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How much does an average wedding cost in the UK in 2024?


Planning a wedding this year? First off, congratulations! Planning a wedding is an exciting time. It’s the chance to share your love story and create everlasting memories with your close friends and family. 

It’s not the cheapest party you’ll ever throw but approaching the planning stage with estimated costs can help cut costs. This way, you know how much other couples are paying and how you can shave off extra costs. 


In this article, Encore Musicians has created a thorough breakdown of the average wedding costs in the UK. Every significant wedding expense has been analysed, from venue rental fees to the cost of the rings, to help you estimate your wedding costs.

The Breakdown: Average Wedding Costs

Here are the main wedding bookings and purchases you’ll need to consider, plus the average UK costs. 

On average, over 250,000 UK couples get hitched annually. Remember, there’s no “one-size-fits-all” wedding plan. Your day can involve as many (or as few) of these categories as you want. Now, let’s dive in!

Venue Hire

Venue hire is the largest UK wedding cost and one you want to book ASAP. Wedding venues get reserved extremely fast and well in advance. So, make sure you contact your first choice to ensure you book it for a reasonable price. 

The average couples spend on venues in the UK is £5,000. But since there are so many different venues and packages available, it can be hard to base your planning on this figure. For example, a grand country estate will cost significantly more than a quaint village hall. 

You can expect village halls or pubs with function rooms to charge anywhere from £10 to £50 per hour. Some may even offer a full-day hire which can cost as low as £50 or as high as £300. Many venues have wedding packages — don’t forget to ask about these deals.

If you’re looking for a purpose-built wedding venue, a historic venue, or a luxurious country estate, you’ll have to pay a little more. Mid-range venues cost between £3,000 to £10,000, whereas high-end venues start from £10,000 and can exceed well over £25,000. 

Also, the date of your wedding matters. Note that May to September is the peak wedding season. Prices shoot up in this period, so book years in advance or embrace an off-peak wedding to avoid inflated rates. 

average wedding cost


The second largest UK wedding expense is catering services. These costs are usually calculated per head, but your menu and choice of service will affect the price.

Budget options include food trucks, DIY catering, and buffet-style meals. Each offers a more informal dining experience, costing anywhere from £20 to £40 per head. Food trucks are fantastic options for laid-back summer weddings or if you want to skip the need for waiters and tableware.

High-end catering options include multiple-course meals with dedicated serving staff, gourmet food, and wine pairings. If you picture your wedding with formal dining and sophisticated dinner speeches, this could be the choice for you. However, expect prices to start at £70 per head for this formal dining style. Premium caterer chargers can go well over £150 per head for fine dining. But if you’re a foodie, it’s something to consider. 


Onto the point that most brides have been searching for — wedding attire. 

Wedding dresses, bridesmaids, gowns, and suits can quickly rack up the price of a wedding, but it’s a category many couples won’t scrimp on. A UK wedding dress costs approximately £1,400, but you don’t need to splurge to look elegant. You can find thousands of wedding dresses for £100 to £500 by shopping premium off-the-rack styles, exploring second-hand options, or upcycling pre-loved dresses. Second-hand or off-the-rack suits cost even less, at £50 to £150 per suit.

If you want a premium or designer dress, expect to pay around £2,000 to £10,000. This cost fluctuates depending on the designer’s name, fabric quality, and any personalisation needed. Tailored suits cost anywhere from £500 to £2,000.

Fun Fact: Did you know the world’s most expensive wedding dress cost $12 million? Uh-huh, this designer gown was created by Martin Katz Jewellers and Renee Strauss and was covered in over 150 carats of diamonds. 

Photographer / Videographer

Capturing your wedding is just as important as planning it! Like any other wedding feature, there’s a wide range of photography and videography services. So, don’t book these at the last minute; otherwise, you might be relying on your phone which won’t provide nearly the same quality. 

Budget photography and videography services include:

  • Hiring a budding photographer with less experience
  • Trusting a friend with a high-quality camera
  • Relying on your guests for photos

Hiring a new photographer will cost anywhere between £300 to £800. But other suggestions listed above are free — perfect for anyone on a budget. Just note that these options don’t always come with complete professionalism. If photos mean a lot to you, spending a little extra for quality assurance might be best. 

High-end photographers and videographers sit around £2,000 and can exceed £5,000 depending on the package and services you choose. Standard services from professional photographers include printed portfolios, full-day coverage, portraits, the ability to use another photographer, and even drone shots. Most packages are personalisable, so don’t hesitate to contact professional photographers and ask if your needs can be met.

Pro Tip: Don’t forget to check out your potential photographers’ portfolios. Get to know their style before you book them. You don’t want to end up with over-edited photos!



Entertainment is an essential part of any wedding. While your guests are there to celebrate your love story, they’ll also be expecting a party — and you can exceed their expectations with professional entertainers. From live wedding bands and jazz bands to professional DJs, you can’t ignore your wedding’s soundtrack.

But don’t worry. It’s easy to keep entertainment costs low while still providing non-stop fun! Popular budget entertainment costs include hiring a local DJ or working with small local bands. This way, you’re not only saving money but elevating nearby talent. Going this route typically costs between £100 to £500.

Alternatively, you can also put on a show with professional wedding bands, renowned DJs, and additional entertainment — e.g. magicians and dancers. Working with experienced entertainers guarantees a professional level of service, and you can pay anywhere from £1,000 to over £4,000 depending on any add-ons, the length of your booking, and the type of entertainment chosen.

average wedding cost

At Encore Musicians, we specialise in removing the fuss from wedding musician bookings. Whether you picture yourself tying the knot to the tune of a harpist or want to party all night to swing and jive bands, we can help. Plus, we’ve worked with over 30,000 happy customers since 2016. We know how to boost the atmosphere when it comes to wedding entertainment.

Decor & Flowers

There are so many aspects to wedding planning that decor and flowers are usually forgotten in the main planning stage. However, these aesthetic details must be considered if you want your venue to reflect your wedding’s theme. After all, the devil’s in the details!

Many couples go the DIY route, creating unique decor and floral arrangements at home with the help of friends and family. Using locally-sourced flowers or artificial alternatives can help you keep floristry costs low here. This is a great way to go if you want to keep your costs around £100 to £500. 

Don’t have time to create your own decor and floral arrangements? Professional wedding decor, elaborate centrepieces, and premium bridal bouquets save you time without sacrificing the look of your venue. Prices for professional assistance start at £1,500 and can go well beyond £10,000. Remember, any out-of-season flowers will dramatically increase your costs. Peonies in August won’t be cheap!

Fun Fact: Amongst the most popular wedding flowers are roses, dahlias, and sweet peas.


Another lesser-considered factor is wedding stationery. Though this is the first thing your guests will see, it’s rarely the first matter on a couple’s mind. 

If you want to, you can keep costs super low in this category. Budget wedding stationary options include digital invites and DIY printed stationery. These options tend to cost £20 to £100. Canva is an excellent tool for creating your own online invites, but you can collaborate with a professional graphic designer to take your wedding stationery up a notch. Some designers even offer web page creation services, giving your event its own domain. This costs more, though!

Want to go all out? High-end invitations are an excellent way to impress your guests from the first announcement. These options include bespoke invitations, save-the-dates, menus, venue signage, and other printed materials on premium paper with professional design. These packages are available from £400, and professional designers can even charge over £1,500 depending on how detailed your designs are and how many are printed.


The earliest known wedding rings date back to Ancient Egypt and were made of hemp braided into a loop. While wedding rings aren’t as low-key today, couples still have many options at different prices. 

average wedding cost

Opt for simple gold bands or non-traditional materials to keep your costs low. These understated options cost anywhere between £100 to £500. However, if you want platinum bands, bespoke designs, or diamond settings, you should expect to pay at least £1,500. Designer rings can exceed £10,000, so shop around before you choose!


How will you arrive at your wedding? These days the options are endless. You can make a statement with your wedding transport, from horse-drawn carriages to vintage cars. 

Hired classic cars, limousines, or any other unique transport types can cost anywhere from £500 to £2,000, depending on the availability and rarity of the vehicle. But many couples also choose to use their own vehicles, local taxis, or borrow cars from friends and family, which can cost nothing to £100.

Hair & Makeup

Hair and makeup services are a surprise expense that many couples forget to include, but they’re a non-negotiable for many brides. After all, who doesn’t want the VIP treatment on the morning of their wedding?

Professional hair and makeup artists usually offer bridal packages anywhere between £300 to £1,500. This can include trials before the big day, makeup for other bridal party members, and travel expenses. 

While hair and makeup are essential to some brides, not all opt for professional services. Many brides do their own makeup or work with a skilled friend to keep costs minimal. 

Wedding Cake

Cutting the wedding cake represents the first act the married couple does together. So, there’s no surprise that the wedding cake sub-industry is enormous! You can even spend thousands on a symbolic wedding cake if you want to. But there are options for all budgets.

The average cost of a wedding cake in the UK is between £500 and £650 in 2024, if you hire a professional baker. High-end wedding cake services include bespoke designs, intricate details, speciality flavours, or cakes from renowned bakers. Typically, these premium cakes sit between £300 to £1,500.

Budget options include working with a new baker, opting for a supermarket cake, or making the cake at home. Expect to pay between £50 to £100 for these low-cost alternatives.

Fun Fact: The most popular wedding cake flavours include vanilla, chocolate, cardamom, almond, lemon, and carrot. Which will you pick?

Registry Office Wedding Costs

When it comes to the costs associated with a registry office wedding in the UK, the fees can vary based on several factors including the location, day of the week, and the services provided. In 2023, the average cost of a basic registry office wedding in the UK typically ranged from £50 to £100 for the ceremony. This fee covers the legal proceedings, the registrar’s time, and the use of the registry office venue.

However, additional costs can be incurred based on services such as marriage certificates, ceremony enhancements, and if you choose to have a ceremony outside of regular office hours or at a different location. For example, if you wish to have a marriage certificate, there is usually an additional fee for this document. Below are some average rates for 2024 based on last year’s averages (adjusted for inflation).

  • Cost to give notice – from £35 per person
  • Marriage certificates – around £10
  • Admin and postage fees – starting from around £10

It’s important to check with the specific registry office where you plan to get married to get an accurate quote.

Additional Expenses

We’ve covered the main wedding expenses, but pay attention to these additional costs. Many couples include these extra expenses in their wedding but forget to list them in the main budget. 

  • Gifts for the bridal party and groomsmen
  • Honeymoon expenses
  • Small wedding favours
  • Rehearsal dinner costs
  • Celebrant costs
  • Meals for vendors

Considering these expenses now can help you ensure you don’t go over budget — especially if you’re planning a luxurious honeymoon. 

Now you know the costs, it’s time to start planning. Grab your FREE wedding checklist here.

alt="bride and groom having their photo taken with their daughters in a field"

Factors Influencing Wedding Costs

Wedding costs aren’t set in stone. Alongside the type of services you choose, other factors can push the price up (or down). 

If you’re planning a wedding, remember to consider these additional elements!

1. Guest Count

If you invite more guests, you’ll likely have to pay more for the wedding of your dreams. For example, you’ll need a larger venue, more food, and more invitations. These costs can quickly add up, so consider your budget when drawing up the invite list. 

2. Location

Your venue location can also sway the overall cost of your wedding. Urban venues in large cities tend to cost more than venues in rural areas but don’t take this as a rule of thumb. An elaborate listed building in the middle of the country will be a different price than local village halls. 

Also, in-demand locations will have higher fees. For example, the Cotswolds and the Lake District are eternally popular UK wedding destinations, and their pricing reflects this.

3. Time of Year

The peak season for weddings in the UK is between May to September. Within these months, prices for all wedding vendors and venues are significantly higher due to increased demand. Off-peak times (from November to April) are often cheaper and easier to book.

4. Day of the Week

Similarly to the time of the year, the day of the week you plan your wedding can also affect your costs. Fridays and Saturdays measure up as the most expensive days, and Mondays are the cheapest. Don’t forget to consider this!

5. Cultural & Religious Traditions

Finally, some cultural and religious traditions may add extra expenses you may have yet to consider. Examine whether your ceremony will involve any specific customs or traditions that will add additional costs to your bill. If so, remember to add these expenses to your overall budget.

How to Save on Wedding Costs

Now you’ve got the lowdown on average wedding costs and factors that can influence them, it’s time to talk about how to save money where possible. 

Wedding planning shouldn’t leave you eating baked beans for the next few years! Use the tips below to see where you can shave off excess spending.

  • Consider using both DIY options and professional services — Using DIY and professional assistance is a great way to split costs at your wedding. Work with experts for your non-negotiable services (i.e. photography or wedding bands) and use DIY strategies for others (i.e. create your own invites.)
  • Book your wedding during off-peak times — Planning a winter or autumn wedding can significantly cut costs. Want to tie the knot in summer? Book on a Monday or Tuesday rather than a Saturday. Just let your guests know well in advance.
  • Simplify some elements — You don’t have to tick every box wedding blogs and bridal influencers say you have to. Simplifying some parts of your wedding can quickly save you money. For example, opting for local or in-season flowers rather than importing fashionable bridal bouquets.
  • Prioritise services important to you — What are you most excited about? If you picture your dream wedding with professional florals but don’t think of the transport, you might want to splurge on floristry but skip booking an expensive car. Consider what typical wedding services you don’t really care about and cut these out of the budget.
  • Negotiate with vendors — Yes, that’s right. You can negotiate with vendors! Many vendors are happy to lower prices or add additional services to ensure a booking. Remember to remain polite and professional regardless of the outcome.

alt="a fun reception party with everyone dancing"


Planning your dream wedding is an exciting time. It’s exciting to peruse vendors and venues while imagining the big day. Budgeting may seem less fun, but a well-planned budget ensures financial comfort and less stress once you start paying vendors. 

Besides considering your financial limitations, remember to examine your perfect wedding day. It’s easy to be swayed by social and family pressures, but in the end, your wedding is all about your preferences as a couple. Feel free to cut out some elements that don’t matter so much to you! After all, a wedding that mimics your individuality and love is always better than a cookie-cutter event. 

Need help finding top-notch entertainment? Allow Encore Musicians to help. We work with expert-vetted wedding bands to take the stress out of your planning. Explore our wedding service here. 


Ava-May Rooney

Ava-May is our specialist in SEO Content and Public Relations. Ava-May is a passionate music lover who appreciates various music styles, from neo-soul to Cambodian rap. She's worked at music festivals such as All Points East, British Summer Time, and Wide Awake and regularly attends gigs in her free time.

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