Weddings are not simple affairs – nor are they affordable, for that matter. This might seem like common knowledge when you start considering some of the costs attached: the gown, the groom’s nuptial suit, flower arrangements, wedding invitations… And the list could continue, without even touching upon the actual ‘big spenders’ of the night, namely the rental of the wedding venue per se, the wedding band that’s going to grace your guest’s ears for some six hours at least, wedding rings, and the potential accommodation costs involved in bringing family in from another city or state. This being said, average wedding costs in Australia for 2012 average out at $36,700, according to IBISWorld or $48,296, according to industry-focused magazine Bride to Be. A rough (and also mild, permissive) average places the cost of a regular, no-special frills wedding somewhere around the $40,000 marker.
The industry does not allow for any underestimates either. At the moment, the Australian wedding industry has surpassed the local lager market and is clocking in at a total worth of $5 billion. A survey undertaken in 2006 by the Bride to Be magazine shows that couples are now marrying at older ages than before, which also accounts for the relative increase in costs–owing to the couples’ improved financial stability. The same poll says that, on average, 2006 Australian brides were 29 years old, whereas grooms were aged 32, on average. In 1986, the Australian Bureau of Statistics says that brides were aged 24, while grooms were no older than 27 years of age.
Of course, wedding costs are largely influenced by the lifestyles and preferences of the couple to be wed. A fair estimate of total expenses also includes the stag and hen night parties, as well as the honeymoons which come post-wedding. The state from which the newlyweds herald also influences the price they end up paying: it’s more expensive to get married in New South Wales than anywhere else – and specifically so in Sydney, where the average cost of nuptials is an impressive $54,173. Nowhere in Australia is it cheaper to tie the knot than in Adelaide, where you would still have had to take $31,185 from your pocket in 2006 – and this at your thriftiest. If you’re looking strictly at reception expenses, such as food, beverages, and venue hire, Sydney still comes in the costliest, at $11,320, while Brisbane would have you paying less than half that amount ($5,459), with a nationwide average of $7,614.
Some might argue that the above-mentioned costs are pre-recession data, while the current situation of wedding expenses largely tips the scales toward the side of thriftiness and moderation. While, on a sociological level this might well be true, certain inalienable truths remain: getting married in Sydney will have you paying $5,000 in photographer’s fees alone, as well as disposing of 10 per cent of your wedding budget on the wedding ring – it doesn’t even have to be Tiffany’s to cost that much! As such, there should be no shaming involved in considering a personal loan for such an important (and costly) event. A brief search on Bankwest.com.au (http://www.bankwest.com.au/personal/personal-loans/personal-loans-overview) indicated that personal loans are now more accessible than ever. The post- global financial recession banking world is seeing a competitive boost in products offered, while banks are eager to draw in new business and new customers.
Countrywide statistics also indicate that some 119,000 couples will tie the knot in Australia in 2012, with an average preparation time of no fewer than 1,875 days. This being said, there is plenty of time for you to weigh the pros and cons of having an expensive wedding and taking out a loan for it.