The Rise of Australian Wedding Industry
By Peter Minkoff
In the previous decades, Australian weddings were something one might call ‘simple affairs’ that took place at a local venue or even a family estate. There isn’t a correlation between the number of weddings and the rise of the population, but those who do decide to say their forever ‘I dos’ are more ready to splurge on the event than ever before. Hence, the Australian wedding industry is steadily reaching its peak. This is not in small part due to the influence of social media. Since people are more connected than ever, the wedding idea options only seem to diversify. As Victoria Black (publisher and editor in chief of Modern Wedding) states, “Australians are spending so much more on weddings. In fact, the latest survey suggests that the average Australian wedding is $60,000; it is not unusual for a wedding to cost over $100,000.”
The number one priority for an ostentatious wedding has shifted from the wedding dress to the venue, catering and drinks, at least in terms of the amount of money the spouses-to-be are prepared to set aside. Due to social media influences, these aspects of the wedding have gone from being a kind of copy/paste event, which was pretty much the same for every couple, to becoming a highly personalized matter. Couples take their time and do not shy away from spending some serious figures on themed weddings, ranging from chic, rustic, minimalistic to festival-vibey and even destination weddings. When a couple has a specific theme in mind, that means that a serious decorating/event planning company is included to provide all the details necessary for that picture-perfect wedding. The venue and its décor are of course then followed by a menu to match the mood and the tone, which means – custom catering, sample meetings, special personalized treats for the guests, the works. Of course, in order to follow the theme, couples have abandoned generic well-decorated cars turning to wedding car hire in Sydney, as these companies provide luxury cars, royal limousines, Rolls Royce vehicles, all for the sake of perfection and harmony when it comes to the vision they have for their wedding.
The second on the list of spending priorities is photography. The simple ‘snap and wrap’ practice where a photographer does their work and sends you and album is a thing of the past. This part of the event now includes different types of photography, such as digital, photo-boots, albums, and then there is of course cinematography, which now often includes drones. Wedding photography has actually transformed into art.
Another aspect of the utmost importance is music. The one-band-for-the entire-evening practice is slowly being cast aside, and couples are more than happy to hire a number of bands ‒ one for the ceremony, another for the reception, and sometimes there is even a DJ at some point. All for the sake of having a wonderful and special time.
Wedding dresses and suits have gone from top priority to almost last on the list. IBIS World senior analyst Craig Shulman says that there has been a “decrease for high-price tailored wedding dresses - which were once considered essential for brides." Brides now opt for indie brands, boho relaxed and down to earth dresses as opposed to expensive beaded and designer dresses of the past. Grooms seem to be on board with this trend of sensible spending, at least in this area and there has been an increase of grooms who decide to wear a suit they already own instead of purchasing a brand new one.
Finally, younger generations of couples are gravitating toward making their wedding an experience and not a massive affair. So, while it is true that they spend more on their weddings, the number of guests has shrunk over the years. It seems that young Australian couples are taking the wedding game to a whole new playing field, and we will just have to wait and see what they will come up next. One thing is for sure – the wedding industry will be there to cater their every need.