Monday, December 26, 2011

The Price of Love


If you’re one of the people planning to tie the knot in the near future or are thinking about embracing next year’s leap year and proposing to your man, you may want to consider how much the typical couple spends on their wedding day.

From the first moment a little girl creates a makeshift veil from an old net curtain, the bridal wheels are set in motion and planning for their big day begins... the Cinderella dress, the horse-drawn carriage, the dashing prince, the buckets full of cash to do it....

Whether you’re planning a private gathering with close family and friends or want to hold the wedding of the century, you’ll need good financing to achieve exactly what you want.

Firstly, the wedding venue has to be booked and paid for and this normally accounts for a large proportion of the budget. If you choose to marry and celebrate at the same venue, it’s not uncommon for prices to start from £2000 on a week day, rising to more than £5000 for a weekend wedding in peak spring/summer season. On top of this, you could also have to pay a separate fee for a registrar to conduct the ceremony. Venues typically have different types of packages that could include a champagne reception, dinner, wine with the meal, an evening buffet and entertainment. However, some venues could view these essentials as extra services – adding additional costs to your bill. It’s advisable that you look around for the best deal to keep costs down. Don’t be scared to negotiate and see if you can secure a better deal.

Once your date is set and your venue is booked, you will find that the cost of your wedding could easily spiral out of control; therefore it’s essential you plan exactly what you want and budget carefully. By having a budget set in mind, you will be more inclined to find a better deal on items including party favours, wedding stationery, bridesmaid dresses, accessories, shoes, groom wear, gifts for the bridal party, the wedding cake, wedding flowers, wedding rings, and of course the wedding dress.

Booking a photographer is also a large expense, but it is possible to find a good wedding photographer without spending huge amounts of money. To ensure they are the right photographer for you, make sure you have seen a portfolio of their work and see if they would be willing to take some test shots before you book them for the big occasion.


The Honeymoon is one area you could potentially save money on. Normally couples getting married will have lived together first and already have their home furnished and therefore have no need for traditional wedding gifts of glassware, toasters and dinner sets. You could instead ask guests who wish to give you a gift to provide a donation towards your honeymoon instead.

This means that any money received can be spent on your honeymoon – cutting costs quite significantly.

It is not just the bride and groom who spend a large amount of money leading up to the wedding as friends and family will also spend a great deal of money. Stag and hen parties are no longer confined to a corner of a nightclub as more and more people are choosing to go abroad for weekends away or head to the countryside for adventure weekends. There is also the cost of an outfit to wear and the gift – meaning those invited could easily spend hundreds of pounds on celebrating the bridal party’s union.

It is not uncommon for weddings in the UK to hit the £20,000 mark – an amount that could easily lead people towards securing credit and racking up huge debts.

You should only spend what you can realistically afford and seek financial advice before setting a date. Saving money is the best way to pay for a wedding so calculate what you can afford to save each month and what you are comfortable spending on your big day and you will find it much easier to afford your wedding. After all, nobody wants to start married life with mountains of debt.

Baines and Ernst is a specialist debt management company offering help and advice on clearing debts. Contact Baines and Ernst for debt help today.

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