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