Couples fork out £17,000 on their wedding day but a third regret spending so much and wish they’d put the money towards a house instead
The average price of a wedding in 2016 was £16,842, according to new research from 4,000 recently married couples.
This includes all the main elements of the day from the dress, flowers and rings to the venue, catering and transport.
The price paid depends on where the wedding is taking place with those in London costing the most, at an average of £25,450, followed by those in the South East coming in at £17,333.
The cost of a wedding varies across the country and it’s most expensive in London
On average those in the East Midlands are cheapest, costing an average of £13,683, followed by those in the Scotland at £13,461.
The research from wedding planning website Bridebook.co.uk suggests that many couples are now trying to cut down the cost of the wedding day.
It calculated how much couples would spend if they paid the average supplier costs for every element of the wedding, including £5,819 on the venue, £1,211 on photography, £777 on the flowers and £1,058 on the wedding rings.
This total came in at £ £26,989 but as the average couple only hires a professional company for 13 out of the 18 traditional elements, couples are actually spending far less.
The research showed that almost 40 per cent of couples shunned a traditional wedding cake supplier, instead asking a friend to bake it, 29 per cent didn’t use printed invites and 64 per cent had a cash bar, instead of offering guests a free bar.
A third of couples asked also said they overspent on their initial budget, adding on an extra 30 per cent to the total cost.
Weddings in the summer months are still the most popular with 18 per cent of couples choosing August, 16 per cent July and 14 per cent September. Saturdays are still the most popular day to get married, with 54 per cent of couples choosing it, followed by 17 per cent who got married on a Friday and 11 per cent on a Sunday.
This news comes as separate research shows that a third of married British couples aged between 25 and 44 say they regret spending so much on their wedding day. Instead the couples say they wish they had used the money to buy a first home, instead of paying out for a wedding ceremony and reception.
Almost one in three of married couples admit to not saving enough for the wedding
Of the 2,000 adults surveyed by One Poll for Barclays, 36 per cent said they wished they had budgeted more effectively for their wedding and 27 per cent said they hadn’t saved enough for the day.
In fact the top five things respondents said they wished they had saved instead for were a deposit for a home, a retirement fund, a car, stocks and shares and money for starting their own business.
Clare Francis, savings and investments director at Barclays said: ‘While it may be tempting to break the bank for a milestone moment, there is significant risk in spending everything on an event which does not always live up to expectations, as our research shows.
‘Make sure that you plan well in advance for key life events, and be realistic about what you can afford.
‘Those saving for their first home could consider a Help to Buy ISA, which offers a 25 per cent government bonus on amounts saved between £1,600 and £12,000, and there are also innovative mortgage products which can help make the purchase more affordable.
‘For longer-term savings goals, such as retirement, an investment ISA (also known as a stocks and shares ISA) could be a good choice, as returns from equities tend to outperform cash over the long term5.
‘Whatever milestone you’re saving for, you need to stay in control of your money to avoid compromising your quality of life, not to mention the lives of your loved ones. In some situations, failing to budget properly can lead to long-term financial debt, which some people never recover from.’
Siobhan and Ben are eloping to Florida to cut the cost of their wedding day