Wedding Budgets On The Rise in 2011

Wedding Budgets On The Rise in 2011

by Rebecca Hall on 13 May, 2011

From the engagement to the stag or hen weekend and right up to the big day itself, marriage is a costly adventure.  Entertainment and leisure are the more obvious areas where it would be expected for people to tighten the purse strings in response to cuts and credit crunches. But not it seems, when it comes to getting married. Wedding –related businesses have apparently seen some growth throughout the economic crisis.

The economic downturn of the last few years affected the wedding plans of many couples, with councils around the country reporting increases in the number of couples choosing to get married in the less elaborate surroundings of the local Register Office. However, the influence of the recent Royal Wedding would suggest that trends may change again this year, despite the miniscule growth of the economy as a whole.

Eclipse Leisure, a Brighton-based stag and hen weekend organiser, grew 20% in 2010, and they have noticed a change in spending behaviour which may come as a surprise given the economic situation.  Overall there has been a decrease in the average budget and group size for stag and hen celebrations and many groups are now opting to stay in the UK rather than head to Europe for a last dalliance with freedom. But there has also been a small increase in the number of groups choosing to take a luxury approach to their final night of freedom.

The 2010 You and Your Wedding survey indicated that the average spend on weddings rose compared to the previous year, where expenditure dropped as a result of the credit crunch. With the average wedding costing £19,779 in 2010, up from £19,265 in 2009, and the entertainment budget comprising £674 of this, it is safe to assume that couples are unwilling to give up their right to enjoy every moment from proposal to vows.

Alasdair Adam, Director of Eclipse Leisure, explains, ‘There are always new and exciting ideas for stag and hen weekends. The current trend we can see is that some stag and hen weekends are going for the luxury options, spending in excess of £300 per person (excluding all the drinks) to ensure the best hotels, activities such as driving experiences or a pamper day at a boutique spa’. The desire for people to have a true experience that they can treasure seems to be the driving force behind this. Adam says that while this is still by far the exception, there is certainly a trend growing in the minority.

With style icons such as Kate Moss and Lily Allen getting married this summer, the omnipotent influence of celebrity may pave the aisle for more changes to the way in which couples celebrate their upcoming nuptials and final days of ‘freedom’.

About the Author

Rebecca Hall

Rebecca Hall worked as an independent mortgage adviser for 10 years before turning to financial journalism full time. She has strong links to the CAB advising families on mortgage refinancing.