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How much does a wedding cost?

AD – Blog post shared as part of a paid collaboration with Zopa Bank.

Weddings can be one of the most important days in your life, but it’s no secret that they can also be very expensive too. From the venue to the dress, food, and entertainment, everything costs money! In this blog post, we’ll take a closer look at how much a wedding costs in the UK and provide some tips on how to plan your special day without breaking the bank.

We’re big believers in talking more openly about money so that’s why we’ve teamed up with Zopa Bank, one of the UK’s leading digital banks, who are leading the way in the #LetsTalkMoney conversation. It’s important we let you know that some of the links in this post are sponsored. 

Average Wedding Cost in the UK: 2023

According to Bridebook the average total cost of a wedding in 2023 = £23,885 (including ring and honeymoon) or £19,037 (excluding ring and honeymoon). In 2022, Hitched reported that nearly half of all couples (47%) admitted to going over their initial wedding budget! 

Weddings are a lot of money to spend on a single day. However, this cost can vary significantly depending on lots of different factors, such as location, size, and type of wedding. No two weddings are the same! So, let’s break down the cost of the wedding to give you an idea of what to expect.

Not sure where to keep your wedding savings? Why not take a look at the Zopa Smart Saver account where you can earn a good rate of  interest on top of your savings and you save money in different pots for different goals. You can choose to boost the amount of interest each pot gets in return for a longer notice period to access that money. What’s more you don’t need a big amount to get started as you can save from as little as £1 and any savings up to £85,000 are FSCS protected. You must be aware that the longest notice period for a boosted interest pot is 95 days in exchange for the highest rate. 

Breakdown of wedding costs:

1. Wedding Venue Costs

The venue is one of the most significant expenses for a wedding, accounting for around 40% of the total cost. In the UK, the average cost of a wedding venue is approximately £6,500-£9000. However, this price can vary depending on the location and type of venue that you choose for your big day. For example, a grand country estate or a luxury hotel will cost significantly more than a community centre or a church. 

Saving Tip: If you’re on a tight budget, consider getting married in a church or registry office. These options are often more affordable, but you’ll have to factor in the cost of reception elsewhere.

2. Wedding Catering Costs

Catering accounts for approximately 20% of the total cost of a wedding. The average cost per person for a sit-down meal is around £40-£100, while a buffet-style meal costs around £20 per person. These prices can vary depending on the type of food and drink you choose and also the number of guest you invite to the wedding reception. 

Saving Tip: If you’re looking to save money, opt for a simple menu with fewer courses, avoid pricey alcohol and/or reduce the number of guests you invite to the sit-down meal – you can always invite them to just the evening part.

3. Wedding Decorations Costs

Decorations can add a lot of charm and uniqueness to a wedding, but as with all things to do with weddings, they can also be quite expensive. The cost of decorations can vary depending on the type of flowers, lighting, and other décor elements. The average cost of flowers for a wedding is around £1,000. 

Saving Tip: You can save money by choosing in-season flowers, reducing the number of floral arrangements, and reusing ceremony flowers for the reception.

4. Wedding Photography and Videography Costs

A wedding is a once-in-a-lifetime event, and so capturing the memories is essential for most couples. The cost of photography and videography can vary depending on the photographer’s experience, the length of time you’d like them to be present, and the number of photos and videos. The average cost of wedding photography in the UK is around £1,500, while videography costs around £1,000. 

Saving Tip: You can save money by choosing a less experienced photographer or videographer or opting for a shorter coverage period.

5. Wedding Entertainment Costs

Entertainment is another significant expense, with couples wanting to provide their guests with a memorable and enjoyable experience. It is a party after all! The cost of a DJ varies from £300 to £1,000, while a live band costs anywhere from £500 to £2,000. 

Saving Tip: You can save money by creating your own playlist or asking a friend or family member to be the DJ. Alternatively, consider hiring a solo musician or a smaller band.

6. Wedding Dress and Suits Costs

The cost of a wedding dress can range from £500 to £2,000 or more. Bridesmaids’ dresses can also be expensive, costing anywhere from £50-£250 per dress. Groom and groomsmen outfits for the big day can also be costly, with a new suit costing around £500 or more.

Saving Tip: These costs can be significantly reduced by hiring, opting for second-hand, looking for cheaper retails on the highstreet, or buying off the rack. 

Final thoughts

This blog outlines some of the more expensive things that you need to think about when organising a wedding but there are always ways in which you can make things cheaper. Work to a budget you feel comfortable with and don’t be afraid to shop around!