What is the Average Cost of a UK Wedding?
From time to time, we analyse the data from the sale of wedding insurance policies referred via our comparison table. By looking at the amount of cover purchased in respect of complete cancellation, we're able to form a clear picture of the average amount couples are spending on their weddings.
The figure does not include the cost of a honeymoon, excluded as part of the cover offered by wedding insurance, and therefore the total a couple spends on their big day will be even higher still.
The Average Cost of a UK Wedding in 2024
Analysed and published: July 2023
For weddings scheduled to take place in 2024, the average cost is £24,710, up from £24,109 in 2023.
Our insight into average wedding spend is again derived from the data from the sale of over 1,600 wedding insurance policies, purchased to cover weddings that are scheduled to take place in 2024.
With inflation still at 8%, it was no surprise to see a further increase in the cost of getting married.
Following a dip after the financial crash of 2008, the cost of getting married has been steadily increasing every year for the past 12 years. However, the increase between 2023 and 2024 was a modest 3%, suggesting that average spend may be levelling off at around £25,000.
Given the current cost of living crisis, it's possible we'll see a decrease in the average spend on weddings in 2025.
The average cost of a UK wedding between 2006 and 2024. For weddings scheduled to take place in 2024, the average spend has increased to £24,710.
What is the Cheapest Month to Get Married?
Weddings taking place in the winter months of November, January and February can be up to 16% cheaper than the average. This represents a huge saving of nearly £4,000.
How the average cost of a UK wedding varies from the average across the year. Weddings taking place in the winter months can be much cheaper.
We analysed the data further to see how the average wedding spend looks across the year.
It came as no surprise really to see that the more popular summer months of June to September were the more expensive with weddings in August costing around 7% more than the average.
With the exception of December and presumably Christmas weddings, the less popular winter months of November, January and February could be up to 16% cheaper. That's potentially a significant saving of nearly £4,000!
The Average Cost of a UK Wedding in 2023
Analysed and published: September 2022
For weddings scheduled to take place in 2023, the average cost is £24,109, a huge increase of 11%.
With inflation currently into double digits and, with some estimating it at over 20% by 2023, it wasn't a huge surprise to see a big jump in the cost of a 2023 wedding.
We looked at the data from over 5,000 wedding insurance policies, for weddings scheduled to take place in 2023 as well as in 2022, allowing us to revise our earlier figure.
Our last sample for 2022 was taken in April 2021 however, with more data available now, we have revised our average cost figure for 2022 to £21,725, a small increase of £1232.
For weddings scheduled to take place in 2023, the average cost then jumps nearly £2,500 to £24,109, a huge increase of 11%.
The increase in wedding spend between 2022 and 2023 is roughly in line with the most recently published CPI inflation figure of 10.1%, driven mostly by the increase in the cost of energy and food.
At nearly £25,000, the average cost of a wedding has now doubled over the past decade.
Despite the rising cost of living and cost of a wedding though, the number of couples tying the knot doesn't seem to be slowing. Our data shows a similar trend for 2022/23 sales as it did for 2021/22 suggesting as many couples are planning their wedding for next year as have this year.
The Average Cost of a 2021 & 2022 Wedding
Analysed and published: April 2021
Despite huge uncertainty caused by the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, the average cost of a UK wedding in 2021 and 2022 didn't show any sign of dropping.
COVID restrictions had resulted in tens of thousands of weddings being cancelled and, for those that were able to go ahead, often with significantly reduced guest numbers.
Yet despite all the uncertainty, couples were now ready to celebrate their big day in a big way!
The average wedding spend, based on the cancellation cover taken out on wedding insurance policies purchased via our comparison table increased by over £6,000 since we previously looked at the data in 2017.
For weddings scheduled to take place in 2021 and 2022, we found the average spend to be £20,493.
Following a dip in spending soon after the financial crisis of 2008, there has been an upward trend with the average in 2021 & 2022 looking to be higher than ever before, despite all the uncertainly caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
Notes on the data: Once again we analysed the data from a sample of over 1,500 wedding insurance policies purchased via our comparison table to cover weddings scheduled to take place in 2021 and 2022. Our figure for average wedding spend is based on the amount of insurance cover purchased in respect of complete cancellation of the wedding.
The Average Cost of a 2017 Wedding
The average wedding cost when we looked at the data in May 2017, excluding honeymoon again, was £14,425. This was an increase of around £3,000 on the previous figure from 2012.
How much does the average UK wedding cost in 2012?
The Average Cost of a 2012 Wedding
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.
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.
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.
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.
CompareWeddingInsurance.org.uk is a trading name of Leyton Solutions Limited.
Registered in England and Wales, Company number 7022117. Registered address: 86-90 Paul Street, London, EC2A 4NE.
Leyton Solutions Limited is an Introducer Appointed Representative of Emerald Life Limited, Insuremore Ltd, UK Oasis Group Ltd and Voyager Insurance Services Ltd who are all authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Leyton Solutions Limited is also an Introducer Appointed Representative of Blue Insurance Limited who is authorised by the Central Bank of Ireland and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority for UK business.