How much does the average wedding really cost now? From the big costs like the wedding venue and wedding dress to the smaller items like favours, decorations and even cake knives (yes, there can be a charge!) it all soon mounts up. If you're wondering how to budget for it all, you're in the rigth place: welcome to the ultimate wedding budget guide. 

Mel Yates

You're just engaged? Congratulations! After the excitement settles (and you've read THE book for brides-to-be), don't be overwhelmed by wedding budget dread. Take charge and make sure you have a clear idea of your wedding budget to ensure you get the most out of your big day. First step? Read on to find out how much the average wedding in the UK costs.


Average wedding budget breakdown:

Wedding venue: £2,790

Once you have a good idea of the head count and date, snap up your wedding venue early. Check out our edit of the best wedding venues in the UK and abroad. Fancy something unusual? Here are 3 quirky venues to try.

Reception venue: £3,919

Secure your reception venue if you're having the ceremony at a separate location. Some venues have recommended suppliers, from florists to caterers, so make sure each element is right for you. Stuck for inspiration? Get creative with a reception theme and steal styling ideas from these brides and their dreamy real weddings: from the all-out  glamorous to the prettiest  garden dos. If saving pennies is top of your list, be inspired by these real brides who saved on a venue by saying 'I do' at home.

Catering: £3,959

Hosting a plentiful wedding breakfast? Check to see if the catering can be reduced for your evening do to save on budget. A keen foodie? Peruse wed-ready food and drink trends to impress guests. A mobile bar or food truck can be a good way to slash costs.

Photography/video: £1,046

From budget to style, there's lots to consider when you pick your photographer. Read the top questions to ask your wedding photographer and how to pick the perfect photographer who will make you look amazing. For more tips browse our wedding photography section and why not try these cool new ways to capture your wedding?

Flowers: £638

Find your dream wedding bouquet among our top 50 favourite big day blooms and then get the look for less with our 10 ways to save on your wedding flowers.

Cake: £300

The most fabulous wedding cakes to serve now - and our favourite real wedding cakes - are the best place to start your research (but don't forget to check out these cakes you won't believe are real). Then, get tasting!

Entertainment: £773

What does your dream party look like? Make it a reality with one of these bands or DJs. Whichever one you go for, don't forget to request your first-dance song

Dress: £1,378

Find The One in our wedding dress gallery of over 27,500 gowns and keep an eye on sample sales in our Win Save Book section. Plus, browse our 11 favourite budget bridal brands - for seriously savvy style.

Shoes: £161

Hands up all you shoe-aholics! We are slightly obsessed with shoes here at Brides HQ - join in the fun and pin your favourites from our shoe gallery.

Stationery: £271

From invitations to escort cards and menus, get the details just right with our inspiring stationery section. Want to save the pennies? Get advice on how to make your own invitations.

Headdress/veil: £138

The cherry on the cake! Complete a romantic look with one of these elegant veils or headpieces.

Attendants' outfits: £436

Will you pay for your 'maids dresses and cover suit hire? Find out what this etiquette expert had to say...

Mother-of-the-bride outfit: £349

Show her how much you care and take her for a shopping trip to find her a chic big day outfit. Start with our mother-of-the-bride gallery and take a look at these style tips for mum from Caroline Burstein of Browns Bride. For summer wedding inspiration, take a look at our glamorous mother of the bride dresses or if your mum's a modern lady and doesn't want something too traditional, we've put together an edit of  alterative outfits for your mum.

Groom's outfit: £439

Find dapper inspiration aplenty in our groom style gallery, and check out our top tips for the suavest sartorial style.

Beauty: £301

Click through these red carpet beauty moments for endless wedinspo then take a look at our Brides Beauty Awards gallery to find our what's worth spending your pennies on. Want to go all out? See what happened when deputy editor Claudia Waterson had a £5,000 bridal makeover.

Engagement ring: £3,037

From the most dazzling celebrity engagement rings to how to take the perfect engagement ring selfie, we've got all things bling-related covered! 

Wedding rings: £809

Not sure how to shop for your wedding bands? Read our quick-click guide

Other wedding jewellery: £176

Don't forget the finishing touches - from the prettiest earrings to stunning headwear.

Honeymoon: £4,413

Get the lowdown on where to visit (and when!), be inspired by our round-up of the most jaw-dropping destinations from our first-ever Brides Honeymoon Awards - and even see the world for £500! If you're on a budget but don't want to miss out on the trip of a lifetime, you're in luck: take a look at our ultimate guide to Maldives honeymoons on a budget.

Gift list: £2,400

What is at the top of your wish list? Here are some ideas to get you started.

Total: £30,111


First off, sit down with your fiancé, or with your parents if they're going to contribute, and work out what you can afford to spend.

To keep track of your big day spending, write down the estimated costs in a budget planner and then regularly review the costs as you confirm with suppliers to ensure you stay on track.

As a guide, here are the average amounts that Brides readers spend. Make this your starting point and then ask yourself, which elements are important to you and your fiancé? Then adjust these average weddings costs to suit your needs - don't forget, it's completely up to you where you decide to save or splurge!

Top tip: Pick one area that will make the day extra special for you. Love the latest floral trends? Then set aside a little bit more for  your dream wedding dress and cut back on other areas, such as flowers. It's all about getting a balance across the different areas.

If budgeting is a big concern, get more tips for setting your wedding budget and advice from the best wedding planners out there?