How much can a wedding cost?

The biggest day of your life could cost more than you think. Our wedding infographic shows how much people can spend on their weddings and the sacrifices they make to get down the aisle. Read our cheap wedding ideas and spend less on the big day so you have money left over for a home deposit or other things on your wish list.

Wedding infographic

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Infographic - wedding costs

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How much can a wedding cost? (accessible text version)

Average Australian wedding costs*

  • $18,683 - Food, alcohol & venue
  • $4,271 - Wedding clothes and accessories
  • $3,983 - Photography
  • $2,896 - Entertainment
  • $2,896 - Flowers and decorations
  • $941 - Ceremony
  • $2,534 - Other (cars, hair, makeup, accommodation, stationary)
  • $36,200 - Total cost

* IBISWorld, 'IBISWorld Industry Report X002 Weddings in Australia', April 2012

MoneySmart readers survey results**

How did they pay?

  • 18% used their credit card
  • 56% contributions from their parents
  • 60% got a loan
  • 82% used their savings

Sacrifices made

  • 5% moved back in with parents
  • 6% didn't marry due to high cost
  • 10% sold car
  • 20% put social life on hold
  • 25% delayed plans: (12% buying a home, 7% having a baby, 6% having the wedding)
  • 32% had a cheaper wedding

Wedding budgets

  • 43% stayed within their budget
  • 35% blew their budget
  • 18% didn't have a budget

Suprisingly expensive costs

  • Photography
  • Food
  • Flowers & decorations

Weird wedding costs

  • Transport - helicopter, elephant, donkey, pink cadillacs
  • Decorations - custome-made bobble heads of bride & groom, lawn flamingos
  • Venue costs - port-a-loos, temporary fencing, skip bins
  • Ceremony - doves, butterflies, bagpipes

** MoneySmart survey, December 2013, 400 online respondents. Responses don't total 100% as respondents chose more than one answer.

Top 10 wedding savings tips

  1. Talk about money early with your partner and both your parents (if they are involved)
  2. Prioritise your dreams and start saving early
  3. Make a wedding budget based on what you can afford and stick to it
  4. Shop around, get lots of quotes and haggle
  5. Don't tell suppliers it is for a wedding
  6. Have an out of season wedding (winter or a Friday wedding)
  7. Cut your guest list (ask yourself - is this person an active part of my life?)
  8. Save on decorating costs by doing them yourself or enlisting a friend
  9. Have a backyard wedding or use a friend's place
  10. Spread out your wedding bills across a few months so you don't get all the bills at once

Remember to relax and enjoy your big day!


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Last updated: 13 Jan 2015