What’s the average price of a wedding in the UK?

By Jamie Hill - 7 April 2020


One of the most financially challenging phases of young adulthood is hitting the point where everyone starts getting married and having kids. Suddenly, you’ll find yourself stood in a nice reception what feels like every other weekend. Sure, you’re having a good time, but then comes the inevitable question from one of the other guests.

“How much do you think this has cost them then?” You take a quick look around at the room you’re stood in and the canapes going around, do a quick calculation and…you have no idea. £10,000? £25,000? £50,000? The fact is, weddings cost an awful lot of money, but you might not truly understand how much until you plan your own.

Here, we look at the latest numbers around wedding costs and why the hosts aren’t the only ones reeling at them.

The numbers

According to Hitched, average wedding costs over 2019 were actually down on those in 2018. Before you get too excited, however, know that they were only £299 lower, and still more than £5,000 higher than in 2017. To cut to the chase, your average wedding in 2019 cost a cool £31,974.

Where does that come from? Average costs of venue hire (£5,406), the honeymoon (£4,645), food (£3,887), the ring (£2,419) and drink (£1,587) make up the top five elements, but then there are the likes of the dresses and suits, photography, videography, and entertainment to consider – together costing over £5,000.

The first thing the average person might think is, ‘Where on earth do people get the money from?’ In the most part, helpful parents, inheritance money, savings or taking out a loan tend to be the ways in which people can afford to put on their special day.

Is everyone in on it?

How can one day, no matter how special, cost that much, you ask? It’s a fair question. Indeed, it’s a tough pill to swallow to know that £10,000 will barely get you a proper wedding these days.

One of the realities is that the mere mention of the word ‘wedding’ appears to add an incredible mark-up. Recent research has suggested that quotes on venues for weddings can be up to four times higher than if they were for a birthday party. The same goes for three-course meals that transform into ‘wedding breakfasts’ or the likes of photography services.

Of course, there are ways to do your wedding on a budget – a lot of it comes down to careful planning and doing your research.

Your guests might not be happy, either

Research from 118 118 Money suggests it won’t just be you that’s wincing at the costs of your wedding, either.

For those in the ‘wedding cycle’ at ages 25-32, 13% of people say they spend money on events they feel like they can’t avoid each and every week. Where weddings are concerned specifically, 35% of guests regret the expense of attending. This is likely because 8.8 million Brits face costly event obligations two to three times each month.

In the end, it looks like everybody is balking at the cost of weddings, whether you’re hosting or attending. That might be down to the fact that providers use the wedding label to their advantage, inflating prices and leaving wedding costs in the UK on par with the average annual salary.

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