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Avoid the wedding budget trap

by erin. (follow)
Blogger/Writer/Aspiring Millionaire Love of interior design, animals and arts and crafts

"Marriage: Betting someone half your stuff, that you will love them forever."

Getting married for a lot of women is one of the biggest, most important events of their life. Everything is planned down to the tiniest details and the day MUST be perfect.

Do you know that the average Australian wedding costs around $54,000?!

On top of this proposals are become more and more complicated, expensive and over the top. Add in the engagement party, hens and bucks night and rehearsal dinner and without some serious budgeting you my friend, will be crying poor in the not too distant future.

I know that when I got engaged I was so excited. I had this gorgeous rock on my finger, a catch of a man for keeps and now a wedding to plan.

My excitement lasted all of 2 weeks. It became so overwhelming that four years later, I still have not managed to make it down the isle.

Mistake no 1: I want YOU to be in my wedding. And you and you and you!

All us girls want our besties included in the big day. After all they were there for all the high and low points in your life. The first ones you called and celebrated with when he gave you that bling, so why not? I picked two friends of mine with the possibility of adding another two. Of course all the girls are different shapes and sizes and required different style dresses to be comfortable. Scouring ebay I finally realised whatever I chose, it would probably have to all be tailor made. In other words very expensive. Not to mention, hair make up.... you get where I am going.

Mistake no 2. Of course you can come AND bring your partner who we barely know.

I was really caught off guard by this one. All these friends of mine who while i was in regular contact with, I had very little to do with their partners. It was always assumed by them though, that inviting their partners to come as a plus one was their right of passage.I really struggled with this. I understand that people are often more comfortable attending with their partners but when your cutting loved ones off your list to keep under budget so people you don't really know can attend you can become slightly resentful.

Mistake No 3. Using the word "Wedding"

Mention the word wedding and be prepared to watch their eyes glaze over to be replaced by dollar signs. Every time a caterer, cake maker etc hears "wedding" the price suddenly doubles or triples. I remember getting one quote from a well known 5 star hotel chain and then one from a local restaurant. To book out the restaurant would have cost me three times the price. So much for trying to support the locally owned businesses.

Mistake 4. Hell yeah! One big party with 3 courses and booze all night!

Oh my goodness. If I had known what these cost per person I would never have told anyone about this. I still think you should feed people at a wedding but providing a three course dinner and five hours of alcohol was possibly overreaching. I now wish all my all my friends were not party people and would be satisfied with orange juice.

These four points can have a massive effect on your finances so take heed. To give you a bit more of an idea of costs involved lets break it down just for fun. Although it can vary considerably depending on the sort of wedding you choose but most of this is standard wedding stuff.


Invitations $200-$300
Wedding Planner $1000
Decorations (carpet, arch, floral arrangements, lighting etc) $1000-$4000
Venue $500
Sit down dinner $90 pp
Alcohol package $40 pp
DJ for five hours $600
Live entertainment $1000-$10,000
Photographer $3000-$7000
Videographer $3000-$7000
Rings $1000 pp (very conservative)\
Car hire $2000

Bridal Party

Wedding Dress anywhere $500-$7,000
Bridesmaid dresses $500-$700pp
Hair and make up for bridal party $100 pp
Drinks and Nibbles $150
Room hire to get ready $300
Manicure and pedicure $50 pp
Gifts for bridesmaids $50 pp
Suit buy/hire $100 pp
Drinks and nibbles $150
Gifts for groomsmen $50 pp
Room hire to get ready $300
Brown paper bag for anxiety ridden groom 0.80 cents


$2000-$20,000 plus spending money
Scary right? Now you know why it's taken me so long. I could have some serious equity in my house if I put the money in to that instead.

What mistakes did you make while planning your wedding?
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