It’s the age-old question we hear again and again from couples who are planning their weddings. “Why are weddings so expensive?”
When it comes to planning a wedding a lot of couples feel that this celebration is priced higher than others. But is that actually true?
It’s no wonder that when couples are spending an average of $31,368 on their big day, they often have questions about whether the cost is worth it. With the rapid cost of housing in Australia over recent years, mixed in with the cost of living, as well as other elements such as raising a child or studying, paying for a wedding on top of everything else is something that many couples aren’t too keen on.
But there’s actually one very understandable reason that the cost of weddings can go up when you think about it.
You’ll never hire so many suppliers again
Think about it; no matter whether you’re hosting a 30th or 1st birthday, 50th wedding anniversary or even an engagement party, the chances are that you’ll never be hiring so many individual suppliers to work on a celebration for you again.
When it comes down to it, weddings are only as expensive as the amount of vendors and suppliers you have involved in your day. You might hire a venue, photographer and catering for celebrations down the track, but would you also hire a videographer, photo booth, florist, stylist and spend an average of $2,552 on a dress for the day? The chances are probably not.
Weddings are a great celebration of your love and it can often be something that couples feel deserves their well-earned cash. But with couples changing weddings up to suit themselves more and more often, keeping to a budget or choosing to hire less suppliers for your day is perfectly acceptable.
It all comes down to what you think is worth the cost. Which, to be honest, you should be doing with all of your vendors for your wedding to make sure that you’re really getting the right suppliers for you.
A lot of people are invited
Everyone wants to be able to celebrate their wedding with their nearest and dearest, but unfortunately these costs do add up. Rather than looking at how much each supplier is costing you, take a look at what that cost is per person.
Over the past few years we’ve seen that couples are having fewer guests at their weddings, with the average now down to 97 people per day. But regardless, we’ve seen the cost of a wedding stay around the same.
Which means that couples aren’t asking how much their wedding is costing them, but rather how much each guest is costing them. As a result of that they’re choosing quality over quantity when it comes to planning their day.
Take a look at your guest list and see who is or isn’t worth the cost. You might find that there are a few people who no longer make the cut.
There are two (or more) of you contributing to the costs
As opposed to some of the other celebrations you might throw in your lifetime, the chances are there are at least two people contributing to your wedding; yourself and your partner. Add to this the fact that many parents also contribute to their child’s wedding means bigger budgets, which naturally means bigger average spends.
Naturally, with more money to spend couples are going to think about the extra bits and pieces that they can add to their day. It might be getting a planner in to help with all of the details beforehand, or choosing a really gorgeous but personalised bomboniere gift for your guests.
Whatever it is, if you have more than one person contributing to the cost it can be a lot easier to spend a tad more in the first place.
Just make sure that whatever your contributions, you’re making sure that you budget your day to the amount that you have. It’s important to avoid wedding day debt before your big day. You don’t want to start married life in the negative!
You have more expectations from family
Weddings also come with a lot more family expectations, especially when there is money involved. This naturally makes couples feel like they have to set a certain standard for their wedding day, to make sure that they are keeping face.
If you’ve unwillingly found yourself in this situation, then try and take a step back. See where the pressure is coming from and address what is or isn’t too much to ask.
Your parents contributing a few hundreds dollars so that they can get a copy of the wedding photo album is probably a reasonable ask. However, them demanding that you invite 20 of their friends that you’ve never met without them contributing the full costs of those guests is probably a little bit on the unreasonable side.
Take a look at your family expectations and assess what is important to your family, as well as what is reasonable. This will help you avoid some of the extra costs that sometimes come with wedding expectations. But remember, as with all issues to do with family and money, pick your battles! The last thing you want is for your big day to come between you and someone you love.
So how do you get around it?
The trick to getting around the question of “why are weddings so expensive” is to stop asking it. Rather than asking why your big day has to be expensive like other weddings you might have been to, instead ask how you can plan your perfect day within your budget.
Setting a budget and sticking to it can be hard, but it doesn’t mean that you have to give up on the important things. You might decide to hire a garden venue with food trucks rather than hiring out that big reception hall you initially planned on. Or you might choose to get a photographer for just the ceremony and your speeches rather than hiring them for the entire duration of your wedding.
Will you be having a hair and/or make-up trial before the wedding day?
Whatever it is, look at what you can or can’t live without for your wedding day and plan around that.
Research what areas of weddings cost the most money, see what’s worth doing yourself or having someone else do, and consider hiring less suppliers for your big day to keep your costs down.
At the end of the day, your wedding is supposed to be about you and your partner. So if keeping the cost down is important for your future together, then do it!
After all, the most important part of the day is the two of you. And that is priceless.
Setting your wedding budget? Use our free budget calculator tool to find out how much you should spend on each supplier.
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