Wedding budgets uncovered: This is what UK couples are really spending

The average cost of a wedding has risen again. We asked engaged and married couples around the country around the country to share their spending and planning secrets, and here’s what they said – how do your wedding plans compare?

The average cost of a wedding in the UK is now £32,273 – that’s according to our latest survey, which we carried out with our sister brand hitched.co.uk. We asked thousands of couples how they’ve allocated their budget and what choices they’ve made during their planning journey to the aisle – and some interesting trends emerged. Read on to discover how your plans compare…

Wedding budgets are on the rise | Photo by Getty Images

How old are you?

Women are 31 on average when they get married and men are 32.

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.

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. And if you haven’t found your venue yet, we’ve rounded up our top 32 barn wedding venues so you can see why they’re perfect for celebrations.

The Barn at Burley Manor, New Forest

How much are you spending?

The average cost of a wedding has risen by £5,112 since 2017, taking it to £32,273.

Are your family funding your wedding?

Asking for contributions to the wedding is up 10% on last year, with 60% of couples funding their day with help from their families.

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

How many guests are you having?

The average guest list for the day is 82, rising to 106 in the evening – so most of you clearly don’t believe it’s rude to invite people only to the evening celebration!

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

What are you doing for your hen party?

More than 50% of brides have a whole weekend away for theirs – who says a hen party has to be one night out?!

Read more: 16 of the best unusual hen do ideas

When did you get engaged?

The most popular time to get engaged is during a holiday, and the average time from proposal to aisle is 20 months. Most couples aim to spend 7-12 months planning their wedding, leaving at least 8 months to simply enjoy being engaged!

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

What are you having on your gift list?

Most couples are still keen on kitchenware and home décor. Honeymoon funds are also popular, with 61% requesting contributions, either as their sole presents or alongside those homewares and other treats.

Read more: Everything you need to know about wedding gift lists

What are you spending the most money on?

This year’s top spending areas are on the wedding venue and honeymoon.

What are your beauty plans?

Most brides plan to upgrade to a new perfume ahead of their wedding. The most popular pre-wedding beauty treatments are mani-pedis, and waxing, tanning and facials. 53% of brides will consider teeth whitening – we’ve rounded up the best teeth whitening treatments for every budget.

Read more: The stylish guide to choosing your wedding perfume

There’s something special about a new wedding fragrance | Photo by Getty Images

How many honeymoons are you having?

Even more couples are planning to take both a mini-moon and a honeymoon – 22%, as opposed to 15% in 2017.

Read more: 13 reasons to have a mini-moon

Where are you going on honeymoon?

Italy and Greece are the most popular European destinations for honeymoons outside the UK, while Asia is the most chosen long-haul hotspot.


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