Unspoken Conversations are the topics that are often swept under the carpet, whispered amongst the closest of friends and bitched about by many. I want to create awareness about difficult things that people face in life; grief, mental health, money, illnesses, family troubles, relationship difficulties and putting yourself first. I want to tell the truth about things that really matter.

Wednesday, 22 May 2013

Don't Tell the Guests - Wedding Budget

Did you know that the average cost of an Australian wedding in 2011 was $48,296? 

This figure is based on the average price you can expect to pay per head at a reception ($111) with the average amount of guests being 96 people and the total reception costing $10,000.

Needless to say, prices and guest lists have increased since then!!!

I know what people must be thinking:

That's extravagant! As if, I could do it wayyyy cheaper! Whatever, no one ever pays that amount! Only if you have a rich daddy! What a rip off, I could do a backyard BBQ cheaper! No way! That's why I'm never getting married! Must be a totally over the top wedding!!!

How do I know this? Because I used to think this way, yup, in the pre planning a wedding days!!!

Check out this "real life RECEPTION" budget.

Picture this - a gorgeous country wedding in 2011, with 116 close family and friends, bought together to celebrate the marriage of two people crazily in love!

In total, the reception cost came to $10,956, which is roughly $95 a head but that includes everything below:

  •  catering ($3850), alcohol ($3900), cake which was used for dessert ($470), hire of cutlery, crockery, glassware, tables etc ($1000), hall hire (190), band ($1200), cooler van hire ($200), and soft drink & water ($140).

And that's at crazily cheap country prices...in 2011!!! It's easy to see how quickly prices could jump for city folk with even less then what this price included!!!

My partner and I never wanted anything big and extravagent; it just isn't us. We aren't fine silver class diners, we don't care about the label on the champaign as long as it gets us tipsy, we never wanted every tom dick and harry to be invited; we were happy with a marquee, a pig and lamb on the spit, and a raging dance floor!!!

We thought we could do it all for $10,000; piece of pie!

Boy were we shocked!

As I have spoken about in an earlier blog post (insert), our idea for a cheap wedding under a marquee out amongst the gum trees on the farm, surrounded by our closest friends, lite up amongst fairy lights, with the smell of freshly shucked oysters and spit roasts tickling our noses, soon became too much of a headache and far too expensive ($5,000 for the hire of the marquee alone!!!)

So back to the drawing board we want.

We set a new budget of $20,000; basing that on $100 per head for food and beverages to feed and wet the mouths and bellies of our guests, for roughly 130 people, leaving $7000 for 'everything else.'

$20,000 to us, still felt like a lot of money to spend on just one day, but we just had to accept that that was what we were going to have to pay, in order to have the things we wanted.

We agreed on the two things that we wanted to 'spend big on'; the reception and a photographer, and the rest we weren't too fussed about!!!

Here's a break down of what we've spent so far (just to show how quickly it all adds up, where you can expect to spend money, and what things you need to think about!!!)

Our itemised budget (to date)

Reception; food and alcohol for 130 guests at $100 per head = $13,000 (to be confirmed but what this is what we've budgeted).

Wedding dress; Spurling Bridal = $1,400

Wedding rings; both his and hers, Michael Hill Jewellers = $2,534.90

Michael Hill is the designer of my GORGEOUS engagement ring and our wedding bands!
Photographer; James Field, inclusive of an engagement shoot, photo booth with automatic prints, 15 hours on the day, and photo disc $4,500

James is the genius behind this AMAZING engagement photo shoot shot!
Celebrant; Carol Cabot = $300

Wedding cake; Cake Dreams by Wendy, 3 tiered, two chocolate, one lemon = $425

Our gorgeous wedding cake that we are going to tweak a little bit!
Fake flowers; Artifical Wedding Bouquets, 9 bouquets and 13 button holes = $612

These aren't our flowers - but this is a creation by Artifical Wedding Bouquets! STUNNING and FAKE!
Decorations; Fairy Tale Weddings, white material to hide the walls = $480

(We are hiring the white material in the background of this photo to cover the walls!)

White table clothes; x15 = $85 (most venues do not include tablecloths)

Accommodation; English Rose Cottage, night before the wedding (for bride and 8 bridesmaids) and night of the wedding for the bride and groom = $740

The gorgeous cottage that we have hired for the weekend!
Music; still to be confirmed but budgeted $1,000 for a live band.

Hair and Make Up; Studio 243, hair and make up for 9 girls = $900

Ceremony venue hire; Boston Bay Winery, = $300

Reception venue hire; Port Lincoln Yacht Club = $650

Save the date invitations = $150

Total costings to date; $26,596.90

The scary thing? There are still a whole heap more costs to go yet (shoes, suits, car hire, table decorations, wedding invites, menus, table seating plans, and I'm sure the list goes on!!!)

Yes, a couple of things may seem "excessive", perhaps to an unmarried person, but overall, we've been comparing prices like mad people between businesses, opting for fake flowers, choosing to use friends cars over hiring, paying country prices per head for a fairly average sized guest list, doing some DIY wherever possible for table decorations and invites, pulling strings with people we know, offering blog sponsorship to save money, and well, at the end of the day, gritting our teeth and realising that's just how inflated costs are the minute you mention the magical word wedding!!!

So yes, we've been saving our little butts off and going without in order to bring our special day to life *as well as fluttering our eyes at our parentals in hope they might cave to our puppy eyes!!! (Haha).

But what we've both quickly learnt is that you don't have to be excessive for the cost of a wedding to slowly creep up on you!!!

I can now certainly see how the price of a wedding in a big city can easily be $42,296 without scoffing and making silly remarks!!!

Crazy town!!

What budget did you have for your special day?

What things did you spend more or less on?

How did you keep the cost down?

Look after yourself and those around you,

Kirsty xxxx


Anonymous said...

We got away with our wedding for just under $8,000. We only had 65 guests (including wedding party). My dress was $560 and bridesmaids dresses were $60 each. 3 suits for the boys at $120 hire. We paid for the use of 1 car for the wedding, friends donated their cars for the day. I made all the invitations, name cards, thank you cards, wishing well cards, table names and seating plans myself. I hand dyed 500 star fish. It ended up being a lot of work, but we put $1000 on the bar for drinks, we supplied the wine that we had been given as a early wedding present so only had to pay corkage, the bar tab only covered the wine corkage and beer and soft drink. And the buffet meal was $30 a head and the cake was $250 for a 3 tiered chocolate covered in white chocolate ganache. As cheap as it sounds, I purchased a lot of things from cheap as chips,much as the plates and candles for the table centrepieces. eBay was a god send, as was spend less shoes! I loved my day immensely and was so relieved we managed to do it on such a budget. There are a few things I ended up a little disappointed with. But I still have my memories, and I loved my day and felt I've a princess!

Rhiannon said...

That is a LOT of money! I live in Sydney so my wedding would most likely be around the CBD and the costs are just phenomenal!

One of the reasons I am so tempted to run away and elope when the time comes and then have a fun BBQ with family when we get back.