BUDGET FOR YOUR WEDDING WITH DOLLARS… AND SENSE!
We all know that weddings can be expensive. But, how much do they cost exactly? We’ve taken a look at some of the statistics provided by the Easy Weddings Australian Wedding Industry Reports. In 2020, the average cost of an Australian wedding was $27,228, with the average wedding budget estimated at $25,931. Take it back to pre-covid days though, and we see the average cost was $32,940, with the average budget sitting at $23,917… that’s an average $9k budget blowout!
This only goes to reinforce the importance of setting a realistic wedding budget so there’s no nasty surprises. How does a couple do this, you ask?
Wedding Budget Tips
Firstly, it’s important to have the ‘which comes first, the chicken or the egg’ conversation. Discuss whether your wedding needs to be based on a particular budget, or whether your budget is going to be decided by the vision you have for your wedding. In either case, you will need to be prepared to be flexible. You may need to forego certain inclusions to stick within budget, or you may need to allow a longer engagement to save for the wedding of your dreams.
How much you can spend (note: you don’t have to spend this) directly relates to three sources of income:
- you and your fiance’s current savings;
- the savings that can be put aside from your current incomes until the wedding date; and
- contributions from parents, loved ones, and the bridal party.
60% of couples will receive financial assistance from their parents (ABS, 2018), however it is crucial to have the conversation in the beginning stages of wedding planning, rather than make the assumption.
Practically speaking, it’s advisable to set up a joint wedding account. Ensure that all deposits and withdrawals are made from the one account, making it easy to keep track without daily financials getting in the mix. Develop a wedding budget spreadsheet – or download an editable version online – and enter budget estimates, actuals, deposit due dates, and final invoice dates. Keeping track of costs and payments will be essential throughout the wedding planning process.
Below we have outlined a checklist of expenses that you may want to include in your wedding budget spreadsheet. HUGE caveat that not every one of these will apply to your particular wedding! Include those that are relevant to you, and take a peek at the average spend by Queensland couples if you’re curious.
Queenslanders spent an average $1979 on a wedding dress; $296 on bridesmaid dresses; and $2657 on formal wear/suits.
- Wedding Dress and Alterations
- Suit/Tux and Alterations
- Specialty Undergarments
- Wedding Veil
- Bridal Jewellery/Accessories
- Wedding Shoes
- Reception Dress/Outfit (if you’re changing from the ceremony)
- Wedding Dress and Suit/Tux Dry Cleaning
Queenslanders spent an average $523 on hair and make-up services.
- Pre-Wedding Haircuts/Colour
- Hair Trial Appointment
- Wedding Day Hairstyle
- Make-up Trial Appointment
- Lash Extensions
- Wedding Day Make-up
- Manicure and Pedicure
- Waxing and Professional Shave
- Spray Tan
- Bridal Party Hair and Make-up
TIP: Make the most of your hair and make-up trial by setting it on the same day as your engagement shoot/party, bridal shower, or hens party.
Queenslanders spent an average $661 on a wedding celebrant.
- Ceremony Venue/Location Fee
- Celebrant Fee
- Marriage License
- Ceremony Accessories (e.g. ring pillow, flower girl basket)
TIP: Having your ceremony and reception at the same location can cut down on transportation costs and travel time for suppliers.
Choose a venue that suits the style of your wedding. Rustic weddings have firmly held their spot in the top 10 wedding themes for 2020. If you’d like to hold a rustic industrial wedding in Brisbane, we’d love to show you around our venue.
- Reception Venue Hire Fee (a minimum spend on food and beverage may apply instead or as well as a venue hire fee)
- Parking Fees
Food and Beverage
Queenslanders spent an average $8182 on food and beverage, and $3011 for those that were arranging caterers.
- Tasting Appointment (if not included)
- Canapés or Share Platters
- Plated, Buffet, Share Feasting (like Factory51’s Italian-inspired menu), or Cocktail Dishes
- Specialty Food Stations
- Supplier Meals
- Setup and Breakdown Fees
- Pre-Dinner Drinks
- Reception Drinks
- Champagne Toast
- Bartender Service
- Coffee / Tea
- Corkage Fees
- Liquor License (if not provided by venue or caterer)
Queenslanders spent an average $532 on wedding cake, cupcakes, or donut towers.
- Cake, Cupcakes, Donuts, or Desserts for Dessert Table
- Sheet Cake
- Delivery Fee
- Cake Topper
- Cake Knife
- Cutting/Plating/Serving Fee
TIP: When feeding a crowd, you don’t need a bigger display cake. Simply have a sheet cake for the kitchen to serve your guests.
Queenslanders spent an average $1553 on wedding flowers.
- Bouquets (bride, bridesmaids, toss bouquet)
- Boutonnières (groom, groomsmen, fathers, grandfathers)
- Corsages (mothers, grandmothers)
- Loose Petals and Hair Accessories (flowergirl)
- Ceremony Arch/Arbour
- Ceremony Flower Arrangements
- Reception Centerpieces (bridal table, guest tables, guest book table, cake table, food stations, etc.)
- Wedding Cake Flowers
Styling and Equipment Hire
Queenslanders spent an average $2657 on wedding hire; $1042 on wedding decorations; and $908 on photo booth hire.
- Furniture Hire (tables, bars, chairs, lounge seating)
- Catering Equipment Hire (crockery, cutlery, glassware, servingware, cake stand, etc.)
- Linen Hire (tablecloths, table runners, napkins)
- Décor (arbours, backdrops)
- Styling (cushions, votives, vessels, lanterns, candles, centrepieces, floral stands, artificial plants/flowers, wishing well, etc.)
- Audio Visual Equipment Hire (lectern, microphone, screen, projector, sound system)
- Signage (entry, bar, guest tables, chalkboards)
- Marquee Hire
- Photo Booth Hire
- Dance Floor Hire
- Delivery Fees
Australians spent an average $625 on wedding stationery.
- Save the Date Cards
- Wedding Invitations
- Ceremony Order of Service
- Welcome Signs
- Seating Plans
- Place Cards
- Bomboniere Labels
- Thank You Cards
Queenslanders spent an average $1511 on wedding music.
- Ceremony Musicians
- Pre-Dinner Music (DJ or Live Music)
- Reception Music (DJ or Live Music)
- Sound-system or extra speakers
Photography and Videography
Queenslanders spent an average $2256 on photography; and $1984 on videography.
- Wedding Day Coverage
- Wedding Album/s or Prints
- Digital Files
- Highlight Reel
- Feature Film
Queenslanders spent an average $1009 on wedding transportation.
- Bridal Party Transportation to the Ceremony
- Bridal Party Transportation to the Reception
- Guest Transportation (if providing a Shuttle Service)
Queenslanders spent an average $373 on bomboniere for their wedding guests.
- Bridal Party Gifts
- Gift for Spouse
- Gifts for Parents
- Thank you Gifts
- Wedding Bands, Resizing or Engraving
- Ring Box/Holder
- Engagement and Wedding Rings Insurance
In 2020, 56% of honeymoons cost between $2500 and $10k, and just 3% of couples spent more than $20k. With travel restrictions in place, it is likely that couples will be honeymooning in Australia this year.
- Wedding Night Accommodation
- Honeymoon Accommodation
- Parking Fees
- Travel Insurance
We hope this checklist will help you prepare a wedding budget that will be both realistic and helpful! Ultimately, your wedding celebrates the covenantal love between the two of you, but it is only one day – don’t forget to prepare for marriage too!