Price tag

Latest figures reveal that Australian couples cough up a tidy $36K on the big day. And of the 119,000 couples tying the knot in 2011, 60% can expect to run over budget.

In a wedding industry that pulls a massive $4.3b a year, the average spend is $36,200. The figure, by business analysts IBISWorld, marks a 6.5% increase in spend compared with 2010 and is projected to grow to $4.7b in five years—stark contrast to the contraction in spending across the wider retail sector.

The breakdown of costs reveals that venue is the most cost-intensive part of a wedding, taking up one third (33.4%) of nuptial spending. The study anticipates price rises by hotels and exhibition centres, contributing to a 10.5% growth in venue revenue in the next five years.

The next-biggest outlay is for dresses, clothes and accessories, accounting for 21.9% of spend; 15.5% is spent on food services, 11.6% on photos and video, with the remaining 17.6% for flowers, invites and other miscellanea.

COST CONTROL: Smart ways to save on the big day

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