A survey by hitched.co.uk, the UK’s largest wedding website, has revealed the average cost of a wedding in 2016 to be £25,090 – the highest it’s ever been and up 21% from the last study.
The hitched.co.uk 21st Century Bride survey of over 3,000 brides explored wedding spend and wedding trends.
The single biggest wedding expenditure is venue hire, costing an average of £3,738 (14.8% of the total cost) and finding a venue was ranked as the top priority by brides when planning their wedding, above setting the budget and deciding the guest list.
The honeymoon is the second biggest outlay for the wedding, an average of £3,366 (13.4% of the total budget), followed by food at £3,072 (12.2%).
Parents still play a big part in financing the big day; 48% of couples get financial assistance from their parents, whilst 36% fund it themselves and 6% still opt for the traditional way of letting the bride’s parents pay for it all.
The survey also shows new wedding trends across the UK, including the rise of mini-moons. More couples are opting for a mini-moon as well as a honeymoon - one of the main factors contributing to the increase in total wedding spend. 82% of couples insist on cash or honeymoon vouchers as gifts. 60% of brides say changing their relationship status on Facebook was one of the first things they did after getting married and 6% say they changed it at the ceremony.
Caroline Bradley, hitched.co.uk Editor, says: “It’s no surprise to see that wedding planning couples are putting the venue as their top priority – even ahead of setting a budget. By choosing the wedding venue in the early planning stages, couples can then plan around this easily – with a fixed location, confirmed wedding date and cost per head already in place.
“We also see that couples are opting for guests to help fund towards the honeymoon – which may be a contributing factor to the average wedding spend being at its highest in seven years. With guests footing the bulk of the honeymoon bill, couples are free to spend the majority of the budget on the big day itself.”
The most popular times for popping the question are couple’s anniversary (32%) and, surprisingly, Christmas Eve (25%). The average cost of an engagement ring is now £1,742, total spend on clothes is £2,400, including £1,055 for the all-important wedding dress, compared to £293 for the groom’s outfit! With 35% of grooms opting to hire their suit rather than purchasing.
The full findings of the hitched.co.uk 21st Century Bride survey are presented online and also in the latest issue of You & Your Wedding Magazine and Perfect Wedding, on sale September 30.