wedding rings

The average cost of a wedding is now over £16,000

A new study has found that the average cost of a wedding in 2016 in the UK was £16,842. The study, carried out by Bridebook.co.uk, surveyed 4,000 recently married couples to find the average price – which includes the cost of all the main elements of a wedding: the venue, flowers, dress, catering, rings transport etc…

The average cost depends very much on where the wedding takes place, with ceremonies and receptions in London costing the most (average of £25,450), followed by those in the South East (£17,333).

The cheapest weddings were in the East Midlands (£13,683) followed closely by those taking place in Scotland (£13,461).

The research by Bridebook calculated the average total cost of a wedding by identifying the average supplier costs of all the main elements of a wedding. For instance, the average cost of a venue came in at £5,819, wedding photography costs £1,211 on average and flowers are £777.

The total cost of these 18 wedding elements came to £26,989, but as the average couple only hires suppliers to take care of 13 of the 18 elements, they are actually spending less on average.

Just under 40% of couples said they got a friend or family member to bake a wedding cake, rather than pay a supplier for it, while 29% saved money by not using printed invites. Most couples – 64% – opted for a cash bar to cut down costs rather than offering their guests a free bar.

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Despite these common money-saving tactics, a third of all of the couples surveyed admitted to overspending on their initial budget, with the average couple ending up spending a whopping 30% extra.

In terms of the most popular times to get married, the summer months unsurprisingly came out on top. 18% of couples got marries in August, 16% in July and 14% in September. The most popular day to get married is Saturday (54%), followed by Friday (17%) and Sunday (11%).

A third of married couples regret spending so much on their wedding

The research from Bridebook.co.uk comes as a separate study by Barclays found that a third of married couples aged between 24 and 44 said they regret the amount they spent on their wedding day and, in hindsight, wish they had done something more productive with the money – particularly putting it towards the price of a house.

Barclays surveyed 2,000 adults, and 36% of them said they wished they had spent more carefully when planning their wedding, and 27% admitted to not saving enough money to pay for their big day.

Clare Francis, savings and investments director at Barclays said:

“While it may be tempting to break the bank for a milestone moment, there is significant risk in spending everything on an event which does not always live up to expectations, as our research shows. 

“Make sure that you plan well in advance for key life events, and be realistic about what you can afford.

“Those saving for their first home could consider a Help to Buy ISA, which offers a 25 per cent government bonus on amounts saved between £1,600 and £12,000, and there are also innovative mortgage products which can help make the purchase more affordable. 

“For longer-term savings goals, such as retirement, an investment ISA (also known as a stocks and shares ISA) could be a good choice, as returns from equities tend to outperform cash over the long term5.

“Whatever milestone you’re saving for, you need to stay in control of your money to avoid compromising your quality of life, not to mention the lives of your loved ones. In some situations, failing to budget properly can lead to long-term financial debt, which some people never recover from.”