Average wedding 'costs £17,000'

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The Independent Online

Money may not buy you love but you will need a lot of it if you are planning on tying the knot in the style to which today's bride has become accustomed.

Money may not buy you love but you will need a lot of it if you are planning on tying the knot in the style to which today's bride has become accustomed.

The average cost of a wedding has risen to £17,249 - 58 per cent more than a decade ago though prices generally have only risen by a third.

New figures published today show that the budget never matches the final bill. While couples generally estimate that their big day will cost £11,000, they spend at least £6,000 more.

Honeymoons take up a large chunk at £2,857 with 19 per cent of brides still expecting it to be a surprise. But receptions eat up the biggest proportion of the bill costing an average of £6,076 including £1,129 on drinks.

Once the venue, catering, drinks, wedding cake, favours and entertainment have all been paid for, each guests costs an average of £57.

In turn, they are expected to fork out an average total of £1,642 on items from wedding gift lists which are still favoured by 66 per cent of bridal couples.

Despite marriages lasting an average of 11 years, Office of National Statistics figures show that the number of weddings was up 4.7 per cent last year.

Many couples still opt for a traditional religious ceremony with 51 per cent choosing a church and a similar number plumping for big receptions with more than 100 guests.

The annual survey in You & Your Wedding, published today during National Marriage Week, revealed that almost half of couples take out wedding insurance.

Engagement and wedding rings now cost an average of £1,954, almost double the £1,009 in 1994. The groom spends just £242 on his outfit compared with £1,530 for the bride's ensemble. More than £100 alone goes on lingerie.

While the bride might not vow to obey her husband, 86 per cent still adopt his name.

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