The wedding industry is booming, accumulating an estimated £10 billion a year. The average UK wedding costs upwards of £29,000 and as the nation adopts wedding fever and prepares to watch Meghan and Harry tie the knot, that figure shows no signs of dropping.
A quarter of couples admit to entering married life in debt due to wedding costs however, the average cost of a wedding varies from city to city. Here, Scottish Trust Deed gives us the low down on where is the cheapest UK city to tie the knot, how much debt a wedding can amount to within the UK and money saving hacks that couples can practice in order to stay within budget.
It is no surprise that weddings are expensive, and there are thousands of couples across the country clutching their purse strings and counting their pennies just so they can afford to say ‘I do’. Planning a dream wedding day comes with a large bill and all the various aspects of the event soon add up. The venue, catering, dress and rings are some of the priciest items on a wedding checklist and whilst a wedding is never going to be a cheap day, there are plenty of ways that engaged couples can cut costs and save some cash on their big day.
Location plays a big part in the cost of a wedding day and depending on where in the country they want to tie the knot will significantly impact the overall bill. Holding a big white wedding in the capital will cost an eye watering £46,200 on average, but when you start to head further afield the prices become much more reasonable. These are the cheapest areas in the UK to get married according to a recent report from online marketplace Bidvine:
- East Midlands weddings cost on average £14,400, a whopping 68% less than in London.
- South West weddings cost on average £18,840
- West Midlands weddings cost on average £20,348
Sticking to these cheaper locations is going to save a bit of cash, however it is likely that a wedding anywhere in the UK is going to be costly. For thrifty brides and grooms there are plenty of ways to cut corners and save pennies, a great way to save money on venue fees is to not actually get married at a wedding venue. A simple and small legal ceremony at a local registry office can be as little as £50, follow this up with a big party in a nearby pub or town hall and the savings will be in the thousands.
Here are our top money saving hacks for wedding couples:
- Marry out of season: Holding a wedding out of the summer months or key dates (such as bank holidays and weekends) will always save some hard-earned cash. Opt for a winter wedding on a weekday for the cheapest choice, and then start planning a stunning winter wonderland wedding day.
- Be picky with the guestlist: Many brides and grooms think they should be inviting distant relatives and friends of friends to their big day; choose the guest list carefully and don’t over invite. The lower the numbers, the lower the cost.
- Something borrowed: This well-known saying can actually be a great help in saving some wedding budget. Maybe a friend had a beautiful table plan frame at their wedding, or mum has some white shoes that would look perfect with the wedding dress; ask to borrow items where possible to keep the costs from rising.
- Shop pre-loved: Some brides might not be keen on the idea of buying someone else’s wedding dress, but it is a great way to save a lot of cash. Wedding dresses can cost thousands of pounds, are worn for just one day, and then usually immaculately cared for afterwards, so preloved dresses are generally in perfect quality and an absolute bargain.
- Limit the bridal party: A large tribe of bridesmaid and groomsmen means a large bill on dresses, suits, flowers, hair and make-up. Keep the bridal party small to cut costs, and closest friends are sure to understand the reasons for the limit.
Even with all this saving and scrimping, borrowing money is often the only option to cover the full cost of a wedding day. In fact, a quarter of couples get themselves into debt to fund their dream day borrowing on average £3,800. A huge 47% of these couples admitted to regretting spending so much on their wedding and wished they hadn’t borrowed so much to cover the costs. Roughly one third of these couples still hadn’t paid off all their debts six years after the wedding.
It doesn’t look good for young people today or those planning on tying the knot in the next decade, as the cost of a wedding in the UK is only going to continue to rise, with the average cost of a dream day in 2028 reaching £32,064. With the average Brit saving £105 a month towards their wedding day, it will take the average couple a lengthy 10 years to save for a wedding costing £25,000.