How much does an average wedding cost?

The question on every budget-savvy couple’s lips: How much does an average wedding cost?

One of the first questions bride-to-bes ask when setting aside their budget is “how much does an average wedding cost?” Firstly, there’s no such thing as an ‘average’ wedding day, because all weddings are unique and all brides will have a different budget! What’s important is that you set a budget and try to stick to it, or if you think you’re going over budget in one area, pull back in another.

Saying that, there is an ‘about right’ figure for each area, so I’ve broken this down based on industry averages, my own wedding planning experiences as well as other brides I’ve spoken to, and tried to give realistic estimates based on this. This isn’t to say you should spend this amount – far from it. I have attended some amazing weddings on a shoestring, and some equally wonderful weddings on a more lavish budget. It’s your day – and it doesn’t HAVE to cost the earth. But if you want it to, then that’s just fine also.

Wedding venue: £2,500

This is just for the hire of your ceremony space – church, garden, barn and so on. Many wedding venues will offer the ceremony space and reception venue as an all-inclusive fee, but this is mainly if you’re getting married at a house of worship or registry office.

Bryn Eisteddfod wedding 45

Reception venue: £4,000

Reception venue costs can vary wildly depending on size, location, time of year, and day of the week.

Marianne and Jack - Nonsuch Manor - 55a6bceb20314

Catering: £5,000

Again, the cost of wedding catering can vary wildly depending on how many guests you have and whether you are paying per head, or if catering is included in your venue hire. In my experience, catering is the most expensive part of your day – far beyond your venue or dress! Don’t underestimate the cost of food (for both the day and the evening) and drink…even soft drinks served to 50+ guests can add up quickly.

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Photographer: £1,500

With wedding photography – arguably the most important investment you will make – you really do get what you pay for. Have a look at our guide on how to choose a wedding photographer for more information.

Wedding Photography

Videographer: £1,000

Completely optional of course, but most decent videographers come in at the £1k mark (or more) because of the post-production time involved.

Wedding Videographer - Groomsmen

Entertainment: £1,000

This factors in a DJ, band, musician for your ceremony, party games and photo booth. Yes, it’s pricey, but you do get a lot for your money.

Swimply Swing - Dancing

Flowers: £600

Flowers are a great area to save – you could choose to have artificial flowers, or to make your own arrangements. But they are also a great area to splurge – get a Pinterest wedding by going big with an amazing focal point like a flower wall!

Pastel Wedding Flowers

Cake: £400

Again, another great area to save. There are loads of weird and wonderful wedding cakes to get you inspired…or why not go all Mary Berry and make one yourself?

Wedding Cakes

Dress: £2,000

Compared to the US, UK wedding dresses are actually fairly ‘reasonably’ priced. There are wholesale options as well as hot-off-the-catwalk couture gowns, but you don’t have to spend loads to achieve that fairy tale look.

Vera Wang Dresses

Shoes: £100

Come on ladies – unless you go Louboutin, you can easily grab yourself a pair of stunning shoes for £100 or under.

Leopard Print Wedding Shoes - Chris Giles Photography

Veil: £150

Cathedral length veils are obviously more expensive than waist-length veils. Vintage birdcages are also popular and offer a more affordable alternative.

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Jewellery: £100

Add a bit of bling to your outfit with a headpiece, earrings or bracelet – or wear a family heirloom as your ‘something borrowed’. Check out our list of bridal accessories trends for 2016.

Charleston Sparkle Vintage Corsage Cuff - Wedding Accessories

Hair and make up for you and your bridal party: £300

Many hairdressers and MUAs will do a package depending on the size of your wedding party.

Bryn Eisteddfod wedding 6

Groom’s outfit: £400

To achieve the ultimate sartorial splendour, your hubby-to-be will probably spend about one-fifth of what you will spend on your wedding dress…really puts it into context!

Marianne and Jack - Nonsuch Mansion - 55a6bcd669ce4

Wedding party outfits: £500

You don’t necessarily have to cover outfits for your bridesmaids, ushers, page boys and attendants – but it’s a nice touch.

Marianne and Jack - Nonsuch Mansion - 55a6bcd812134

Wedding rings: £600

Wedding rings are much more affordable than engagement rings, and you can get something really beautiful for your money. Be sure to haggle for a bargain!

Rustic Wedding Rings

Stationery: £350

This is where it can add up, depending on your guest numbers and the number of extras you choose to add to your stationery suite. Wedding invitations? No problem. But if you want matching RSVPs, directions, order of services, menus and thank you cards, you might like to consider setting up your own wedding website to save on some of these items.

Swoon at the Moon - Wedding Invitations

Transport: £200

Whether you go for a classic car, horse and carriage or just a taxi, you should be able to journey from A to B in style.

Bancroft Executive Travel - Wedding Transport

Favours: £300

Surprisingly pricey, favours are often the first to be cut from a wedding budget. Don’t scrimp on flowers or gifts for your other half or your family though…they deserve something for all their months of hard work!

Wedding Favours

Insurance: £100

Worth it. Just totally worth it.

Couple Signing Wedding Certificate

Honeymoon: £4,000

Probably not as worth it as wedding insurance but certainly well deserved! Honeymoon hotspots like the Maldives can be super-pricey, so why not try somewhere a little off the beaten path, out of season, for a more reasonable deal. Unlike other wedding purchases, you’re more likely to get a discount if you say you’re getting married, and there are loads of amazing upgrade options or added honeymoon extras offered by hotels to lure in honeymooners.

Beachfront Romance

Grand total: £25,100

Are you surprised by this total? Or does it meet your expectations? Are you planning on spending more or less than £25,100 on your wedding? Leave your comments below!

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