Weddings: How much do they really cost?

The cost of weddings in the UK is spiralling with the average cost of getting married now at just under �20, 000 (that�s including the honeymoon but without the engagement ring!)

Figures from last year show that despite the harsh economic winter faced throughout the country, many couples still chose to splash out on their big day. All too often though couples weren�t able to stick to budget and found themselves forking out more on their event than they had anticipated due to last minute planning. 34% of wedding planners managed to go over budget by up to 10% whilst around 12% found themselves over by more than 10%. Only 6.7% ofUK wedding planners reported being under budget on their wedding day plans in 2010.

Wedding venues in particular were an element that couples hadunder-budgeted for, though a surprising amount had change left from their other estimations such as wedding catering, transport and the all important �hair & makeup� (the constant vogue for celebrity weddings seems to have influenced more than a few brides!)

As any good wedding planner or even wedding venue manager will tell you, the most important thing is to carefully craft a realistic budget for your wedding and do everything possible to stick to it. The longer you can book a wedding venue in advance, the more likely you are to be able to receive a discount or favourable rate. If the wedding venue you hire is also providing on-site catering (as is often the case with hotel wedding venues for example) it�s always a good idea to make sure you fully understand all the charges involved ahead of time. Wedding day necessities such as insurance are fixed costs that many people manage to overlook. (The average cost of wedding insurance in 2010 was �110)

Hiring a wedding venue can of course wildly vary in cost as can every other aspect of the planning. In 2010 around 21% of couples spent circa �4,000 on wedding venue hire alone. InLondon this figure was more like �6,300.

In 2010 the average price of an engagement ring was estimated at �1,412 with simple wedding bands costing the best part of �1000. This alone is above most people�s expectations for how much they would spend on the �big ticket� items such as catering, wedding venue and of course the honeymoon.

Other average wedding planning costs included: �381 for wedding church flowers and decorations, �1,242 on champagne for the wedding reception, �205 for a wedding cake (note this is a national average and you�d be lucky to get half a cake for that price if you�re planning a big city wedding) One of the fastest rising costs is photography / videography with couples spending on average last year around �12500 on having their wedding day recorded.

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