The Real Costs Of Weddings

16:40' 11-12-2017
Organising a wedding can be an expensive exercise. The 2017 Easy Weddings survey of 3,300 couples found the total average cost was just over $30,000. Thats the cost a small new car, or a house deposit.

    illustration of a wedding cake.

    Photo: abc.net.au

    Venue

    About half that cost is in venue hire, and a further third of the cost is catering, about $25,000 altogether. Everyone has to decide for themselves how grand their wedding should be, but obviously a budget wedding will reduce that figure.

    For some couples, a back yard marquee or a local church hall will do fine for a venue, but this may not be convenient for large extended families and a wide circle of friends.

    Ceremony

    For the legal requirements, marriages must be registered with the registry of births, deaths and marriages. A registry wedding provides the celebrant, the ceremony, and the marriage certificate. In Victoria this costs $320.

    The disadvantage is that registry weddings usually can't have too many guests. For many couples, the main reason for a wedding is to have it witnessed by family and friends.

    You can organise your own wedding ceremony, and hire a qualified celebrant for it. This could cost you between $600 and $1,500. The Easy Weddings survey says the celebrant fee is usually around $711.

    Cake

    This is an item you really have to shop around for, because the cost depends on the design and style. A professional cake will cost at least $300, and can easily go over $1000. The only budget alternative is knowing someone, either family or friend, who has the skill to make your wedding cake.

    Clothes

    The average cost of a bridal dress is around $2,500. For the groom, it is about half this.

    Crowd funding

    An old but still popular way of funding a wedding is the “wishing well”. The idea probably began to avoid the problem of wedding presents, when you could end up with two or three toasters. The wishing well is a box for cash donations.

    In the digital age, there are crowdfunding websites to achieve the same result. One such site is Crowded Wedding, at thecrowdedwedding.com.

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