We’re nearing the end of wedding season and for millennials if you’re not getting married yourself, you probably spent your weekends at cocktail receptions or reluctantly liking Facebook posts of old high school friends. Yes, though there is a growing apathy towards saying “I do” amongst our generation, for many guys and gals the blessed day is meant to be one of their happiest, but as we’ll uncover, can cost a small fortune.
Wedding or house deposit?
For many couples, getting on the property ladder often coincides with planning for the big day, and yet many don’t have the luxury of having both without some compromise. And it's no wonder given latest figures showed that the average wedding in the UK costs £27,000 with numbers in London reaching £38,000!
With the average house price in the UK a around £170,000, putting down a 10% deposit would require you to save £17,000, while a 25% deposit would mean saving £42,500 (these figures are higher for London properties of course). So what’s it going to be, a starlit dance floor or a new coral sofa from John Lewis?
Is it cheaper for me to get married abroad?
In a survey carried out by Mintel (a market intelligence company) the average cost of having a wedding abroad is £6,585.
A study by Weddings Abroad Guide ranked a number of wedding destinations in terms of basic costs (venue, legals, seating and priest/celebrant costs). The cheapest places for an average wedding ceremony alone (before the cost of flights) were:
USA (various parts, average £488)
Some other popular destinations include Hawaii (£1035) and Thailand (£2004). Of course, there are plenty of other variables such as number of guests, time of year and personal touches which can vary the cost, but at least this gets you thinking if you’ve ever considered a destination wedding.
£500 on flowers!? Why are weddings so expensive?
Not all weddings are the same, and different cultures and traditions you and your family might have can also affect the total cost. Regardless, when vendors hear the “W” word it can feel like they add a few zeros to their price before handing you the bill.
Some top tips for cutting costs for the celebrations:
Decide on a budget.
Shop around for the best deals, particularly cars (avg. £400), flowers (avg. £560) and a photographer (avg. £1400). There are often huge differences in prices from different suppliers for these items.
Compromise. Be prepared to downgrade some items, completely ditch some things or getting your mates round for the weekend to do some DIY and make some items yourself! Check out this link for some DIY ideas.
Put a savings plan in place to make sure you have the money to pay the bills when they come in.
Start saving early and use an ISA (Individual Savings Account) for your savings, the interest is tax free, giving the amount you have set aside a boost.