Planning a wedding is an exciting time… but there's certainly plenty to think about. No occasion is more personal – and something which might be all-important to one couple may not matter to another. When you're planning a wedding to a set budget, it's a good idea to decide what your priorities are first, then agree where you might make any compromises.
- The average cost of a wedding is now £21,000 (Source: UK Alliance of Wedding Planners)
Many people are surprised – to say the least – when they hear how much the average wedding is likely to cost. They think that the kind of figure we're talking about might include a lot of luxury items which they won't want. But when you break the figures down, it's easier to understand how it all adds up...
|Wedding expenses||What they might cost|
|Venue & Catering:||£9,500|
|Bridal dress, shoes, veil and groom's outfit:||£1,680|
|Total, including other costs:||£21,000|
As you can see, your biggest cost will be hosting and entertaining your guests, so it's important to decide how many people to invite as soon as you can. Other major expenses usually include the dress and photography, though you don't have to spend a fortune on either if they aren't your highest priorities.
If you're trying to stick to a tight budget, there are some fairly simple measures you could take to keep the costs down:
- Getting married on a week day or out of season can save you money on the venue
- You could ask family and friends to help with making table favours, invitations and table plans
- Choose flowers and foods that are in season so you're not paying a fortune for them to be shipped over
- Consider having your wedding abroad – combining wedding with honeymoon can add to the excitement and reduce costs!
One in five weddings now takes place abroad (Source: Mintel).
Saving up for the big day
It’s important to think about the overall cost of the wedding, and when you think you will have to start paying for things. Usually companies will take a deposit, but want the full amount before the big day. This could be a factor in deciding on the date to choose.
Our Investment calculator can help you see how long it may take you to save your budget, or how much you would need to save each month to reach the amount you need by a specific date. You could also use My budget planner to help you see where you could make small changes as you aim to reach your wedding budget goal.
Savings and investment options to consider
It's important to make your cash work hard for you while you're building up the money you'll need to pay for your wedding. When you're deciding on the right savings or investment options, one of the things to bear in mind is how far away you are from your wedding date. Make sure you'll have access to your money when you need it!
A cash ISA
If you're saving for the short term – up to four years perhaps – you may wish to consider using a cash ISA to save a regular amount without paying tax on the interest you'll earn. Each of you can save up to £15,240 in an ISA during the 2016/17 tax year – the Government sets a maximum amount each year. You can withdraw money and pay it back in again without counting towards your ISA allowance provided this happens in the same financial year as the withdrawal. Please bear in mind that Aviva doesn't currently offer a cash ISA.
Stocks and shares ISAs
Maybe you're thinking further ahead and wish to invest in the stock market. If so, you may wish to consider investing in a stocks and shares ISA. You'll need to carefully consider the risks and benefits. Please follow the link to find out more about Aviva's ISA
Some other things to think about
When you're planning the honeymoon – or a wedding abroad – don't forget the travel insurance.
Of course, it's not just the wedding itself which makes getting married such an important milestone. It's a good time to review your finances in general, especially if you've recently bought a home together, or if you're considering starting a family.