Source: The Mercury, April 26, 1995, p. 9


Couples go
for tradition
in weddings

By KIM SWEETMAN
in Canberra

FORGET feminist empowerment, forget
simplicity and most of all, forget practical-
ity - if you're a young woman planning a
wedding, you want a big white dress and a
great hairdo.

  That is the picture emerging from re-
search, sales figures and church bookings.

  Big weddings are back in vogue, with
ceremonies averaging $12,700.
Australian Federation of Civil Celeb-
rants president Dally Messenger believes
increasingly older marrying ages are part-
ly responsible for the re-emergence of
traditional weddings.

  About 70 per cent of his weddings were
traditional ceremonies, compared with
about 40 per cent 10 years ago.

  The Australian Bureau of Statistics says
the average age for men marrying for the
first time is 28. For women it is 26.

  Of the 113,255 couples who married in
1993, 65,573 chose a religious ceremony.
The 47,682 who opted for civil ceremonies
was double the number who chose to go
that way 10 years earlier.

  An Australian National University
study recently found the average price of a
wedding dress was $1800 and about 70 per
cent of women marrying this year would
wear white.

  The 22 bridal magazines commonly
available in Australia have an average
cost of $7 each.

  They say a bridal bouquet usually costs
about $150, plus three bridesmaids' bou-
quets at $100 each.

  Then, at averaged prices, there is a
photographer (about $1700 for five hours),
three cars ($500), four men's suits ($80
each, hired), a cake ($400-$600), bridal
shoes ($250), hairstyle (about $150) and
make-up ($80), plus many more extras.

  Wedding bank loans averaged $20,000.


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