Wedding budgets are one of those irritatingly unavoidable things that are best to be tackled head on, because at some point you will have to deal with no matter what. So here we are to be as frank with you as possible with all the numbers we can get our hands on. Beginning with a whole host of averages…
The Average Cost Of An Australian Wedding
The average cost of an Australian wedding is said to be $54,295. That figure broken down looks a little something like this…
Venue // $21,994
Florals & Styling // $9,704
Wedding Dress // $5,180
Photographer // $3,611
Videographer // $3,507
Entertainment // $2,514
Groom’s Suit // $1,834
Groomsmen Suits // $1,087
Wedding Cake // $990
Bridesmaids Dresses // $929
Transport // $828
Hair // $515
Makeup // $475
Celebrant // $1,127
Things Couples Miss Off Their Wedding Budget
…Remember that this doesn’t include any budget for your honeymoon – which couples often save for separately or decide to push until up to a year after their wedding due to the large amount of spending when planning your own wedding.
Hidden elements of this breakdown that you may be looking for are food and catering, but this is often included in the venue cost (particularly if the venue cost is as high as this). Signage is lumped in with florals and styling, along with wedding planner and wedding coordinator fees which are usually tied to either your venue or florals and styling.
Where To Actually Start With Your Wedding Budget
What we recommend before cracking down on the physical numbers would be to sit down with your partner and discuss the things that are most important to you. You may not have realised that it’s super important to your partner that they have orchids at the wedding, as that’s exactly what their parents and grandparents had as their wedding flowers. This will mean you may have to up the budget more than you anticipated for flowers and pull back somewhere else. On the same thread, if neither of you are that fussed with capturing your wedding on film or having a live band present at the reception then you can cut those elements out of your budget. Once you have a clear picture of what you want your wedding to include then it’s much easier to divvy out the cash for each element – as well as allowing you to allocate who’s going to be in charge of what because you’ve now realised what each other cares the most about.
How do you avoid blowing the budget?
While it may seem super easy to splash out on the biggest day of your life, there are some simple ways to stop it going completely out of control.
1 // Lead with the budget, always.
Go into every consultation, venue viewing and even a casual google search with your budget front of mind, and be sure to communicate it to the vendor as soon as physically possible. We know that it’s sometimes hard to talk dollars right off the bat, but vendors in particular deal with this every single day, and so being frank with them means that they can actively show you only what fits within your budget.
2 // Actively avoid looking at anything that sits outside of your budget
Now this is really hard to do, especially if you’re doing a lot of online research where the dollar value is not always listed. But sticking to rule number one means you may save yourself some heartache. You also want to be firm with certain vendors – like wedding dress designers and boutiques – that you really, really don’t want to try on anything above your budget. Please trust us on this one. It’s so much easier to forget about a dress you’ve never tried on than one you have, fell in love with and the realised it $4,000 over budget.
3 // Try and grasp a realistic idea of what a wedding at your budget looks likes
This one is more of a ‘phone a friend’ tactic, and requires you to have some seriously honest pals. As no one lists on their wedding signage that ‘This wedding cost us $73,406’, it’s easy to fall in love with elements of a mate’s wedding day and not realising that their budget is way above your own. If you feel comfortable to, ask your friends what they paid for their wedding as a whole as well as individual elements that you’d like to have on your big day. Often beautiful weddings have had a few hand outs from the bank of mum and dad, so your best mate who said they are having a $30,000 wedding may actually be having a $50,000 courtesy of a few parental payments. You want to make sure you’re looking (and judging) their wedding fairly based on their actual budget. This will make sure you’re not disappointed when you try to book the same vendors and can’t fork out the costs.
What happens if you blow one element of the budget?
Hate to break it to you, but this is really common. It’s easy to get swept away on Instagram and Pinterest and build up a wedding that is easily 15 times the cost of what your wedding budget will allow. We really recommend trying to stick to the three rules listed above, but if you do find yourself in a pickle where one element of your budget has been blown way out of proportion then there are a few things you can do.
1 // Cross check when your final payment is due
As most wedding invoices are on the larger side of life, it’s common that the payments aren’t due in one big lump sum. For elements such as your catering, venue hire and wedding dress most will require a deposit on the day of booking and then the rest when you either pick that item up or after your wedding day itself is done and dusted. If you’ve added another 4 guests to your reception and it’s pushed your catering cost outside of your budget, then check with your caterer to see when the final bill is due. Perhaps between the wedding day itself and when it’s due allows for another pay cycle at work, meaning you’ll have more cash to spare for the bill.
2 // Cut back on another part of your budget
This is the cure, rather than the prevention – so hopefully if you’re reading this before you’ve kicked off your wedding planning then it will never get to this! However, if you find yourself in this predicament then there is really one major solution. You simply have to cut back on somewhere else in the budget. So if you’ve splurged on your wedding flowers, then you might have to close the open bar an hour early. The key element in deciding what gets chopped is to go back to that to that original list of priorities where your partner and yourself declared what was most important to you. This will make the decision to cut back on an element more pragmatic and hopefully less painful.