In Australia, the wedding day is typically a single-day affair with a wedding ceremony during the day and with a reception to wrap things up. It is seen as a significant lifestyle milestone and is celebrated as such.
According to moneysmarts.gov.au, the average Australian wedding costs $36,000. Another figure readily quoted is $65,482. And according to Easy Weddings, most couples end up spending $28,644 on their wedding day.
In 2018, the average wedding in Australia cost $24,562 with a median of $20,000. In 2019, the average cost of weddings increased slightly to $25,679 with a median of $24,000. In 2020, before COVID-19, the average spend on the wedding day in Australia was $19,429 with a median of $21,500.
Typical professional services that contribute to a wedding cost include:
- wedding ceremony hire
- wedding reception venue hire
- food and beverages and/or catering
- an officiant (celebrant or minister of a religion)
- photography and/or videography
- floristry and/or styling
- wedding planner
- attire (bridal gown, bridesmaid dresses, suit)
- beauty (hair and makeup)
- invitation/stationery design and production
In terms of wedding planning priorities, marrying couples tend to lock in a wedding reception venue first. Other major decision makers include wedding dress and wedding ceremony location/venue.
In 2019, the median engagement period increased by almost 6 weeks, from 447 days to 486 days (approximately 69 weeks).
Based on 2019 data collected by Easy Weddings, the months of March, April and October were the most popular months to get married. They accounted for 41% of all weddings in that particular year.
This trend is well-correlated by wedding photographers who reported the months of March to May and September through to November as being their busiest periods in the year.
Based on our survey, the most common reason for picking a non-summer month was due to climate. Other reasons for picking a wedding date came down to:
- lucky number
- cheaper rates
Visual social media platforms such as Pinterest and Instagram can easily skew what real weddings look like so we decided to gather our own data to see if the numbers stacked up and this is what we discovered.
|Year||Wedding Spend (Average)||Wedding Spend (Median)|
|2018||$ 24,562||$ 20,000|
|2019||$ 25,679||$ 24,000|
|2020 (pre-pandemic)||$ 19,429||$ 21,500|
|All Years||$ 25,222||$ 21,000|
Table 1.Average wedding cost overall per year (excludes honeymoon-associated expenses)
- In 2019, the average wedding in Australia cost $25,679 with a median of $24,000. Although the average expenditure remained relatively the same between 2019 and the previous year, the median increased by $4,000.
- In 2020, prior to COVID-19, marrying couples were spending on average $19,429 on their wedding day.
- The median wedding cost was the greatest in ACT ($10,000 more than the median in NSW).
Table 2.Median wedding cost per state per year (2018-2020)
Wedding Planning Priorities
- The first wedding planning task for most couples was choosing their wedding reception venue, followed by wedding ceremony venue, and then picking/buying a wedding dress.
- 14% of 2020 couples chose to hire a wedding planner first before engaging any other service. This was a significant increase to 2018 and 2019 (8% and 3% respectively).
Engagement Duration And Marriage Age
- The median engagement period (time of proposal to date of wedding) was 447 days (approximately 64 weeks) in 2018.
- In 2019, the median engagement period increased by almost 6 weeks, from 447 days to 486 days (approximately 69 weeks).
- In 2020, the median engagement period dropped to 315 days (45 weeks).
- The average age at the time of marriage in 2018 was 27.9 years of age, with a minimum age of 21 and maximum age of 48.
- The average age at the time of marriage in 2019 was 28.2 years of age, with a minimum age of 17 and maximum age of 54.
- The average age at the time of marriage in 2020 was 27.6 years of age, with a minimum age of 24 and maximum age of 31.
Number Of Guests And Bridal Party
- The average number of invited wedding guests was 91 in 2018.
- The average number of invited wedding guests was 93 in 2019.
- The average number of invited wedding guests (pre-COVID) was 57 in 2020.
- However, the median number of participants in the bridal party remained unchanged throughout 2018, and 2019.
- In 2020, the median number of bridal party participants dropped by 1 (from 6 to 5).
Wedding Services Engaged
- Almost most all brides purchased a wedding dress (94% across 2018, 2019 and 2020).
- Of brides who purchased a wedding dress, almost three quarters (73%) engaged the services of a professional seamstress to alter their gown.
- Professional services such as wedding photography, hair styling, and makeup were engaged by most marrying couples.
- The least utilised services were wedding insurance (1%), wedding planning (7%), day-of-coordinator (8%) and wedding styling (13%).
- Marrying couples are three times likely to hire a wedding photographer than invest in professional wedding videography.
Emerald Bridal is a boutique and showroom specialising in ready-to-wear wedding gowns. Within Sydney, we are based in Ryde and we have street parking available.
The information shown on this page was compiled from a small study we commissioned in January 2020. When citing this data please cite Emerald Bridal.