This is how much a wedding really costs

  • Marie Claire is supported by its audience. When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn commission on some of the items you choose to buy.
  • That UK average cost? It's all lies

    As a bride-to-be, I read ALL the wedding magazines, including those little guides that tell you the average cost of a UK wedding is £25,000. Now, having done the deed, I call BS.

    Sorry guys, but unless you’re having a reception in your back yard (which in London is basically as big as a tissue box), or have a guest list of 10, then there’s just no way you can stick to that budget. £25k? Try £30k. At least.

    First off, let me give you a bit of context. We didn’t have a big lavish wedding, though it was beautiful, we didn’t have anything extravagant like crystal chandeliers or horse drawn carriages.

    We got married in a country house in Surrey, and had about 100 guests, which I think is pretty average, judging by every other wedding I’ve been to. Now it’s worth knowing that Surrey is one of the most expensive counties to get married in, so we admittedly didn’t choose the cheapest option.

    But we did save costs where we could. We were very lucky because friends did the stationery, DJ-ing and photography for free. My sister made the cake, and my parents brought the booze over from France as it’s much cheaper.

    Bridesmaids dresses and usher suits were bought on the high street with discount vouchers, and we haggled on everything.

    Still, we ended up spending over £30,000, and if we hadn’t had very kind and helpful friends, it would’ve been more like £35k. Which equals to a deposit on a small house somewhere. But let’s not dwell on that.

    This isn’t a pity party though, I know full well no one forced us to have a big wedding. This is simply something to give other brides-to-be a little bit of guidance, so it’ll hopefully be a bit less of a shock when you sign those cheques.

    Venue hire £5,500
    Registrar £600
    Five bridesmaids dresses £350
    Usher suits £200
    Food £8,500
    Cake £100
    Alcohol £2,500
    Flowers £1,300
    Decorations £200
    Videographer £900
    Car hire £500
    Rings £640
    Groom suit £1,160
    Wedding dress, veil & shoes £2,500
    Hair & make-up £685
    Wedding insurance £80
    Entertainment £700
    Honeymoon £4,500

    Grand total: £30,915

    Reading now

    Popular Life stories