The Real Cost of Getting Married
Do not Google the cost of getting married. Seriously. The internet is full of alarming figures and statistics. Spend five minutes checking out the cost of the latest celeb hitching, or the average price of a Bride magazine reader's wedding in 2014 (£26k), and you'll need at least 1,000 pints to get over the shock.
At the other end of the spectrum, The Guardian reckons you can cut a few corners and walk away happily married for less than a grand. I'm here to tell you now that most brides will punch you in the eye and marry your best man if you even suggest such a thing. Hell hath no fury like a lady who's not allowed to go absolutely mental on her big day. The average wedding dress alone has a four-figure price tag.
So, let's tot up the known cost of getting married. Minimum. You need a registrar or celebrant. That's £70 for registering the marriage itself, plus the fees for the approved premises: usually between £290 and £460 depending on the day of the week you're getting hitched on. Yes, you could in theory marry first thing on Monday morning and save a couple of hundred, but you probably wouldn't have any guests.
Actually, that's not a bad idea. Guests cost the real money, after all. If you don't have to feed anyone, you don't have to pay squillions of pounds to a caterer. Hah. Now we're getting somewhereâ€¦
Here's the bottom line: there's no such thing as an'average' wedding, and there's definitely no such thing as an average cost of getting married. As the feller said, there are lies, damn lies, and statistics and none of them are going to help when it comes to totting up value for money on the most important day of your life.
My advice: pick your wedding, your way. Don't want to spend a few grand on a big sit-down meal? Don't. When my wife and I tied the knot, we had a hot buffet in our favourite bar. Not interested in hiring one venue for the entire day? Have the reception somewhere fun and funky, and you'll probably find you cut the costs of entertaining your guests by an eye-watering percentage.
The point is, the real cost of getting married has as much to do with what you want as what you have to pay. Don't listen to anyone who tells you it's not'your' day.'It's for the family and friends', they say, before asking you to spend your life savings on a colour-coordinated table centre. Nuts to that. Weddings are for you. Everyone else should just be happy to be there. If you want value for money, do something that makes you - and your wife - happy.