Aussie Brides Spend their Annual Salary Getting Hitched

Bride to Be magazine has just released its Cost of Love survey results and the total cost of the average Australian wedding is now $48,296 - almost the same amount as the respondents average income!

"Australian couples really want to have the perfect wedding day, and a third of the brides actually said they'd get a second job to help pay for the wedding if needed," says Bride to Be editor Sarah Gawthorne.

The survey includes everything from the engagement ring right through to the honeymoon, and also looks at some of the trends within the Australian wedding industry - which Cost of Love now estimates is worth close to $5.8 billion dollars.

Among the findings, 1 in 3 couples will now announce their engagement via social networking avenues such as Facebook or Twitter. Despite this, tradition is making a big comeback in other areas.

The total amount is down slightly from last survey, but the amount of brides in Australia is increasing. "It's definitely become popular to settle down again," says Gawthorne who thinks this is reflective of a wider social trend toward the way people are spending their money.

“The slight decrease in the average spend is most likely reflective of the changing economic circumstances we’ve endured over the past few years. Couples are still spending for their special day, but they are being more careful about how they spend their money and what they spend it on." She adds that, "in the past decade the total cost of a wedding in Australia has increased 73 per cent – that’s three times the rate of inflation.”

The Ring

Nearly one in three women are proposed to in winter, with August and July being the most popular months to seal the deal. 44% of women said they felt happier with their life once becoming engaged.

One third of couples will spend over $6,000 on an engagement ring.

50% of men buy the ring on their own and when they do, they will spend close to $1,000 more than they would if they shopped with their partners.

The average engagement ring in Australia costs $4,598; nearly 10% of the total wedding spend.

Diamonds are still a girl’s best friend, but the popularity of other stones is growing. In particular sapphires have doubled since the last survey in 2008, and perhaps Prince William's choice of engagement ring for Kate Middleton could be the reason for this new trend?

The Dress

When it comes to The Dress ‘off the rack’ has grown in popularity up to 47%, however half of women still choose to have made-to-measure or couture wedding gowns.

70% of brides will purchase earrings and two in five will buy a necklace for the day. They’re also spending more on shoes and lingerie.

The Reception

This year, Cost of Love had the highest food and drink spend in the history of the survey at $10,701.

While the spend has gone up, the number of guests has gone down (96 people on average) meaning people are going for quality not quantity. And because of the country’s new found love affair with all things cuisine, good quality food and wine has become important.

The Photography

Couples are spending more than ever before on photography and videography services.

With so much time and effort going into organising the affair it is no wonder couples are keen to capture their memories with the very best in wedding photography and videography services. Since last year the cost of videography alone is up 20%, while nearly one in five are spending over $4000 on their photos.

Increasingly, couples are recording their happiness from the get go, with ‘engagement photo sessions’ - something that has been very popular overseas - being increasingly offered by photographers in Australia.

For the first time we asked whether they would be providing any novelties at their reception (such as a photo booth) and many said yes, with the average amount being spent $926.

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