The average cost of a U.K wedding in 2019 and current wedding trends

Bridebook the U.K’s number 1 wedding app and TWIA the U.K’s leading wedding industry awards association have recently published an in depth report on the U.K wedding industry. We have been given a copy of the full report and are going to share some of the most important data with you.

 The average age of couples getting married

According to the report the average age of an engaged bride on her wedding day is 32.8, while her partner is 34.7 years old. The vast majority of couples are aged between 25-33.

The average age of a U.K couple getting married in 2019

How long are couples staying engaged for, before they get married?

The length of time a couple is engaged for before getting married has been increasing for a several years now. 24% of couples are engaged for more than 2 years before their wedding compared to only 19% in 2017.

how long a U.K engagement lasts for before marriage

How many quests are couples inviting to their wedding?

On average 79 guests are invited to a wedding, last years average was 78. There has been an increase in the amount of evening guests invited though, with an average of 90 people invited versus last years average of 80.

How many guests are invited to a U.K wedding on average

Choosing a date for your wedding

August is still the most popular month of the year to get married. 21% of the weddings that took place in the U.K in 2018 where in August and the second Saturday in August was the most popular date overall. Based on our own bookings for 2019 & 2020 this is a trend that is likely to continue. We have more bookings for August in 2019 & 2020 than in any other month.

Marriage ceremony location

Every year it seems that having the wedding ceremony at the same location as the wedding reception becomes more popular and this is now far and away the most popular option with 67% of couples choosing to have their wedding ceremony at their reception venue. We can understand why, this can often make for a less stressful day. When everything happens at the same venue a lot of the time pressures disappear, due to not needing to travel. Only 23% of couples chose to have their wedding ceremony at a place of worship.

Marriage ceremony location

How U.K couples find a photographer for their wedding

Obviously as Northern Ireland wedding photographers this part of the report is interesting to us. According to the report 35% of couples found their wedding photographers based on a recommendation from a family member or a friend and 22% found their wedding photographers online. Only 15% found their wedding photographer at a wedding fair. This is good news for us as we don’t attend wedding fairs at all. Every wedding photographer will have their own way of doing things and we found that wedding fairs just weren’t a good fit for us. We have covered this before in another blog post which you can read here.

The average cost of wedding photography in the U.K

The data on the report shows that on average couples spent £1,264 on wedding photography. This means that we are below the average in terms of cost with our most popular wedding photography package costing £1150.

wedding photography package costs Northern Ireland

U.K wedding photography packages what is normally included?

47% of couples received a u.s.b memory stick while 37% received their wedding photographs via an online download. At the moment most of our couples who are based locally receive a u.s.b and we provide couples who live further away the option of receiving their photographs via a download instead. This is something we are looking at possibly changing in the future though as u.s.b memory sticks are very unreliable as a method of storing photographs and some couples prefer the download option as it is more convenient for them. We plan on writing another blog post about this in the near future. One thing that really surprised us from the data provided on the report is that only 16% of couples received a wedding album. That is completely different from our own data. Our most popular wedding package costs less than the U.K average cost for wedding photography and includes a storybook wedding album.

As a photographer we know that printed photographs especially an album have a lot more impact and hold much more emotional attachment than digital photographs viewed on a computer or another device. We personally think that a large reason that so many couples opted to not have an album is down to cost. Some photographers charge a large mark up on the cost price of albums which can make it more difficult for couples to include one within their budget. We are really pleased that we have been able to keep the cost of albums affordable for our clients. We think that if more photographers did this, a lot more couples would choose an album in their wedding photography package.

There is also another reason why this data shows that only 16% of couples received an album, budget wedding photographers. We regularly get contacted by couples who decided on the cheapest option available when choosing a wedding photographer or had a friend photograph their wedding for free, asking us if we can re-edit their photographs and provide them with an album. We always say no, it isn’t possible to make a bad photograph good by editing it in a different way. Photography is about using light and composition to produce an image and no amount of Photoshop can fix a bad photograph. We often find that these are couples, who at one point considered us to photograph their wedding but decided to go for a cheaper or free option instead. The reason we only provide albums to our own couples is because designing an album isn’t an easy task. Firstly, it takes time and consideration, we would rather spend that time working on albums for our own couples. Secondly, for us to design an album in the way that we normally would, we need to know the story of the day, it isn’t possible to do that if the photographs aren’t ours. There is also the issue of copyright of the images provided. If we don’t own the copyright to the images, we can’t use them. A lot of the “wedding photographers” who offer extremely low prices don’t have a proper business in place and don’t offer albums at all or only offer cheap of the shelf albums that can be bought by anyone because they are unable to be accepted by the higher end album companies as they can’t be verified as a professional photographer. When we first started to use our current supplier, we had to go through a vetting process before we could place any orders with them.

How couples contact wedding vendors

On average a huge 76% of couples make first contact with wedding vendors by email. We don’t keep records of how our couples contact us, although email is the most popular option along with messages sent to us via our Instagram and Facebook accounts.

Most popular wedding U.K venue types

The report states that the most popular choice for a wedding venue in 2018 was a Country or Manor house with 26% of couples choosing this option, this has been the case for a few years now. A barn style wedding was the second most popular choice. Garden/Outdoor weddings saw a good increase in popularity, which is great because we love outdoor weddings.

Outdoor wedding ceremony Northern Ireland

What was the most important reason for choosing a particular wedding venue?

A whopping 57% of couples chose their wedding venue because it had beautiful grounds. This very much fits in with the current trend of having everything for your wedding in on place as mentioned previously. Choosing a venue that can accommodate your ceremony, your wedding reception and that has an area available to use for your wedding photographs can make for a much more relaxed wedding day.

wedding venues with beautiful grounds

Wedding D.I.Y

Weddings are expensive so it’s only natural that couples would try and find ways of cutting costs to make the best use of their wedding budget. There are so many things that couples can now do themselves to help save on cost. These personal touches can also very much add to the memories of your wedding and are now an important part of the majority of U.K weddings. The most popular thing to D.I.Y based on the report was table numbers, place cards and the seating chart with 63% of couples choosing to make these themselves. 50% of couples also chose to D.I.Y their wedding invitations and save the date cards.

do it yourself wedding table plan

The average cost of a U.K wedding in 2019

The data in the report shows that the current average cost of a wedding in the U.K is now 17,674, this is actually slightly down on last years average cost of £17,913. The report also provides a little more information, including that of the couples they surveyed, some had weddings costing less than £5,000 and some had weddings costing over £40,000. 22% of couples spent between £10,000 - £15,000 which was the highest percentage. Overall 41% of couples spent between £10,000- £20,000. A huge 40% of couples spent more than their initial budget with only 4% being under budget.

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