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4 in 5 Aussies say local weddings too pricey, as overseas weddings gain attraction

September 14, 2018 Statistics & Trends No Comments Email Email

Overseas destination weddings could become more popular due to the financial outlay, with new research revealing 85 per cent of Aussies believe the cost of a local wedding is too high.

The finding came from an independent survey of a nationally representative panel of 1000 Australian adults, commissioned by global leader in international money transfers WorldFirst(

With the average Australian wedding costing $36,220, and the food, alcohol and venue accounting for more than half the expense[1], the survey also revealed that 58 per cent of respondents believe it is cheaper to have a wedding overseas.

The biggest savings that would come from tying the knot overseas, according to 41 per cent of respondents, are from the catering and staff. Over a quarter (26 per cent) believe the cost of venue hire overseas would bring down costs, followed by an overseas honeymoon, according to 20 per cent. Accommodation costs overseas would also be considerably less than in Australia, say 14 per cent of respondents.

Overseas weddings remain attractive, even with most respondents understanding the challenges involved. The challenge that most (59 per cent) said they would face is getting friends and family to the wedding. This was followed by finding and deciding on a destination (11 per cent) – highest for people in their 30s, at 16 per cent – and dealing with, and trusting, overseas suppliers (11 per cent).

The language barrier became more challenging with age, with 9 per cent of respondents aged 60 to 69 admitting it would be a concern for them, compared with just 3 per cent of those aged 30 to 39.

Patrick Liddy, Head of Foreign Exchange at WorldFirst, says: “While destination weddings can be a cheaper alternative, Aussies need to be careful about overseas exchange rates and money transfer fees. In 2018 alone, a $25,000 destination wedding could cost up to $2500 more based on recent currency fluctuations and additional fees. When planning for their big day, couples need to consider exchange rates when paying overseas suppliers or venue costs, and speak with a foreign exchange expert about the best time to make these transactions.

“Fee-free international money transfer providers, such as WorldFirst, can help couples with their foreign exchange strategy, and secure rates up to seven times cheaper than the big four banks, to save Aussies thousands of dollars tying the knot overseas.”

WorldFirst reveals three affordable overseas wedding destinations, based on foreign exchange rates

  1. Bali.This Indonesian island is an Aussie travel favourite, but it also lends itself as a beautiful wedding destination. Boasting stunning beachfront, clifftop or rainforest locations, Bali is a romantic destination for any bride and groom. Just a short flight from Australia, it is easy to get friends and family to attend, and with the AUD climbing 10 per cent against the Indonesian Rupiah since 2017, a $20,000 Balinese wedding is now $2000 cheaper.
  2. South Africa.If striking landscapes and delicious cuisine aren’t enough, Australians looking to wed overseas can also now get more bang for their buck in South Africa. Since March, the Australian dollar has strengthened 10 per cent against the local currency. Located halfway between Europe and Australia, South Africa is also a central location for couples with family and friends spread around the globe. Better yet, if the wedding does not take place at a game lodge, couples can always have a safari honeymoon. 
  3. Mexico.Stretching between the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean, Mexico is the ideal beachside wedding location for couples after something different. Among ancient ruins, Spanish colonial towns and colourful streets, Mexico’s history and vibrancy is the perfect backdrop for tying the knot. With the Australian dollar falling recently after rallying 10 per cent against the peso, between April and June, couples organising a Mexican wedding should speak to a currency expert about locking in foreign exchange rates.

Aussies reveal the savings they could make and challenges they would face having an overseas wedding

Savings and challenges of overseas destination weddings
Rank Savings Challenges
1 The catering and staffing (41%) Getting friends and family to attend (59%)
2 The venue (26%) Finding and deciding on a destination (11%)
3 The honeymoon (20%) Dealing with overseas suppliers (11%)
4 The accommodation (14%) Language barriers or cultural challenges (6%)

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