Marriage Costs

Jun 11, 2018
civil wedding venue

It won’t astonish anybody reading this if I state that marriage costs are steep! However, if you are just drawing up a budget, you may not realise that there are areas where you can cut a few corners.

“Guides for Brides” published the results of a recent survey. 7,500 brides were questioned during 2017, and these are some of the conclusions:

When and how

As you’d probably imagine, most weddings (60%) took place on a Saturday. Friday (at 23%) took the runner-up berth.

You might expect that most people chose to marry in a church (or other religious building). In fact, the majority (65%) chose a civil ceremony, with only 35% opting for full religious. Interestingly, 27.5% chose an unusual location – although I’m not sure what was defined as “unusual”!

Individual Items

Without being exhaustive – for example, this doesn’t take into account hairdressing/make-up, the reception and entertainment or wedding transport as individual items – some major areas of expenditure are as follows:

  • the venue – probably one of your major outlays. The average cost of this was £4,450.
  • the wedding dress – this could cost around £2,000, with suits coming in at £585.
  • the wedding cake: £245
  • flowers: £960
  • honeymoon: £2,900

Budgeting and Saving

The total average budget, according to this survey, was £16,500. Some 84 guests attended weddings held during the day, and 120 in the evening.

Obviously, these figures only represent a guide. Everybody’s options and requirements are different. The prices will not remain constant.

As I indicated, by no means every expense is covered here. As a civil celebrant, I ought to point out that we have not mentioned registrars or celebrants. Both services need to be paid for! You may choose to employ a wedding planner, and they don’t come cheap.

So, by all means use this information as a starting point, but do your homework thoroughly. There are a variety of ways to reduce costs. Venues have wildly fluctuating prices, and they do not all offer the same facilities. You might hold your wedding in your garden rather than booking a venue at all.

You can choose to marry during the day – that is usually cheaper. The same applies if you avoid the most popular days (Saturday and Friday). You may prefer a buffet to silver service (or cater yourself), and that may save some expense. Offer a cash bar after providing a drink with canapés and a bottle of wine or two for the table to share. Omit canapés altogether, if you want!

You can be quite creative – and still offer a wonderful experience.

So now you’ve got some ideas, plan carefully. Then let yourself loose on those suppliers and go for the ceremony that YOU want. And if you need any more advice, just let me know!