powering smart financial decisions

Engaged over Christmas? Here’s how to actually afford a wedding

Engaged over Christmas? Here’s how to actually afford a wedding

Did you and your partner get engaged over Christmas? Once the celebrations stop, you may find yourself wondering how you’re going to pay for your wedding.

The cost of a wedding appears to be higher than most couples’ expectations. Easy Weddings surveyed 5,600 Australian couples, who estimated an average wedding cost of $23,917. However, despite these assumptions, the total average cost of a wedding in Australia was actually $32,940.

You’re also not the only one thinking about how you’ll finance your special day. In fact, the rate of marriages in Australia rose 5.5 per cent in 2018, according to data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).

But when it comes to paying for your wedding, not everyone has family who can help them out. Here are a few ways you can help keep costs down and pay for your wedding:

1.Budget and save

The most obvious, but most tedious way to pay for a wedding is to stick to a strict budget and save, save, save. With engagements generally lasting a year or longer, if you can really stick to a savings plan, you could grow the funds you need for your dream day.

Most wedding websites and magazines offer wedding planners, including realistic budgets of what each component should cost. For example, the Easy Weddings survey found:

  • The biggest expense was the venue - $15,258
  • Second biggest expense was catering - $9,891
  • Photography expenses come to $3,211 and $2,727 for a videographer
  • Wedding dresses come to $2,637 and groom formal wear comes to $1,446

If you want your savings to grow in a year, you’ll need to find a competitive savings account to park them in. After three Reserve Bank of Australia cash rate cuts in one year, savings account rates are, unfortunately, rather low.

This is why it’s crucial that you do your research. Use comparison tables to filter and compare high interest savings accounts, while keeping an eye out for pesky fees and costs.

2.Don’t mention the ‘W’ word

If you’re a more lowkey couple not looking for a big, flashy ceremony and reception, one way to keep costs down is to keep mum on the fact you’re throwing a wedding. While this is generally frowned upon by vendors, it’s a piece of advice that’s been growing in popularity over the last few years.

If you tell the venue, caterers, photographers, make-up artists etc. that you’re simply throwing a birthday party, for example, you’ll typically find that costs come way down. Just having the word ‘wedding’ or ‘marriage’ attached to your services will generally see costs go up.

3.Wedding personal loans

Most couples probably don’t want to start their marriage in debt. However, a personal loan can be a helpful tool to fill in the gaps of your wedding budget.

Perhaps you’ve saved 80 per cent of the costs of your ideal wedding. Taking out a personal loan for the remaining 20 per cent could be one option that, if managed responsibly, may not only pay for your wedding, but potentially grow your credit history and avoid relying on family.

Wedding personal loans also typically come with lower interest rates than credit cards. When compared to credit cards, they are considered a less-risky option.

RateCity research found a list of low rate personal loans available for weddings:

CompanyProductAdvertised RateComparison Rate
Endeavour Mutual BankTerm Deposit Secured Loan



Heritage BankLow Rate Secured Loan



Coastline Credit UnionPersonal Loan Secured with Term Deposit



Summerland Credit UnionGeneral Purpose Loan Secured By Cash



Symple LoansPersonal Loan



Note: Data accurate as at 18 December 2019. 

Just be sure you can budget for and repay your wedding personal loan before applying. You don’t want to run the risk of defaulting on the loan and damaging your credit history. A personal loan calculator can be really helpful here.

Further, if you choose a secured loan, you also risk losing the asset offered up as security if you default. Do your research around personal loans to see if they’re the right fit for your financial needs and budget before applying.

Did you find this helpful? Why not share this news?

This article was reviewed by Personal Finance Editor Mark Bristow before it was published as part of RateCity's Fact Check process.



Money Health Newsletter

Subscribe for news, tips and expert opinions to help you make smarter financial decisions

By signing up, you agree to the RateCity Privacy Policy, Terms of Use and Disclaimer.


Learn more about personal loans

What is a bad credit personal loan?

A bad credit personal loan is a personal loan designed for somebody with a bad credit history. This type of personal loan has higher interest rates than regular personal loans as well as higher fees.

What is a personal loan?

A personal loan sits somewhere between a home loan and a credit card loan. Unlike with a credit card, you need to sign a formal contract to access a personal loan. However, the process is easier and faster than taking out a mortgage.

Loan sizes typically range from several hundred dollars to tens of thousands of dollars, while loan terms usually run from one to five years. Personal loans are generally used to consolidate debts, pay emergency bills or fund one-off expenses like holidays.

How much can you borrow with a bad credit personal loan?

Borrowers who take out bad credit personal loans don’t just pay higher interest rates than on regular personal loans, they also get loaned less money. Each lender has its own policies and loan limits, but you’ll find it hard to get approved for a bad credit personal loan above $50,000.

Should I get a fixed or variable personal loan?

Fixed personal loans keep your interest rate the same for the full loan term, while interest rates on variable personal loans may be raised or lowered during your loan term.

A fixed rate personal loan keeps your repayments consistent, which can help keep your budgeting consistent. You won't have to worry about higher repayments if your rates were to rise. However, on a fixed loan you’ll also potentially miss out on more affordable repayments if variable rates were to fall.

Does refinancing a personal loan hurt your credit score?

Personal loan refinancing means taking out a new loan with more desirable terms in order to access a more competitive interest rate, longer loan term, better features, or even to consolidate debts.

In some situations, refinancing a personal loan can improve your credit score, while in others, it may have a negative impact. If you refinance multiple loans by consolidating these into one loan, it could improve your credit score as you’ll have only one outstanding debt liability. Your credit may also improve if you consistently pay the instalments on time.

However, applying to refinance with multiple lenders could negatively affect your credit if your applications are rejected. Also, if you delay or default the repayment, your credit score reduces.

Is a personal loan a variable or fixed-rate loan?

Depending on the personal loan lender, you may be able to choose between a fixed and a variable interest rate. But, there are a few distinct differences between the two, so it’s important to weigh up the pros and cons before deciding on what’s right for you.

A fixed interest rate loan gets you the convenience of knowing exactly how much you need to repay each fortnight or month. On the other hand, you generally won’t be able to make lump sum or advanced payments to close your personal loan early - or at least not without a penalty.

With a variable interest rate personal loan, you may be able to get a longer loan repayment term, with the option of paying off the loan early. You typically won’t need to pay any additional charges for an early full repayment either. The potential disadvantage with an interest rate that can change is that your repayment is not entirely predictable, as it can fluctuate with the market. However, you’ll likely have more options as more lenders offer a variable interest rate personal loan.

Can you refinance a $5000 personal loan?

Much like home loans, many personal loans can be refinanced. This is where you replace your current personal loan with another personal loan, often from another lender and at a lower interest rate. Switching personal loans may let you enjoy more affordable repayments, or useful features and benefits.

If you have a $5000 personal loan as well as other debts, you may be able to use a debt consolidations personal loan to combine these debts into one, potentially saving you money and simplifying your repayments.

What is the average interest rate on personal loans for single parents?

Like other types of personal loans, the average interest rate for personal loans for single parents changes regularly, as lenders add, remove, and vary their loan offers. The interest rate you’ll receive may depend on a range of different factors, including your loan amount, loan term, security, income, and credit score.

Can I merge my personal loan with my home loan?

Yes, you can refinance your home loan and, in the process, merge or consolidate your personal loan and home loan. By doing so, you can lower the number of debts you have, and you may also reduce the total interest you have to pay.

However, you should consult a financial advisor or a mortgage broker to confirm that you are decreasing your total outstanding debt, including interest payments. The repayment term for a home loan can be much longer than that for a personal loan, and by merging the two, you could be repaying a higher amount over the full term.

What is an unsecured bad credit personal loan?

A bad credit personal loan is ‘unsecured’ when the borrower doesn’t offer up an asset, such as a car or jewellery, as collateral or security. Lenders generally charge higher interest rates on unsecured loans than secured loans.

Can I get a bad credit personal loan with a guarantor?

Some lenders will consider personal loan applications from a borrower with bad credit if the borrower has a family member with good credit willing to guarantee the loan (a guarantor).

If the borrower fails to pay back their personal loan, it will be their guarantor’s responsibility to cover the repayments.

What do credit scores have to do with personal loan interest rates?

There is a strong link between credit scores and personal loan interest rates because many lenders use credit scores to help decide what interest rates to offer to potential borrowers.

If you have a higher credit score, lenders will probably classify you as a lower-risk borrower. That means they’ll be keen to win your business, so they may offer you a lower interest rate if you apply for a personal loan.

If you have a lower credit score, lenders will probably classify you as a higher-risk borrower. That means they might be concerned about you defaulting on the loan and costing them money. As a result, they might protect themselves by charging you a higher interest rate.

Can I repay a $3000 personal loan early?

If you receive a financial windfall (e.g. tax refund, inheritance, bonus), using some of this money to make extra repayments onto your personal loan or medium amount loan could help reduce the total interest you’re charged on your loan, or help clear your debt ahead of schedule.

Check your loan’s terms and conditions before paying extra onto your loan, as some lenders charge fees for making extra repayments, or early exit fees for clearing your debt ahead of the agreed term.

What is a secured bad credit personal loan?

A bad credit personal loan is 'secured' when the borrower offers up an asset, such as a car or jewellery, as collateral or security. If the borrower fails to repay the loan, the lender can then seize the asset to recoup its losses.