What’s the Average Cost of a Wedding? [25+ Stats]

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Many envision a dream wedding, but it’s a good idea to know the average wedding cost before sending out save-the-date cards. Even though everyone would like to stick to a wedding budget, wedding costs have risen in the past few years, making budget weddings challenging. This article addresses the costs of a wedding to help you decide where to save money.

Average Wedding Cost - Image 1

Average Wedding Cost: Intriguing Facts

  • The average cost of a UK wedding is £31,974.
  • A couple receives £1,832 in wedding gifts.
  • The wedding venue is the most considerable expense at £5,406.
  • The honeymoon is the second-largest expense at £4,645.
  • Wedding flowers cost approximately £1,000.
  • Wedding rings cost £800 per pair.
  • Wedding stationery will set you back £450.
  • The average wedding cake costs £290.

The Overall Cost

What is the total sum you need to set aside if you wish to have an average UK wedding? 

#1 The average cost for a UK wedding is £31,974

(Manchester Evening News)

The average cost of a wedding in the UK is £31,974—a £299 decrease from the previous year. This sum includes all the high costs of a wedding. But some spend significantly less (or more) on their wedding days. 

#2 The cost of a wedding increased by £5,000 in a decade

(Statista)

Statistics reveal that wedding costs increased by £5,000 between 2009 and 2019. In 2009, the average wedding cost £20,000, while in 2019, the price reached nearly £32,000

#3 More than half of all couples need financial help to pay for their weddings

(Hitched)

With the average wedding cost in the UK rising, it’s no surprise that more than half of all couples getting married need financial help to pay for their weddings. Typically, their parents are the ones assisting with the expenses

#4 A wedding is the third most expensive purchase of a lifetime

(CompareWedding Insurance)

With the average cost of a wedding so high, it’s estimated that for most, their wedding will be the third most expensive purchase they’ll ever make, following a home (and second home) and a car. 

#5 On average, a couple receives £1,832 in gifts

(Manchester Evening News)

Wedding statistics for the UK show that the average couple receives £1,832 in wedding gifts. The most popular gifts are cash and honeymoon vouchers, which lowers the overall cost of the wedding. 

#6 Average expenses for wedding guests amount to £391

(The Week)

Even if you’re merely a guest at a wedding, you’ll need to spend about £391 on hotel accommodation (£72), apparel (£68), gifts (£66), Bachelor/Bachelorette party (£58), travel costs (£57), drinks (£45), and hair and beauty (£25). 

#7 Couples that spend more on their wedding are more likely to get divorced

(Four Nine)

A high wedding cost is tied to the likelihood of divorce. According to divorce statistics, those who spend more on their wedding are more likely to get a divorce. On the other hand, those who spend as little as £753 are much less likely to be divorced in the future—confirmed by facts on love

The Highest & Lowest Wedding Costs

What do people spend such large sums of money on when organising a wedding? Consider the following highest and lowest wedding expenses

#8 The cost of the wedding venue is the most significant expense at £5,406

(Manchester Evening News)

The venue cost is the most considerable expense of each wedding at £5,406. But the average wedding cost in the UK can be reduced significantly if the couple opts for a low-cost venue

#9 A registry office wedding costs £57

(Money Helper)

A registry office wedding will only set you back only £57. But if you wish to have a reception, additional costs will accrue, depending on what you want to do and the number of guests. So you won’t need to go into debt and increase your growing household debt by opting for such a wedding. 

#10 A church wedding in the UK costs £500

(Money Helper)

The average church wedding in the UK costs approximately £500. But there can be extra expenses, such as flowers and using the church organ, choir, and church bells. Despite the low church wedding cost in the UK, only a small percentage of couples opt for a religious ceremony.

#11 The honeymoon is the second-largest expense of each wedding at £4,645

(Manchester Evening News, purephotoni)

An average honeymoon costs £4,645, making it the second-largest wedding expense. Some of the most popular honeymoon destinations include Italy, Greece, Spain, and Maldives, where the average honeymoon costs £8,000

#12 Food and drink are costly aspects of a wedding

(Manchester Evening News)

The average UK wedding cost depends mainly on how much is spent on food and drink. On average, Brits spend £3,887 on food and £1,587 on drinks. But costs depend on the number of attendees and the price of the catering service

The Little Things

Each wedding includes numerous small expenses, which make weddings a lot costlier. Consider some of the following most common small expenditures. 

#13 Wedding photography costs an average of £1,040

(Feast It)

The average wedding photographer cost for a UK wedding is £1,040. But the price for photographers and videographers depends on the duration of the wedding and specific requirements

#14 Couples spend approximately £1,000 on flowers

(Wedding Planner)

Couples don’t save on flowers, even in the absence of accompanying decorations. On average, they spend £1,000 on flowers. And the price of flowers is expected to rise even higher due to the growing costs of exported flowers

#15 A bride spends £1,100 on her dress and shoes

(Wedding Planner)

The average wedding dress cost is approximately £1,000 (not including bridal accessories), with an additional £100 spent on shoes. 

#16 The cost of wedding rings is approximately £800

(Feast It)

Rings are one of the essential costs of every wedding.  On average, a pair of wedding rings will cost you £800, which is not much compared to other expenses that don’t last a lifetime, unlike rings

#17 The price of a live band ranges from £600 to £1900

(Seventh Second)

The average cost of a wedding in the UK depends on the type of band you choose to play at your wedding. For example:

  • A three-piece band can cost £600 to £1,000
  • Four-piece, £800 to £1,500 
  • Five-piece, £1,000 to £1,700
  • Six-piece, £1,400 to £1,900 

#18 A wedding DJ costs between £200 and £800

(Money Helper)

Hiring a DJ is less expensive than hiring a live band to play at your wedding. Wedding facts for the UK reveal that a DJ will cost you between £200 and £800—depending on their experience, how far they need to travel, and if they provide any extras

The Nonessentials

Most couples opt to spend additional costs on the nonessentials of a wedding. But what are some of the expendables that a wedding can do without?      

#19 Couples spend £450 on stationery

(Wedding Planner)

Invitations, place cards, save-the-date cards, and thank you cards all fall under the category of stationery. When considering the average cost of a UK wedding, a couple spends a surprising £450 on stationery. Dropping costs of weddings could include the absence of stationery. Instead, a couple could opt for DIY stationery or send out e-invitations

#20 Wedding transport costs between £300 and £700

(Money Helper)

If you wish to hire a car to take you to your wedding, you’ll need to pay between £300 and £600. A wedding bus to transport your guests from the ceremony to the reception will cost between £500 and £700. The average cost of a wedding in the UK can be reduced if people use their own vehicles to get to the wedding. 

#21 A bride spends £340 on bridesmaid dresses

(Evening Standard)

Although the number of guests (and bridesmaids) has decreased for a pandemic wedding, the cost of bridesmaid dresses has increased by £199. So a bride spends £340 on bridesmaid dresses and £147 on bridesmaid gifts. 

#22 Bachelor/Bachelorette parties cost £464

(The Week)

One of the unanticipated expenses included in the average cost of a wedding for the UK market is the cost of Bachelor/Bachelorette parties. People spend an average of £464 on these parties—a price that could be easily avoided or reduced. 

#23 The most expensive wedding month is June

(purephotoni)

June is the most expensive month of the year to get married—£7,300 more costly than getting married in January, the cheapest month to get married. So if you wish to get married in the summer, you’ll need to part with a more significant sum of your average savings.

#24 An average wedding cake costs £290

(LovefromLila)

The average wedding cake cost in the UK is £290, depending on the size and design of the cake. A smaller wedding means a smaller cake—hence a cheaper one. 

#25 Hiring a tuxedo is cheaper than buying one

(Bridebook)

If you decide to hire your tuxedo, you’ll need to spend between £50 and £100. But if you choose to buy one, you’ll need to spend at least £200. If you select a tailored tuxedo or suit, you will spend between £400 and £600. Hiring a tuxedo is a good way of saving money when organising a wedding. 

#26 A wedding planner charges 10 to 15% of the total wedding budget

(ByChenai)

How much does a wedding cost in the UK with a wedding planner? A wedding will cost 10 to 15% more if you hire a planner. Besides the percentage, the planner will charge additional minimum fees, while a fixed fee may be charged for big-budget weddings. (But facts on marriage reveal that an expensive wedding doesn’t guarantee a long and prosperous marriage.)

#27 London weddings cost approximately £39,763

(Evening Standard)

If you wish to marry in the capital, beware that the average wedding cost for London is £39,763. But if you opt for the cheapest destination (South West England), your wedding will cost £27,958

Wrap Up

Weddings are a costly endeavour. But for millions, their wedding day is the happiest day of their lives. It’s only normal to want everything to be perfect, and they’re willing to spend large sums of money to have the wedding of their dreams. So how much does the average wedding cost? Money is no object for much of the UK population.

FAQ

What is a reasonable budget for a wedding?

Although there’s no correct answer about how much a wedding should cost, several thousand pounds is considered a reasonable budget for a modest wedding.

How much does a wedding cost in the UK in 2021?

The latest numbers reveal that the average wedding cost in the UK is £31,974. But, of course, you could spend significantly less (or more).

How can I afford a wedding?

The best course of action to take before a wedding is to save money during your engagement. In addition, you can ask your family for financial help or pick up a side job to help you cover expenses.

ABOUT AUTHOR

I've loved writing since I can remember, and back in high school, I started loving psychology as well. So I majored in it while dabbling in spirituality and yoga on the side.

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