Newly engaged? Congratulations! You've excitedly told all your loved ones the big news and now it's time to sit down and actually start the planning.
The first question you need to know is, how much does a wedding cost? Read on to find out!
First things first, the budget! Make sure you have a clear idea of your budget so you know what you have to work with (and save up for!). The traditional way is that the bride's parents actually pay for the entire wedding costs but these days couples, along with both sides of the family all tend to put into the same pot. If you've not done so already, take a deep breath and have that conversation with each of your families and get clear on if they will be paying towards it, and if so, exactly how much they are willing to contribute. Once you have your figure, you and your partner will know how much you will need to save up for.
So let's break it down shall we. According to a recent survey done by Brides Magazine. The average wedding budget breaks down into this:-
Wedding Venue - £2,790
Once you have made your guest list and set a date, the first thing you will be doing is looking for a wedding venue for your ceremony. Think about what would suit your personalities as a couple. Maybe a manor house or a lavish castle. Outdoors might be more your thing and so you can opt for tipis and have a festival theme. Once the venue is booked you will be able to work everything else around this.
Reception Venue - £3,919
You will need a second venue for your reception if this is going to be a different place from your ceremony. A lot of venues have their 'preferred supplier' lists which you can usually find in the back of their brochures. These are suppliers that the venue has usually worked with in the past. Sometimes suppliers actually pay to be able to be in there so keep this in mind when searching for your suppliers. Alternatively, your planner can recommend reliable wedding suppliers for you.
Need some inspiration for your wedding theme? Check out some wedding theme ideas.
Catering - £3959
Catering will be one of your main costs towards your wedding budget. To save on costs think about whether or not you really want to opt for a three course sit down meal or if you would prefer a set menu like an afternoon tea or buffet. Food trucks are another great option.
Photographer/Video - £1,046
A photographer and videographer should be a top priory when it comes to booking your suppliers. You will want to capture the entire day and be happy with what has been produced so take your time with this one. There are so many photographers doing different styles so check you are happy with the style and ensure it's within your budget.
For more information on how to book your photographer go to wedding photography frequently asked questions.
Flowers - £638
When choosing your flowers think about the season you want to get married in. Certain flowers will not be so readily available in winter as they are in the summer for example.
Read more about how to book your wedding florist.
Cake - £300
What type of cake will you be having? There are so many different sponge and filling flavours to choose from as well as styles. To cut costs, opt for real flowers on your cake instead of handmade iced ones.
Entertainment - £773
Did you want a band or a DJ? Maybe you want both? You could have a magician or a caricaturist for the cocktail hour? Either way, your guests will thank you for booking some decent entertainment.
Dress - £1,378
You have probably thought about your wedding dress for a very long time and already have an idea of what your dream dress will be. Most brides go in with a set type of dress they are after but once they have actually tried on that style of dress they end up falling in love with something totally unexpected so be open to trying on different ones and don't get too many opinions. A maximum of three people from your bridal tribe should be going to the bridal shop with you or else it gets too confusing for you.
Still after some inspiration? Go to Wedding dress ideas
Shoes - £161
You obviously want a beautiful pair of shoes for the day time but after being in them all day they will start to get a little uncomfortable so buy a second pair of flat comfortable ones so you can dance the night away. Wear your shoes to your dress fitting to make sure your dress is the correct length.
Undecided on shoes? Get some Wedding shoe inspiration
Stationery - £271
You will need escort cards, place names, menus, invitations and a table plan. This can all add up but you can decide to do this all yourself. Keep in mind the costs of all the materials and how much time it is going to take you to do though. Invitations should be sent out six months beforehand so you will need to get started on them well before then and test out various designs before sticking to your chosen one.
Headdress/Veil - £138
Traditionally a veil is worn for church ceremonies but brides can decide what they feel is best for them. There are so many pretty ones to choose from.
Attendants' outfits - £436
You will need to decide if you will be paying for your bridesmaids' outfits and ushers' suits hire.
Mother of the Bride outfit - £349
Will her outfit be added to your budget?
Grooms' outfit - £439
His outfit can be incorporated into your wedding theme. For inspiration check out Grooms' outfit ideas
Beauty - £301
This includes a hair stylist and a makeup stylist. Any makeup you wish to purchase for topping up and other general products you may need for your wedding preparation.
Engagement Ring - £3,037
If you are reading this then you should already have your engagement ring. If not, it's time to look for the perfect ring
Wedding Rings - £809
Match your wedding ring with your engagement ring. You don't want a gold ring if your engagement ring is silver. Sometimes you can buy them already paired.
Other Wedding Jewellery - £176
This includes earrings, necklace and bracelet. Don't forget your something borrowed, something blue, something old and something new!
Honeymoon - £4,413
Will you have a honeymoon or a mini-moon? Go somewhere exotic or adventurous?
Gift list - £2,400
Your gift list can be from a department store, an online store like Amazon or you can even set up a honeymoon gift list.
TOTAL COST - £30,111
Of course you can do all this for a lot less, or even a lot more. This is just a guideline of the average cost of a wedding in the UK. Your wedding day will be what you make of it. Try and stick to your budget and prioritise the things that are most important to you.