Let’s not beat around the bush – getting hitched is an expensive exercise. The cost of a venue and catering alone is enough to burn a rather large hole in most people’s pockets (around $18,683 according to the latest official figures from ASIC). Wedding guests are a hungry, thirsty breed.
Then there are the additional price tags: flowers, invitations and photography (to name only a few) which, according to several surveys conducted last year, has pushed the average wedding spend in Australia to between $36,000 and $65,000, depending on the publication you’re reading. Now that’s some serious dough.
With plenty of engaged couples jumping on the DIY bandwagon, trying to determine a “reasonable” price point for hire items like chairs, tables, marquees, festoon lighting and catering equipment is especially tricky (read: a living nightmare!)
So to help you as you start to break down your budget, we’ve done our homework and averaged out the prices of various popular hire items.
Please note – these are just the average prices from a relatively small cross-section of Australian vendors. These figures should not be relied upon, nor used as a bargaining tool when approaching hire companies – every company has the right to charge what they want, and often higher costs equal superior quality.
Other things to consider:
- Venue: Be aware that the cost of your venue probably reflects the facilities that it offers – i.e, the more expensive the venue, the less you’ll need to hire. The wonderful thing about blank-canvas spaces is that you can style them in a way that is completely personal but just be aware that you will most likely need to hire more items, so it’s not necessarily a cheaper way to get married.
- Location: If you’re getting hitched in a far-away place, consider that you may need to pay for two days hire (so that there is time to set up the venue the day before). Check with the hire company – they may be happy for you to rent their items for two days for the price of one if they don’t have another wedding booked. Also, don’t forget to hire things like toilets, a generator and catering equipment if necessary.
- Logistics: The more hire companies you use, the more drop-off and pick-up fees you’ll have to swallow (and more coordinating you’ll have to manage). Set-up is almost always an additional fee too, so it’s worth seeing if you can partner with vendors that offer a broad set of items and skills.
- Vision: It’s easy to get carried away when it comes to decorative hire items. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, remember the kind of day you’re trying to create and stick to key pieces that will help bring that vision to life.
- Budget: If you’re on a budget, stick to the essentials (chairs, tables, cutlery etc) and then pick a few ‘feature items’ like festoon lights or a cocktail station. Also keep in mind that some companies offer package deals if you’re hiring a whole heap of stuff.
- Manpower: Many hands make light work so if you’re doing it yourself (as opposed to hiring a stylist) make sure you’ve got a few burly men on standby.
- Quality: The general rule with hire items is that you get what you pay for. A good quality, nordic-style teepee is going to cost more for example than a small, plastic marquee.
Photo credit The Wedding Shed.
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