Each year, Australian blue-tongued skinks seek out their chosen mates; scientists have observed some pairs coming back together for 20 years! Maybe they take their cues from the people around them.
Thousands of (human) Australian couples tie the knot every year. In 2018 alone, 119,188 marriages took place, and their weddings ranged from backyard boho weddings to luxurious destination nuptials.
Getting married changes your finances forever, and the differences begin as you plan for two life-changing purchases: the engagement ring and the wedding.
How much do rings and weddings cost? How much should you plan to spend? What do other Australians pay for their celebrations?
There Are No Rules
Before we dive into averages, types of weddings and budgetary concerns, we want to dispel a myth. You may have heard rules of thumb about how much to spend on engagement rings and weddings.
Generations ago, De Beers, a well-established diamond company, came up with a brilliant marketing strategy. They created the two-month salary rule, suggesting that would-be grooms spend two months of their salaries on engagement rings. Most men don’t buy fine jewellery regularly, so they’re seeking advice. De Beers’ rule of thumb has been perpetuated through the years, but we assure you: it’s utterly untrue.
The whole process of getting married and planning your wedding should be about you, your partner, and your future life together. So make decisions based on what you want. Your relationship matters much more than rules created by marketers or even tradition. There are no rules.
Expectations vs Reality
Whether you shop together for her engagement ring or you give her the surprise of her life, the decision to make the purchase is both emotional and rational. You’ve got to strike the right balance between what she loves and what you can afford. She’ll wear this ring every day, so it’s got to be a style she loves, but if you stretch yourself too far financially, it will burden your finances for some time.
When it comes to engagement rings, three things matter:
The style of the ring
Obviously, these three factors affect the ring’s cost. A diamond’s carat weight heavily influences its price. You can save money by purchasing a diamond with a carat weight just under a benchmark. For example, a .9-carat diamond may not appear much different than a 1.0-carat stone, but the price may be significantly less. Sparkle, determined by the quality of a diamond’s cut, can make an engagement ring truly special. Go for a diamond with a high cut rating if sparkle is essential to you.
When it comes down to it, you’ll have to weigh your priorities unless you have an unlimited budget.
How Much are Other Couples Spending?
We’ve established that there are no rules about how much you should spend on an engagement ring or your wedding, but people still like to know how they compare. According to a 2020 Australian wedding industry report, the average couple in Australia is spending $5,367 on their engagement ring.
Unfortunately, social media has put pressure on couples to spend more on rings than ever before. Headlines announce carat weight along with a couple’s engagement. We know, for instance, that Kim Kardashian’s engagement ring includes 15 carats, and Ariana Grande’s pear-shaped bauble weighs in at 3.03 carats.
Information like this may hurt more than it helps. The size of an engagement ring does not reflect on your love and commitment. Instead of automatically going for glamour, consider her style, and choose the perfect ring that fits your budget.
What to Look For in an Engagement Ring
We said there are no rules when it comes to your engagement ring and wedding, but here’s a bit of advice: do the bulk of your research before you step foot in a jewellery store. If you start shopping too soon, you run the risk of feeling overwhelmed by all the choices or spending beyond your budget.
What kind of information should you know before you shop?
Learn about the 4Cs (cut, clarity, colour and carat)
Learn about standard settings (solitaires, haloes, tension, split-shank, channel, etc.)
Decide if you want a wedding band set
Learn about engagement ring metals
Keep up with current trends
Decide if you want to include coloured gemstones in the ring
Evaluate your options for diamond shapes
Armed with knowledge of these topics, you can converse intelligently with jewellers and improve your odds of finding the perfect ring.
Average Wedding Costs
Wedding costs rose significantly in 2019 from the previous year, and it will be interesting to see how COVID-19 affects weddings in 2020.
The average Australian couple spent $53,168 on their 2019 weddings, 3.75% more than the year before. Budget weddings came in at $10,000 to $20,000, whereas luxury weddings often exceeded the $100,000 mark.
Again, your wedding should reflect your tastes, family traditions, and personal budget. The two of you should decide how you want to spend your special day.
And what about the honeymoon? According to Easy Weddings, the average Aussie honeymoon costs between $5,000 and $10,000 and lasts just over two weeks. Unsurprisingly, the most popular overseas destination is Europe. Many Aussie couples head to the UK, France, Germany and Spain for their overseas honeymoon.
Fiji proves to be the second most popular destination for honeymooners, and the USA comes in third place, with many couples hitting up New York City, Los Angeles, Las Vegas and Portland. Other top contenders include Bali, New Zealand, Thailand, Maldives, Japan and Hawaii.
Reducing Your Financial Risk
Such an outlay can severely hamper your finances if you’re not careful. That’s why it’s so important to prepare a budget for your engagement ring and wedding expenses.
And while you can’t purchase insurance for every item on your wedding budget, you can protect your engagement ring with JewelCover insurance. If the unexpected happens to that gorgeous, carefully chosen ring while you’re honeymooning in Spain, we’ll repair or replace it.
Minimise your financial risks by insuring your engagement ring. You can get an instant quote here on our website. Best of luck with your wedding preparations, and congratulations!