Average UK wedding cost reaches all-time high

The average wedding in the UK now costs £30,355, a new survey has revealed.

According to Bridebook.co.uk’s National Wedding Survey 2018, the cost of getting hitched has hit an all-time high, up by £3,365 – or 12 per cent – from £26,989 the previous year.

This isn’t necessarily because Brits are being more elaborate, though – the survey reveals that supplier costs have increased by an average of 12 per cent every year. 

Of course, there are ways to cut costs, but even when a wedding doesn’t include every type of supplier (such as videographers and entertainment), the average spend on UK weddings is still £17,913 per couple.

The wedding features that have increased in price the most over the past year, however, are marquee hire (24 per cent), food and drink (23 per cent) and venue dressing (22 per cent).

In fact, 33 per cent of brides and grooms say they overspend the most on food and drink, spending an average of £5,862. And the cake alone costs couples an average of £323.

What’s more, 28 per cent of couples have an open bar (which is up from 21 per cent last year).

When it comes to location, London is – perhaps unsurprisingly – the most expensive place in the UK to tie the knot, where the average wedding spend is £31,837. In second place comes Scotland, at £19,791.

In contrast, Northern Ireland is the cheapest place to get married, with couples there spending £12,783 on average. 

As far as trends go, personalisation and sustainability are increasingly playing important roles for couples planning their big day. 

In fact, 39 per cent of couples consider the environmental impact in their wedding and 52 per cent opt for DIY decorations. And 16 per cent of brides choose a wedding dress they hope to wear again.

When it comes to wedding traditions, modern couples are holding on to some while discarding others – while 56 per cent of people ask their loved one’s father’s permission before proposing, just 27 per cent of couples get married in a religious building.

A fifth of brides and grooms have no qualms with seeing each other the morning of the wedding, 23 per cent of brides make a speech and 82 per cent don’t use a traditional gift list, preferring to request honeymoon contributions or donations to charity. 

Nearly all (94 per cent) of couples both wear rings, but 80 per cent of people take their partner’s name. 

And the parents of the bride still cover more costs of the wedding – 62 per cent of couples tying the knot receive a contribution from the bride’s parents, compared to just 45 per cent from the groom’s.

In some ways, however, today’s couples are bringing weddings into the present, with 25 per cent of couples having a wedding website and 24 per cent having a hashtag for the day. On the other hand, 13 per cent of couples ban social media at their wedding and 30 per cent ask guests to refrain from posting photos on social media on their wedding day. 

Hamish Shephard, Founder of Bridebook, said: “From the provenance of their menu to the sustainability of their fashion, to the personalisation of every detail, the millennial couple care more about every little detail of their wedding than any previous generation. 

“The hyper-personal wedding has arrived. The influence of inspirational social media is resulting in suppliers diversifying their offering in a bid to attract millennials. Personalisation and sustainability are becoming increasingly important, as couples look to do things their own way to reflect themselves as a couple.

“Whether you want multi-coloured alpacas roaming with your guests or an animatronic velociraptor to join you on the dancefloor, the incredible diversity of wedding suppliers ensures that however wild your wedding dreams are, everything can now be made a reality.

The Independent’s Millennial Love group is the best place to discuss to the highs and lows of modern dating and relationships. Join the conversation here.​

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