While wedding planning only ever seems to get more expensive, the average spend on weddings has actually dropped in the past year – although only minimally. The Bridebook.co.uk 2019 wedding report revealed that the average spend is down 1.3 per cent for the first time since the recession due to more supplier choice, the economic climate, and some savvy planning.
Couples now typically spend an average of £17,674 on their big day, compared to £17,913 in the previous year. However, London remains the most expensive place to get married, with weddings averaging at £24,039.
The average spend on weddings has gone down in the last year
So how exactly can couples save money despite prices of many suppliers increasing? One of the most popular ways to cut costs is to marry at the reception venue (44 per cent of couples state that a venue must be able to accommodate a ceremony on-site), reducing costs on booking a separate ceremony venue or house of worship, as well as potentially eliminating the cost of wedding transport.
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Meanwhile, more couples are now opting for a Sunday or mid-week wedding, which could save £6,000 compared to a traditional Saturday wedding. You could even make like Princess Eugenie and Jack Brooksbank by hosting a Friday wedding then keeping the celebrations going all weekend long!
More couples are choosing to marry on a week day
Some 89 per cent of couples are also incorporating DIY elements into their wedding day, from creating their own seating plans or invitations to making decorations for the reception and ceremony venues, which has the added benefit of showcasing their personality and putting their own stamp on the day.
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Hosting a wedding in January or February rather than the peak months of June to August is another way that couples could save as much as £5,000 on the overall cost of their nuptials. However, 40 per cent of the 2,000 respondents admitted they had gone over budget, with the most likely causes for them to overspend including food and drink, number of guests, the honeymoon, and the bride's dress. But with more high street stores launching impressive bridal ranges including everything from wedding dresses to shoes, perhaps this is another area where brides may be able to make savings going forward.
Brides are most likely to overspend on their wedding dress
Hamish Shephard, Bridebook.co.uk founder, said: "Brexit-anxiety means couples are reducing wedding budgets working collaboratively with suppliers to cut costs. At £17,674, they are still spending more on their wedding day than the total they spend on their food, housing, clothes and travel combined during their average 20 month engagement."
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He added: "The modern couple wants a wedding that personifies themselves in as many ways as possible, and the shackles of traditional are off. The multi-culturally-influenced financially-independent modern couple of today are confident to choose what matters to them and add the quirks and perks of their dreams. Whether you want a gospel choir singing Stand By Me, like Meghan Markle did, or a vintage merry-go-round, like Princess Eugenie, the days of being restricted by tradition are gone, and the days of celebrating individuality are here to stay."
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