Weddings - at what price?

Our investigation confirms higher quotes go hand in hand with the W-word.
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We set out to prove - or disprove - the theory that brides-to-be pay more. Last year, the number of Australian couples tying the knot hit a 20-year high and in 2008 the average cost for a wedding was $33,349. The wedding industry cops a lot of criticism when it comes to pricing, and when the W-word is mentioned, can you ever be sure you're paying what you should?

CHOICE commissioned two shadow shoppers to organise quotes for a wedding and a birthday - both events had the same number of guests and identical requirements. Our shadow shop focused on the following:

  • venue hire
  • photography
  • hire cars
  • entertainment
  • cake
  • flowers

We suspected higher quotes for those planning on saying "I do" but some disturbing techniques also emerged in our wedding enquiries. One of the main trends? Our shoppers were often directed to pricey "wedding packages" that include a lot of unnecessary extras, and don't allow for individual requirements. The importance of shopping around is recommended - and don't be afraid to haggle!

Please note: this information was current as of December 2009 but is still a useful guide to today's market.



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