How much does the average Australian wedding cost in 2023?


The Easy Weddings 2023 Wedding Industry Report has revealed the behaviours of Aussie couples tying the knot in 2023 – and despite rising cost-of-living pressures, newlyweds’ budgets are only growing.
Image: Getty
Key Takeaways
  • The report was compiled from a survey of almost 600 wedding businesses and over 3,500 couples.
  • 2023 and 2022 saw a boom in weddings compared to previous years – attributed to Covid-related rescheduling.
  • Despite cost-of-living pressures, the average wedding budget has increased by 8.5% this year.
  • Couples listed budgeting as their number one stress whilst wedding planning.
  • We’ll take you from start to finish through the marathon of wedding-related expenses, so you can see how you stack up compared to the average Aussie couple.
How did 2023’s newlyweds meet?

The average Aussie couple met through dating apps – mostly.

27% of couples report having met through a dating app, followed by 21% who met through friends and family.

Meeting at school or uni, at work, or out at pubs, clubs, and similar venues is also common.

What should an engagement ring cost?

The old rule that you should be spending two-to-three-months salary on an engagement ring seems to be on the way out.

$6,000 – that’s how much the average Australian couple will spend on an engagement ring.

A whopping 15% of engagements will occur in December, and the 24th and 25th of this month make for some of the most popular proposal dates.

How much should you spend on an engagement ring? Image: Getty
The planning process

Couples are taking 22 months to plan a wedding, relatively unchanged from previous years.

What is changing, however, is that couples are increasingly splitting the planning load – when historically one partner (and let’s be honest, probably the bride) has borne the brunt of that responsibility.

Although wedding budgets are only increasing, couples are still inviting fewer guests than they would like due to venue and cost restraints.

The average guest list will have 92 people on it, with the average couple wishing they could invite 122.

During the planning process, couples will have to make decisions on catering, clothing, photography, and more. Just how much are these decisions costing them?

The average cost of common wedding expenses

Catering: $5,429

The wedding dress: $2,304

Wedding flowers: $1,844

Marriage celebrant: $815

Hire of furniture + styling props: $2,626

Decorations: $1,837

Videography: $2,812

Photography: $3,164

Wedding cakes: $577

Bridesmaid attire: $656

Formal wear: $1,413

Music: $1,808

Invitations: $805

Wedding cars: $1,137

Photo booths: $921

Hair and makeup: $762

Bomboniere: $578

The honeymoon: $8,007

Time and place

The average Australian wedding venue costs $14,758 – up 6% from last year.

Saturday weddings continue to reign supreme, despite weekday weddings seeing more action in 2021 and 2022.

Weekday weddings became an attractive option when, following the easing of COVID restrictions, couples were scrambling to reschedule their special day.

The fierce competition for date availability has eased, and Easy Weddings predicts that the popularity of weekday weddings will drop off as a result.

However, venue availability is still the most influential factor for couples choosing a wedding date. (Other factors include season, a date with a special meaning, or a range of reasons).

Nearly $2,000 is the average amount spent on wedding flowers. Image: Getty

For couples looking to save a bit of cash, however, scheduling your wedding for a weekday can be an effective budgeting strategy.

September leads as the most popular month to get married, and with five Saturdays to choose from this month, we are well and truly in the middle of wedding season.

Unsurprisingly, Spring is the most popular wedding season, with 33% of couples tying the knot during this period.

Spring is followed closely by Autumn (31% of weddings), then Summer (19%), and finally Winter, (17%).

The big day: Exactly how much is the average wedding costing?

After the long 22 months of planning (on average), the big day has finally arrived. So how much have couples forked out by the time the wedding bells have chimed?

The average 2023 Australian wedding will cost $34,715.

And with 139,000 couples expected to say “I do” in 2023, it seems the Australian wedding industry is happily recovering following Covid setbacks.

Victorians are the biggest wedding spenders, with a higher average of $37,430, while Tasmanians spend a measly $26,381.

But despite the typical wedding costing nearly $35,000, the average wedding budget begins at only $27,550 – and couples will spend, on average, 26% over whatever their original budget was.

In light of this, it’s hardly surprising that budgeting is the single biggest stressor for couples planning their nuptials.

Although cost-of-living hasn’t made a visible dent in the average wedding budget, 65% of couples report that it does affect theirs.

Other significant stressors include the guest list, keeping up with tasks, and dealing with family.

For heterosexual relationships, the average bride and groom are the same age, at 31 years old.

This is a rise from 2019, when the average bride was 28, and the average groom was 29 – Easy Weddings attributes this to Covid-related postponements, which delayed some weddings for months or even years.

For same-sex couples, the average age was slightly increased with brides at 33, and grooms at 36 years old.

For the guests: How much should you really be spending on a wedding gift?

For close friends and family, $250 seems the be the average spend on a wedding gift.

If you aren’t close to the happy couple, however, you get off lighter, with gifts costing about $133.

While couples planning their weddings might not have let cost-of-living pressures impact their budget, guests are a little tighter with the purse strings.

Spending on wedding gifts is down by an average of $22 less since the pandemic.

Wishing wells continue to grow in their popularity for modern newlyweds, with 77% of couples having them as their chosen way of receiving wedding gifts – up 12% from last year.

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