The average cost of the Aussie wedding

WFML_PreLaunch114With so many reports in news and social media about the cost of weddings it’s hard to know what the average really is. In Bride to Be’s biannual Cost of Love survey we learn that the cost of weddings has nearly doubled in the last ten years. Interestingly the increases are in pre-wedding celebrations, jewellery, the groom’s outfit, beauty and the bridal party.

One element that has seen a 6% decrease is the bridal gown, with the average Australian bride spending $2,914 on her dream gown. In a definite sign of the times, one in ten gowns are now purchased online which may account for some of the decreased average spend. While in contrast, the groom’s outfit cost have increased by 14% to $718. Clearly a long way shy of the bridal attire costs, but that average is a good place to start when considering a quality suit.

The survey polls over 1000 Australian women who are engaged or have married recently. So, does this fit with your expenditure?

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The Bridesmaid Dilemma

Friendship vs responsibilities and cost.

The excitement of being chosen as a bridesmaid can quickly become tarnished when they begin to consider the costs and the expectations of involvement in the planning process.

Whilst in the perfect world we’d all have a big squad of our besties to help steer us on the right course on the big day, things don’t always work out like that and it’s important for brides to carefully consider the makeup of their bridal party based on the likely financial outlay required as well as knowing who they can rely on to provide the necessary emotional support, not to mention those who can provide much needed extra manpower for essential planning and styling tasks as the day gets closer.

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Look at bridesmaid dress styles early and decide on a sensible budget range. If finances are likely to be a problem or create issues for a potential bridesmaid then at least you can work that budgetary indication into a conversation and see what reaction it garners. If there’s a sharp intake of breath it’s probably time to look elsewhere, or put your hand in your pocket. With the selection narrowed down it is important to define what you expect each bridesmaid will need to contribute. Being up front with what you are thinking will help to avoid any awkward or confusing moments. After all you have chosen your bridal party because you want them to share in the joy of the day, not to created conflicts or concerns.

Here’s are guide to what bridesmaids usually pay for:

  • Bridesmaid gown – Usually the bridesmaids would expect to pay for this, however, if you are choosing a particular style or colour, or are expecting them to be attired in couture designs then it is not unusual for the bride to pay a percentage of the cost.
  • Bridesmaid accessories (shoes, hair pieces, jewellery etc) – Bridesmaids would expect to pay for their own if they can choose within a colour/style range, but if the bride insists on a particular option then she should expect pick up the tab. Coordinated jewellery for bridesmaids can often make the perfect “thank you” favor on the day.
  • Hair and makeup – The bride should negotiate a group rate with a hair and make-up artist that covers the bridal party and MOB (and possibly MOTG), with each individual then paying their own share.
  • Hen’s night – The bridesmaids pay for themselves and treat the bride to her pampering for the evening.

This is just a guideline and where possible you should be considerate and gracious when finances are involved. Being a bridesmaid isn’t all about partying and fun. They play an important role in the wedding planning process as well as on the day, assisting and supporting the bride, and making the experience enjoyable for everyone. Keeping them onside from the get-go and being conscious of others, their feelings and their finances will certainly result in a better day for all.

Image: Masterpieces Photography + Video

 

Wedding costs – who pays for what?

MoneyAs the average age of marriage increases, with many couples living together for long periods of time before getting hitched, today’s wedding has changed with many couples paying for their own nuptials rather than relying on the family.

There has also been an increase in cost sharing between families, with the contributions from both sides, together with the couple.

The expenses can be divided in many ways. The most important factor is that each party should only be expected to contribute what they can afford.

Some modern ideas for cost sharing include calculating the per-head cost for the entire wedding, with each side paying for those guests that they invite. Another option is that if the bride and groom pay for their own wedding, then the parents wedding gift may be to contribute a portion of the wedding cost, or for certain items, such as their daughter’s wedding gown, or perhaps the honeymoon for their son and wife to be. Alternatively the total wedding cost could be split down the middle and each half be paid for by each family. A practical way is for each family specify an amount that they can afford, and the couple to make up any shortfall.

The more traditional path is as follows:

The Bride pays for

  • Bridesmaids bouquets and headdresses
  • Presents for the bridesmaids
  • Gift for the groom

The Bride’s Family pays for

  • Newspaper announcements
  • Bride’s wedding gown, veil and accessories
  • Bride’s trousseau
  • Fees for ceremony soloist or musicians
  • Ceremony decorations
  • Photography
  • Transportation for the bridal party to the church and to the reception
  • Cost of the reception

The Groom pays for

  • The engagement and wedding rings
  • Gift for the bride
  • Bride’s bouquet
  • Celebrant, Clergyman’s or other presiding official’s fees
  • The marriage license
  • Flowers for the two mothers
  • Boutonnieres for men in the wedding party
  • Gloves, ascots or ties for men in the wedding party
  • Gifts for the best man and ushers
  • Gifts for the parents

The Groom’s Family pays for

  • The engagement party
  • The honeymoon

Bridesmaids pays for

  • Purchase of gown and accessories.
  • Individual gift to the couple
  • A hens night, shower and/or luncheon for the bride

Groomsmen pays for

  • Bachelor party
  • Cost of hire or purchase of wedding attire
  • Individual gift to the couple