What’s A Normal Wedding Budget in Australia?
By Darcy Allen /Melbourne Venue Expert
Wed 22nd Feb 2023 Wedding Venues
Burnham Grove Estate, Photo by Lightheart Films & Photography
Your engagement is officially underway, which means so are your wedding plans! You’re bound to have lots of questions like; ‘Which venue should we choose?’ ‘Which vendors are the best?’ and of course, the starting point of all wedding plans; ‘How much should we spend?’.
When planning your wedding budget, looking into what other people spent and how they spent it, can help. In this article, we’ll dive into what the average Australian wedding budget looks like, must-haves and don’t needs, and why it’s important to focus on what you really want, regardless of your budget.
The Average Australian Wedding Budget
In Easy Weddings’ recent survey of 3,500+ engaged and recently married (2020-22) couples, the average spend for an Australian wedding was $34,715. Depending on your budget, this may seem spot-on, conservative, or excessive, however, according to the same poll, most couples spend a whopping 26% more than their original wedding budget.
Why? Well, if you think of wedding planning as a journey, you’re bound to encounter additional costs you hadn’t initially thought of along the way. These new discoveries can be anything from additional guests to menu upgrades or increased costs of flowers due to supply shortages and cost hikes that are beyond your florist’s control.
In 2022, the three largest wedding spends were on catering ($5,429), photography and videography ($3,000 and upwards), and venue hire ($14,758). While these items aren’t entirely surprising, adding several lower-priced items such as extra wedding cars, hair and make-up for a few extra bridesmaids, and opting for a bigger band for live music can easily send your original budget creeping higher and higher.
Australian Wedding Venue Costs By State
Seeing as the wedding venue is usually the biggest cost associated with a wedding, here’s a breakdown of the average amount couples spent in each state:
- Average NSW wedding venue cost $15,136
- Average VIC wedding venue cost $16,011
- Average QLD wedding venue cost $13,069
- Average WA wedding venue cost $13,642
- Average SA wedding venue cost $15,149
- Average ACT wedding venue cost $12,955
- Average TAS wedding venue cost $12,143
I’d like to point out that within the responses, most guests reported having about 92 guests at their wedding. While some venue costs might include catering, others are simply costs to hire the venue.
When couples were asked what the most important factor was in determining their wedding venue, the vast majority (87%) were all about the atmosphere and style of the event space. Almost equally important was the price being right. Things like a helpful venue manager and great food and beverage options really sealed the deal when choosing between similar wedding venues.
Breaking Down What’s Normal for Wedding Budgets
In our survey, which was predominantly completed by couples aged 25-35 living in metropolitan areas, we found wedding budgets were larger in cities than in rural areas. This was due to factors like the high cost of business for suppliers and overall increased demand.
Despite this, the many components of a wedding make it difficult to identify trends and though big-ticket items make up the bulk of most wedding budgets, even these items can be variable.
For example, a relative may have a stunning orchard they’ve offered for you to host your wedding. You might think this is a score that will provide substantial savings on your budget, but in reality, you might end up having greater costs to turn that charming orchard into a space that can host 100 guests comfortably. You’ll likely want to bring in air-conditioned portable toilet trailers, a marquee, tables and chairs, lighting, and more.
It’s easy to see where a venue that has everything you need on-site can provide huge cost savings. We can help you find that kind of venue.
A great tip for understanding the scope your budget can offer is to start prioritising components in the early stages of planning.
At the start, you have far more flexibility and you’ll have committed less of your budget to other things. If you can grant each component a number of importance, you’ll be able to rank what matters most for your wedding day and make your decisions accordingly.
Don’t Stress Too Much About the Norm
Whether you choose glitz and glamour or understated bliss, your wedding is a bespoke expression of who you and your partner are. Many couples with endless wedding budgets don’t come close to capturing the personalisation and identity of weddings with a much lower allowance. It’s about how you do it rather than what you spend.
In the end, it boils down to what’s right for you. Whether you have the money readily available, worked hard to save it, or received help from family; having a great wedding is achievable regardless.
And while a solid budget certainly helps understand the scope available for your wedding, it’s important to remember that with or without those extravagant extras, nothing quite hits the spot like the feeling of celebrating your love with family and friends.