedding other than it being similar in price to a small house deposit. I love being a guest at weddings but the scary truth is, while buying a new dress and making myself look wedding-ready can be a pricey venture, the actual hosting of the whole damn extravaganza is criminal.
According to ASIC’s Moneysmart, many Australians, 82 per cent, use their savings to pay for a wedding but given 60 per cent got a loan too and a further 18 per cent admitted to putting it on the credit card, just using savings isn’t cutting it.
Using statistics provided by the Australian Bureau of Statistics, the 2019 Australian Wedding Industry report is painfully insightful into how much that figure really is.
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How much Australians are paying for weddings overall
In 2017, the report found the average budget for a wedding came in at $22,055 with couples believing it was likely to cost $26,895. The reality was the actual average cost for weddings in 2017 was $32,333, at least $10,000 above the average budget.
NSW held the highest average cost of a wedding with $36,082 with Victoria shortly following behind. The lowest of all the averages was in the ACT at $23,339, followed Northern Territory and Queensland in the $24,000 mark.
Additionally, it found nine per cent of couples around Australia would spend more than $60,000 on their wedding with NSW experiencing the highest average rate at 14 per cent of couples. Yikes.
How much wedding venues are costing us
A large chunk of that budget is going towards venues, the report highlighted. The average spend on the venue was $15,264 with NSW taking out the top spot with the highest average spend at $16,539. Tasmania, on the other hand, had the lowest average spend at $10,722. This could come down to slight differences between the costs of living between the states, a difference in supply and demand or, perhaps, people who live in NSW just like to splurge on wedding venues.
It didn’t specify how many of these figures included catering costs but it’s assumed the averages represented the venue hire with catering being a separate breakout later on.
Average catering costs for Australian weddings
Soaking up your alcohol consumption and much of your wedding budget was, of course, the catering. The average spend was $9,666, which when added to your venue fee, equals more than $25,000 — more than the average Australian’s planned budget. Victoria takes the lead with the highest average spend at $11,947 with Western Australia in toe at $10,809. Rounding out the bottom was Queensland with a far more responsible $5,659 and South Australia with $6,204.
The cost of wedding dresses around Australia
Wedding dresses were another major budget breaker during wedding season with the average price across Australia being a colossal $2,649. NSW again topped the list of biggest average spends with $2,837 but Victoria and Northern Territory weren’t far behind with $2,806 and $2,650, respectively.
Both ACT and Tasmania were at the bottom with $1,816 and $2,208, respectively, showing it’s maybe the place to go if you want to get hitched.
The price of the average wedding cake
Cakes are not cheap either with the average one costing $537. While Western Australia had the highest spend at $581, the rest of the states and territories didn’t register a major difference in price. The standard number of tiers for a wedding cake was three, which certainly adds to that high cost. Twelve per cent of couples opted for four tiers or more taking their cake game to another level.
And what honeymoons are costing Australians
Once the ceremony’s done and dusted, you better hope there’s some budget left to have a nice honeymoon. The report found the average couple’s honeymoon costed $7,307 and lasted for 15 days. The most popular destination was actually Queensland with European desinations, Fiji, USA, Maldives, Bali and Hawaii following after it. Most couples, 42 per cent, took the well-earned holiday within a week of the wedding while 17 per cent took it more than six weeks after it.
For more insights, read the original report for yourself.
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