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Couples fly off for sunshine weddings to avoid bills of up to £30,000 at home

Couples are fleeing overseas – leaving family and friends behind – to avoid having to spend as much as £30,000 on a wedding.

The revelation follows a new study which found eight in 10 couples are paring back their wedding plans to save cash.

Church weddings followed by big sit-down events at country house hotels with cars, photographers, lavish meals, entertainment and music are increasingly out of reach.

Many are opting for cheap £42 Register Office ceremonies while taking the controversial step of removing members of the family, friends and work colleagues from the guest list.

And some are fleeing overseas for a small ceremony without any family and friends at all.

Rebecca Gluyas, 30, from Port Talbot, South Wales, wed her husband Leejay, 29, at Malcesine Castle in Lake Garda, Italy.

Customer service manager Rebecca said the couple spent £6,500 on wedding package in Italy, including flights and accommodation.

She said: “In the UK, if we had a wedding and invited friends and family, we would’ve spent well over £30,000.

“Eloping is a great way to save money, and you can do it for much cheaper than we did. I don’t think people should end up in thousands of pounds of debt for their special day.

“I’ve seen more and more Register Office weddings recently though, which would take a huge lump away from the cost.”

Hannah Evans, 28 and from Gower in South Wales, has replaced a £20,000 wedding with a £42 Register Office event.

The switch was forced by the fact the couple’s mortgage payments shot up by £4,800 while some home renovations went £7,000 over budget.

The author and communications manager said: “The cost of living crisis has completely upended our original wedding plan.

“I had my eye on specific dress designers, bridesmaid looks, and a gorgeous venue in West Wales for next year. But all of that went out the window when our mortgage increased in May last year.

“It had a knock-on effect on our finances because we’d just started a home renovation, which ended up costing us an extra £7,000 because the price of materials, items and labour kept going up.

“So we’ve scaled back and we’re getting married in a register office with two witnesses, our mums, for £42. I’ve bought a second-hand dress for £150 and I’m scouring Vinted for bridesmaid dresses.”

They have opted for a party at a local hotel in the evening rather than a sit down event for 130 guests.

She added: “The thought of spending tens of thousands of pounds on one day makes me feel sick now.

“Weddings have become ludicrously expensive, when the day should really be about celebrating love and enjoying the company of loved ones.”

Some 81 percent of couples say the cost of living crisis has impacted their wedding budget, according to a survey of 2,000 people – conducted by The Wedding Travel Company through OnePoll.

Luke Nathan, co-founder of the company, which offers flexible wedding packages in locations like Italy, Cyprus, Greece and more, said: “The sad reality is that a lot of people, including families, are struggling financially.

“To keep up with these rising prices, most people have had to cut their disposable incomes, which means they have less to spend on things like weddings – which is a shame.”


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