Are you planning your dream wedding? Is the reality of the wedding expenses dashing your dreams? Personal Loans Now explores all aspects of a wedding and present you with a wedding guide that will help you make the right savings to ensure that your special day is a memorable one.
- Only 18% of brides had their entire wedding paid for by their parents.
- 1 in 7 couples delay their wedding because of rising costs.
- According to W.I.F.E., the Wedding Industry is worth £10 billion annually in the UK.
- 30% of couples who take out loans or use credit to pay for their wedding are still paying it off six years later.
- 24% of couples spent under £5,000 on their wedding.
Wedding Guide: Introduction
In this introductory chapter of the wedding guide, Personal Loans Now, offering unsecured personal loans will be looking at who finances a couple’s wedding. Also, what are the reasons behind the increases in the length of an average engagement? We will be underlining the importance of budgeting for your wedding expenses. As well we will discuss the consequences of getting into debt to pay for it. We will attempt to answer the question of how much average weddings costs in the UK. Finally, also the two key factors which affect the price you will pay.]
In the guidelines which follow, we devote each chapter to different components of your wedding expenses. It advises how to save money. This means you can go directly to the aspect of the wedding expenditure which concerns you the most.
Using this handy wedding guide means that you will not have to resort to personal loans when planning for your wedding. This way allows you to start your new life together without any debts.
Higher Wedding Expense But Fewer Weddings
There is no doubt that the number of weddings is falling. In some cases, such as in 2012, there is an increase. It is probably too soon to suggest that marriage is on the way out as the popular press occasionally does. The last official statistics released by ONS were for 2013. Results show there was a decrease of 8.6% on 2012, but this was the first drop since 2009. It has been suggested by the ONS that it might not have been a popular year for couples to marry because of the superstition that 13 is an unlucky number!
Another point to bear in mind is that ONS does not include in their statistics the numbers of couples who choose to marry abroad in destination weddings. Therefore the numbers of marriages in 2013 could have been significantly higher. You can read more about the pros, cons and estimated wedding expenses of destination weddings in Chapter 2.
The main change seems to be not so much the fact that the number of weddings is falling. The bigger change is the increase in the money couples are prepared to pay towards wedding expenses.
Who Pays For The Wedding?
As the last remnant of the old dowry system, the bride’s father was traditionally expected to pay for his daughter’s wedding. In fact, many wedding etiquette books still explain who should pay for which component of the wedding. For example, the groom should pay for the bridal bouquet and the bridesmaids’ flowers.
The average age of a man on his first marriage is 32.5 and for a woman is 30.6; this is an increase of 8 years since 1973.
The fact that both men and women are on average much older and have probably lived independently from their parents before they marry, ultimately affects who pays for the wedding. The bride’s father is no longer responsible for bearing the burden of the majority of the wedding expenses. In research carried out by Beaverbrooks in 2015, only 18% of brides had their entire wedding paid for by their parents. Instead, couples have a number of sources of money to help them plan the wedding of their dreams including savings, earnings, paying in instalments, gifts, credit cards and a personal loan.
Wedding Costs Lead To Longer Engagements
The rising costs of weddings and possibly the higher expectations of the couple about what they consider essential for their wedding has led to an increase in how long they are engaged. Research estimates that there is an average increase in the length of an engagement. This is 14 months to 19 months. Experian estimates that 1 in 7 couples delay their wedding because of soaring costs. This sounds sensible since it gives the impression that they need more time to save. However, over 1/6 are doing so to improve their credit scores or because lenders have turned them down for a loan.
Loans To Pay For Weddings
Borrowing money to pay for a wedding is a relatively new phenomenon. The reason for borrowing is not totally because the cost of a wedding is higher. Other factors play a role such as the easier availability of loans and credit facilities compared to 30 years ago. A credit card is no longer used as an emergency measure as it was in the past. Instead, people consider it as an extension of their salary. So when people reach their limit, they have nothing else to fall back on and so apply for a loan.
According to W.I.F.E. (Wedding Industry Facts and Economics), the Wedding Industry in the UK is worth £10 billion annually.
Why do we spend so much?
If you were to compare a ‘typical’ wedding of the 1980s to a wedding nowadays, it has changed dramatically. What was considered essential in the eyes of the bride and groom is completely different to the 1980s.
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As you will see in Chapter 12, hen or stag nights (often abroad) lasting for over a weekend are not seen as something unusual or extravagant anymore. Similarly, wedding vendors no longer talk about the invitations. Instead, they refer to wedding stationery (Save The Date cards, wedding programmes and so on) as you will read at the end of Chapter 2.
It’s hard to pinpoint the reasons for these changing trends, which inevitably lead to increases in wedding expenses. Is it only due to the spread of wedding customs imported from the USA? How much is it because someone does it and so everyone follows suit? And how much is it that in an era of social media, reality TV and interest in celebrity gossip that couples want to imitate the weddings they see in films, etc.?
In a survey by the Debt Advisory Centre, 25% of couples interviewed said they were prepared to go into debt to pay for the wedding they wanted.
Whatever the explanation, this has an immediate effect on how much the wedding will cost to organise. Eve and adds to the final bill. Unfortunately, some couples are not prepared to compromise on what they want their special day to be like. They, therefore, apply for payday loans when they run short of funds.
Budgeting For The Wedding
In Chapter 2, you will find important advice on budgeting for your wedding. You will read tips on which factors to consider when working out the money you have available to spend on your special day. By adding your savings and whether you expect financial assistance from family, you will be able to make a realistic calculation of how much you have. Then you should estimate how much you will be able to save before your wedding expenses bearing in mind your joint salaries, your daily expenses and the length of your engagement. Once you have a provisional budget, you can ask yourselves what kind of wedding you would like. Also depending on its formality how many guests you can afford to invite.
However, it seems to me that the question is not always how well you budget. The possible danger is how much you are prepared to stick to your budget. When it comes to an occasion like a wedding, the temptation might be to say “Oh! It’s only another £500. Never mind. You only marry once” every time a quotation is over the amount you had budgeted for. Unfortunately, those extras soon mount up. Before you know it, you have overspent by thousands of pounds.
Consequences Of Wedding Debt
Getting into debt to pay for your wedding has many disadvantages for your married life. It can put an enormous amount of pressure on you psychologically when you owe money and might affect your relationship with your spouse as well as your standard of living. Having outstanding debts from your wedding could have a knock-on effect on your other plans for the future too. Not only might you have problems moving onto, or up, the property ladder. It might also mean you have to delay any plans you have for starting a family since you need both salaries to get by.
Yes, of course, you want your wedding day to be special.
But you have to balance that desire against the rest of your life. You should see your wedding day as just the beginning and not the main destination.
In their survey on wedding and debt, the Debt Advisory Centre found that of the people who borrowed money to pay for their wedding, 47% later regretted it and almost 30% were still paying off the debts six years later.
The Wedding Guide: How Much Does a Wedding Cost?
The simple answer to that question is ‘How long is a piece of string?’ When reading through the media or surveys conducted by bridal publications or online sites, you will see a lot of numbers. Estimates banded about the average cost of a wedding in the UK fall in the region of £20,000-£30,000.
When looking at these statistics, however, you should bear in mind that brides who answer such polls tend to be ones who are regular readers of such publications and so are already more likely to spend a lot of money on their wedding. Also, when you are calculating an average, it only takes 3 or 4 brides to spend extravagantly in the region of hundreds of thousands of pounds, and the average will rise disproportionately.
In reality, like house properties, the cost of a wedding depends on where you live. The prices for a London wedding tend to be on average 20% higher, for example. The other key factor, as you will see in Chapter 1, is the day and month you choose to get married affects how much you will end up paying.
The conclusion to this surprising piece of information is that although you cannot change your place of residence, you can have the wedding of your dreams by choosing to marry in the wedding off-season or on an ‘unpopular’ day.
Through data collected for their wedding insurance coverage, John Lewis said they’d seen a 43% increase over the past five years in weddings taking place on Thursdays, which traditionally has never been a popular day for weddings.
Using This Wedding Guide To Cut Your Wedding Expenses
Personal Loans Now, finding you the best personal loans options, do not intend this 12-chapter set of articles to be a one-size-fits-all wedding guide. A range of options has been included to cover all aspects of your wedding from the venue for the ceremony (Chapter 3) to the honeymoon (Chapter 12). When you read through it, you might be surprised by some of the prices and think how you would never pay so much money for musicians (as you will see in Chapter 6).
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However, we have presented a variety of options so you can evaluate which parts of the wedding would make the day special for you and your partner.
Even with the higher-priced aspects, there is invaluable advice to prevent you from being charged too much. Be aware of hidden costs or ask the right questions, so you know what you are paying for. For, example, when booking a wedding vendor (such as Chapter 4 on booking a venue for the reception) or the advice when choosing a caterer as explained in Chapter 5.
Planning is Key
The main thing to remember is planning. Read this wedding guide and sit down with your partner with a rough budget so you can prioritise. You might have to compromise too but think of this as good practice for your future married life!
When you go through these chapters in the wedding guide, you might decide that some aspects of a wedding are a complete waste of money. However, you may be prepared to pay for other options. For example, you may have your heart set on a particular wedding dress worth £1,200, but you do not see the point of paying £350 to hire a car for the ceremony. In this case, reading more about alternative wedding transport solutions might interest you (Chapter 11).
In some of the chapters (such as Chapter 10 on the wedding cake, wedding favours and decoration), we will examine whether these elements are necessary. They may be to you a total waste of money. If you are on a budget and reluctantly crossed them off your list, we will provide alternative ideas. You can include these into your wedding without t necessarily paying a fortune.
Do not make the mistake of thinking that the money-saving ideas presented in this wedding guide are tacky or of bad quality. The advice given in Chapter 7 (How The Bride Can Look Stunning On Less Money), in Chapter 8 about other members of the wedding party and Chapter 11 about saving on beauty treatments are clever and will save you money. This is also true of ways to ‘cheat’ and have an impressive tiered wedding cake without paying the earth (Chapter 10). It is better to save on wedding expenses and start your married life debt free. This wedding guide can help you get on that track.