Wedding costs…the reality


Partners considering popping the big question and couples planning their wedding are often daunted by the average wedding costs quoted by the industry. Having worked in the industry for more than 20 years our MD shares the reality and how you can plan a wonderful wedding day celebration without having to save for years.

Does it really cost £30,000 to get married in 2019?

The answer is quite simply NO and the industry needs to counter this myth as it’s just adding a level of pressure to a day that really should be about celebrating love and friendship not the size of your bank balance or credit card bill. The average cost of a wedding may be £30k but the average wedding certainly doesn’t cost this with the vast majority taking place every weekend being well below this amount, a few big budget weddings and London prices skew these figures.

The truth is, you can probably pull it all off for £3000 or below if your careful and happy to keep it simple. It’s true, you won’t get a castle wedding venue or champagne on tap but you can easily book a nice local hotel, feed your guests and have a great party for in the low thousands. Ditch the wedding cars, photo booths and sparkly dance floors and focus on the simple things first, good company, food, a good drink and music.

I recently added a quality branded hotel to our site who were offering an amazing wedding package which included a wedding ceremony, reception for 60 guest including an arrival drink, 3 courses, wine with the meal, followed by an evening buffet and disco all for £1999 which is unbelievable value!

Rise in costs of wedding venues

One of the key drivers for costs rising so significantly is wedding venue costs, in the last 10 years the industry has changed quite significantly in this respect. Having run a hire business in the wedding industry over the past 15 years we have seen a huge rise in the number of standalone wedding venues catering specifically to weddings. They are in stunning locations, with amazing aspects and decorated to suit the modern couple ticking almost every box for the dream wedding. Clearly, these wedding venues deliver on the promise of bringing the dream day to reality and will continue to lead the way no doubt in taking a fair share of the market.

Understandably, these bespoke wedding venues can charge a premium price which means you are paying a wedding venue hire fee £2-4k before you start. These boutique wedding venues need to do this because they really only cater to weddings. The best of these could be pushing 170 weddings a year which is huge however that’s 195 days where they are not trading and bills still need to be covered so they have to charge high fees. With many not offering other services, in house catering services or bars they don’t have the same revenue streams of traditional venues.

In comparison, traditional hotel based wedding venues have a wider offering and more opportunities over the year, bedroom sales, meetings, food and beverage sales however many then don’t tick the Instagram box quite as effectively as a stunning barn.

My key advice for couples is get out and visit as many wedding venues across the spectrum as possible. For every ‘on trend dream wedding venue’ there are 10 traditional wedding venues or hotels who want your business and are fighting hard to offer great value and warm hospitality for a lot less….it’s your choice to make.