They say love conquers all. But for modern-day matrimony, it’s no match for life’s escalating expenses, with many couples choosing to say ‘nup’ to the nuptials.

Wedding expenses can spiral out of control faster than your dodgy uncle on the bar tab. It’s enough to make even the most financially savvy lovebirds say ‘I don’t’ to the whole idea. 

Rather than spend all their hard-earned on one big day – which, let’s face it, can pass by in a blur of quick hellos, schedule-mania, and wondering where the heck you put your drink –the latest YouGov and BCU Bank research shows that 31% of Aussies – approximately 6.2 million of us – would choose to boost our bank balance instead.

Fifteen per cent strongly agree with this sentiment, a figure that jumps to 35% among those who don’t have enough money for non-discretionary spending or are barely getting by.

Gen X (those born 1965-1980) are most likely to agree with the wedding-swerving approach, at almost 40%, followed by Gen Z (1997-2012) at 26%, and Baby Boomers (1946-64) at 24%.

There’s likely less of a rush to catch the bouquet these days, with figures showing women (at 35%) are more willing than men (27%) to ditch their dream day and hold on to the dosh instead.

Unhitching tradition across a generational divide

Just like playing in the street until dark, the original Polly Waffle, free tertiary education, and banking on the bride’s family shelling out for the big day, some things are just no longer part of life for everyday Aussies.

And while we’ve all heard plenty of “back in my day” tales of financial woe, it’s the things older generations could take for granted that young (and youngish) Aussies are missing out on today. It’s giving “always the bridesmaid, never the bride” vibes.

Of course, there’s no doubt our parents, and their parents, planned, scrimped, and saved for the all-important event – and those epic wide-collared brown suits too. As well as their own weddings, they were likely all-in on their mates’ big shindigs with a best man or bridesmaid role (or three).

But today’s twosomes are reconsidering what celebrating commitment means, and what it could look like instead.

The average Aussie wedding now costs around $36,000, according to MoneySmart. In the not-so-distant past, saving for your wedding may have meant a few extra meals of beans on toast, but nowadays the wedding whirlwind is hampered by pressure from every angle – with debt, the rising cost of living, and social-media-driven expectations all playing a part.

For richer

If love is in the air but you think a wedding is off the cards, don’t lose hope – there are some smart ways to structure your finances so you can still achieve your life and financial goals.

Having a plan for your savings is key to making your money work harder for you.

As a partner by your side, BCU Bank is here to help you navigate life’s financial journey. Our range of award-winning products and services includes accounts to suit your circumstances – so you can think of us like the best man who actually remembers the rings.

Whatever you’re saving for, BCU's high-interest savings accounts or term deposits can help you kick your savings into gear faster than you can say ‘wedding menu taste test’.

While that magic number of $36,000 can buy some pretty great things – 25-odd return flights to Bali, for example, or 6,545 of those new Polly Waffle Bites (not sponsored, just obsessed) – putting that figure in the bank could net some sweet returns too.

Our Bonus Saver offers an introductory rate of interest paid for the first four months, and our online iSaver Account pays a higher rate of interest, the more you save.

For the sake of this exercise, let’s put $36,000 in a BCU iSaver account which, at the time of writing, would earn 3.25% interest p.a. That adds close to $1,200 in your account over the course of a year – potentially lessening any matrimony-related pain on your hip pocket when the time comes to make a wedding-related withdrawal. 

For couples, joint accounts can provide a nice avenue to shared savings, with BCU customers able to use the BCU Bank App to set up hassle-free automatic transfers to dedicated savings accounts.

We’ve even created a bunch of helpful calculators for savings, budget planning and loans for you to check out.

Happily ever after? We’d love to help you get there

While we may no longer be a society wedded to the idea of a ‘big day’, at BCU we believe you shouldn’t have to give up on any dream.

We work hard to ensure all our members are supported in their walk down the aisle of life through our big bank energy with small bank service.

If your heart’s set on hitching, we’ll help you marry dreams with reality. Forever the bridesmaid? No more!

Contact us for more details on any of our products and services. Because we’re here to help.

Banking products issued by Police & Nurses Limited (BCU Bank) ABN 69 087 651 876 AFSL/Australian Credit Licence 240701.
Any advice does not take into account your objectives, financial situation or needs. Read the relevant Product Terms and Conditions, before acquiring any product in considering and deciding whether it is right for you. The Target Market Determinations (TMD)’s are available on our website or upon request.

Research included in this article is correct at time of writing.

Important information

Banking and Credit products issued by Police & Nurses Limited (BCU) ABN 69 087 651 876 AFSL/Australian Credit Licence 240701. Any advice does not take into account your objectives, financial situation or needs. Read the relevant Product Terms and Condition, before acquiring this product in considering and deciding whether it is right for you. The Target Market Determination (TMD) for products is available on request. Lending criteria, terms & conditions, fees & charges apply.