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How much does the average wedding cost?

I read somewhere that the avarage wedding costs 15,000! This seems like such a lot of money to me. Also, do church weddings cost more than civil ceremonies? How much more?

I want to start working on a budget as we're going to wait until spring/summer 2010 so we can save before but I have no idea how much to set aside for what!?! All so confusing... :\?


  • mcartoonmcartoon Posts: 1,383
    I would look in Best Buys and they can tell you more. We're going abroad and spending £4k so can't really help you.

    Also get a wedding mag as they give you budgets inside for the average wedding.

    Congrats too!

  • melcon55melcon55 Posts: 141
    All in all excluding any honeymoon we will spend £13500-£14000 which is alot of money to us!! but we could have spent alot more!! shop around for bargains etc !!

  • jools100jools100 Posts: 49
    Hi Pigstar

    It all depends on what you want & what you'll be prepared to pay for items (veils, shoes, hair, dresses, venue's, meals per person, cars, photographers etc etc blah blah blah)

    we're having a civil wedding & i want to spend between £5k and £7k on the whole day.

    The venue is taking 85% of this as this is the biggest part - so we're having to "shop around" for dresses, shoes, table dec's, flowers etc etc.

    You'll find some useful information on YAYW - i know i have


    Good Luck


  • natashabonenatashabone Posts: 631
    Our wedding budget is £3000 and then about £3500 on top for our honeymoon, we're only having a small ceremony though and we're having it on a weekday as you get lots of discounts then x
  • leanne78ukleanne78uk Posts: 419
    Hi Pigstar,

    If you buy some of the wedding magazines they tend to do a breakdown of average costs for today's weddings, so you can see roughly how much the average bride spends on different parts of the day, ie venue, catering, flowers, dress etc. that should help to give you and idea.

    We made the fatal error of not making a budget and have just gone out and got exactly what we wanted, it was only yesterday that i sat down with the receipts and invoices and discovered our wedding is coming in at around £23k.

    There are loads of places that we could have made savings but we wanted to buy the full outfits for my bridesmaids and have bought the suits for the the guys too and we're paying for 20 of our family to stay at the castle where we are getting married. We've blown cash everywhere and looking back, we could have saved a fortune if we'd dropped some stuff.

    My advice is set your budget for each part of the day and stick to it, it's so easy to get carried away!

    We're fortunate enough to be able to afford the day we've planned with no need for debt and credit cards, just think about what are the most important aspects of the day for you and spend the cash on those and make savings everywhere else.

  • FeeFee232FeeFee232 Posts: 1,159
    Hi Pigstar

    The venue for the wedding breakfast is what is costing us so much money. On average it is about £30 per head including drinks for the sit down meal and then an evening buffet is £10 per head so this is where the money goes most.

    Banardos do wedding dresses at reasonable prices about £300 - £1000 depending on what you are looking for.

    BHS also do reasonable wedding dresses too they vary from £140 upwards.

    If you decide to get married abroad you can get a wedding package for an all inclusive deal for a fortnight for about £4k and those that come with you obviously have to pay for themselves.

    Wedding cakes vary Tescos do various sized fruit cakes from £6 for a small one £8.00 for a middle one and approximately £15 for a large one. M&S do three tiered cakes which can be chocolate for one tier, sponge for another and fruit for another and that is under £200.

    It depends on what you want and how big your budget is.

    I have found some wonderful things on ebay.

    If you want some other tips feel free to email me.

    kind regards

  • emmascan101emmascan101 Posts: 1,495
    Hey were spending just over 20K at the moment i saw somewhere average for london was 19k so we thinkwere doing ok, i got sme bargns from ebay after reading rave reports on here
  • sammy84uksammy84uk Posts: 780
    hi theres our is about 8-10k but dont forget most things to do with weddings go up at least 10% per guranteed!!
  • Quoted:
    hi theres our is about 8-10k but dont forget most things to do with weddings go up at least 10% per guranteed!!

    I've come across this a few times with suppliers so you need to watch out. Or alternativey, try and barter with them. I've done this and have got my way sometimes (but not all of the time).

    Our wedding is coming to about £11,500 including our honeymoon. However we're expecting this sum to be reduced as we are asking for people to contribute to our honeymoon as our wedding present as opposed to having a gift list. So we are looking at just under £10k. Maybe you could do this as a way to reduce costs?

    Also we managed to get a good package deal for our wedding although I did a lot of shopping around. Our venue together with meals is coming to £3,500. This also covers hire for another room as we will be getting married there too and there are other extras in that package too. However this is an "off peak" wedding even though we are getting married on Valentines Day 09!

    Hope this helps and congratulations on your engagement! x x

  • we only got married 2 weeks ago and are yet to have our final bill from the hotel but we are thinking including honeymoon we have spent about 23k which is more than i earn in a year. most of this was on the venue and meal and we did cut back on things like shoes and veil from ebay, flower girls dresses £12 each from debenhams but unfortunaly things add up so fast! we had a great day thou
  • Lily162010Lily162010 Posts: 3,064
    Ours is coming in at £8k- thats the budget we set. Im really pleased as everything has cost less than we budgeted for so we have quite a lot left over at the moment!

    Personally I could never justify spending £15k on a wedding, but obviously thats down to personal choice, obviously if people want to spend that its totally their choice and up to them!! (please dont take that the wrong way anyone!!)
  • Z750GirlZ750Girl Posts: 2,285
    Our wedding cost us £10,500 (give or take a few pounds) and that included £3500 on our honeymoon and spending money.
  • KJB15KJB15 Posts: 141
    Here's a website I've used as my guide for how much to spend on things - I'm not spending nearly so much as they suggest but it's handy because it has percentages of the whole budget next to each item. i.e. 21.5% of the budget should/could be spent on the reception.
  • ShimmsieShimmsie Posts: 568
    Hi Pigstar,

    We got married in April and the whole thing came to around £7500. We had everything...the church, the car, the dress, 3 course sit down meal, drinks, fab photographer and video, make up and hair at home, beautiful bouquet and button holes......etc.etc.

    We spent £2000 on our photographer and around £2300 on the venue and food. The dress came from the US and we hired the suits from Formally Yours.

    You just need to think outside the box and not be swayed into thinking that you HAVE to use all the normal suppliers. E.g florists for everything, a big grand cake and top of the range stationary. We made loads of things ourselves and we saved a fortune.

    It also depends on how many people you want to invite. We had 50 for the whole day which was a manageable number both physically and financially!

    Decide on what is really important and what your day is likely to be remembered for.

    Good luck and enjoy the planning!
  • pigstarpigstar Posts: 221
    Thank for all your tips, it's really good to hear first hand what other people spend and budget for as I seem to be the first of my friends/close family to plan a wedding. This site has already helped me so much though in just a few days - so much information and people's first hand experiences are so much more useful than the text book stuff!

    I want to try and budget for around 10k and then have 1k spare for any surprises and if possible I hope this will cover the honeymoon too! As we're planning for 2010 this will hopefully give us lots of time to seek out the best deals and shop around and make the invitations etc ourselves.

    At the moment I am torn between whether to buy or hire a dress. I always thought I would want to hire one to save money but then I tried one on last month and felt all emotional and decided I want to buy one. I'll have to see how much other things cost I guess and then go from there...
  • rachaelafryrachaelafry Posts: 4,271
    pigstar, every wedding is different depending on your choices, mine is costing £6500 but I have my dream venue, dream dress etc etc but there are certain things I havent spent a fortune on and they have helped keep the budget down ie flowers, gifts and most importantly numbers, I also shopped around for the lowest prices and have saved alot of money that way too. I downloaded a budget planner from a website and it was actually very accurate, I have seen some that are just ridiculous but again it depends on your preferences, some people can pay a fortune for flowers but I cant justify that when they just die but I still have a fab florist who is doing my bouquets and centrepieces and I told them my budget and made them work within it xx You have plenty of time to save and personally I would buy your dress, there arent a huge amount of places that hire and they arent much cheaper, my dress was a sample, absolutely immaculate, was originally over £1000 and I got it for £500 so it worth shopping around, I hadnt intended on buying a sample but it was a million times nicer than anything I could have afforded within my budget of £500 xx sorry for going on a bit!
  • jojoberriesjojoberries Posts: 1,037
    I think our so far has cost around the 7000 mark! ouch! And thats with NO honeymoon! Boo

    But we have got a magican/illusionist,and videographer, i'm trying to make myself feel better!
  • AmandaHukAmandaHuk Posts: 45

    On my wedding we have spent about £2-3k.

    To be honest we have just searched around EVERYWHERE for the perfect things that we wanted to bring into the day, look around on ebay you can pick up a dress on there, suits, gifts pretty much everything u need.

    I got my wedding dress from debenhams for £120 from there wedding collection and its beautiful, u would never know thats how much i paid.

    but honestly just look around dont just settle for the most expensive because there is ALWAYS someone cheaper lol

    Good luck x
  • xxMrsTxxxxMrsTxx Posts: 467
    I read somewhere that the avarage wedding costs 15,000! This seems like such a lot of money to me.

    well according to all the wedding magazines, the average wedding costs just over £21k....which is absolutely ridiculous considering it is just one day.

    h2b and i are having a civil ceremony and have a budget of around £5k.

    hunt around the locations you like in your area (if thats where your getting married, if youre not fussed too much about where the ceremony is conducted then have it at the registry office. h2b and i are having our ceremony in the same venue as our reception as it is licenced.

    plus making the invitations etc. yourself really does cut costs

  • sbondxsbondx Posts: 350
    We are at the 30k mark, but we are having around 250 people, which works out £120 all in, all drinks, food, clothes everything so i think we are doing ok, i just wish we could bump a few more people off the list as i really didnt want that much spent on one day, but i wanted everyone there?? so ........ feeling it especially at the moment!!!
  • I think our wedding is coming in at about £10,500 for the day and maybe £3000 for the honeymoon - although with nine months to go before the date I could be way way off!!
  • gemmapaynegemmapayne Posts: 908
    Our wedding is coming in at about £14500. This includes £3k for our honeymoon, £1250 for our wedding rings, gifts for attendants, the lot!

    I think it's really difficult to budget for your wedding if you don't know what you want. For £10k you will be able to have a lovely wedding. As others have said, make sure you shop around and barter!

    We're getting married on a Monday and have saved quite a bit of money doing this.

    Be aware that if you're not getting married til 2010 prices will have gone up. Our venues meal prices went up £2 per head from 2007-2008, which might not sound a lot, but if you've got quite a set budget it can make a big difference!!

    I think having a £1k contingency is a great idea!

    Good luck with all of the planning. As you've already found, this site is invaluable with everyone's tips and ideas!

  • I read somewhere that the average wedding now costs £17,000.My budget is £7,000 and I am hard pushed even to afford that,but I dont want a cheap do in the backroom of a pub.I am spending the majority of the money on the venue,£3,500 then £1,500 on food as the menu is very important to me.The other £2,000 or less if I can manage it will be for absolutely everything else.A large part of most wedding budgets are eaten up by the dress,but I plan to spend as little as possible on mine,hopefully under £100.

    My spending is prioritised and although I want to look my best,the venue is the most important part for me.
  • Our wedding is costing £35K-feel guilty writing that-all that money for one day seems so bad! x
  • Ours is about £5k including 'mini-moon' reception for ten and then party (but catered) at home the next sat - lots of the 'stuff' people seem to need is tacky unnecessary tut in my opinion! Dont worry about averages and what other poeple do - get what you want - and shop around is my advise - the classisest weddings i see in the magazine dont worry about all the 'trimmings' - just good venue and food and happy people!

  • HollzukHollzuk Posts: 241
    I think ours will cost about 5k, the most expensive part is the venue & all the food & drink! we only have approx 30 close family & friends coming to the wedding breakfast which is keeping the cost down & then everyone else is coming in the evening- still expensive tho coz the buffett is about £15 per head!

    H2b parents are giving us 1k towards it & my mum has paid half of my dress, my dad & fil2b are going to pay to hire their suits, my daughters flowergirl dress cost me £45 from BHS and is gorgeous!

    My friend spent about 10k on her wedding & it was over in a flash! its ok if you can afford it but we cant so am getting what we want but not spending a stupid amount on it. xxx
  • pigstarpigstar Posts: 221
    Thanks everyone!

    It's amazing how everyone spends a different amount and it just goes to show that you can tailor everything to your needs. I am so glad I have 2 years to look around now... I love ebay anyway and now have even more of excuse to go on!

    I will try to draw up a guest list and start looking at sites with budget charts this weekend - so exciting! xx
  • stacey147stacey147 Posts: 108 New bride

    Current spend for September wedding not including honeymoon

    Venue £2495

    Dj £300

    Chair covers £200

    Tea/coffee £123.90

    Extra evening guests £83.70 

    Bedrooms for parents and best man/maid of honor £436

    Dress £800


    Flowers £510

    Photography £120

    Cake Gift from family member

    Stationary DIY materials approx £100

    Mens suits Hire approx £450

    Hair & makeup £90

    Wedding ring £310

    Earrings £35

    Bouncy castle?

    Band ?

    Favours £70

    Balloons £12

    Bike prop £70

    Beer keg?

    Hen do ?

    Stag do ?

    Thank yous ?




  • Barbie3Barbie3 Posts: 340 New bride

    there's newer threads than this one on this subject - i think costs and trends have changed a fair bit in 10 years!

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