Lucy Noble

How Much Does A Wedding Cost?

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.

12 Nov 2018

You're just engaged? Congratulations! After the excitement settles, don't be overwhelmed by wedding budget dread. Now is the time to 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 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!

James Kilcoin

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. Wedding venues tend to be the first thing people book, so the sooner you book, not only will you get the secure you want, but you may also be privvy to an early-bird discount. Keen to start looking? Check out our guide to the best wedding venues in the UK and abroad.

Reception venue: £3,919

If you're having the ceremony at a separate location, you'll also need to secure your reception venue as soon as possible as well. Some venues have recommended suppliers, from florists to caterers, so make sure each element is right for you. Planning a wedding at home to save money? There are a lot of things to consider in order to keep the budget down. Check out out tips on what you should know about getting married at home.

McKinley Rodgers

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 mobile bar or food truck can also be a good way to slash costs too.

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.

Egle Laukyte

Flowers: £638

Flowers are a key part of the big day celebration, but from bouquets to buttonholes, centrepieces and arches, the costs can really add up. One of the best ways to cut down costs is to opt for flowers that are in season and grown locally (so don't request orchids in winter if you're not willing to spend the £££). For more tips, check out our 10 ways to save on your wedding flowers.

Cake: £300

Cake tasting would have to be the most fun part of wedding planning! For cake-spiration, check out the most amazing wedding cakes we've ever seen.

Entertainment: £773

Will you choose a wedding band or DJ for your reception? Or hire a live singer or violinist for when you walk down the aisle? Entertainment could also mean hiring a caricaturist to create personalised wedding favours or even a magician to wow your guests! Work out what is most important to you in terms of entertainment. For more ideas, check out our favourite wedding music ideas.

Benjamin Wheeler

Wedding Dress: £1,378

Often one of the most exciting parts of wedding planning is finding your dream wedding dress! For inspiration or to see the latest styles, browse our wedding dress style galleries and keep an eye on our sales and shopping events to snap up a bargain. And before you head off wedding dress shopping, check out our guide to choosing your wedding dress.

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 latest wedding shoe galleries.

Headdress/veil: £138

The cherry on the cake! Will you complete your bridal look with an elegant veil or romantic wedding hair accessory?

Kelsea Holder

Stationery: £271

From invitations to escort cards and menus, get the details just right with the help of our wedding stationery section.

Bridesmaids' outfits: £436

Will you pay for your bridemaids' 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 dress galleries and take a look at these style tips choosing the right mother of the bride hat or fascinator.

Lee Scullion

Groom's outfit: £439

Find dapper inspiration aplenty in our mens wedding suit ideas.

Beauty: £301

Want to know the bridal make up and hair break down? Check out our guide to everything you need to know about wedding hair trails and bridal makeup trials. But hair and makeup on the day is just one part. For ideas on how to look your best on the big day, check out our 12 month bridal beauty countdown.

Storyett Photography

Engagement ring: £3,037

Browse our engagement ring galleries to find your dream sparkler and take not of our how to take care of your engagement ring guide, 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 classic pearls to the prettiest necklaces, headpieces and more.

Honeymoon: £4,413

Get the lowdown on where to visit (and when!), and browse the world's hottest hotels in our online honeymoon guide. 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

Bernardo Gouveia

Top tip:

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