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Revealed: what the typical British wedding really costs (and it’s not £20k)

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21/06/2016
It’s official. We’ve entered wedding season, the time where everyone seems to be spending their weekends trekking across the country – or even the world – to watch their friends take the plunge.

But how much do couples really spend on their big day? The figure that’s often bandied around is £20,000, the equivalent of a house deposit in some parts of the country. And while there are plenty of people who spend this and more on their nuptials, this figure doesn’t accurately reflect what the typical couple shells out to get hitched.

The average is the figure you get if you add together the cost of each person polled and divide it by the number of people so it doesn’t provide the most accurate picture as it is distorted by a small number of extremely expensive weddings.

A better reflection of how much people really pay for their big day is the median cost. That is the figure you get if you take the wedding cost of every person polled, arrange them low-to-high and take the number in the middle.

According to research conducted on behalf of Ocean Finance, the median cost of a wedding comes in at a much more palatable £8,000.

While the study said one in 10 Brits who tied the knot in the past five years forked out between £19,000 and £30,000, it also found almost one quarter (23%) managed to spend £2,000 or less.

But whatever the cost, it seems couples routinely overspend on their wedding, sometimes with disastrous outcomes.

A study by Barclays found a fifth of couples go over their set wedding budget, with an average overspend of £7,970.

Barclays also found money worries cause on average nine arguments before rings are exchanged and one in five 25-34 year olds considered cancelling their big day due to financial concerns. In the most extreme cases, 9% even ended their relationship over an argument about finances.

If you’re planning a wedding and feel weighed down by costs – however much you plan to spend – here are a few budgeting tips from Clare Francis of Barclays:

1.      Don’t get yourself into debt for the sake of a wedding – you will have an amazing day no matter how much you spend

2.      Consider a 0% credit card – you can spread the cost with an interest free credit card as it gives you more time to pay everything off without incurring additional charges

3.      Ditch bad spending habits – you might be surprised at the amount of money you can free up by changing your spending habits, such as ditching the coffee on the way into work

4.      Get into a regular saving habit – whether it is little and often or large and occasional, adopt a realistic timeline of when and how much you would like to save

5.      Get the most from your current account – be aware of hidden fees on your current account and shop around for one that works for you

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