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How to Set a Wedding Budget

Posted in Weddings General by HUNTER BRIDE

Bride and groom walking into the sunset

How to set a wedding budget

It’s time to start planning your wedding and your head is probably swimming with thoughts of dresses, cake and ceremony locations. While it is fun to be thinking about these items, there is one important thing you need to plan first: the wedding budget.

Setting a budget for your wedding is vital in ensuring the cost doesn’t get out of hand. It is far too easy to break the budget during the planning process without even realising it. The temptation of paying just an extra dollar or two per head here and there is high, but it all adds up in the end.

When setting the budget make sure you are realistic. This means being realistic with what you can afford but also being realistic with the fact that you will most likely go over the planned amount slightly. It’s a good idea to set aside an additional 5% in the budget for this overspend, and if you are lucky enough to not need it then you will have extra money to take with you on honeymoon!

Before you decide on the total budget amount, there is a conversation you need to have first. As awkward as it may feel, you need to work out who is paying for what. If your parents or the future in-laws have mentioned they would like to pay for part of the wedding you will need to find out upfront the amount they are planning to pay. A misunderstanding on who is paying for what could leave you seriously out of pocket down the track so discussing this at the beginning of planning will help you avoid any unexpected costs.

Once the total dollar amount has been agreed, divide the budget into categories. This will give you a clear picture of how much money you have available to spend on each item of the wedding. An example of a typical wedding budget breakdown is as follows:

– 50% on the reception. This includes drinks, cake, decorations and of course meals.

– 20% on photography and outfit. This includes outfits for both bride and groom and all accessories.

– 8% on flowers.

– 8% on music.

– 3% on stationery, including invites and places cards.

– 3% on bomboniere.

– 3% on rings for both the bride and groom.

– 3% on celebrant or Church.

– 2% on transportation.

Wedding dress and flowers

Setting a wedding budget

Dividing your budget into categories as above will help you keep track of, and prioritise, your spending. For example, if you happen to go over budget in one category you will then need to choose another category to take that money from in order to keep the bottom line in check. So is the extra money you want to spend on the wedding meal really worth forgoing the cute bombonieres you had your eye on?

Remembering all the smaller items and details in each category is important in budgeting. For example, if you set aside $2,000 for your wedding dress, bear in mind that this needs to cover shoes and accessories as well as any alterations needed. So you don’t have the entire $2,000 to spend on just the dress itself.

You should also take into account any trials you will need such as hair and makeup or meals at your reception venue when choosing your menu.

Once you start shopping around for quotes you may find that you simply don’t have enough money to pay for your dream wedding. This is a very common problem and the best way to tackle the issue is to try saving money where possible while not compromising the overall effect of the wedding. Here are some tips on how you can do this:

– Hold your wedding on a Sunday or a weekday as the reception venues usually have a deal on these days.

– Serve only beer and wine instead of having an open bar.

– Opt out of dessert and instead serve slices of wedding cake.

– Take the quality versus quantity approach by inviting less people.

If you follow all of these budgeting tips you will be able to start your married life on the right track by being debt free.

Wedding Trends for 2012

Posted in Weddings General by HUNTER BRIDE

If you are planning a wedding for 2012, you probably already have quite a few ideas up your sleeve about how you want the day to pan out. You may have had some of the ideas in your mind for years as you dreamt of your big day.

But you may also need some new ideas and are finding yourself wondering, what are the big wedding trends going to be in 2012? Well read on to find out …

The Wedding Dress

It is still, and possibly always will be, white or ivory for the bride. These two dresses are still the most popular choice but in 2012 it looks like strong colours such as black or red are beginning to gain momentum. They have a long way to go before they knock traditional wedding gowns off the #1 spot for dresses, but you might see a few more of these appearing throughout this year.

Black Wedding Dress

Black Wedding Dress

The Bouquet

Is a coloured wedding dress a bit too bold for you? Not to worry, white bouquets appear to be on the way out while vibrant, colourful ones are in. So if you need a splash of colour put it into your bouquet instead. Flowers of choice still remain to be hydrangeas, roses and orchids.

Colourful Wedding Bouquet

Colourful Wedding Bouquet


The big colours for 2012 bridesmaids are touted as being Plum and Violet.


Feathers are trending in hair design and even in the bouquet as well. Match the feathers in the bride’s bouquet to the ones in the bridesmaid’s hair to tie it all in or vice versa.

Photos and Videos

Professional photographers are the hottest thing once again, thanks mostly to social media. Who doesn’t want a perfect profile picture or a gorgeous album on Facebook to show off to friends? This includes having professional shots taken for engagement photos as well.

On more of a DIY note, videos are a huge hit, especially with the intent to upload them onto YouTube. The first dance is becoming more choreographed in the hope of becoming the next online sensation.

Couples are also opting to send out personal videos of themselves to wedding guests as part of the invitation or a ‘save the date’.


Out with the cupcakes and in with the cake pops. Cake pops are bite-sized cakes presented on wooden sticks (much like a lollypop) which guests can easily take a serving of without having to wait for it to be cut. This doesn’t mean the wedding cake is out though. Cake pops are only there to be served with tea and coffee while the ‘real’ cake is sitting alongside the pops and is the masterpiece to be admired.

Cake Pops

Cake Pops


Photo booths were a big hit in 2011 and they are back stronger than ever for 2012. Last year we saw props being used to make the photos more fun and this will still be the case. However the photo booths will also now have a green backdrop, which means you can choose or create your own background picture.

The Honeymoon

Still gaining traction from 2011, the new honeymoon is being dubbed the ‘mega moon’. Why choose one honeymoon destination when you can choose three?

Brides and grooms plan to save money here and there on different wedding items and instead pump it into a long honeymoon to glamorous or exotic destinations such as Bora Bora and Sri Lanka.

A lot of people are also having destination weddings, which will make up the first leg of the honeymoon. For example, they wed in Malaysia with friends and family, and then continue on to Africa to start the real honeymoon.

Supplier Etiquette – Working with Wedding Suppliers

Posted in Weddings General by HUNTER BRIDE

Supplier Etiquette – Working with Wedding Suppliers

Supplier Etiquette – Working with Wedding Suppliers

Organising a wedding is not a one-person job. And even if you are lucky enough to have your fiancé or a friend interested in being a huge part of the process, it isn’t even a two-person job. There are many other people you will be working with and relying on, and these all come in the form of your wedding suppliers.

These new names appearing on your contacts list each day will be playing a very important part of your wedding. So even though there may be some stressful times ahead, it’s a good idea to work as well as possible with these suppliers so you can achieve the end result you desire in the least painful way.

Remember some of these simple tips and you can expect the smoothest lead up to your wedding possible.

Don’t be Bridezilla

Your wedding is the most important thing happening in your life right now, but as much as it may pain you, you have to remember that your suppliers are working with a lot of different brides at any given time.

This isn’t to say you aren’t important to them, you are. And if you feel like you aren’t getting the best service possible then you may have to part ways so you can have the wedding of your dreams.

Generally though, you will find everyone wants the same outcome for your wedding, and you are all working towards that common goal. It is the supplier’s profession to help make your day perfect so there is no reason to doubt they have any other intention.

With this in mind, treat your suppliers respectfully. Basically, treat them the same way you would anyone who is doing you a service. If you need changes made, politely let them know. If they are doing a superb job, let them know that too. And although once your wedding is over it may be the last thing you feel like doing, you should consider sending a thank you note to all of the suppliers you were really happy with.

Be Prepared

When meeting with suppliers, come prepared. For example if you are briefing someone on the decorations you want at the reception venue then come armed with ideas of colour scheme, pictures cut out of magazines of things you like, thoughts on the table centerpieces etc. Any information you provide will help them come back to you with an idea that will closely match what you want.

If you honestly have no idea what you are after, then give them as much information about the other aspects of the wedding that you can. What colour are the bridesmaids wearing? Are you going for a casual or a formal feel? Is there anything that you definitely don’t want at your wedding? You’d be surprised at what they can do with this information. Remember, they work on weddings everyday for a living!

If you do want to make changes to what they have proposed, try to give as much feedback as possible. A simple ‘I don’t like it’ will not help the situation, but if you can point out the specific things you do or don’t like then they should be able to work with this.

Stay off the Phone!

As hard as it might be, don’t give in to your temptation to call your suppliers every day, or even every week in the lead up to your big day! These people are busy and have other weddings they are working on as well, ones that are going ahead much sooner than yours.

If you want to stay on top of things, call them monthly for a chat. Of course in the two or three weeks beforehand this changes and you are welcome to call them more frequently to make sure everything is tracking as planned. In fact, in the days before the wedding you may be on the phone to them several times a day!

Top 5 Celebrity Weddings of 2011

Posted in Weddings General by HUNTER BRIDE

Each year we see dozens of celebrity weddings gracing the pages of gossip magazines. 2011 was no exception with over 30 weddings to hit the headlines! They ranged from huge, elaborate affairs to smaller, private ceremonies.

Take a look at what we rated as the top 5 celebrity weddings of 2011.

5 – Nick Lachey and Vanessa Millanno, 15th July 2011

Nick Lachey and Vanessa Millanno

Nick Lachey and Vanessa Millanno

After 5 years of dating, Nick and Vanessa officially tied the knot this year.

There were only 35 guests invited, but there was nothing small about the wedding. The mysterious invitation was in the form of a plane ticket, but no one was told where they were headed.

They soon discovered the four-day affair was taking place at Sir Richard Branson’s private home on Necker Island, which is part of the British Virgin Islands.

The four days were planned meticulously with a full itinerary of activities for the guests. On the Friday, the ceremony was held at sunset in Branson’s living room. Keeping it in the family, the nuptials were officiated by Nick’s father, John.

After dinner, the party was moved down to the beach, which looked magical under twinkling lights strung throughout the trees.

4 – Kate Moss and Jamie Hince, 1st July 2011

Kate Moss and Jamie Hince

Kate Moss and Jamie Hince

Kate Moss married Jamie in an elegant, vintage style wedding in Southrop, England. It was a “Great Gatsby” style wedding and Kate wore a 30’s-inspired John Galliano gown. For ‘something blue’ she wore blue-soled Manolo Blahniks. However, the groom was ‘something blue’ too as he sported a blue YSL suit.

The reception was held in Edwardian marquees lined up in Kate’s country home. There was also a circus tent and teepees for the children to sleep in.

Kate had two more outfit changes throughout the evening, both created by Stella McCartney. The first was an evening gown with beads, the second a backless mini dress designed to party.

The 6-tier cake had a different flavor per layer.

3 – Paul McCartney and Nancy Shevell, 9th October 2011

Paul McCartney and Nancy Shevell

Paul McCartney and Nancy Shevell

Paul McCartney married Nancy Shevell this year, making it his third marriage. It was a small gathering of only 30 guests and the ceremony itself took place at the registrar’s office in the Old Marylebone Town Hall in London.

Not surprisingly, both bride and groom wore outfits designed by Stella McCartney, Paul’s daughter. The bride had a second outfit for the reception, a plum-coloured dress also designed by Stella McCartney.

The reception was held at Paul’s home in St. John’s Wood where a vegetarian menu was served. Paul surprised Nancy by singing to her at the reception, bringing tears to both their eyes.

They had a second wedding celebration with family and friends at the Bowery Hotel in New York.

2 – Kim Kardashian and Kris Humphries, 20th August 2011

Kim Kardashian and Kris Humphries

Kim Kardashian and Kris Humphries

No detail was left out in the marriage of Kim and Kris. The elaborate affair is said to have cost in the range of $10 million making it one of the most expensive weddings of all time. Not bad for a marriage that lasted only 72 days! Debate still continues around whether it was a genuine marriage or a publicity stunt, especially after it was reported that the Kardashian’s actually made a profit from the wedding through magazine and TV deals.

400 guests were asked to wear either black or white. Kim wore a strapless Vera Wang gown to walk down the aisle, one of three Vera Wang outfits she would change into throughout the day. She topped it off with a 65-carat diamond drop headpiece and a bracelet with two diamond K’s that tied in a knot.

The reception was held in a marquee with the theme: Old-Hollywood Glamour. Kim and Kris had a wedding cake that was 6 foot tall and cost a cool $10k.

As gift bags for the guests, they handed out heart-shaped Krispy Kreme donuts, jeweled thongs, Voluspa candles and Kim’s own fragrance.

1 – Kate Middleton and Prince William, 29th April 2011

Kate Middleton and Prince William

Kate Middleton and Prince William

Of course, no 2011 celebrity-wedding list would be complete without the most anticipated wedding of the year, the royal wedding.

The excitement and hype surrounding this wedding had all sorts of people tuning in to watch live as Kate walked down the aisle to her Prince. Even people who aren’t interested in the royals couldn’t help but be swept up in the fairytale romance of it all.

The formal ceremony was held at Westminster Abbey. There were 1,900 guests at the church and many millions more watching from the TV at home.

Kate’s sister and maid of honour, Pippa, almost stole the show in her fitted, white cowl neck dress by Alice Temperley.

Kate chose more classic with a long-sleeved lace dress by Sarah Burton for Alexander McQueen. Her Cartier tiara, made in 1936, was leant to her by the Queen.

After the ceremony, the first reception was a lunch at Buckingham Palace for 650 guests, hosted by the Queen. Later that night Prince Charles hosted a dinner and dance for the newlyweds and 350 guests, which was also held at Buckingham Palace. For this, Kate changed into a second gown, also by Sarah Burton for Alexander McQueen.

Do you find any pieces of inspiration from celebrity weddings that you see in the magazines?

First 5 Steps to Take When Planning Your Wedding

Posted in Weddings General by HUNTER BRIDE

Planning Your Wedding

First 5 Steps to Take When Planning Your Wedding

Congratulations on your engagement! You’ve bought the engagement ring, announced it to your friends and family and you may have even had an engagement party by now … but where to from here?

You might have an idea about the type of wedding you want, but which steps are the most vital to take first when planning it? We have listed below the first five steps that all soon-to-be bride and grooms should take. Once these have been sorted the timeline and planning process will naturally start to fall into place.

1 – Buy a Journal or Scrapbook

This is a nice and easy small step for a newly engaged couple to take. And the best part is this simple step will fast become your best friend during planning. Use the scrapbook to store pictures you have cut out of magazines, write down notes to yourself when inspiration strikes and even paste in some past wedding invites and place cards that you have received before. But the most important part, keep a list of names, phone numbers and other contact details of all suppliers you are planning to use for your wedding. Even keeping each supplier quote you are given in this book will be handy so it is all in one spot for ease of reference. Write down your appointment times and your thoughts on a place as soon as the appointment is over. You will be so grateful to have all of this information in one place that can easily be lugged to work, appointments and pulled out on the sofa in the evening.

2 – Set a Budget

Set yourself a realistic wedding budget and stick to it. Try to be as thorough as possible by allocating money to all of the major areas such as: Reception, photography, invitations, food and beverages (if they are not already included in your reception package), cars, decorations and of course the outfits.

When you are tempted to break the budget on one of these aspects, take a look at which category you can ‘steal’ the budget from to pay for it. It makes it much easier to prioritise when you look at it in that way, i.e. is better invitation stock really more important than that dress you have your eye on?

3 – Set the Date

A good place to start is to begin by agreeing with your fiancé on some vital points such as whether you want a summer or a winter wedding. Once you have narrowed down to a month that you are happy with, try to be as flexible with the date as possible. That is because once you find the reception or ceremony location of your dreams you may have to compromise on the date if yours has already been taken. So unless there is a specific date you must be married on for whatever reason, try to keep an open mind on this point.

4 – Ceremony and Reception Venue

Venues often book out a year in advance, so it is important to secure this before anything else. Once you have found a place you love, lock it in. This means you have now cemented a date, a time and a location and everything else can be planned and worked around this. Your timeline can now be worked out based on a real end date and when planning flowers and cars etc you can get a solid quote, as you know the specifics of the date and location of your wedding.

5 – Choose the Wedding Party

Bridesmaids and Groomsmen aren’t there just to turn up on the day. Choose them early, as they can become a huge help with the planning and preparations in the lead up to the big day. Don’t be afraid to set them to work!

Finish these five steps and you will already be well on your way with your wedding planning. Good luck!

Create Your Own Wedding Website

Posted in Weddings General by HUNTER BRIDE

Wedding Website

Create Your Own Wedding Website

About two and a half years ago I was invited to a close friends wedding. The invitation was gorgeous in its simple elegance. It took me a moment to realise the reason it looked so simple, neat and clean was that there wasn’t all of the usual information cluttering the space.

My eye fell on a note at the bottom of the invite which directed guests to a website for more detail. Clever.

Logging onto the website I wasn’t sure what to expect, but when I got there I was in awe and completely impressed. In fact, it pulled at my usual ‘wedding-envy’ feelings that I try to keep squashed … the ones where I wish I got to plan my wedding all over again because it was so much fun the first time around!

The reason this website was so perfect was that it was both practical and emotional. There was information pertaining to the wedding but also stories and anecdotes, which aroused the overall feelings of a couple madly in love.

As the website loaded, a romantic song started to play. The homepage was full of pictures of the lovebirds, and the story of how they met captured your attention. Reading the story firsthand, in their words, made me feel closer to the couple and in a way also made me feel more involved in the wedding than if I had only received a paper invitation.

Further pages presented us with maps for the church and the reception, accommodation options with prices and lastly an itinerary.

As it was an ‘away’ wedding, the itinerary for guests was jam-packed for most of the weekend. There was golf, BBQ’s and a brunch for the day after the wedding. But instead of making you feel like you were obliged to attend all activities there was a simple RSVP button for each separate one so you could choose what you wanted to attend.

This couple were lucky enough to be great friends with a web designer, so their website had all of the bells and whistles mentioned above. If you like the idea of this but don’t have the money in your budget for a web designer, you can try creating a website yourself.

There are a lot of free options out there you can use. That way you can play around with it and if you aren’t happy with the end result you haven’t wasted any money. Check these ones out as a starting point:





So if you are looking for a way to get some of the clutter off your beautiful invitation, or even if you are looking for a way to eliminate the need for a paper invitation altogether, look into creating a website specially for the big day!

The Last Minute Wedding Checklist

Posted in Weddings General by HUNTER BRIDE

Wedding Planning Checklist

The Last Minute Wedding Checklist

If you have already started planning your wedding, you will know there is a lot of detail that needs to be prepared in the lead up to the big day. It is a wise idea to have a timeline that you can follow so nothing gets left out and this will also ensure the big items – such as the dress and the cake – will be ordered within plenty of time before the wedding.

But what about those last minute details? What happens when you are only a few weeks out from the wedding and the preparations have reached fever pitch? Try to keep a checklist handy just for the purpose of these last minute tasks, as these can often be the most important ones of all.

3 – 4 weeks out:

– Have your hair and makeup trial runs if you haven’t already. Take pictures of the style and look you want to make it easier to explain to the hairdresser/makeup artist.

– Pick up your dress and your wedding rings. Try both of them on to make sure everything fits well.

– If you are having ceremony programs, proof read them one last time and print them out.

2 weeks out:

– Confirm payment due date with all suppliers, and also how they would like payment – i.e. cheque, bank transfer etc.

– Call guests who were unsure if they could attend the wedding or have not RSVP’d yet (interstate guests, pregnant friends etc) to finalise numbers.

– Give caterers/reception manager the final head count – it is likely you will also be required to pay a further deposit for the catering at this stage.

– Pack for honeymoon. It may feel early but next week will be busy so get this out of the way now, especially if it requires washing clothes.

Wedding Checklist

1 week out:

– Finalise speeches and toasts if you are giving them.

– Prepare a final running order sheet and give to the MC.

– Practice walking in your wedding shoes. If they are a bit tight wear thick socks with them around the house for a couple of hours until they stretch.

– Have a manicure and pedicure and don’t forget to buy the nail colour so you can do touch ups and fix chips.

– Go to the hairdresser to touch up the roots if you need to, but don’t experiment with a new hair colour!

– Groom and groomsmen to pick up suits and try them on.

– Groom to get a haircut.

– Call all suppliers one last time to confirm bookings and details.

– Call ceremony/reception site to ensure suppliers will have access on the day.

– Give seating chart to reception manager.

– Put together a beauty emergency kit to keep with you on the day. This should include things such as band-aids, safety pins, ladies hygiene products (even if you are not due – stress can do funny things to a woman), gloss, the lippie you will be wearing for touch ups, a small vial of perfume etc.

Stick with this and the lead up to your wedding should be smooth sailing. Good luck!

Wedding Proposal Ideas on Valentine’s Day

Posted in Weddings General by HUNTER BRIDE

Wedding Proposal Ideas

Wedding Proposal Ideas on Valentine’s Day

Here at Hunter Bride we don’t only speak to the bride but also to her groom! If you’re meaning to be one in the near future, you are so lucky that Valentine’s Day is just around the corner!  What better date than Feb 14 to pop that life-changing question. Despite all the ‘over-rated’ things this day is made of, most women still look forward to something special on Valentine’s day.

Here are some wedding proposal ideas that are truly heart-warming, where she just can’t say no!

Take her on an out-of-town trip.

If she likes a particular place or destination (like the Hunter region!), visit this ahead of time. Why? Well, we suggest you place photos of you both as a couple along the trail of your trip, as you recall old special moments you spent together. As you reach your final destination, she will be looking for that last picture. This is the time to present the engagement ring, rather than a photo. She’ll be definitely surprised!

Do it with wine.

You and your girlfriend can enjoy a sip of special Hunter Valley wine while you prepare to ask the all-important question. Whether you are staying at your accommodation watching a good movie, taking a stroll in the vineyard, or having dinner at a fancy restaurant – there is nothing more romantic than having two wine glasses and her favourite drink with you. Pour some of it into her glass, while carefully concealing the “Will You Marry Me?” question on sticker paper placed at the back of the wine bottle (get the idea?).

As she tastes the wine, gently hold her hand and place the engagement ring inside her palms. As soon as she takes notice of this, bring the bottle close to you both and show her what’s at the back!

The 14-Day Countdown

Make the fourteen days leading to the red-letter day special by giving sweet gifts or mementos each day before the date. The gifts don’t need to be grand. It could be a favourite photo of you as a couple, a collection of your first movie date tickets, or her most adored brand of chocolate. Then on the final day (Feb 14), she will probably be expecting a gift. On this day, let it be that ring!

Make it as Sweet as Candy!

Give your loved one a special box of candies and sweets. The box could be those decorated ones you buy, or if you are doing the creative route, have it DIY! It makes it more special. Now inside the box are candies, each with a special love note. You can write all the reasons why you love her or how she makes you feel as a person. Let her read it one by one, until she chances on that ring with the note attached – Marry Me!

Create a Treasure Hunt Date

On Valentine’s Day, tell her there is something exciting you’d love to do – go on a treasure hunt! This is best done outdoors. Tell her you want to remember all your special moments together. Each memory comes with a gift. Make it appear fun and casual so she won’t have a clue. The gifts are placed randomly in the area. At the end of the hunt, the prized possession has to be that ring. This is the time you drop on one knee.

May the love fairy grant your wedding proposal dreams on Valentine’s Day!

A Christmas Themed Beach Wedding

Posted in Weddings General by HUNTER BRIDE

Beach Wedding

A Christmas Themed Beach Wedding

You have decided on a beach theme for your wedding day, but you don’t wish to have the regular beach wedding. You want something with a Christmas holiday theme!

Let’s do it the DIY-Christmas way!

Put on some Christmas lights

You plan for an evening beach wedding. There is nothing more romantic than the display of warm lights. You can have them in one colour or opt for a variety to achieve a more Christmassy-feel. Wrap the back of each steel chair, or place along the path where the bride will walk, or decorate the altar piece/arch with some lights.

Decorate table centre pieces with DIY Christmas decors

Choose scented candles based on your colour theme. Place them inside clear, old jars which you can use as candle holders. Decorate the middle area of the jar by wrapping it with garland and put a poinsettia flower in the middle. A red and gold ribbon with some Christmas balls also makes an attractive table décor.

Wedding Favours and Guests wishes on sand

As you celebrate a beach-themed wedding, you can definitely make use of the white sand asset! Place a handful or more of sand inside a fish bowl for each table. Place wrapped Christmas candies or holiday chocolates inside it and mix in randomly for a more natural effect. You can also add some gold glitter to spruce it up! This serves as a fun and delightful wedding favour for your guests.

For the wedding wishes, you can have some sheets of Christmas-themed paper pieces on each table. Then ask your guests to drop their wedding wishes inside the same bowl.

Your wedding is definitely one out of the ordinary as you incorporate Christmas in a beach setting. Speak to your Hunter wedding decorations & hire supplier to get more ideas on holiday wedding themes – beach-style.

Enjoy the romance of a December wedding celebration!

Wedding Statistics Australia

Posted in Weddings General by HUNTER BRIDE

Wedding Statistics

Wedding Statistics Australia

A collection of interesting statistics on marriages and weddings within Australia taken from the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

The number of marriages are increasing!

In 2008, there were 118,756 registered marriages in Australia. This is the highest number of marriages registered in a single year since 1989 when 117,176 marriages were registered and continues the relatively steady increase in marriages since 2001.

Crude Marriage Rate

Although the number of marriages has returned to a level comparable with those of 20 years ago, the population has increased over this time. As a result, the crude marriage rate is lower than it was 20 years ago. In 2008, the crude marriage rate was 5.5 marriages per 1,000 estimated resident population, compared with 7.0 marriages per 1,000 estimated resident population in 1989.

We are getting married older!

The median age of people married in 2008 was 31.6 years for males and 29.3 years for females. From 1989 to 2006 the median age at marriage increased by 3.64 years for males and 3.58 years for females.

In 1989 the highest age-specific marriage rate for males was in the 25-29 year age group (53.3 per 1,000 males), however for females, the highest rate was amongst the 20-24 year age group (68.4 per 1,000 females).

Most marriages are first time marriages!

In 2008, 78.2% of people married had not been married previously, continuing the general upward trend observed since 2001. For males, this applied to 77.3% of all marriages, with a further 1.6% of males having been widowed, and 21.1% having been divorced. For females, 79.0% had not been previously married, with a further 1.8% having been widowed, and 19.2% having been divorced.

Marriages in which neither party had previously been married made up 69.8% f all marriages in 2008, while a further 16.8% were first marriages for one partner. The remaining 13.4% of marriages were remarriages for both partners.

Since 1989, the number of widows/widowers remarrying has been steadily decreasing while marriages of people who were previously divorced has remained relatively stable for the last few years.

Civil marriages have outnumbered religious ceremonies

Civil marriages have outnumbered religious ceremonies since 1999 when 51.3% of all marriages were performed by civil celebrants. In 2008, the trend toward civil ceremonies continued, with 65.0% of marriages performed by civil celebrants.

Of the 41,545 marriages performed by ministers of religion in 2008, the most common rites used were Catholic (33.5%) followed by Anglican (17.7%).

Country of birth

In 2008, 59.4% of marriages were of couples where both parties were born in Australia. A further 10.5% of marriages were of parties born in the same overseas country, and 30.0% marriages were of males and females born in different countries.

The median age of males and females born in Australia who married in 2008 was 30.8 years and 28.7 years respectively. Males born in Italy and Greece had the highest median age at marriage, 46.0 years and 43.3 years respectively. In contrast, males born in China had the lowest median age at marriage (27.3 years). For females, those born in Italy had the highest median age at marriage (43.5 years) followed by those born in Greece (37.0 years). In contrast, females born in Lebanon had the lowest median age at marriage (24.9 years).

Couples are living together prior to getting married!

Of the 118,756 couples who registered a marriage in 2008, 77.7% indicated that they had lived together prior to registering their marriage. These couples tended to be slightly older than all people getting married. In 2008, the median age of males who lived with their wife before marriage was 32.0 years, compared with 31.6 years for all males. Similarly, the median age of females who lived with their husbands before getting married was 29.7 years, compared with 29.3 years for all females.

The most popular month for weddings is November & Saturday the most popular day!

In 2008, the most popular month for marriages was November, with 15,109 (12.7%) marriages celebrated in this month. March followed with 14,128 (11.9%) marriages. July was the least popular month for weddings, with only 5,008 (4.2%) of marriages taking place in that month.

Weddings are more likely to occur on a Saturday, then Sunday and Friday. 2008 is consistent with this pattern. Saturday 4 October was the most popular day of 2008 to get married, with 2,221 marriages ceremonies being performed on that day

New South Wales leads the way for marriages!

In 2008, the greatest increase in the number of marriages registered was in New South Wales (up by 1155, 3.0%) and Queensland (995, 3.9%). Both South Australia and Tasmania decreased by 49 (0.6%) and 176 (3.8%) respectively.

Queensland recorded the highest crude marriage rate in 2008 (6.2 marriages per 1,000 estimated population), whilst the Northern Territory had the lowest crude marriage rate, with 4.3 marriages per 1,000 estimated population. Marriages performed by ministers of religion as a proportion of all marriages in 2008 were highest in New South Wales and lowest in Tasmania (39.5% and 29.5% respectively). In 2008, the proportion of marriages where couples lived together prior to marriage was lowest in New South Wales (69.9%) and highest in Tasmania (86.4%).

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