One of the joys of my job is that I am able to create a unique ceremony. My clients have the freedom to choose precisely how they want their event to pan out. They are in control of the amount (if any) of religion, rituals, music, readings and participation.
However, it’s worth having a closer look at “unique”. There are only so many different venues, rituals or readings available for your service – but the combination and choice can add up to “unique”.
In 2014 (sorry I don’t have more up-to-date figures!), 33.5% of UK marriages were conducted in a religious building (mostly, churches). The register office accounted for 10.5%. That left over half taking place elsewhere.
The most popular place was a hotel (nearly 20%), followed by a castle (15.5%). Almost 5% got married abroad and just fewer than 1% tied the knot in a marquee.
Do your sums and you’ll note that that leaves a fraction over 15% whose wedding took place somewhere else again!
Intriguingly, I couldn’t find any statistics for this large share of the market, but I guess we are looking at more imaginative places such as sea-shores, back gardens, hot-air balloons, underwater – and who knows where!
What it does show is that people are more aware of creative possibilities and more open to civil ceremonies.
The majority of weddings in 2014 (34%) cost between £5,000 and £10,000, although those spending between £10,000 and £20,000 were close behind (33.2%). Almost a quarter spent £5,000 or less.
The costs are unlikely to have diminished over this passage of time.
The average honeymoon price was £4,700. Favourite destinations were the 3 Ms: Mexico, Mauritius and the Maldives.
Finally, how did prospective pairs plan their 2014 weddings?
Clearly, they used a combination of resources. Websites furnished information for 90.5% of couples, magazines 83.5% and fairs or shows almost three quarters.
Evidently, people are becoming conscious of having more choice. They realise that the church and register office are not the only options. Along with venue selection, they can have a real say in how they celebrate their own big day. And that means the type of ceremony (for further thoughts on this, please see my blog “Personalised Weddings” ).
This freedom of choice has got to be a good thing! Use it!