The average national wedding spend is now £17,674, down 1.3% from £17,913 the previous year, according to new research. The numbers have been crunched by wedding-planning website Bridebook.co.uk, which has analysed data from over 2,000 recently married couples who voted in The Wedding Industry Awards 2019.
The slight drop in the average spend - down for the first time since 2012 - is said to be linked to an increase in supplier choice, savvy planning and the impact of the current economic climate in the lead-up to Brexit.
"Without a doubt, millennials are being affected by political uncertainty and are tightening their belts," Hamish Shephard, Bridebook.co.uk founder told Harper's Bazaar. "Suppliers are being impacted too, but the knock-on effect is they are working more collaboratively with clients offering a stand-out, hyper-personalised service. The choice available to couples is therefore increasing, and they are able to exercise a new-found level of creative freedom celebrating individuality. Whether it's having cupcakes instead of a cake, or a bride getting her dress from Topshop."
The study also found that fewer couples are choosing to marry in a place of worship, with 67% of weddings now taking place at the reception venue, up 7% from the previous year. In some cases, these means the additional costs of a separate florist, specific music and additional transportation required for a location change can be avoided.
"Couples planning weddings are becoming increasingly clever to ensure they don't overspend on their big day entering their married life in debt, but still ensuring they host the celebration of a lifetime," Shephard added.
According to the research, the highest supplier cost remains the venue, which has seen a bigger increase year-on-year than any other category at £6,539, up by 6%. Spend on food and drink is the second highest cost at £5,187 and with higher significance placed on the "party", the bride and groom are also accommodating more evening guests. The average number of jumped from 80 in the previous year to 90 last year.
Considering the average overall cost of getting married is still extraordinarily high, it's no huge surprise that non-Saturday weddings (which is generally more expensive), are on the rise. The study found that 47% of weddings were held on a day other than Saturday, with 10% of couples choosing Sunday as an alternative. August is still the most popular month of the year when it comes to peak wedding season.
The final figures don't include the money spent on a honeymoon, which comes in at an average of £4,875. Just another thing to factor in if you're planning your big day this year.
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