How much should a wedding cost?

Blackboard with circle in middle wedding budget with arrows off the circle with items to do with a wedding

Image: Shutterstock

Looking at this article, chances are, that you’re looking to plan your very own wedding – so congratulations, first and foremost! And secondly, yes, you are definitely not the only one wondering about how much money you can expect to spend on the big day. Especially for weddings, the budget sometimes seems to take on a life on its own – so it’s good to have a general idea in mind. Because let’s face it, numbers in the thousands really quickly become incredibly abstract. So, join us, as we try to navigate the maze a bit.

Set your priorities right away

Let’s start with some numbers. The average wedding in the UK right now costs an eye-watering £20,700. That’s a 12.5% increase to 2022 and a whopping 20% increase to 2021. That is a lot, to say the least. Sure, we’re going through quite a bit of inflation at the moment, but it’s still a huge chunk of the annual income for most of us. That’s why it’s important to right from the get-go know, what parts of the wedding have the most significance to you. Is it the venue, the attire, the cuisine, or the photographer? Establishing priorities will guide your budget decisions and help you allocate funds where they matter most to you. We always highly recommend setting up a spreadsheet to help you generate an overview, and a designated savings account to help you reach your goal. Extra points if you’re clever about it and build credit history whilst saving – as having to take out credits might be something you’ll find yourself doing when it comes to paying for your providers.

Where will you spend the most on?

Of course, as this is the average, the actual costs can vary widely. The answer to the question was always going to be a highly personal one and not a one-fits-all. In the end, the true essence of a wedding lies not in the grandeur of expenditure, but in the moments shared, the love exchanged, and the promises made. Regardless of how much you’d like to invest, though, you can expect a good half of the costs to go to the ceremony, the venue, and the catering. Most weddings come with around 80 guests and you can expect a price of between £15 and £65 per person, depending on range and quality. That means, that the food alone can already vary between several thousands. So, while a gourmet feast can be a memorable highlight, it’s essential to weigh the options. Creative catering choices, especially for larger guest numbers, or themed menus can infuse personality into your event without necessarily having to break the bank for it. The same goes for the venue, often the nucleus of wedding planning. Elegant manors, picturesque gardens, or intimate beachfront – the choices are vast. It does set the background for your wedding, so choosing the one that is right for you, deserves thoughtful consideration. Bear in mind that if you put some time into it, you can discover some hidden gems – especially when your wedding date is outside the main wedding season!

Another big spender will be your photographer/videographer – one thing we do recommend putting enough thought into. After all, these are the pictures you’re going to cherish for a lifetime – so it’s worth the investment.

Remember what the day is meant to be

At the end of the day, you’ll be able to create a wedding with whichever budget you are going to set yourself up with. Be that a low budget of only a handful of thousands, up to, well, basically no limit. Going into the planning process, however, it is good to have a general direction in mind and know that things can add up quite quickly. The last thing you want to be on your wedding day is stressed or disappointed, so the best advice we can give is to start saving and creating a budget as early as possible – and go with whatever feels right for you. Every wedding is different, every couple is different – make it as small or large as you want it to be.

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