One of the biggest factors couples take into consideration when planning a wedding is how much it’s all going to cost. From booking your venue to buying your perfect dress to choosing your bomboniere, every little bit adds up.
It can get especially tricky when you’re a couple juggling other financial commitments as well, whether it’s raising children, paying off a mortgage, or even saving for that once-in-a-lifetime trip.
So it’s no wonder that settling on a budget is one of the first steps a newly engaged couple makes when they begin planning their big day.
Well, fear not! We’ve got your ultimate guide to how much wedding costs, and how much you should expect to spend on each of the services for your day.
So how much does a wedding cost? As of 2018, the average Aussie couple spends just over $31,300 on their wedding day. However, when it comes to budgeting they actually set the bar much lower. Most couples budget around $21,200 for their wedding day, although they do generally expect to go over that by around another $4300.
So how do you break down your wedding budget? The first thing to do is to work out how much you expect to pay for each supplier, and budget accordingly. Then you can move your budget around depending on what is or isn’t the most important to you. For instance, if a bride is wearing her mother’s wedding dress then she’s going to be spending a lot less on alterations rather than purchasing a brand new dress, which could leave more money for wedding transport.
More than $10,000
Of course, the first item you should budget for is your venue. The average cost of a wedding venue in Australia is around $14,500, and the cost of the venue usually takes up 45% your entire budget. Being one of the first items most couples book in the first place, this isn’t necessarily a con. Knowing how much the wedding venue will cost can help you with costs for the theme as well as the guest list.
Between $5000 and $10,000
For couples who already have their own venue, or who have hired a venue that doesn’t offer its own services, catering will be the next big investment. The average food and beverage costs for catering are around $9100, and again can help you determine what style of wedding you have, whether it’s a sit-down meal, buffet or finger food.
Another tip when budgeting your wedding is to add your honeymoon costs as well. Most couples go on their honeymoon immediately after the wedding, and they generally cost around $7600. Not only that, but you’re going to be paying for things like flights and accommodation when you’re also finalising the payments for your wedding suppliers. Budgeting this in as an additional cost can help to make sure you have everything set for the big day and beyond.
What type of music are you having? (If more than one, choose the most predominant)
Between $2500 and $3000
Your average photographer will cost you around $2950, but with 99% of couples having a set photographer for their day, it’s clearly one service that you don’t want to miss. Consider what style of photography you like first before setting on a supplier based solely on their price.
Coming in at a similar price to photographers are videographers, who will generally set you back around $2700. However, if you are looking at having a photographer and videographer at your wedding and are worried about the price, consider hiring a service that can offer both to combine both the package and the price.
For brides, one of the most expensive items of clothing they’ll buy in their lifetime is their wedding dress. If you’re a bride you can expect to pay around $2550 for your wedding dress. However, nearly 30% of all brides don’t care how much their dress will cost. If it’s the perfect dress, they’re going to buy it regardless of the budget!
Between $1500 and $2000
Whether it’s a band or a DJ, having good music at your wedding can make or break your night. You want to make sure that your selection can be quiet enough earlier in the day, but also get people up dancing at the end of the night. Hiring someone to provide your wedding music will generally cost around $1580.
Wedding flowers are a service that can add to the theme and atmosphere of your wedding. While the average cost of flowers is around $1530, this is one service where there is a lot of flexibility on how much you spend. 60% of couples actually spend less than $1000 of their wedding flowers, and around 40% of couples choose to spend under $500 instead.
Between $1000 and $1500
Wedding Hire and Decorations
If you’re having your wedding at a venue where you need to bring in extra equipment, knowing how much you should be spending on that equipment is key. You can expect to spend around $1490 on hiring equipment for your day, including marquees, chairs, tables and sound equipment.
Similarly, additional decorations to your venue will add to your theme, but set you back another $1415.
For the grooms or groomsmen, formal wear will cost around $1410. But if you are looking at budgeting, many grooms are now buying the suits for their wedding. It may be a higher once-off cost, but it’s an investment that can be worn down the track.
Between $500 and $1000
Another one of the first services most couples book is their wedding celebrant. But fortunately, when it comes to wedding costs this one isn’t going to break the bank. The average celebrant will cost you around $710 to tailor, conduct and legalise your ceremony.
When it comes to the wedding day, most people have between 7 and 10 people in their bridal party. Which makes sense that the more bridesmaids you have, the more you can expect to spend on bridesmaid dresses! However, most couples spend around $810 on their bridesmaid dresses, and more than 90% spend less than $400 on each dress.
Wedding invitations will cost around $770 for your day. But this is one service that often comes with a hidden cost – the cost of stamps! Especially if you’re sending invitations overseas, you should budget at least $1 for each invitation you are sending out. Pro tip, if you are sending out your invitations over the Christmas period see if you can use ‘card only’ stamps – they’ll be cheaper!
Your wedding cake may be one of the most delicious and expensive desserts you’ll ever buy, coming in at around $510. But with all those different styles on your Pinterest board, it’s difficult to resist.
Photo booths are becoming more popular at weddings, with more than half of all couples now using them for their big day. While some people still make their own booths, you can expect to spend around $850 on wedding booth hire.
Hair and Makeup
It costs to be beautiful, and wedding hair and makeup are no exception. Brides can expect to pay around $720 to be dolled up with their bridesmaids. Another cost to budget for can be the hair and makeup trial, which will often not be included in the package for the big day.
Perhaps one of the last items you’ll purchase in the months before your wedding is your bomboniere, which will cost you around $450. While this may seem a lot for the little gifts, when you’re buying in bulk for your guest list every little thing adds up. Most couples decide to spend between just $1 and $5 on each piece of bomboniere for their wedding.
We hope this wedding cost guide has helped you with your planning. Check out our customisable budget calculator tool for more help on setting a budget.
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