19 Aug 2022 Admin

Marriage Money Matters - Ultimate Guide to Paying for a Wedding

If you have a quick look on Google to see the most common search queries regarding weddings, most involve a question relating to money. It’s hardly a surprise. According to financial experts, after a house and car, weddings - whether hosting or attending one - are one of the most expensive things you will spend money on in your lifetime. With this in mind, we thought we’d help you out by answering all of the most frequently asked questions on one page. Happy reading!

Google Search Query: “How much is an average wedding?”

According to wedding industry experts, the cost of an average wedding in the UK has shot up by over ninety percent since 2020 - now coming at between £17,000 and £18,000 pounds. Considering, pre-covid, the average wedding price tag was under £10k which is quite a jump. If you think that’s bad, however, spare a little sympathy for our friends across the pond - in the US, the cost of an average wedding is just shy of £25000! In fact, weddings in Spain, Canada, and Italy all come out at over £20k so Britain is quite conservative by comparison. That being said, spending that amount of money - an amount that can buy you quite a nice car or serve as a solid house deposit - does sound painful.

Google Search Query: “Why weddings are expensive?”


So why are weddings so expensive? The simple answer is - time is money. And when planning a wedding, you are asking for a lot of time, from numerous suppliers - venue, music, catering, outfitters, celebrants - to essentially achieve perfection (because nothing less will do on one of the biggest days of your life).

Let’s take the wedding venue for example - do you think the cost of hiring the space for a day is expensive? Well, take a look at the list of expenses wedding venues accrue and then bear in mind that they don’t have weddings (and therefore income) on all 365 days of the year. Utilities, garden and grounds upkeep, Council Tax/Business Rates, events insurance, Premises Licensing, Wedding ceremony licensing, marketing, venue fit out (everything you see inside and outside, team, repairs and replacements (these are needed after every single wedding), accountancy costs, legal contracts, associated health and safety expenditures, taxes, bank fees, office costs… so when you deduct all of this from the price the wedding venue quotes you, it really isn’t unreasonable at all.

You can apply this list of expenditures in one form or another to every single supplier you work with which then clarifies why the total wedding bill is as high as it inevitably is.

Google Search Query: “Can weddings be financed?”


So how can you afford your dream wedding? In the current economic climate, very few people have £20,000 casually lying around. The average amount people in the UK are able to save per year, is just over £2000. Assuming you don’t go on holiday and buy anything extravagant, it would take you 10 years to save up that amount! So what are the alternatives? You can use some of your savings to cover the rest with either a 0% credit card, personal loan, get help from friends and family, or - and this is an increasingly popular option - ask for money as a wedding gift from your wedding guests.

If you’re going down the route of personal finance or credit cards, there are loads of tools out there to help you choose the right product for you and it’s worth doing your research so that you’re not lumbered with extortionate interest rates which lead you to pay even more for your nuptials than you initially budgeted. Don’t get swept away and think that paying back your loan/credit card is a “future you” problem. Future you will not thank you, believe us.

Google Search Query: “Are weddings a waste of money?”


At this juncture, you may well ask the question, “hang on, is this all worth it? It’s just one day after all. Just a (dare we say it) party.” But it’s not though, is it? In life, there are a few pivotal events, milestones, and end-of-era events, and a wedding is one of the main ones. It’s a moment in your life that you will remember for the rest of it and, if you’re fortunate enough to only get married once, it’s a once-in-a-lifetime experience. So, as long as you approach the process sensibly and don’t spend more than you’re prepared to repay, there’s no harm in splashing the cash and treating yourself. Word to the wise though, don’t be tempted to live a champagne life on a lemonade budget - be savvy with your hard-earned £ and assess every expenditure objectively.

Google Search Query: “Are weddings abroad cheaper?”


The short answer is - no. Yes, you may shave some pounds off the cost of the venue and other suppliers but then you’re adding to your travel/transfer/accommodation bill instead so it’s not really a saving you’ll see. In fact, the biggest saving you’ll make is in the amount of space you’ll need to accommodate your guests as the number of “cannot attend” flood through the door. Few people will be able to afford to pay for travel abroad as well as take the time off work so your guest list will be greatly reduced. Keep it local and support local businesses while saving the planet by not adding to your carbon footprint.

Best ways to budget

As soon as you get engaged, and before you reach for your laptop to start planning your wedding, sit down with your other half and agree on the amount of money that both of you feel comfortable spending on a wedding. You wouldn’t go house hunting without knowing the maximum you’re both prepared to spend, and nor would you turn up at your house in a Ferrari when your partner expected the new car to be a Kia. Aside from knowing what you can physically afford to spend, it is first important to establish how much you, as a couple, are prepared to spend. What is the amount of money that you are prepared to part with to have a wedding and go on a honeymoon that - crucially - won’t cause you sleepless nights and regrets after the big day? That sum may be different for both of you so be prepared to have a practical and realistic conversation about your wedding budget and come to terms with the fact that you may have to compromise on conceding some elements of your big day. You may have always dreamt of arriving at the reception in a horse-drawn carriage whereas your partner may consider public transport to be a perfectly acceptable mode of transport. Compromise is one of the most crucial parts of a marriage, so start early and hone the skill while you’re planning your big day.

Tools to help me budget


Here, you’re really in luck because there are a huge amount of free budgeting tools out there. These will help you keep a grip on your finances even while your imagination runs wild with creative ideas for your big day. Check out all the tools below and take your pick.

Hitched Budget Planning
Bridebook Wedding Planning Tools

The Know Wedding Budget

So there you have it, all your wedding money questions answered. If you’d like to find out more about how much a wedding band is likely to set you back, check out our Wedding Band Prices page or contact us for free, no-obligation advice.