wedding costs

How much does a wedding cost?

This entry is from our Expert Guest series where wedding and honeymoon professionals share their best tips on creating memories that last a lifetime.

What’s the average cost of a wedding this year?

It’s the million-dollar question that every other wedding media hack wants to know. As a result, all the prominent wedding magazines, including Brides, Perfect Wedding, You and Your Wedding, and Wedding Ideas conduct surveys in order to find out how much their readers are spending on the Big Day. And for a number of years now, the figures have remained relatively constant. The average cost of a wedding in the UK in 2015, and in all likelihood in 2016, is in the region of £20-22,000 ($27-29,000.)

Wedding costs

Is The Average Cost Of A Wedding Accurate?

Now whatever way you look at it, that’s a lot of cash to be blowing on a single day – even if it is going to be one of the most important days in a couple’s lifetime. To put it into context, very few would ever consider spending £20K on a party to celebrate the birth of their first child. However, because it’s a wedding, society dictates that it’s acceptable and appropriate to spend a small fortune on such an event. After all, it’s what everyone does, and no one wants to be different do they?!

However, by digging a little deeper into the figures, one will soon discover that the average wedding spend is not an especially accurate or reliable. This is because an average calculation often spans a wide range of figures. In fact, one could argue that the £22K average wedding spend in the UK is fundamentally flawed due to extremes in the data that render the figure misleading or irrelevant.

The Survey Says….

For example, let’s say that of 100 randomly selected people who were asked how much they spent on their wedding, 90 indicated that they spent £15,000 ($20,000), 5 spent £75,000 and 5 others spent £150,000. Clearly, the vast majority of people spent £15,000, however due to a minority of extreme cases, the average spend is hiked to £24,750.

Average figures are easy, convenient, and great for the wedding industry as a whole, but they can be rather misleading for brides and grooms and can even encourage couples to significantly and unnecessarily overspend.

This anomaly is backed up by research conducted by Confetti website who surveyed 2200 British brides in 2015/16 and released figures showing that 80% of couples spent less than £15,000.

The Knot website in the USA also demonstrated that the average spend in America is also skewed by a small number of extreme figures. For instance in Utah, Oregon, Montana, New Mexico, North and South Dakota among others, the average spend in 2015 was $20,000. Yet, because of a small number of bi- spending brides in States such as New York (whose average spend was $82,000) and Chicago ($61,000) the overall average spend in the USA was $32,650.

Wedding reception

What Are Typical Wedding Costs?

Instead of focussing on the average spend, it is more helpful for brides and grooms to be aware of the typical fees a specific service or supplier might charge.

For example, you can hire a decent photographer or cinematographer for around £1,000. And a good quality caterer will charge upwards of £30.00 per head for a 3 course silver service meal, whilst a cake will cost from £300.00, a DJ from around £500.00, a florist from £600.00, bridal car £350.00, and hair/makeup £250.00. Obviously, the more established or better known they are, the more they can charge. And newer suppliers will naturally undercut to attract business. However, these ballpark figures are far more accurate and useful for brides-to-be who often have no idea how much a particular wedding service or supplier costs.

Wedding costs do not include the honeymoon, but many smart couples offset the cost of a wedding trip by requesting gifts to the Honeyfund wedding registry.

The table below is an amalgamation of results from surveys taken by You & Your Wedding, Brides and Wedding Day magazines.

NOTE: when assessing these figures it is important to note that the readers of these prominent magazines tend to spend more on their wedding than the readers of magazines such as Wedding Ideas. For convenience of readers in the US, the figures in pounds have been converted to current US dollars.

Contorl your wedding costs


Cost in £ Cost in US $
Ceremony, Civil: £2,790 $3,670
Reception: £3,919 $5,173
Catering: £3,959 $5,226
Drink: £1,280 $1,690
Cake: £300 $396
Music ceremony: £200 $264
Music reception: £450 $594
Entertainment: £773 $1,020
Fireworks: £600 $792
Dress: £1,378 $1,819
Shoes: £161 $214
Veil: £138 $182
Hair accessories £80 $106
Jewellery: £176 $232
Other accessories: £80 $106
Special lingerie: £112 $148
Going away outfit: £300 $396
Honeymoon wardrobe: £300 $396
Hair: £150 $198
Make up: £150 $198
Groom’s outfit: £439 $580
Attendant’s outfits: £436 $575
Photography: £1,046 $1,381
Videography: £905 $1,194
Flowers £638 $842
Transport: £480 $633
Stationery: £465


Bio:Sam Ketterer is the Managing Director of Absolute Perfection Wedding Consultancy established in 2003, as one of only a handful of wedding planners operating in the UK. AP, a small team of leading London wedding designers creating beautiful weddings worldwide, guarantees personable, discreet, and first-class service for a stress-free engagement and a wedding day that is…Absolute Perfection!

Alongside his wedding duties, Sam also run popular wedding planner courses for aspiring young (and not so young!) wedding designers and DIY brides! Their online Academy operates one of the UK’s most informative and in-depth wedding planning courses, which has trained some of the UK’s most notable and award-winning designers. The latest training course – Version 9 – is a comprehensive distance learning program that will teach you all you need to know about wedding planning, including setting up and running a wedding planning business. See their Wedding Academy for full details.

You can learn more about Absolute Perfection Wedding Consultancy or get in touch by email email or phone at 00 44 (0)20 8404 2525.

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This entry is from our Expert Guest series where wedding and honeymoon professionals share their best tips on creating memories that last a lifetime.

10 Easy Hacks to Slash your Wedding Stress

According to the Holmes Rahe Stress Inventory the potential stress of marriage (and we’re guessing they mean a wedding as opposed to every year that you are married!) is right up there with getting pregnant, being fired or a major personal injury. In other words, there is a good chance that you are going to experience some serious stress at some point.

It’s not entirely encouraging, is it?

At Bridechilla Club, much like the honeymoon registry site Honeyfund, we are in the business of making couple’s lives easier and less stressful in the lead up to their wedding day. We believe that a wedding is not just one day, but all of the days from the engagement to the honeymoon. Yep, all 200+ hours of it! We think that it should be fun experience and that you should come out the other side of it all the better for the journey.

But we also know that this is not the reality for many couples who are planning their own wedding. Life keeps happening, you still need to go to work, and your wedding planning happens on top of everything else that you normally have to deal with.

So how can you survive the rollercoaster of high emotion and expectation (followed closely by disillusionment) that many brides and grooms fall victim to along the way?

We’re glad you asked..

Sometimes preparing for a wedding is a bit too much to handle for couples.

TIP # 1. Lists are your friend

It all starts with your top 3 – the ultimate and unique measure of a successful wedding for YOU. Then you will create a list (or spreadsheet, or dedicated notebook, it needn’t be fancy) to record all of the info you find out as you’re comparing wedding suppliers. For each category, you should list and evaluate your top three suppliers. Then it will be your guest list and RSVPs.

The smartest part is how lists can help to get the anxiety, the feeling of being overwhelmed and little details out of your head and into more easily manageable categories and tasks. Feeling organised can give you a wonderful sense of calm and accomplishment.

TIP # 2. Delegate as much as you can

It is very common for a bride to want to do pretty much everything for her own wedding by herself. It is an exciting time and opportunity and you’re only doing this once, right? Let’s do this!

But what you need to acknowledge, as early on in your planning as possible, is that even wedding event professionals outsource their most time consuming/sensitive tasks. This means that as the day gets closer, the more you should be handing tasks over to others.

Guests arriving from out of town? Ask a family member to pick them up from the airport. Wedding rings need to be collected from the jeweler? Ask your best man to grab them for you. You get the idea.

There are no extra points for exhausting yourself and those who love you will be happy to help you out as long as you give them a reasonable amount of notice. So start writing that delegation list now!

TIP #3. Create a wedding website

While we’re on the delegation track, invest a little time early on to create a simple wedding website (or wedsite). Have a really good think about it; if you choose to communicate everything to all of your guests (I understand that Nanna Smith and Uncle Glen are not exactly tech-savvy, but you can always call them) in person, on the phone or via snail mail (save the dates, invitations, rehearsal dinner, RSVPs etc.) you are handing over a LOT of your precious time. Surely there are dozens of other things that you would rather be doing, yes?

Wedding websites are worth the investment.

Wedding websites are worth the investment.

TIP # 4. Create a realistic wedding day schedule

Create a realistic wedding day schedule/timeline in consultation with your key suppliers (venue/s, photographer, makeup artist/hairdresser, celebrant/officiant).

This means allowing time for Murphy’s Law (i.e. whatever can go wrong, will go wrong) by adding a ½ hour buffer to crucial points in the day – e.g. between when you are ready/have finished your getting ready photos and when the transport arrives to take you to your ceremony and between finishing your bridal party/family photos after the ceremony and making your entrance at the reception.

You are literally building in time to breathe. And when you prioritize and block out the time to breathe on your wedding day, you actually increase your ability to remember it years down the track.

Extra points if you actually distribute the timeline to your immediate family, bridal party and suppliers at least 48 hours prior to the big day.

TIP # 5. Make your final payments to your wedding suppliers/vendors well before they’re due

Weddings are expensive, but the only thing worse than forking over a small fortune for the bridal bouquet that you will only hold for 2 hours before leaving it on the bridal table, is stressing about how much it costs right up to the last minute.

Feeling cash strapped and under the pump financially is one of the biggest killers of happy vibes in the last 2 weeks before a wedding. We would even suggest scheduling your payments with alerts in a calendar like iCal or Google calendar a full month before they’re due.

Make a list of gratuities that you plan to give each vendor and put the tip money into separate envelopes with their names on the front and give it to the person that you have designated (see hack #2) to distribute them at the end of the night.

Diet for teh wedding

TIP # 6. Eat for sustained energy

Think about eating for sustained energy, rather than weight loss. If you’re wanting to look and feel your best in the lead-up to your big day (and who isn’t?), lowering the Glycaemic Index (GI) of your diet might be a good place to start.

Eating foods that keep you fuller for longer, i.e. those with a low GI, may help reduce cravings, improve your concentration and sustain your energy better than relying on a diet of highly processed, high GI foods.

TIP # 7. Invest in great music that takes you to your happy place and play it ALL THE TIME

Sure there’s the music for the ceremony and your reception, but what are you going to be listening to for the 12+ months leading up to the big day?

We love the idea of creating an awesome playlist of upbeat, medium tempo, singable songs, that you can enjoy as the soundtrack to your planning, but it all depends on what relaxes you most. If Metallica tunes cranked up to 11 gives you a Zen-like sense of calm, then that’s what you need to be aurally investing in.

TIP # 8. Get your wedding registry happening online with Honeyfund (seriously!)

For anything other than platters or toasters (and who in 2016 wants platters or toasters as a wedding gift anyway?) Honeyfund is your registry solution.

Whether it’s for your awesome o/s honeymoon, the down payment on the home of your dreams or the deposit on another big savings goal, Honeyfund can take the stress out of communicating it to your guests and collecting the money for you for free!

Honeymoon Travel

TIP # 9. Take some pointers from wedding experts

It is unlikely that you have ever had to organize an event as big, emotionally draining or as public as your wedding before (or that you ever will again). It is okay to not know exactly what to do and when, but what can sabotage your efforts on a massive scale and cause you to waste your valuable time, energy and money is seeking and accepting advice from well-meaning (but ultimately ill-informed) friends and family.

It’s fair to assume that almost everyone you know will have an opinion when it comes to your wedding, but to keep your stress levels in check it’s smart to seek out relevant and realistic tools and solutions from experienced industry professionals.

TIP # 10. Focus on your goal

You’ve found the love of your life, remember? Make the effort to prioritize your connection with your fiancé.

Are things getting crazy? Turn off the phone and the TV and snuggle together in bed. Remember what brought you together and indulge in time with each other.

Something as simple as taking a weekend ‘off’ from wedding planning and getting outdoors can seriously recharge your batteries and make the annoying trials of organisation seem trivial compared to the big picture of your future with the one you love.

Bio: At Bridechilla Club, we believe that couples who have a positive attitude and seek informed and relevant advice have a better wedding experience.We are a dynamic team of wedding experts and wellness professionals committed to making the planning process (yes, all 200+ hours of it) fun and simple, with less stress.

Bridechilla Club has free tools and printables available on the blog and you can follow us on Facebook. If you are seeking a little extra support you can join us for our FREE 7-day ecourse .Get started today at the Bridechilla Club.


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