The 2019 Wedding Report
An extensive study of UK weddings has revealed £17,500 was the national average cost of getting married in 2019, with the most typical wedding spend being just £13,000 or less.
The study, conducted by award-winning wedding directory and wedding planning app creators, Guides for Brides, details industry wide shifts from typical budget allocation to the most popular dates. The study was based on sample data from 10 thousand couples utilising Guides for Brides’ cross platform services to plan their wedding in 2019.
Alison Hargreaves, Director of Guides for Brides, said “Every bride or groom wants their wedding day to be really special, but it need not cost as much as they have been led to believe.”
The study shows that the cost of a typical UK wedding is £12,900, an increase from £12,000 in 2018. The national average is also up by a thousand pounds in 2019 to £17,500.
An estimated 42% of couples have a budget of £10,000 or less.
Why are typical prices so different from average prices?
To obtain typical prices we have analysed data and excluded any wedding with an unusually high or low budget or number of guests, as well as overseas weddings. We also excluded couples who are getting married in the UK but live overseas and tend to have significantly higher budgets.
The cost of engagement rings, guest accommodation and the honeymoon were also excluded.
Alison comments “It has been widely reported in the press that a typical wedding is £27,000 to £30,000 but this simply isn’t the case. An elaborate wedding in a prestigious venue with an extensive guest list will cost upwards of £30,000, however this isn’t the sort of wedding that most couples are planning.”
Contrary to common belief that it is cheaper for UK couples to marry overseas, this study shows couples spend an average of £16,000 for an overseas wedding.
Graph showing the % of couples within each budget range
So how was the budget spent?
In 2019 vs 2018;
- Venue costs were up from £6,000 to £6,200
- Bridalwear was down from £1,200 to £1,100. This is attributed to a number of brides buying from Wed2Be.
- Menswear was up from £400 to £560 partly due to grooms having more groomsmen.
- Flowers for bouquets and decorations up £180 from £500 to £680.
- Wedding rings were up significantly from £380 to £820 as a result of an increase in bespoke and designer rings.
- Couples are relying less on DIY options, lifting average costs of wedding cakes from just £300 to £420 and stationery from £200 to £280.
- Photography was also up from £1,100 to £1,200.
The big surprise in 2019 was the number of couples who spent around £1,000 on their Church ceremony; a significant increase from £500-600 in 2018. This supports the theory that couples are placing far more emphasis on the wedding ceremony.
The cost of Celebrant led weddings at £500, plus £75 for a Register Office ceremony to cover the legalities, has remained the same, as has the cost of civil ceremonies and civil partnerships in Approved Venues.
Typical wedding spend allocation per category
July took over from August as the most popular month, with 20th and 27th July having more weddings than any other dates.
Most popular times of year to get married
Just over half of our couples married on a Saturday, with Friday continuing to be more popular than Sunday. Couples have said that by having a Friday wedding they can continue the celebrations over the weekend.
Most popular days of the week to get married
Time spent planning
While most couples spent the typical 12 months planning their wedding, 23% spent over 18 months, and 25% planned their wedding in just 6 months or under.
Typical planning time