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Expert reveals how to reduce costs as average UK wedding price tops £20k for first time

Couples who are keen to make their partnerships official are now shelling out an average of more than £20,000 on their weddings, new research shows.

Research commissioned by Hitched.co.uk found that the average cost of a wedding has increased to £20,700 in 2023, up from £18,400 in 2022 and £17,300 in 2021.

The knock on effect of inflation and the cost-of-living crisis saw more than half of couples (59 percent) increase their estimated wedding budgets at least once.

Meanwhile 55 percent opted for more DIY elements than originally planned or fewer upgrades and add-ons (53 percent) to counteract the rising costs.

Of the 2,000 couples surveyed, more than half (59 percent) revealed that they had gone over their original budget.

Zoe Burke, editor of Hitched.co.uk, said: “It’s no secret that paying for a wedding is a significant expense – however there are plenty of ways to make it more affordable.

“I would always recommend that couples prioritise the stuff that means the most to them so they’re not spending on things that they don’t love or necessarily even want at their wedding. It’s also important to set your budget ahead of time and keep track of it – our free budget planning tool is amazing for this as it automatically updates your numbers as you add in your spends.

“You can also look for deals, keeping an eye out for a deal can save you a serious amount of money when planning.

“Finally, think about the time of year of your wedding – going out of season can lead to serious savings too.”

Few of those surveyed allowed themselves to enter into debt to pay for their weddings with less than a fifth (19 percent) using existing credit cards to pay for supplier services, and only one-in-ten taking out loans or opening up new credit cards to cover costs.

Despite the introduction of “buy-now, pay-later” services like Klarna within many parts of the wedding industry in the last year, few couples chose to pay for their big days this way, with only three percent admitting to using a service like this.

Alongside paying for their weddings, many couples had other financial goals in mind last year with saving for honeymoons (63 percent) and houses (27 percent) at the front of mind, as well as paying off accumulated debt.

More than a quarter (29 percent) of couples admitted they were paying off credit card debt whilst paying for their weddings, with almost a fifth (18 percent) also paying off student debt. Less than 10 percent said they were saving for retirement alongside paying off these debts.


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