How much will weddings cost in 2024?
Congratulations on your engagement! Getting married is an incredibly exciting time; after all, what’s more exciting than finding the love of your life?
If you’ve just got engaged and you’re getting to grips with your wedding planning, the costs may seem absolutely astronomical! Surely there must be a mistake, and the average cost of a wedding in the UK can’t be over £19,000*?
But you’d be surprised how the costs can add up.
There are many ways to host a wedding.
For some people, a lavish event with thousands of pounds spent is precisely what they’re looking for. While other couples want something managed on a shoestring budget – some fantastic deals can be found to make your budget stretch further.
As wedding planners, we’ve done it all. We’ve helped couples with hundreds of guests, and we’ve managed small elopement weddings for those who want something a little more low-key.
The joy of wedding planning is that every decision you make is about who you are as a couple.
Every wedding is equally special, whether you spend £1,000 or £100,000.
To help you get to grips with how much a wedding might cost in 2024, we’re breaking down the stats and explaining when and where you can splurge or save.
The average wedding cost is continuing to rise.
Research published by Hitched stated that the average cost of a wedding in 2022 was £18,400, slightly lower than the research from Bridebook, which had the average cost at £19,184. While the prices might be somewhat different, both companies have confirmed that wedding prices have risen compared to 2021.
It’s still too early to know the average cost of a wedding this year, but if we anticipate that if there is an expected price increase of between 5-8% (matching inflation), the average cost of a wedding in 2024 could be circa £19,504-£20,335.
What will be the average wedding venue cost in 2024?
Your choice of wedding venue will be your biggest financial outlay – especially if you are having your ceremony and your reception at different locations.
According to Hitched, the average cost of a wedding venue in 2022 was £8,400. Bridebook has put this at a slightly lower £7,600, although they have noted that prices rose 20% between 2021 and 2022.
The type of venue you choose will impact your costs. Naturally, a stately home (average price £10k) or a castle (approx. £12k) will be far more expensive than a registry office (average price £1.3k). Similarly, your chosen day of the week will also significantly add to your budget, with weekend weddings still the most popular choice for couples.
“Couples save £1000+ on venue cost if they marry on a Tuesday or Wednesday.”
Since 2019, there has been an almost 40% increase in wedding venue costs. If prices continue to rise between 10-15% in the next 12 months, we can anticipate that a wedding venue may cost approximately £8,800 – £9,200 in 2024.
The cost of the wedding breakfast could be a big outlay.
Your catering costs will depend on your chosen venue. Some venues will provide an all-inclusive package, which will include the wedding breakfast, reception canapes and drinks package. Other venues will charge a lower upfront venue hire price but will charge extra for catering. You may even choose to cater your event yourself – although you should be wary of corkage and cakeage charges that may apply at some venues.
If you are looking for a venue that includes catering, typically, you’ll be looking at an additional £3k compared to non-catered venues. But you won’t need to worry about setting up or clearing away, timescales, ordering food, waiting staff, table linens, etc. So that financial savings could quickly get eaten up.
You can expect your catering costs to be anywhere between £3.8k – £4.8k, with the average price per person standing at £70 per head. An easy way to lower your catering costs is to limit your guest numbers, delay the time of your wedding ceremony, or use your wedding cake as dessert.
How much does a wedding cake cost?
The average price of a wedding cake is around £335, but this will depend on the size of the cake, the complexity of the decoration and the cost of ingredients.
The rising food costs will have a significant impact on cake prices in 2024, as bakers need to factor in ingredients as well as time spent.
There are a few ways to lower the price; often, couples choose to take an off-the-shelf cake from somewhere like M&S and simply ask their florist to attach some flowers to it as a topper. With a Vanilla Two Tier Naked Cake priced at just £45, this could be a significant cost reduction if you only want the cake to be used for your photos. Even if you ordered two or three (enough to feed all your guests), you could still be making a hefty financial saving.
The average cost of a wedding dress in 2024
Wedding dresses are notoriously expensive. The average price of a wedding dress last year was between £1,200 – £1,350, which remained broadly similar to 2021.
We suspect that while prices may stay pretty stable, there are a growing number of brides who want their outfits to be sustainable. Pre-loved wedding dress shops like Bridal Reloved, Recycle My Wedding, and even Oxfam are showing that you can get a designer option at a fraction of the price.
What to expect from wedding photography costs 2024
We always think that photography and videography should be something you splurge on because it’s the only lasting memory you may have of your day. Those photos are something that would be difficult to recreate, so although you might be tempted to cut costs, the difference between an amateur and a professional is worth every penny.
Your choice of photography style and package will hugely impact your prices, as will how long you want your photographer to be there on the day. The average cost of wedding photography is currently £1,300 and has remained relatively stable to the year before.
However, with the cost of living going up, many wedding photographers may be increasing their prices next year. We suggest adding a suggested 10% price increase, indicating that wedding photography could cost around £1,430 in 2024.
What about your wedding invitation prices?
Invitations and other stationery (such as orders of service) are typically in the price range of £250-£300. Your costs will be directly affected by your guest list numbers.
It’s also worth including postage costs in your wedding invitation prices. As of 2024, the Royal Mail will be charging £1.25 for each first-class stamp or 75p for second-class stamps.
Choosing to send digital invitations could be an alternative – not only would it save on costs, but it’s also environmentally friendly.
Perfecting your hair and makeup – how much will wedding prices be in 2024?
We all want to look perfect on our big day. How much you spend on hair and makeup will depend on where you are located in the UK and whether you’re choosing to pay for your bridal party to have their hair and makeup done as well.
Hitched’s research puts the average wedding hair and makeup price at £155, with a further £85pp for bridesmaids. In contrast, research from Bridebook placed this at £338 for hairdressing and £309 for makeup – but that difference could be down to the entire bridal party, not just the bride.
It’s always worth shopping around for prices, but we always recommend having a pre-wedding trial to make sure you’re happy with your look for your big day.
How much could wedding transport cost next year?
Transport costs will depend on where you’re getting married. If you’re getting married at a hotel, you may be staying there the night before and hosting your reception there as well, therefore negating the need for any transport at all!
Your choice of transport will also impact your budget – a vintage car will be a vastly different price to a luxury Rolls Royce or even a horse and carriage!
According to Bridebook, the average price of wedding transport was £500 – a 15% increase year-on-year.
We know that transport prices will increase much more in 2024, partly because of rising fuel prices, but if you are living in London, your wedding transport will likely need to factor in the ULEZ.
Other areas with clean air zones may also have to factor in those additional charges and build those fees into the price.
Realistically, we think that wedding transport in 2024 may cost approximately £600+
Wedding theming: the price of décor and floral arrangements in 2024
You may wish to speak to your wedding venue about your theme. Many venues may have specific décor available, which could save you from needing to purchase additional wedding decorations.
Your décor can encompass everything from your flowers to your colour scheme, your table linen, and even your chair sashes. Everything will depend on how far you want to go and whether you’re happy with your venue’s pre-existing options.
The average price of wedding flowers stands at £900 – £1,000 (an 18% increase from 2021).
You could potentially save money using artificial flowers or lower your costs by doubling up your flower arrangements as your table centrepieces. You could even use herb pots that your guests can take home as favours.
If you need any inspiration for your wedding theming, why not check out our Instagram page and other blogs?
Wedding reception prices 2024 – don’t forget the entertainment
Your wedding reception may need a band or a DJ to get the party started. The typical cost of wedding music is approximately £1,000 – but you may want to factor in additional entertainment, such as magicians or children’s entertainment, to keep your guests amused.
If you’re paying for a celebrant or toastmaster, you can expect an additional cost of £450+.
Talk to us to help you reduce your wedding costs in 2024
As you can see, the cost of a wedding can quickly add up. If you’re worried about your budget, please talk to us. You may think that working with a wedding planner is only for big-budget weddings, but we can actually save you money by making suggestions that you may not have thought of. With our network of suppliers, we can negotiate better rates and help you stretch your budget much further, even if you just want a simple DIY wedding.
We can review your wedding budget.
From there, we can actively work with you to create your dream wedding within your dream budget.
*The average wedding in 2022 cost £19,184 according to The UK Wedding Report 2023, published by Bridebook
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