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Is the Average Cost of a NZ Wedding $30,000 in 2024?

Does the average wedding in New Zealand cost $30,000?

The figure of $30,000 is most commonly cited as the average cost of an NZ wedding, but how can we be sure? This average figure is often influenced by Australian wedding surveys, so let’s dig in. In Easy Weddings surveyed 3,500+ engaged and recently married couples in 2022 – reporting the average spend for an Australian wedding being $34,715, while their 2023 results have seen a drop:

Our recent annual survey of 4,200+ engaged and recently married couples confirms that Australian couples spent an average of $33,810 on their wedding day.

This ‘average’ figure has dropped in Australia, so can we expect the same drop in average spend for New Zealand couples?

Australian vs New Zealand Weddings Budgets

The latest wage figures in Australia report the average wage across the ditch was A$94,000 – equivalent to $102,500 – last November and Statistics New Zealand says the average weekly earnings equates to an annual wage of $77,844 in the year to December 2022 – source; NZ Herald.

That means the average New Zealand wage is almost exactly 75% of the Australians, so on that basis, would we spend 25% less on weddings?

A$33,810 converts to NZ$36,413 at the time of writing, 75% of which being $27,310 – a figure which equates pretty closely to the ‘average wedding cost’ we usually cite of $30,000.

New Zealand Wedding SurveyAverage Wedding Budget less than $30,000

I’ve been in the wedding business selling a wedding planner book, guest book and even bridal subscription boxes for almost 9 years, and we recently sent a survey to 15,000 NZ engaged and recently married couples to ask what they spent, or plan to spend. The results we got were vastly different from the average wedding cost figures we often see:

  • The average number of guests invited: 89
  • The average wedding budget: $22, 524
  • The percentage of couples who’ve hired a professional wedding planner: 4.3%

It’s important to note that most couples do go over budget, and many couples don’t include engagement rings or honeymoons in their wedding budget – that’s just the on-the-day costs considered.

What does an Average Wedding Budget mean?

An average wedding budget refers to the typical or median amount of money that couples spend on their wedding celebration. It serves as a benchmark or reference point for individuals planning their weddings, helping them understand what is customary or expected in terms of spending.

It’s really important to note that the average wedding budget can vary significantly depending on factors such as the location of the wedding, number of guests, the wedding venue, and the preferences of the couple. Some regions or cities may have higher average wedding costs due to factors like the cost of living and demand for wedding services (i.e. Waiheke Weddings are generally more expensive than Kumeu Weddings)

Couples use the average wedding budget as a starting point for creating their own budget based on their priorities, preferences, and financial situation. It provides a general guide but should not be seen as a strict rule, as couples have the flexibility to tailor their wedding budget to align with their vision.

Where do we get the data?

Data on average wedding budgets is typically gathered through surveys, studies, and industry reports conducted by wedding-related organisations, market research firms, and wedding planning platforms. It’s important to note that the accuracy of the data depends on the sample size, geographic coverage, and the methodology used in data collection.

Are Small or More Casual/Informal Weddings Included in this Data?

Some surveys and industry reports may focus specifically on traditional weddings with larger guest counts and more elaborate celebrations. In such cases, smaller and informal weddings might be underrepresented in the data. Online wedding planning platforms that collect data from users may capture a broader spectrum of wedding styles, including small and informal weddings. Couples using these platforms to plan elopements or intimate gatherings might contribute to the overall data.

Surveys conducted on online wedding planning websites may introduce a certain bias in the data, as the respondents are typically individuals who actively use such platforms for wedding planning assistance. This can create a skewed sample that may not fully represent the entire spectrum of weddings, especially those that are smaller, informal, or unconventional.

Couples who choose to plan larger, more formal, or traditional weddings may be more inclined to seek assistance from online wedding planning resources, leading to a higher representation of such weddings in the survey data. Meanwhile, couples planning smaller or more informal affairs, elopements, or non-traditional ceremonies may be less likely to use these platforms, and their perspectives may be underrepresented.

Is it helpful to compare our wedding budget to the average wedding budget?

While comparing your wedding budget to the average wedding budget can provide some context and insights, it’s important to approach such comparisons with a few considerations in mind:

  1. Geographic Variations: Wedding budgets can vary significantly based on the region or country. Costs of services, venues, and other wedding-related expenses may differ, so it’s crucial to consider the specific cost of living and wedding industry norms in your location.
  2. Personal Preferences: Every couple has unique preferences and priorities. Some may prioritise spending on specific elements like photography, while others may allocate more budget to the venue or entertainment. Your wedding budget should reflect your personal preferences and values rather than conforming strictly to averages.
  3. Wedding Size and Style: The average wedding budget is often influenced by the size and style of weddings in a particular study or survey. If your wedding guest list is smaller, more intimate, or follows a non-traditional format, your budget may naturally differ from the average.
  4. Financial Capacity: Your own financial situation and capacity to fund the wedding play a crucial role. Consider your income, savings, and financial goals when determining a budget that is realistic and comfortable for you.
  5. Industry Trends: Wedding industry trends can evolve over time, and averages may change accordingly. Keep in mind that averages are based on data from various sources and may not always reflect current market conditions.

Instead of focusing solely on averages, it’s advisable to:

  • Define Your Priorities: Identify the aspects of your wedding that matter most to you and allocate your budget accordingly.
  • Research Local Costs: Understand the average costs of wedding services and vendors in your specific location.
  • Be Realistic: Set a budget that aligns with your financial capacity and avoids unnecessary stress.
  • Seek Professional Advice: Consult with wedding planners or professionals in the industry for guidance tailored to your preferences and circumstances.

Ultimately, your wedding budget should be a reflection of your unique vision and financial situation, rather than a strict comparison to averages.

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