Average wedding cost is £18,500 with venue taking up 40% of budget, survey finds

The average wedding now costs around £18,500 - with the typical cost of the venue swallowing up between a third and half of couples' budgets, a survey has found.

The research, from Debenhams Personal Finance, found that with couples tending to invite between 100 to 250 guests, the venue and food and drink can take up significant chunks of the total spend on the big day.

The venue typically sets couples back £7,500 - or just over 40% of the total cost.

Food and drink and the honeymoon were found to be the next most expensive costs, both at £3,750 on average.

Meanwhile, the combined cost of a wedding dress and other wedding attire comes to £3,500 typically, according to the survey carried out as wedding season approaches.

Debenhams Personal Finance is encouraging couples to make sure they have adequate cover for their wedding, should anything go wrong.

Andy Newman, head of personal finance at Debenhams, said: "Research has found that the most common claims on wedding insurance tend to be a result of the venue or caterers cancelling at the last minute.

"This is closely followed by issues with the very important wedding dress, all of which can be very pricey to replace and re-book when not properly prepared."

More than 5,300 people took part in the survey, which included people who have got married as well as people who are due to get married.

  • Venue, £7,500
  • Wedding dress, £1,750
  • Wedding attire, £1,750
  • Food and drink, £3,750
  • Honeymoon, £3,750

And here are some tips from Debenhams Personal Finance to help a wedding day go without a hitch:

1. Book your wedding insurance as soon as you make your first wedding purchase.

2. When setting a date, consider avoiding busy periods such as public holidays to save on the cost of the venue, which is often the biggest cost.

3. A common reason for claiming under wedding insurance is as a result of a venue going bust or cancelling due to closure or damage. Make sure you ask about your chosen venue's cancellation policies and check the terms and conditions of your insurance policy.

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