Wedding budget and planning tips

Q&A with Wedded Wonderland Director Wendy El-Khoury.

Are you planning a wedding, worried about the bills piling up or how to approach the big day? Follow these tips from Wedded Wonderland Director Wendy El-Khoury.

The average cost of a wedding in Australia is $53,168. Do the figures shock you?

Year on year there tends to be an increased cost in most things in life, so on average, we have people spending more. However, this isn’t indicative of the middle point.
 
As with most things, some spend exorbitant amounts on their wedding and some celebrate in smaller ways like intimate chapel ceremonies or simply signing the papers.
 
We have also seen an uptick in destination weddings which come with their own unique set of costs for the couple and guests.

Are there any reasons why prices continue to rise year-on-year?

Options around what you can have at your wedding are now vast and vary locally and internationally. People are spending on items that once weren’t relevant, such as gifts for the bridal party, pre-wedding photoshoots and proposals which can be a special event in themselves.

Has the proliferation of social media led to couples spending more money?

It depends on the couple. There is the Instagrammable couple (or the millennial couple) who activates installations, entertainment, dance routines and experiences at their wedding to get people pulling out their phones. Older couples tend to make it more about the life milestone and keep their friends and family involved when planning their day.

The average cost of wedding bands and engagement rings is now $15,607, are the high costs a recent development?

Brides are a lot more in tune with celebrity engagement rings, which now sets the tone for what they’re looking for. Rings are now ‘Instagrammable’ and proposals Instagram-worthy and the consumer is more educated when it comes to purchasing jewellery whereas 15 years ago most brides were happy to get a ring that was in the type of gold they wanted.

What are some ways couples can save money on their wedding?

Couples should consider any friends or family who can make things, such as the cake or bouquets. But don’t get them to work on the actual day of your wedding as you want them to enjoy the day as well.
 
They should also consider choosing days in off-peak months or even having a wedding on a weekday or Sunday. It’s wise to sit down with your partner and work out what the non-negotiables are and work backwards from there.

What are some unexpected costs couples need to factor in?

Couples need to keep in mind delivery costs and variables around florals, food availability and additional labour when it comes to styling and set-up if required.
 

What budgeting tips should couples consider?

Do your research. Don’t create a budget when you don’t know how much things cost. The biggest mistake couples can make is saying they want to spend a certain amount on something without knowing the correct prices. For example, you may only want to spend $3000 on flowers, but your taste in flowers exceeds the cost. You will then be disappointed and go over your initial budget so please do your research! 

What should couples keep in mind for after the wedding day?

Anyone who wants to get married should consider all the options when it comes to celebrating their love, as it’s not just the wedding day.
 
While saving for a wedding is essential, couples also need to budget for what comes after the wedding, especially if they don’t already live with their partner.
 
There are a lot of considerations post-wedding that need to be factored in, including rent, home loans, furniture, moving costs, home goods and the cost of living out of home. Don’t just budget for the day of your wedding but consider your future with your significant other.

The information in this article has been prepared for general information purposes only and not as specific advice to any particular person. Any advice contained in the document is general advice and does not take into account any person's particular investment objectives, financial situation or needs. Before acting on anything based on this advice you should consider its appropriateness to you, having regard to your objectives, financial situations and needs.