I got married: How much did it cost?
So, I got married the other week. After almost 9 years together, it was about time 😀
But this article isn’t about how lucky I am and how much I love my wife (I’m very lucky, and I love her very much). This article, like everything on this blog, is about money. How much did our wedding cost?
Before I start, we are all different and our idea of a great wedding will be different. These are just my thoughts and experiences and if you spent more or less on your wedding, that’s ok. As long as you were happy with it, that’s all that matters. I was ecstatic with how ours turned out, so in my view, the money was well spent.
How much does the “average” wedding cost?
According to Moneysmart, the average wedding in Australia costs $36,200.00. This data is from 2012, so we can add in inflation and call it $40,000.00 today.
The website does not go into any detail on the average amount of people at this “average” wedding. I’ll have to make an assumption of 100 people.
Working out the per person cost, we take $40,000 and divide by 100 to get $400 per person.
We had a “small” wedding of 65 people. We could have gone for the big wedding and if I had invited all my family and friends from all over Australia and the world, it would have been a 150 person wedding. But we are both introverts and wanted something small with the people we see every day. So if we were to have spent the “average” amount of $400 per person, we should have spent $26,000. But, there are large fixed costs. Things like the photographer, wedding clothes, flowers, ceremony and entertainment are the same price for 50 people or 500.
So let’s go with an average price of $30,000 for a 65 person wedding.
But first, before our wedding
You know how people say they want a simple wedding. Well we were those type of people. We were stupid, We had no idea how much effort a “simple” wedding takes. We decided we wanted to have the wedding in our backyard. The problem was our backyard looked like this just 2 months ago.
This was the yard after a heap of work, we had taken down a patio, an outdoor toilet and 10 tonnes of concrete. Over the next 6 weeks, we replaced the lawn and made a few other changes. It was a heap of hard work, and all during one of the hottest periods in human history. Thankfully I have great in-laws and a heap of friends and family who were willing to help.
After a lot of work, our backyard was finally ready.
Here it is a few days before the wedding.
We also did a few home improvements to make our house wedding ready. We were always going to make these improvements, but having a deadline meant we had to get them done quickly. The work we ended up doing in 2 months would have taken us years without a deadline.
We had also hoped to have a deck installed but finding a builder who would actually get back to us was way too difficult, especially with everything else going on. Not having the deck actually worked out better, as we filled that space with a bar and seating areas. Now that we have more time, we do not need to rush and make sure the deck is built exactly how we want.
All up we spent about $13,000.00 fixing up the house. I would not count these as “wedding” costs as we would have done these (eventually) even without getting married. These costs would have been doubled if it wasn’t for everyone chipping in to help.
The actual costs
My amazing wife did everything. She organised the entire event, did 95% of the work and I just sat back in awe of her work ethic. My only input was that I knew I wanted everyone to be fed and drunk. So let’s look at how much each category cost.
|Event Hire (Marquee, seats, glasses, so on)||$4,810.00||$12,000.00||-$1,054.00|
|Flowers & Decorations||$2,600.00||$3,000.00||$400.00|
|Other (Makeup, gifts, hair, so on)||$3,100.00||$2,500.00||-$600.00|
Event Hire, food and drinks.
Looking back, it would have been so much easier to hire a venue and let them look after everything. It also would have been cheaper. But we really did not want this to feel like a wedding, more just a party in our backyard. For food, we hired a woodfire pizza place and they set up in our front yard. I’m told the pizzas were amazing (I was so busy I only got to taste a dessert pizza). We also had antipasto before that and a heap of different desserts.
One of the benefits of having it at home was that there were no restrictions on what alcohol I could serve. I went a little overboard (and had a heap of bottles left over) but I made sure everyone had their favourite drinks.
Both the hire company and our wedding consultant did an amazing job. We had 3 people setting up and running everything on the day and I did not even know they were there. Everything ran so smoothly.
If you are looking for a photographer in Sydney, send me an email and I’ll hook you up. Our photographer (and his assistant) were amazing. We paid for the shortest package as all we really wanted at the end of the day is that 1 photo you hang on the wall. We have only got a few samples back, but so far they look amazing. He was the nicest, most professional guy I have ever met and he made us feel comfortable the entire day. We didn’t bother with a videographer as no one has ever gone back and watched their wedding video.
Wedding Dress & Suit
I spent more than my wife in this category. But I also made sure to get something I can use in the future. So on a per wear basis, mine will work out much cheaper.
We didn’t have to pay for entertainment. Luckily one of my Auntys clients does music events and she got us the speakers and mic for free. We spent ages putting together our playlists in Spotify and then let a friend make sure it was perfect (Thanks Jonno). Our celebrant was expensive but amazing and the location we choose was the perfect backdrop for the vibe we were going for.
All up we spent about $26,000.00 on our wedding. The feedback has been nothing but positive (but who would tell someone their wedding sucked?). I could not have been happier with how everything turned out. We had a great party, I married the love of my life and everyone left drunk and full.
What about gifts?
We would have been happy to receive $0 from our friends and family. We just wanted to share a great day with them and the cost is really nothing. But this wouldn’t be a full wrap up of the wedding costs without talking about how much we received from everyone. When I’ve attended weddings, I’ve always just stuffed money in the envelope and signed it. But what people wrote in the cards meant so much to us. Going forward I’ll make sure to take some time to write out something for each couple. It really made an impact. Both my parents and Ellie’s parents were generous, both with their time and money. Combined with everyone else, we received $13,500. So everyone combined covered half the wedding.
Meaning, the full cost of our wedding came to $12,500.00
For what we ended up getting from the day, that is worth every single cent.
I’d love to know how much you spent on your wedding in the comments below. I’m sure my final figure is pretty low in comparison.