The average wedding cost in 2019 - and what that money’s being spent on

Danielle Fowler
Freelance Writer
The cost of the UK wedding has risen to £31,974 [Photo: Getty]

In the social media age, it’s no longer enough for couples to celebrate their love in their local church or village hall.

Instead, pressure is mounting to curate the most Instagram-worthy ceremony possible from the flowers to the cake.

That’s evident in new numbers released: the average UK wedding bill now weighs in at a staggering £31,974 - a huge increase from £20,799 back in 2014.

But what’s inspired soon-to-be newlyweds to spend more?

The top wedding costs of 2019

Research carried out by Hitched has revealed that 42% of couples feel under pressure to have an Instagram-ready ceremony leading them to spend 30% more than their budget in order to secure the likes.

Editor of Hitched, Sarah Allard, said: “With Instagram becoming an increasing part of our day to day lives, it’s no surprise that we’re seeing our wedding planning couples - many of them millennials who have grown up with social media - looking to the platform to help inspire their day.”

As per previous years, it’s the venue hire which costs the most with approximately £5,406 spent on finding the perfect spot to say “I do”.

The priciest place to tie the knot is London with the average cost sitting pretty at £39,763 while the south west of England is the cheapest.

READ MORE: Shop the best wedding guest outfits of summer 2019

The most expensive UK wedding locations:

  1. London - £39,763

  2. Northern Ireland - £33,162

  3. South East - £33,116

  4. Scotland - £33,466

  5. North East - £31,217

  6. West Midlands - £30,029

The most affordable UK wedding locations:

  1. Yorkshire and Humberside - £29,784

  2. East Midlands - £29,242

  3. Wales - £29,097

  4. East of England - £28,814

  5. North West - £28,166

  6. South West - £27,958

In second place comes the honeymoon which sets couples back a staggering £4,645 in total. Though that’s not entirely surprising with the Maldives proving the most popular honeymoon spot of the year followed by Italy and the United States.

The top 5 honeymoon destinations of 2019

  1. The Maldives

  2. Italy

  3. United States of America

  4. Bali

  5. Mexico

The average honeymoon costs couples £4,645 [Photo: Getty]

Next up on the bill is the cost of wedding food with £3,887 put aside for guests.

This is closely followed by £2,419 spent on the engagement ring and £1,587 dedicated to drinks alone.

But the cost of UK weddings may be down to Brexit with one in three survey participants believing that the vote to leave has heightened the cost of their ceremony.

In fact, 30% have scrapped their plans to wed abroad as a consequence.

READ MORE: The top wedding trends of 2019 revealed

A decline in British wedding traditions

The increased cost of the big day has also seen a rise in the number of couples turning their backs on age-old British traditions.

For instance, 62% of UK couples decided against having page boys at their ceremony while 52% said no to flower girls.

Instead, there’s been a surprise increase in American traditions with couples spending more on their engagement parties, hen parties and stag dos.

A rise in pre-wedding celebrations

With brides and grooms under increasing pressure to have a wedding in keeping with their Instagram grid, the average cost of an engagement party stands at £875 - up 28.8% from last year.

While the stag and hen do weigh in at just over £1,000 each.

Couples are now spending more money on pre-engagement celebrations [Photo: Getty]

In order to make the most of the big day, wedding gifting has also changed considerably in recent years. Guests are now spending less on cash gifts with the average amount down from £54 to £25 to £50.

Couples are also turning their backs on the traditional ‘gift list’ in favour of curating their own specific set of present ideas with department stores and a honeymoon fund sitting at the top of the page.

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