To spend $5k or $35k on your wedding?

Do you want to know an awesome way to part with tens of thousands of dollars?

Of course you do! Just plan a wedding.

I’m helping my cousin plan her wedding and my oh my: she has been quoted some outrageous prices so far.


Why is it that as soon as you mention the word ‘wedding’, the numbers jump up by at least two extra digits?

Fortunately for my cousin, she has no desire for the big, detailed, Princess-cum-cupcake style dress or the pretty sparkly shoes that cost more than a week’s mortgage repayment.

She is doing it the simple way, with minimum fuss and minimum spend, with the whole wedding costing a total of $4500. This includes the dress, the shoes, the ceremony, the suits, the reception, the food, the booze – everything.

However, my brother-in-law and his bride-to-be are also planning their wedding, and while there is excitement all round for both weddings, there are also some stark differences.

While I was chatting with my future sister-in-law, she mentioned that they’d soon need to pay the deposit for the wedding reception, which would cost them the princely sum of $20,000.

Once other costs are factored in, like her dress ($2,000) and her stationery package (at $1850 for invitations, thank you cards and name place cards, I almost feinted when she described it as ‘so affordable!’), their wedding is going to chew through around $35,000.

All for something that – and brides, don’t hate me when I say this, but let’s be real – essentially boils down to an extravagant party.

Their reception alone will cost more than some people spend on a car. I couldn’t stop comparing it to all the other things it could be spend on, as $20,000 could buy:
– A new car
– Two second-hand cars
– 830 packs of nappies
– 4,000 frozen pizzas
– 22 Dyson vacuum cleaners
– Two European holidays for two
– Two-and-a-half Jetskis

Am I being too cynical? Maybe. I just think making beautiful memories shouldn’t be so expensive. And while I certainly admire my sister-in-law for getting the wedding of her dreams, the cost sounds more like a nightmare to me.