Sunday, July 28, 2013

Until debt do we part- The wedding debt trap.

"Marriage: Betting someone half your stuff, that you will love them forever."

Getting married for a lot of women is one of the biggest, most important events of their life. Everything is planned down to the  tiniest details and  the day MUST be perfect.

Do you know that the average Australian wedding costs around $54,000?????
On top of this proposals are become more and more complicated, expensive and over the top.  Add in the engagement party, hens and bucks night and rehearsal dinner and without some serious budgeting you my friend, will be crying poor in the not too distant future.

Potential future husbands:DO NOT log off here. You need to be prepared for this and how to shut it down  before it becomes World War III.

Maybe you and your fiance should even read this together before picking up the phone to call all your friends and family.

I know that when I got engaged I was so excited. I had this gorgeous rock on my finger, a catch of a man for keeps and now a wedding to plan. 

My excitement lasted all of 2 weeks. It became so overwhelming that three years later, I still have not managed to make it down the isle.

Mistake no 1: I want YOU to be in my wedding. And you  and you and you! 

All us girls want our besties included in the big day. After all they were there for all the high and low points in your life.  The first ones you called and celebrated with when he gave you that bling, so why not? I picked two friends of mine with the possibility of adding another two. Of course all the girls are different shapes and sizes and required  different style dresses to be comfortable. Scouring ebay I finally realised whatever I chose, it would probably have to all be tailor made. In other words very expensive. Not to mention, hair make up.... you get where I am going.

Mistake no 2. Of course you can come AND bring your partner who we barely know. 

I was really caught off guard by this one. All these friends of mine who while i was in regular contact with, I had very little to do with their partners. It was always assumed by them though, that inviting their partners to come as a plus one was their right of passage.I really struggled with this. I understand that people are often more comfortable attending with their partners but when your cutting loved ones off your list to keep under budget so people you don't really know  can attend you can become slightly resentful.

Mistake No 3. Using the word wedding
Mention the word wedding and be prepared to watch their eyes glaze over to be replaced by dollar signs. Every time a caterer, cake maker etc hears "wedding" the price suddenly doubles or triples. I remember getting one quote from a well known 5 star hotel chain and then one from a local restaurant. To book out the restaurant would have cost me three times the price. So much for trying to support the locally owned businesses.

Mistake 4. Hell yeah! One big party with 3 courses  and booze all night!
Oh my goodness. If I had known what these cost per person I would NEVER have told anyone about this. I still think you should feed people at a wedding but providing a 3 course dinner and five hours of alcohol was possibly overreaching. I now wish all my all my friends were not party people and would be satisfied with orange juice.

 These four points can have a massive effect on your finances so take heed. To give you a bit more of an idea of costs involved Lets  break it down of costs just for fun. Although it can vary considerably depending on the sort of wedding you choose but most of this is standard wedding stuff. I will post another article on how to make big savings for your wedding.

Ceremony/Reception
  • Invitations $200-$300
  • Wedding Planner $1000+
  •  Celebrant-$500-600
  • Decorations (carpet, arch, floral arrangements, lighting etc) $1000-$4000
  • Venue $500+
  • Sit down dinner $90 pp
  • Alcohol package $40 pp 
  • DJ for five hours $600+
  • Live entertainment $1000-$10,000 
  • Photographer $3000-$7000
  • Videographer $3000-$7000
  • Rings $1000+ pp (very conservative)\
  • Car hire $2000+

Bridal Party
  • Wedding Dress anywhere $500-$7,000
  • Bridesmaid dresses $500-$700pp
  • Hair and make up for bridal party $100 pp
  •  Drinks and Nibbles $150+
  • Room hire to get ready $300+
  • Manicure and pedicure $50 pp
  • Gifts for bridesmaids $50 pp
Groomsmen
  • Suit buy/hire $100+ pp
  • Drinks and nibbles $150+
  • Gifts for groomsmen $50 pp
  • Room hire to get ready $300+
  • Brown paper bag for anxiety ridden groom 0.80 cents
 Honeymoon
  • $2000-$20,000 plus spending money 
Scary right? Now you know why it's taken me so long. I could have some serious equity in my house if I put the money in to that instead! keep your eye out for my upcoming post on ways to can cut wedding costs.

What mistakes did you make while planning your wedding?