Average wedding cost tops £20,500

How is it possible to spend £20,500 on just one day? And how can you easily cut at least £15,000 off the bill?

Man photographing wedding party Image by:  Marnie Burkhart/Corbis

The annual 'You and Your Wedding' survey on the costs of getting married have revealed that the average couple getting wed this year will blow £20,983 on their big day. Unsurprisingly 25% will have to borrow money in order to afford it, and yet 78% of them are unwilling to cut back. Given that half of all brides will bust the budget, you have to ask whether there can be any sense in our attachment to an expensive dream wedding.

The only good news is that the total has fallen slightly from the peak of £21,939 in 2012. However, it's still almost £2,000 more than we were spending in 2009. Over the same period brides have actually cut their guest numbers by 9% to an average of 92. However, they're spending 14% more per head - and the bill now comes in at an astonishing £226 per person.

Maxine Briggs, You & Your Wedding Editor, says: "There is definitely a move towards more one-upmanship and high profile weddings such as the recent Kardashian's is setting the bar even higher."

Regardless of your budget, there will always be people who spend more, so there's no point trying to compete. The day will also be full of imperfections - from the best man's speech to the spilled wine - and if you spend £20k on trying to make it perfect, you're going to end up sorely disappointed.

The right wedding and the right budget will be down to the priorities of every couple, but anyone who finds themselves thinking that it's impossible to have a party for their family and friends without spending £5,000 or more needs to take a deep breath.

Take a look where this money is going, as we reveal the seven biggest expenses...

£20,983 wedding: where the money goes

£20,983 wedding: where the money goes

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