How Much Does a Wedding Cost?

The Rising Cost of Australian Weddings

Just seven years ago (in 2009), the average cost of an Australian wedding was just over $25,000. By 2014, it had risen slightly to nearly $29,000. According to our data, the average 2016 Australian wedding clocks in at around $30,400. And while it may be tempting to blame rising wedding costs on simple inflation, most people understand that's not the only factor to consider.

When looking at the rising cost of weddings, it's also important to keep in mind how the concept of a wedding has evolved over the years. These days, couples are constantly trying to outdo each other and "wow" their guests with extravagant set-ups and vendors. Long gone are the days of getting married in a short church ceremony and celebrating casually with friends and family. Instead, it's all about who can throw the most lavish, unique, and expensive party.

Take the recent example of Auburn council's deputy mayor Salim Mehajer and his now potentially ex-wife, Aysha. For their wedding, the groom and groomsmen travelled to the ceremony by helicopter and a $50 million fleet of luxury sports cars, and the couple hired a jet to fly over the town with a "congratulations" sign in tow. This, in addition to the walls of floral arrangements, the fireworks display, and entertainment from Australian pop culture icons, surely set the bar high for weddings in this country (and probably skewed the average costs as well).

How much are couples spending on their wedding?
Spend amount % of couples
Less than $10,000 9%
Between $10,000 to $20,000 31%
Between $20,000 to $30,000 18%
Between $30,000 to $40,000 21%
Between $40,000 to $50,000 9%
Between $50,000 to $60,000 7%
Between $60,000 to $70,000 2%
Between $70,000 to $80,000 1%
Between $80,000 to $100,000 1%
More than $100,000 1%

Current Averages by Spending Category

With today's typical Australian wedding now costing around $30,400, those who have been recently engaged (or who are thinking about getting engaged in the future) should carefully consider what they're comfortable with spending on their special day and plan accordingly. For planning purposes, it can be useful to consider the average amount couples pay for each spending category in their wedding.

Venue, Food, and Alcohol

The venue, food, and alcohol are almost always going to be the largest wedding cost a couple has to factor in. In most cases, you can expect these costs to eat up about half of your budget. Since many wedding venues require you to use their in-house caterer, if you fall in love with a venue, this might mean you're at the mercy of the caterer's prices for food and beverages.

Furthermore, it's worth noting that most caterers will charge on a per-person basis, with the typical price-per-head easily reaching around $100. Adding an open bar or other alcohol package can also raise prices.

Clothing and Accessories

The bride's dress, the groom's tux, and other accessories for the big day must also be taken into consideration when planning a wedding budget. For the average Australian wedding, these costs are just over $4,000. Keep in mind that this also includes the cost of wedding rings, which can be quite pricey, depending on what you're looking for. Some couples also choose to pay for the clothing/accessories of their bridal party, which can add greatly to the cost.


A photographer is one of those things that you typically don't want to skimp on. After all, you want to be able to look back and relive your wedding day through photos down the road. It's not surprising then that the average Australian couple is willing to spend nearly $4,000 on a photographer for just one day of coverage. Depending on the photographer, this may or may not include full-day coverage -- and if you want a second photographer for maximum coverage, you'll likely need to shell out even more.


Keeping guests entertained at a wedding is now more important than ever before, which is why it makes sense that couples are now spending close to $3,000, on average, for wedding-day entertainment. This can include anything from your typical DJ service to hiring a live band or even bringing in a photo booth for guests to have fun with.

Flowers and Decorations

Interestingly enough, flowers and decorations (most of which are used for the ceremony and/or reception and then are never used again) can easily cost close to $3,000 as well. You can expect to spend at least this much if you want real floral arrangements for both your ceremony and reception.


Most venues charge not only a venue rental fee, but a fee for conducting the wedding ceremony on their property as well. In Australia, the average ceremony costs are around $950. This includes any venue costs as well as expenses associated with hiring a celebrant or priest and obtaining a marriage license.

Other (Hair/Makeup, Accommodations, Etc.)

Finally, there's the miscellaneous spending category, which can tack on another $2,500 or so to your costs. This may include paying for hair/makeup for the bride and bridal party, hotel accommodations, stationery for sending out invitations, and the like.

How much are couples spending on their wedding?
Age Group % of brides
Less than 20 years old 1%
Between 20 to 30 years old 80%
Between 30 to 40 years old 17%
Between 40 to 50 years old 1%
Over 50 years old 1%

Planning a Wedding? Tips to Keep Costs Down

High wedding costs got you feeling down? The good news is there are steps you can take to reduce costs without taking away from your guests' experience.

Consider, for example, holding your wedding ceremony and reception at the same venue. Not only will this cut down on transportation costs for you and your guests, but it will also save you from having to rent out two separate venues.

In terms of food, beverage, and venue costs, ask your caterer about doing a buffet dinner instead of a plated meal. People can eat to their hearts' content, and you'll likely spend less. If you're open to a less traditional wedding day, forego the Saturday evening rental and consider a Friday or Sunday wedding, when rental costs and catering minimums are usually less expensive.

And finally, cut back on items that aren't an integral part of your guests' experience. For example, could you use silk flowers instead of real ones in certain areas to cut costs?

It's no secret that weddings are expensive, with no signs of that changing anytime soon. However, by focusing on what's most important to you as a couple, you can easily prioritise your spending and avoid going overboard for your special day.

What time of year to couples prefer to marry?
Month of the Year % of weddings held during this month
January 7%
February 8%
March 14%
April 12%
May 9%
June 5%
July 3%
August 6%
September 8%
October 14%
November 10%
December 4%
Wedding Cost
Australian Wedding
Australian Bride
Bride Age
Time to Marry