The cost of a wedding: Couples spending $48K and more

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The average Australian wedding costs $48,296 according to the 2011 'Cost of Love' survey by Bride to Be magazinei. The same survey found that in the past decade the total cost of a wedding has increased by 73%i. Rising costs and the overall expense of a wedding means that the average Australian couple now has to save up for years to afford to get marriedii.

The costs associated with tying the knot can add up and the expense is not something that can be easily absorbed into a year's incomeii. But it seems that most people are willing to shell out the money if it means they can have the wedding of their dreams. If one of your goals is to be able to pay for your children's wedding, or if you're planning to fork out for your own, it's important to make sure that you start saving early and arrange the event you can afford.

Weddings are a huge expense for a couple or family, and recent years have seen costs soar.

Flowers, lace, and rings add up

Like a graduation day, an eighteenth or a twenty first birthday, a wedding is one of life's milestones that calls for celebration with family and friends. Understandably, most people want their wedding day to be perfect: getting married is a landmark day in a couple's relationship and all eyes are on the bride and groom. But while your imagination is cost-free, many engaged couples quickly discover that turning a dream wedding into reality doesn't come easy within the constraints of a budget.

So what costs are you facing? Well, before you even think about the big day, there are expenses involved in getting down on one knee: according to the survey, the average cost of an engagement ring is $4,598i. Then there's the dress (average cost $2080), the reception (averaging $10,701 at $111 per head and 96 guests)i, the rings (together the rings were averaged at $2603 in 2008), and the cake (almost $400 in 2008)iii. And along with those costs are the variable expenses on venues for the ceremony and the reception, outfits for the groom and the wedding parties, flowers and decorations, transport, invites and photographers. Oh, and then there's the price of a honeymoon on top of that.

The bare essentials of a wedding can add up to small fortune. If you take out a loan to for your wedding, consider taking out life insurance with Allianz.

Who pays on the day?

Whether it's the parents or the couple, someone has to foot the bill on the big day. Its many parents dream that they are one day able to contribute to their children's wedding. However, things do not always go to plan and your dreams should not have to change as a result. If you or your partner suffers a fatality, illness, or a disability, life insurance can help to protect you financially. Having an adequate insurance plan in place means you may still be able to give your son or daughter the wedding you had dreamed of.

A lifelong commitment

A wedding isn't just about one day; it represents the life long commitment two people make to each other, a commitment to look after each other both emotionally and financially. It is because of this commitment that it is so important to consider life insurance, which can help your partner cope financially in the future should the worst happen. In the event of suffering a critical illness, permanent disability or passing away, life insurance can allow you or your partner continue with the ambitions you may have had together such as buying a house, or travelling, whilst also avoiding the financial burden that debts can have on an individual.

i Bride to Be Magazine, Cost of Love Survey 2011, 'Aussie brides spend their annual salary getting hitched', 2011,

ii Hern, M., The Money Guide, Not So Average Wedding Cost, 14 December, 2009,

iii Saurine, A., The Daily Telegraph, Average wedding now costs $50,000, 17 February 2008,