Average Wedding Cost

It seems the grim reality of the recession has affected even the most romantic event – weddings. It’s not often that prices come down rather than going up, up and up, but that’s what we’re seeing with weddings. In 2008, the average cost of a UK wedding was over £20,000. However, in 2011 the average cost of getting married dropped by a massive 25% to £15,541 and in 2012 it will drop even further.

The Average Cost of a 2012 Wedding

We studied the data from the sales of around 1,600 wedding insurance policies purchased to cover weddings taking place in 2012, via CompareWeddingInsurance.org.uk. We found that couples were purchasing policies to cover weddings for, on average, £11,441 of cover in respect of complete cancellation. Adding to this figure the £3,000 average cost of a honeymoon, this means that couples are spending, on average, £14,441 on getting married in 2012.

This figure represents a further £1,000 drop on the £5,000 decrease we saw in 2011.

It certainly came as quite a surprise to see such a drop last year. However, given the size of the sample and the fact that other sites (albeit with smaller samples) have also been reporting similar figures, we feel this is a very accurate reflection of average wedding budgets.

Regional Variations

Average Wedding Cost Shown RegionallyHaving looked at the national average, we also broke the data down into geographic regions to see if couples in different parts of the UK are spending more or less on their weddings than others.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, couples in London and the South East are spending more on their weddings than those in other parts of the UK. However, we were surprised at just how much more couples in the capital are spending on getting married – 42% above the national average.

See our recent article on average wedding spend across all UK regions for the full breakdown on all regions.

Average Wedding Spend In 2013

We also have provisional figures for average wedding spend in 2013. Again this is based on the level of cover in respect of complete cancellation offered by wedding insurance policies purchased via CompareWeddingInsurance.org.uk for weddings taking place from January next year.

We’re expecting to see a further drop of around 6% to an average cost of around £10,800 or £13,800 including the honeymoon.

Why Are Couples Spending Less Money On Their Weddings?

The global economic downturn has certainly played a large part in reducing wedding budgets. With general economic uncertainty and with credit to finance a wedding perhaps harder to find, couples are possibly being forced into cutting back.

We’re seeing evidence of a reduction in guest numbers in an attempt to lower costs too. We’re also seeing more couples going down the DIY route in an attempt to still have those little ‘nice to have’ extras but at a lower cost.

Where Does All This Money Go?

Despite nearly a £6,000 drop since 2010, a £14,500 average wedding budget is still a lot of money! So where does all this money go?

The reception usually accounts for the largest part of the budget, with couples spending around £4,000 on their venue and feeding their guests.

The bride’s dress, groom’s suit and other attendant’s outfits can often add a further £2,000.

Then add the engagement ring, photographer, flowers, cake, transport, stationery and the cost of the stag/hen festivities and you can see how it’s very easy to spend well over five figures!

Budgeting For Your Wedding

Once you’ve set your budget you then need to stick to it! Keep your budget estimate in an accessible place – either electronically or in a notebook, whichever appeals to you more and update with real figures as you book suppliers and purchase wedding items. It might be a good idea to keep some budget back as contingency in case you find something irresistible that you hadn’t planned on.

Wedding Insurance

Whatever you spend on your wedding, you’ll want to make sure you avoid paying for items twice – if there’s problem with your wedding dress or the venue goes bankrupt you’ll want the reassurance of wedding insurance. If it’s covered by your policy, wedding insurance will then pay for the replacement items so that you don’t slip over your budget. At an average of £14,500, your wedding is still likely to be the third most expensive purchase you’ll ever make!

Wedding insurance can cover things like:

  • one of your suppliers going out of business
  • damage to your dress or other attire
  • death/illness of the bride, groom or member of close family
  • loss of wedding photography

It’s not that expensive either with policies starting from around just £20. To find out more about wedding insurance, see our FAQs and see our comparison table for a list of the prices and cover offered by a range of major providers.

We’d love to hear your thoughts on this. Why do you think there has been such a drop in recent years? Join the discussion on our Google+ page.

Adam Leyton

A little bit about Adam Leyton, founder of CompareWeddingInsurance.org.uk

Adam has been working in the wedding industry since 2006. As a keen advocate of wedding insurance, he launched a comparison website in 2009. See his Google+ profile.