Possibly the number one question in the wedding world, how much does a wedding cost?
Usually, this is the first time most couples are planning a wedding. A lot of the time the first time planning any event. So it is understandable that they have no idea of how much a wedding really costs.
We want to share the realistic cost of a wedding in this blog. So many blogs share their average costs and we just feel they are too low and set unrealistic expectations for couples.
This leads to couples expecting cheaper quotes and suppliers find it frustrating. Suppliers are not guilt free though, I have never known such a secretive industry when it comes to sharing your prices. If suppliers had their pricing clearly on their websites it would help couples gauge a standard price for what they want so they can budget accordingly.
With all this in mind, we have put together the real costs of a wedding. This will be updated yearly but do keep in mind that prices vary and these are just estimates to help guide you when budgeting.
How much is an average UK wedding?
To give one answer to this always seem a little off. From researching others’ findings it ranged from 18 thousand to 30 thousand.
I would say the higher seems more likely. As harsh as it may sound a wedding under 25/30 thousand is a low-budget wedding. Don’t get me wrong, it is a lot of money I know, that I am not disputing!
The thing is there are so many moving parts with a wedding, so many different suppliers to book that the cost just adds up so quickly. So, in my opinion, how much does a wedding cost?
- DIY – £5000 – £15,000
- Low budget – £15,000 – £30,000
- mid-range – £30,000 – £80,000
- high-end wedding £100,000+
This is such a rough idea and I am totally generalising. The thing is you can totally get married for any cost you want. You just can’t have every aspect of a wedding, no DIY without spending tens of thousands.
Hitched and bride-brook release their yearly average cost of a wedding and all the different suppliers. They are always so low! Then lots of other blogs follow suit and share these results as fact.
The thing is anyone who has done any data research will agree, that their data is off and biased.
- They ask couples what they spent with no context
- Usually, these couples are lower-budget couples as they are statistically most likely to use their website.
- They don’t take into account if the cost was DIY cost, family or friend discount, etc
- Finally, I just think average cost as one number is not helpful advice and honestly its completely a PR stunt
Why trust our data?
You shouldn’t really! Our data again isn’t 100% accurate and unbiased. We believe it is closer to the truth though. Even though what it cost you will hugely depend on so many factors at least you have a realistic starting point.
This is how we collected our data:
- Surveyed supplier: We asked the supplier what they charge, their minimum fee and the average cost spent with them.
- First-hand account: As wedding planners and designers our role is to book suppliers for couples, we see invoices and know the costs involved
- Research: We understood that the suppliers we know and have booked make the results biased. So we also researched, enquired and made sure we got a clear picture of the possible costs of each supplier.
Diy wedding costs
We have a whole blog on this topic as a full DIY wedding is totally different to a wedding booked with suppliers.
Having a DIY wedding or DIYing parts of your wedding is a great way to save money. It means paying with time instead though.
Below when we discuss costs we are talking about supplier costs, booking and paying professionals to do the work. If you have a lower budget or are a DIY wedding this blog breaks down the time and cost in more detail for you.
Top wedding costs breakdown
|Ceremony Cost||£50 – £1000+|
|Venue dry hire||£1000 – £10,000+|
|Venue Package||£7000 – £30,000+|
|Catering (per person)||£60 – £200+|
|Photographer||£2000 – £5000+|
|Videographer||£2000 – £5000+|
|Cake||£500 – £2000+|
|Flowers||£2000 – £10,000+|
|Decor & Hire||£1000 – £10,000+|
|Dress or Outfit||£1000 – £10,000+|
|Suits||£100 – £500+|
|Bridesmaids||£100 – £300+|
wedding ceremony costs
It’s important to keep in mind that wedding ceremony fees can vary depending on a number of factors.
If you’re opting for a simple registry office ceremony, the fees could be as little as £50 at a registered building. However, the costs may begin at £200 and go up to around £700 depending on your local council. Extra costs do apply like giving notice and buying certificates.
If you’re considering a Church wedding, the fees for 2023 are from £200 up to £700 if you marry in your home parish. Keep in mind that there may be additional fees for extras you may want. For some churches, this includes just having the heating on!
If you’re looking to have your wedding ceremony at a venue, you can expect to pay room fees, as well as registrar or celebrant fees which can cost several hundred pounds.
Whatever your preferences, make sure to do your research and get a clear understanding of all the costs involved before making any decisions.
Wedding venue cost
This is usually the biggest expense for any wedding. Of course, some will hire just a room or hall for £500/£1000. With that though mean other costs like decor goes up.
Usually, a venue is going to cost £5000+ and this may include some hire and decor pieces, and staff on the day. It can cost £10,000+ just for venue hire if wanting exclusive use of a large venue or having a tent wedding.
wedding photographer and videographer
It still shocks me that people go without or scrimp on their wedding photographer. I hate having my photo taken and hate looking at pictures f me even more. There is no way I would ever not have a photographer at a wedding.
If cost is a concern you can book some photographers by the hour and get them to cover the ceremony at least.
For a full day package, you should be budgeting at £1000, at the lower end and up to £10,000 for some. I always told couples around £2000 for a good photographer and a full day package.
Wedding Catering and bar
This may or may not come as part of your venue package. This can range from £60 to £300+ per person. again, it depends on what food you want, if this includes drinks.
I have seen £60 which included canapes, breakfast, late-night snacks and 2 drinks. This is on the cheaper end though and is usually this cheap as you have paid for the venue and its in-house catering and lots of upsell offers.
The cheapest options is usually buffet style, self-service. What you have to remember when booking outside caterers is they may need to provide service staff, crockery and cutlery, linens, tables and chairs, set up and clean up. That is before even the cost of the food and cooking.
Bar cost can be free if guests are paying, usually with a minimum spend. Up to thousands if you want something fun and unique.
I think wedding cakes, like flowers, are usually one of the ones people are shocked by the price of. A mix of reasons, they may have never bought a professional cake before, average shared pricing is way too low, they are comparing to buying a celebration cake.
I would say the minimum you should plan to spend is £500, this is for a standard design wedding cake. For most, I would think you will spend £800 to £1000, from a professional cake designer. This will include a unique cake design, flowers or other design elements.
Also, keep in mind it depends on the size. If you want a single small cake, yes maybe you can get it cheaper. But for a traditional 2/3 tier cake, designed, delivered and set up you are going to have to pay their value.
Wedding flowers and decor
Wedding flowers are another varied one when it comes to pricing. There are way too many factors that go into this that it is impossible to give an average price. We have a full blog post breaking it down in more detail.
Most florists have a £1000/£2000 minimum spend. This hopefully gives you an idea of the least you will send with a floral designer.
What you want obviously plays a huge part in costs, bridal bouquet, bridesmaids’ amounts, buttonhole amounts, ceremony flowers, centrepieces, and large displays.
But also the season, the types of flowers, the skill and the time involved all play into how much your flower will cost.
Decor and hire items depend on what your venue offers, what your florist offers and so much more. You may need to hire everything from tables, chairs and linen. Or just a few extra special details candles, wedding arches and lanterns. Meaning it could be from £500 up to £10,000+.
At a minimum, most couples at least have a DJ, usually around £800/1000. You can get cheaper options but they usually aren’t wedding specialists.
If you are wanting musicians or bands you are looking at £2000+ depending on what you want.
Then you also have game hire, photo booth hire and so many more options to keep guests entertained. Ranging from a few hundred up to thousands.
Wedding attire for couples and party
We have a breakdown of brides’ and bridesmaids’ costs in separate blog posts. I always say look at what you normally wear and spend on clothing. This is a great indicator of what price range you will fall into.
If your wardrobe is designer you probably will be wanting a designer number. Which will be around £3000 to £10,000+ for bridal outfits, £300/£500 for suits and bridal party.
If you love a bargain or hitting the high street then maybe you will find the perfect look there. Online and high-street prices are where the bargains are. Bridal outfits from £150 to £2000+, suits and bridesmaids from as little as £50 to £300.
Of course, there is the bespoke option, you only get married once so why not! Bride dresses can start from £2000+ and bridesmaids £200+ and for suits, you will be looking at £1000+.
Related blog posts:
Gifts, transport and extra details
You may not need wedding transport depending on your wedding venue location. If you are in one venue and both staying there or near the night before. You may need transport for your guest also if two locations or if accommodation is not close by. Wedding cars normally start around £500 and can go into the thousands depending on the time and transport you require.
Gifts for your wedding party, parents, to say thank you to people helping. This one is super personal but I would say £30/£50 each as a minimum to budget for.
Wedding budgeting and saving tips
I say the same thing to every couple, you have to have a budget no matter the amount you have to spend. Also, forget what the percentage charts say. You need to figure out what is important to yous as a couple and that is where the highest spending should be.
Think about items you can make yourself or family members can. Ask for contributions of time, service and even money over gifts. Ask yourself if you really need it, you don’t have to have everything just because it’s tradition.
Buying secondhand, using newer suppliers, and selling items after will help keep costs lower.
wedding cost FAQs
Traditionally the bride’s family pays for the wedding. It is not as common these days though and couples pay themselves. Or all family members from both sides will help with costs.
Start by making a list of all the wedding-related expenses you anticipate, and assign a rough cost to each item. Be realistic and considerate of your financial situation. Once you have a total, determine how much you can afford to save each month and set a timeline for when you hope to have everything paid off.
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