How much do you really have to save for a wedding?
Weddings are expensive. The authoritative BBC programme Moneybox recently revealed that according to industry specialists the average price of a wedding is a cool £24,000. So, with all the hidden extras, how much should you really save for a wedding?
Once you’ve assessed how much you can realistically spend on your big day, it’s the time to start working out the individual costings. The Nutmeg wedding budget calculator will give you some idea of what you can expect to spend on each factor.
The wedding venue is usually one of most expensive elements on your list. The more romantic the setting, the greater the cost. Of course the price of the venue will depend on your selection. Both Eddie Redmayne and James Corden elected to hold their weddings at Babington House, Somerset – the price for this venue without taking cars, clothes and the price of the registrar or religious celebrant into account is £35,000. Your 120 guests will be fed and 90 of them will also be housed overnight for this fee.
This is just one example of what you can expect to pay at the higher end of the wedding market and prices do differ widely.
Bride magazine suggests that catering costs can be astronomical. The magazine advises that the average price for feeding your guests can amount to an impressive £3,959. If you want to employ the services of a Michelin starred chef for your event, you can expect the price to climb up even further.
If you want to have your ceremony in a church, the CofE will charge you a mandatory fee of £486 – this sum includes reading of the banns, your certificate and the cost of the vicar to perform the ceremony. This fee doesn’t include an organist, or bell ringers, which will cost extra. If you want to have a harpist to perform during the ceremony this will cost you about £300. If you decide that you want to film the ceremony the musicians and choir are entitled to charge extra for their services.
The all important clothes
The appearance of the bride and groom is of vital importance. Whether the groom and best man choose to hire their clothes is entirely up to them but with average suit rental from a leading UK retailer costing as little as £70, compared to a purchase price of £499.00, this is one way of keeping within your wedding budget.
As for the bride and bridesmaids, Bride magazine gives a ballpark figure of £1,378 for the wedding gown itself and estimates that clothing for the bridesmaids will come to £436 each. These figures really are a moveable feast, if you’re looking for a designer wedding dress then the price tags start at an eyewatering £3,000.
The cheapest wedding
Of course none of these figures are set in stone, but as weddings have increasingly been seen as a perfect business opportunity, the cost of these occasions has mounted. One way of keeping your expenditure to an absolute minimum is to get married in your local registry office, where you’d get away with having spent far less. For example, if you were to marry in a Greenwich registery office, you’d only spend £85.00 – that would be £30.00 to announce the wedding and £50.00 for a registrar conducted ceremony complete with one copy of a handwritten marriage certificate.
A quiet registry office basic ceremony isn’t everyone’s idea of a perfect marriage celebration. When people dream of a wedding they’re thinking of something spectacular. In order to cope with all of the expense of a wedding perhaps opening a savings portfolio might be the best way to meet the costs of a wedding. Then there’s the honeymoon to account for…