Ultimate Guide to Wedding Costs

When you begin to plan your wedding, it can be difficult to put together a budget plan when you have no clue what everything is meant to cost! We’ve put together the ultimate guide of typical costs for a wedding, which you can use as a starting point on UKbride’s handy free budget planner…

Planning a wedding is daunting to say the least, but when you discover how much everything costs, it can be a little overwhelming. Be prepared by reading this article, planning your budget before booking, avoiding the inevitable ‘how much?!’ exclamation every time it comes to wedding planning, and actually enjoying wedding planning!


1. The Wedding Venue

£3,000 – £6,000

Obviously, these costs are all relative considering what you specifically wish for your wedding day, but the wedding venue has the most variance because there are just so many options out there from a grand castle and marquee to a budget hotel.

When you get your quote from your wedding venue, it’s important to break that cost down. Does it include catering? Are there additional fees?

Highcliffe Castle in Dorset.
Highcliffe Castle, Dorset.


2. The Catering


Catering is the next most expensive element of a wedding on average. Double check if your venue offers catering as quite a lot do. In fact many won’t allow you to hire outside caterers.

Consider what you actually want for your catering – a three course sit down meal or something a little more relaxed like a food truck or afternoon tea? Are you having canapés and does the catering company include service?

Chilli Pepper Event Catering.
Chilli Pepper Event Catering.


3. The Honeymoon

£3,000 – £4,000

The third biggest cost is your honeymoon. Most couples want their honeymoon to be a little more special than the average holiday so it can be quite pricy. Consider what you want as a couple – a five star retreat in the Maldives or perhaps just a week away in the UK with the family?

If you’re not big on travel, this is a great place to save wedding costs and have a ‘minimoon’ in a lovely spa retreat in the Cotswolds or the Lake District for a few days. It’s important to have a bit of time with your new husband/wife away after all the craziness of the wedding.

You need a bit of R&R after wedding planning!
You need a bit of R&R after wedding planning!


4. The Photography


Wedding photography isn’t cheap! But it will be your memories and keepsakes from the big day that you will cherish forever. Some photographers are just starting out, so if you are desperately trying to cut costs in this element of your wedding, it’s worth trying to find someone like this. They will offer it at a discounted rate than normal.

If you want videography too, expect to pay around the same amount.

UKbride offers a free engagement shoot!
UKbride offers a free engagement shoot!


5. The Dress


We know, it seems a little bit of a crazy figure for one dress…but it is the average cost! This is where many brides try and find alternatives online but trust us, it’s not worth it. Dresses from China for under £100 have left many brides on UKbride heartbroken, dressless or paying for a designer wedding dress on top of that figure anyway. Don’t do it! 

Besides, there are many things you can do with a dress after the big day – hand it down to your children, display it in your home, sell it or give it to a charity that makes beautiful dresses for poorly children out of wedding dresses!

Stephanie Allin dress.
Stephanie Allin dress.


6. The Cake


A wedding cake will cost you about £300. It all depends on how many tiers you will have, the level of detail in the icing and other factors. You can cut costs a lot here – many brides know of someone who makes cakes or has a willing relative. You could even try doing it yourself!

Create a cupcake tower or a ‘cheese’ cake made of wheels of cheese if you’ve not so much of a sweet tooth.

Catherine Scott Cakes.
Catherine Scott Cakes.


7. The Flowers

£250 – £500

Again, this varies. For just your bridal bouquets, buttonholes and corsages, expect to pay about £250, but if you’re looking at decorating your venue with flowers, you’re looking at it costing you around £500 – £600.

Herbert & Isles Floristry
Herbert & Isles Floristry


8. The Transport

£200 – £700

This has quite a bit of variance – if it’s just a car for you and your partner you’re looking for and transport in the morning, expect to pay £200 – £300. If you also want a wedding ‘bus’ to transport all of your guests to and from the ceremony venue to the reception, it’s about £700 in total.

When choosing a wedding venue, try and find one that has the ceremony and reception all in one or just a short distance apart. Then, you don’t have to pay for transport for all your guests!

Classic Rolls and Bentley Hire.
Classic Rolls and Bentley Hire.


9. The Music

£1,000 – £1,500

Hiring a band is expensive, but remember you’re paying for four or five people’s time, skills, their equipment and the rest. Look at wedding singers to make it more affordable or a wedding DJ that can be just £200 (perhaps a little more for extras like lighting).

Why not have a silent disco? They’re so fun, it allows all your guests to have a dance and a sing but it also allows older family members to have a little break from the noise.

Anthem Music Agency.
Anthem Music Agency.


10. The Decorations, Favours and Stationery

£1,000 – £2,000

The average cost of all the little extras needed for the big day will cost you about £1,000. Save yourself a lot of money by doing your invitations yourself, DIYing your wedding favours and getting friends and family to help with decorations!

This is where you can save a lot of money in your wedding budget, but it can look very impressive by hiring someone who knows exactly what they’re doing and has the experience to make your venue look amazing.

Piece of Cake Marquees.
Piece of Cake Marquees.


Money Saving Tips

Follow all our handy money saving tips in this article and you should be able to cut down the average price of a wedding – £27,000! – by quite a bit.

For extra cost cutting ideas, the best plan is to have your wedding on a weekday. Having a wedding on a Friday or Saturday can really boost the costs!

Another great tip is to not mention the ‘W’ word! This can be tricky especially where your venue and photographer is concerned, but many suppliers know they can charge a lot more for weddings compared to just a party. Use this trick when booking smaller items.

And most importantly, make a budget and stick to it!! This will save you loads of horrible wedding stress and make the whole process a lot more enjoyable. Now you know the average costs and what elements of the wedding are most important to you, so now it’s time to fill in the Budget Planner! 



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