Couples in the UK are prepared to spend big bucks to have the wedding of their dreams.
A new survey of more than 3,000 brides has found that the average UK wedding now costs couples a whopping £25,090.
The single biggest wedding expenditure is venue hire, costing an average of £3,738 (14.8% of the total cost) and finding a venue was ranked as the top priority by brides when planning their big day, above setting the budget and deciding the guest list.
The honeymoon is the second biggest outlay, costing an average of £3,366 (13.4% of the total budget), followed by food at £3,072 (12.2%).
The survey was conducted by wedding website hitched.co.uk and found that the average cost had gone up 21% from their last study, which looked at wedding prices in 2014.
It also uncovered that parents still play a big part in financing the big day, with 48% of couples getting financial assistance from their parents, while 6% still opt for the traditional way of letting the bride’s parents pay for it all.
The survey also revealed new wedding trends across the UK, including the rise of mini-moons, where couples go on a short break straight after their wedding as well as a longer honeymoon at a later date.
To help fund this, 82% of couples ask for cash or honeymoon vouchers as gifts.
Commenting on the findings, Caroline Bradley, hitched.co.uk editor, said: “It’s no surprise to see that wedding planning couples are putting the venue as their top priority – even ahead of setting a budget.
“By choosing the wedding venue in the early planning stages, couples can then plan around this easily – with a fixed location, confirmed wedding date and cost per head already in place.
“We also see that couples are opting for guests to help fund towards the honeymoon – which may be a contributing factor to the average wedding spend being at its highest in seven years. With guests footing the bulk of the honeymoon bill, couples are free to spend the majority of the budget on the big day itself.”
The survey also highlighted that the average cost of an engagement ring is now £1,742.
Meanwhile the total spend on clothes is now £2,400, which includes £1,055 for the wedding dress compared to £293 for the groom’s outfit. A total of 35% of grooms opt to hire their suit rather than purchasing it.
Despite the survey showing the average wedding doesn’t come cheap, you shouldn’t let the figures put you off from popping the question if you’re on a budget.
In a recent blog on The Huffington Post UK, Hannah Maundrell, editor in chief at money.co.uk, shared her top tips for having a brilliant wedding on a budget.
She recommends sending e-invites instead of posting invitations to cut down on the cost of fancy cards (and stamps).
She also suggests couples ditch the traditional three course meal and use their wedding cake for dessert, send bridesmaids down the aisle with cheaper alternatives to flowers (like lanterns) and look on ebay for wedding nicknacks like table decorations.
Most importantly, keep in mind that a wedding is all about marrying the person you love - you’ll have a great time, whatever your budget.