A bridal survey by You & Your Wedding magazine has found that despite the downturn in the UK economy the average spend on weddings has increased by over 8.5% since 2008.
The You & Your Wedding 21st Century Bride survey was completed by over 2,300 brides to-be in September and October 2012 to examine wedding trends across the UK. The survey revealed the average cost of a wedding has increased from 20,207 in 2008 (the start of the financial crisis) to 21,939 in 2012. However, the 2012 figure is down from a high of 22,550 and 108 guests in 2011. Over the same period the average number of guests invited to weddings has fallen almost 10%, from 104 in 2008 to 94 is 2012; with the average spend per guest rising to 233, up from 194 in 2008.
The You & Your Wedding survey shows that a majority of couples still turn to their parents to help fund their big day; with 53% accepting financial help from their parents, whilst 31% of couples fund their weddings themselves. The biggest wedding expense is food and drink, accounting for 21% of the total budget, followed by 16% on the honeymoon, and 14% on engagement and wedding rings.
The length of engagements has also fallen from 21 months in 2008 to just 17 months in 2012, with 14 months spent planning for the big day.
When it comes to planning the wedding the onus clearly falls upon the bride: 61% of respondents said they were planning the big day on their own, with only 31% of couples planning together. Ahead of the wedding itself, getting in shape is a priority with 43% of couples intending to lose weight ahead of the wedding. 37% of the brides said they would have their teeth whitened for their wedding, 9% would have laser hair removal and 5% would have botox.
Church weddings remain the most popular venue for the ceremony itself (35%), with almost a third (29%) of receptions held in hotels. 15% of couples plan to marry overseas, with Italy, the Caribbean and Cyprus being the most popular destinations. Conversely only 7% of respondents were planning a honeymoon in the UK, whilst 8% were not having a honeymoon at all.
Summer is still the most popular time of the year to get married accounting for 37% of , with August, 15%, and September, 14%, being the most popular months to tie the knot; whilst January and February each attract just 2% of couples.
You & You Wedding editor Maxine Briggs says: Couples still want their big day despite the tough economic climate. Its a great occasion that people are still willing to save and invest in to ensure they and their guests have a day to remember. Personalisation is the key trend now, wanting something a little bit different. The You & Your Wedding survey illustrates just how diverse 21st Century weddings are becoming and how vibrant the wedding industry is in the UK.
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