The average cost of a wedding in the UK is around £20-25K.
The average salary in the UK is around £22k.
That means the average wedding costs the same amount, for one day, as somebody earns in a year, pre-tax.
That’s a perspective that freaks me the hell out.
Before becoming engaged I would see that average wedding cost figure floating about the internet and I’d say to myself “that’s insane, who would spend that much?!”.
Once engaged and once we embarked on the process of organising a wedding it was easy to see just how quickly those figures add up.
It was at once enlightening as it was scary.
You see, in the UK at least, add the word ‘wedding’ to anything and you automatically get added a surcharge. A bacon butty for your ‘evening do’ gets quoted at £11.95 instead of the £2.50 it’s probably worth. A cake becomes £800 when it’s just £70 for any other occasion. A dress costs £1500 when it could cost £350. A venue … let’s not talk about the venues.
Planning a wedding is something I’ve always dreamed of. I’ve had years of visions and ideas in my mind of how my wedding would look. However, the practicality of such a wedding is looking more and more likely to be just an idea.
No matter how many different approaches we take, no matter how much we try to ‘hack’ or find ‘bargains’ we are still looking at a lot of money for a wedding.
Which brings me to the current question in hand. Should we elope to get married?
Reasons To Elope
1. Weddings are ludicrously expensive
As mentioned above, anything with the word ‘wedding’ attached seems to be excessively costly. And we’re just not sure that it’s a sensible thing to spend so much on one day.
2. Destination weddings combine holiday with the legal bit
Get married abroad and you’re already there to start your honeymoon and have a well earned holiday.
3. Save the stress of choosing napkins etc.
Organising a wedding includes making so many different, and often arbitrary, decisions. From the colour of bridesmaid dresses to favours to photographers to flowers to the kind of underwear you’re going to wear. So. Many. Decisions.
4. The guest list dramatically reduces
Get married abroad and you’re guaranteed the majority of your guest list will not be wanting to fly over for it. Alternatively, you can get away more easily with no inviting everyone and their dog. You’re eloping. It’s supposed to be secret.
5. There are less ‘opinions’
Mention you are getting married and suddenly every single person you speak to is an expert. Yep. Thankfully, we’ve been lucky that our immediate family have been pretty chilled and told us to go with whatever we want. Hawaii it is then!
6. You get to spend more of the day together rather than chatting to guests
Less guests = more time with new husband.
7. Better chances of good weather
Love being British and love my home country but we do have ALL THE WEATHER no matter the month or season. Eloping to warmer climes means a huge chance of a sunny wedding.
8. It’s bloody cheaper!
Even if we had the full shebang destination wedding with guests and dress and stuff, it would still be cheaper than marrying in the UK.
Have you eloped or had a destination wedding? I’d love to hear your experiences.
P.S. I’m not really that miserable about getting married. Honest! I’m just thinking through and airing the gazillion thoughts running through my brain right now. 🙂