Weddings uncovered: This is what UK weddings really cost

We asked engaged and married couples around the country to share their spending and planning secrets, and here’s what they said – how do your wedding plans compare?

Wondering if you’re right on the money when it comes to your wedding budget? Keen to compare hen do plans with other brides? Perhaps you’ve just got engaged and are simply looking for inspiration? Well, luckily for you, our latest wedding survey results are in, and they make for very interesting reading…

Wedding budgets are on the rise | Photo by Getty Images

Together with our sister brand, Hitched, we asked couples how they’ve allocated their budget and what choices they’ve made during their planning journey to the aisle. From their age at the time they said ‘I do’ to the length of their hen do and the places they jetted off to on honeymoon, our couples revealed all.

While some of the answers were exactly as we thought, others totally surprised us, showing that wedding trends are constantly changing and couples’ priorities are shifting. While some traditions continue to stand the test of time, some have undergone a 2019 makeover and others have been abandoned altogether.

Whether you got married earlier this year and want to check out how your wedding compares or are planning a 2020 wedding and would love to read about how 2019 brides did it, you’ll find plenty of useful info here.

In fact, you might want to grab any single bridesmaids or groomsmen to read along with you, as we’ve even got the lowdown on the best (and the worst!) way to meet ‘the one’. Happy reading!

How old are you?

Women are 32 on average when they get married and men are 34, compared with 31 and 32 in 2018 respectively.

Where did you meet?

Although it feels like just about everyone is on Tinder or Hinge, 68% of you met in person and not online. Work, friends and family are responsible for a third of couples getting together, with pubs, clubs and university coming in second place.

Where are you buying your dress?

Two thirds of brides find their dream dress in a local bridal boutique. They visit an average of three shops before making the big choice. Already found yours? You’ll need our guide to the most beautiful wedding shoes now!

Read more: The top 50 bridal boutiques in the UK

What type of venue are you having?

If you’re planning a barn wedding, you’re certainly not alone. Barns are now the most popular type of wedding venue – 28% of couples choose one for their reception. If you’re following the trend, we’ve rounded up our favourite ways to decorate a barn venue, from laidback rustic to luxe.

The Barn at Burley Manor, New Forest

How much are you spending?

The average cost of a wedding in the UK is now £31,974 – that’s an incredible 54% rise from 2014!

Read more: 16 hidden wedding costs and how to avoid them

How are you funding your wedding?

While many of you have been busy saving to fund your wedding, one in five have put the cost on a credit card and one in 10 have taken out a loan. Over 50% of you turned to your parents for wedding fund help.

Do you feel under pressure from social media?

It’s not always easy planning a wedding – 42% of couples said they felt under pressure to have an Insta- or Pinterest-worthy wedding, and in order to get the look, 30% spent more than their original budget. Read our essential advice to couples who feel under wedding pressure – whether from social media or friends and family.

How many guests are you having?

The average guest list for the day is 82, rising to 103 in the evening – that’s three fewer evening-only guests than last year. Perhaps you’re beginning to reconsider whether it’s rude to invite people only to the evening celebration!

Read more: 12 people it’s ok to miss off your guest list 

Getting engaged on holiday is very popular | Photo by Getty Images

Are you sticking to wedding traditions?

It looks like you’re increasingly doing things your way, with British traditions losing popularity. 62% of couples aren’t having pageboys and 52% have ditched the flower girls at their wedding. The bouquet toss is also on the way out, with less than half of brides doing this. Only 15% of couples follow the silver sixpence tradition. We’ve explained how to keep some traditions but add a twist.

When did you get engaged?

The most popular time to get engaged is during a holiday, it seems there’s something about sun, sand and sea that has you all popping the question! While it’s billed as the most romantic day of the year, only 2% of you said ‘yes’ on Valentine’s day.

What type of gift list will you have?

Worried about having a non-traditional list? Don’t – cash and honeymoon vouchers are now the most requested types of gift. Find out which type of list suits you, from homewares or honeymoon vouchers to charity donations – or a mix of all the options! – with our ultimate gift list guide.

 What’s your biggest wedding cost?

This year’s top cost area is, naturally, the wedding venue. Food is up there, too, with an average cost of £3,887.

How many honeymoons are you having?

It seems taking a romantic break is rapidly climbing up the list of priorities, with 29% of you choosing to go on a minimoon AND honeymoon.

Read more: 13 reasons to have a mini-moon 

Where are you going on honeymoon?

Italy and Greece are still the most popular European destinations for honeymoons outside the UK, with the South West and Scotland scooping the top prizes within the UK. When it comes to long-haul, the Maldives is the most popular destination.


Read more: The ultimate wedding planning checklist – download it now!