A recent Moneysmart article (https://moneysmart.gov.au/getting-married) stated that based on a survey they conducted:
“… 82% of couples dipped into their savings to pay for their wedding. Another 60% got a loan and 18% used their credit card.”
And when the average wedding is costing Australian couples $36,000 (with West Australians coming in slightly below the Australian average at $32,000), it is easy to see why weddings cause so much stress amongst couples.
You Do You
Now, if dropping $32,000 on your wedding day makes you feel like you are going to pass out, please understand that this is not a concrete number.
The heart of your wedding day is about celebrating your marriage to your “one” and provides an opportunity for your nearest and dearest to witness and celebrate this day with you. There are no rules on what a wedding day has to look like (except for the legal stuff!) so I urge you to create a day that reflects you –
who you are
what you love
and what you can afford.
The very first thing I always recommend for couples to do when starting out in their wedding planning is to work out their budget. This process will give you information on:
- how much money you have available to spend on your wedding day.
- when is a good time financially to have your wedding.
- and where the money is coming from.
(If you need help with working out this data, check out my article “The Most Important Thing To Do When Planning Your Wedding”.)
But this is only half the puzzle to ensuring that your wedding doesn’t leave you in debt for years to come. The other part comes from knowing what to spend on all the elements that will make up your day.
And this is where so many couples begin to unravel with their budgeting.
As I write, there is currently oodles of suppliers across all facets of the wedding and events industry. This can make finding the right vendors for your day overwhelming, confusing and time consuming.
BUT….. this also works in your favour by providing you with options at every price point – from cheap and basic (or cheap and nasty – you choose the saying!!) through to luxe and high-end.
Breaking Down Your Wedding Budget
To give you a guide though, outlined below are some ballpark percentages of how your wedding budget will be consumed by the major items:
15 – 20%
Set up (furniture, flowers, styling)
10 – 20%
10 – 16%
Photography / Videography
8 – 12%
7 – 9%
3 – 7%
2 – 3%
Now let me repeat loud and clear….. this is a ballpark percentage, which will differ due to many factors, such as location, size of wedding, chosen supplier, quality and quantity of product, guest numbers, the package you select with your supplier, etc etc etc.
If percentages mean squat to you and your brain functions better with dollar amounts, download my free resource “Wedding Elements Pricing Guide” to see the current range of pricing for the main elements involved in a wedding.
(Once again remember that this is a rough guide and there will always be suppliers whose price lies just outside the range given)
So What's The Secret Sauce?
So the secret here is deciding early on what is important to you for your wedding day, and then tweaking the amounts or percentages based on your preferences.
For example: if an exquisite dining experience is important to you, increase the amount dedicated to this but then reduce your spending in another area that is not as important to you.
It is the reduction in another area that is important here to avoid budget explosions so don’t forget this important step in the process!
By crunching these numbers early on will give you some direction when choosing your suppliers. However, your budget will be a fluid document that will require juggling throughout your entire wedding planning journey so don’t think you can shove it into the archives once you have looked at it in the early days.
The saying goes “knowledge is power” and by understanding your numbers and continually working with them along the way gives you the power to ensure the days / weeks / years after your wedding day isn’t spent paying back the bills.
If dealing with your numbers seems way to complex and overwhelming, please reach out before it gets unmanageable. Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org to give you a helping hand – a few hours is all it should take!