General Info

Astounding Wedding Statistics That You Need to Know

There’s a few wedding statistics that might just blow your mind. And you need to take them into consideration when planning your big day.

Throw a party, invite a bunch of people, job done. Maybe the majority of non-planners seem to think that’s all involved with the wedding, but there are MANY moving parts that you need to take into account.

15% Of People Will RSVP ‘No’

You’ve hopefully whittled your invite list down to a manageable, affordable number, that fits within the event space. Your most beloved friends and family, who you want to share your day with. 15 to 20% of them are going to RSVP no. And, that’s the good news.

The bad news is that only 50% of people will RSVP at all- the other 50% you’re going to have to chase up and find out. So irritating.

5% of People Simply Won’t Show Up to Your Wedding

Yep- even if they RSVP’ed yes, 5% to 10% of guests simply won’t eventuate. At some point on your day, you’ll look around the room and realise some people aren’t there. As mind boggling as that is, there are things that happen (like, someone going into labour) and there are flakes who simply don’t show up.

Yes, this is rude. Can you do anything about it? Not really. It’s no use sending text messages during your wedding day (maybe get your bridal party to do some chasing if you wish), so just hold in your mind that some people are simply not going to show up. You can find out what happened tomorrow.

The author had one couple simply never turn up, and when queried, they didn’t even apologise. One no-show couple had a baby (although he turned up for the ceremony), and one couple, the husband was arrested.

Average Number of Guests at a NZ Wedding

The average guest list size for a Kiwi wedding is somewhere between 75 to 100 people. This is influenced by many factors including cost, but also venue size. Some venues have strict fire regulations that don’t allow unlimited people. This maximum limit includes staff working at the event, so ensure that you or the venue manager factor that in.

Compare this to a typical Indian wedding, which typically have 500 people attend, but realistically, could have thousands attend over the course of multiple events and days.

The Average Wedding Cost in NZ is More That You Thought

You see in the news that Kiwis spend ‘about’ $30k on their weddings. But, it’s not that simple. What happened, is that people budgeted and planned to spend around $24,000. But then during the planning phase, they realised it was going to be about $28,000. But then post-wedding, a quick calculation revealed they actually spent closer to $33,000.

Unless one of you is very good at budgeting, expect that the day will cost $5 – $10,000 more than planned. Make sure you plan for the unplannable.

The Average Cost of a Wedding Dress in NZ is $1500

Unlike Kate Middleton, who dropped a cool $630,000 on her wedding dress, Kiwi brides are a bit more realistic. This is one day—admittedly a special day – but still, just a day. Wedding dresses cost usually about $1k, with shoes, veil, underwear and jewellery making the entire spend closer to $1500.

How Much Booze Per Head?

A big part of Kiwi culture is alcohol. And the answer has an average, but it really depends on the people you’ll have coming. A bunch of Muslims, your alcohol bill is going to be minimal. A bunch of wild party animals, you’ll be budgeting for a lot more.

On average, one drink per person, per hour, for the evening. If it’s a super hot day, you may find people drink less or more than expected, and of course it depends what you’re offering. Liquorland have a great booze calculator that requires you to assess your friend’s drinking styles.

NZ Wedding Statistics

In 2021, 15,657 marriages and civil unions were registered in NZ. Those rates are consistently dropping as living together unmarried is more socially acceptable (and we decide we’d rather chuck that wedding $30k on our mortgage deposit).

The age of first marriage is getting older too, with men getting married at 30.7 years, and women at 29.6. Don’t panic though, in the US, Julio Mora and Waldramina Quinteros got married at 110 and 104 years old respectively. There’s hope for everyone.

Rising (and Falling) Wedding Trends

  • People are opting for lab-grown diamonds, with 36% of centre stones now are created by humans. This is mostly due to affordability of lab-grown diamonds, but also the ethics of them; no chance of blood diamonds (which cannot be guaranteed, even with the Kimberley Process). This has resulted in much bigger carat sizes!
  • In 2022, the top first dance songs were:
    • Perfect – Ed Sheeran
    • Better Half of Me – Tom Walker
    • All of Me – John Legend
    • A Thousand Years – Christina Perri
    • If You Love Me – Lizzo
  • In NZ, it’s hard to tell exactly how many people take their husband’s name, because there are no ‘official’ forms to change names post marriage. But we can look to Australia to see what they do. About 80% of Aussie women take their husband’s name. Until the 1980’s, it was 99% (possibly due to the fact that up until the 20th Century, a woman couldn’t sign contracts or buy property with her maiden name). It’s also interesting to note about 2% of men changed their surname upon marriage. There is an emerging trend of hyphenating surnames or creating new surnames altogether, but it is small.

Going Up:

  • 45% of couples are requesting and ‘unplugged ceremony’ with no videos or photos to avoid the ugly photos of people taking photos
  • 34% of people had vegan food options at the wedding
  • In general across the industry, people are requesting more eco-positive options. Less food waste (or donating excess food to food banks), seasonal flowers and food, dropping junky wedding favours.

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