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Budgeting for a Wedding in 2024 | Ultimate Guide


Organising a wedding can feel like a daunting and expensive undertaking. The movies make them look perfect in every way, and perfection looks pricey! But fortunately, we are here to help…

In this article, you’ll learn how to budget your wedding, what to expect, and what unexpected costs to look out for. 

But remember, every wedding is as unique as the people involved in it. Don’t spend more than you want to on food just because the average cost is more than you expected. If you can’t stand the sight of flowers, don’t have any!

Make sure where you put your money reflects who you are and what you value. (Not Grandma Jane’s obsession with fluorescent flowers…)

Here at Encore, we’ve matched 1000s couples with the perfect music for their weddings – but though we’re music specialists, speaking to brides every day for most of the last decade means we know a thing or two about budgeting for your big day! We’ve done the research on average prices for all parts of your wedding so you don’t have to! 


Budget Table

Wedding supplier Average price
Venue £5500
Catering (Food and Drink) £5500
Photography/Videography £2500
Entertainment/Music £1000
Wedding Dress £1250
Attire and Beauty £1500
Rings £1000
License/Registrar Fee £500
Flowers and Decorations £1500
Wedding Cake £500
Transport £750
Stationary £500
Favours £500
TOTAL £22500

The average cost of a UK wedding in 2022: £30,000


How much does a wedding venue cost?

  • Average cost: £5000-£6000
  • Lowest cost: £500

The venue is of course incredibly important, it’s where the whole day unfolds and features in every photo. But make sure you balance practicality with looks and feel. If the ideal location is a remote farmers shack in rural Norway, your guests might not be too keen on having to camp!

There are lots of venue options, including venues that have wedding all-inclusive packages. These will sort decorations and catering all for you (at a cost), making it all a much more stress-free situation. Or you can go for the empty shell, blank canvas scenario and put your stamp over the whole venue. This can be a cheaper and much more creative option. There are lots of options in-between these extremes, including churches that can do both ceremony and reception, temporary locations like marquees, and foreign venues to really spice things up.


Finding the right venue is usually the first thing couples aim to tick off their list

Catering (Food and Drink)

How much does wedding catering cost?

  • Average cost: £5000-£6000
  • Lowest cost: £2000

This takes everyone by surprise. But feeding a large group of people is always going to be scarily expensive. But remember the total cost of this depends on how many guests you have.

The conventional way to go is a three-course sit-down meal, with service. Many catering companies will offer customisable packages to make it personal to you. But if you want to keep costs down, try exploring more unconventional options like food vans or all you can eat buffets. This can keep your guests entertained and well-fed. Our friends at Feast It are a great option for all things food!

Photography and Videography

How much does wedding photography cost?

  • Average cost: £2500
  • Lowest cost: £500

Photography is beautiful way to capture the special moments on your wedding day that would be missed otherwise. How many times have you looked through other people wedding photos and imagined yourself in their place. It can be one of the happiest days of your life, so make sure you capture it!

Videography is a recent trend that can capture the energy and feel of the day in a different way to photos. It’s super exciting to be able to relive the day with your loved ones by watching videos. But do remember, it’s much easy to look back through photos and put them up around the house…

A cheaper option would be to get friends and family to take videos throughout the day and compile them yourself. But if you’ve got the budget to stretch then go for it!

Entertainment and Music

How much does wedding entertainment cost?

  • Average cost: £1000
  • Lowest cost: £500

A wedding day can be surprisingly long, so having some quality entertainment to keep everyone going is pretty crucial. Live music can really bring the place alive and is much easier to customise to your own wants and needs.

Encore has thousands of musicians to choose from to create your picture-perfect party vibe on your special day. Get creative with your ideas and think outside the box. How about having a ceilidh to start off your dancing and get everyone mingling together? Then get a smokin’ function band in to play all your favourite cheesy bangers! And finish off with a smooth jazz band outside in the late evening. I know you want to… For more info check out our Ultimate Guide to Hiring Musicians in 2022.

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Echoes are one of the most popular wedding bands on Encore (price £1500-£2500 depending on band size)

Wedding Dress

How much does a wedding dress cost?

  • Average cost: £800-£1500
  • Lowest cost: £300

Make your Disney Princess dreams come true with this crucial piece of your wedding day. There are so many options for wedding dresses it can be hard to start. But the best way to begin is just to go for it. You will quickly find which styles suit you and which are straight in the ‘nope!’ category. Wedding dress fittings can be a great way to find your ideal style, if not the actual dress itself.

And don’t forget second-hand dresses can be a great option. Much cheaper and you can customise them without feeling guilty about cutting up an expensive dress!

Attire and Beauty

How much do wedding outfits cost?

  • Average cost: £1000-£2000
  • Lowest cost: £200

Don’t forget the groom and his best man or the bridesmaids when making calculations. Everyone wants to be looking pretty swell on the big day! That includes make-up, clothing, accessories etc. Fortunately, this doesn’t have to be super complex. If you don’t want it to be too matchy-matchy then just use ties, buttonholes (corsages), or even shoes to get everyone feeling involved.


Don’t forget the bridesmaids’ dresses!

Wedding Rings

How much do wedding rings cost?

  • Average cost: £1000
  • Lowest cost: £250

Considering you will be wearing these for the rest of your life, it’s worth choosing something you absolutely love, which reflects the values you feel passionate about. There is a growing trend in ethical jewellery and sustainable second-hand jewellery which is worth considering. Browsing jewellery websites online, and going to look in shop windows is a great way to find your personal style.

There are many styles to consider and don’t forget to decide if you want the bride and grooms’ rings to match in design. If the bride wants to have diamonds in her wedding ring, will the groom want that too? We’ll let you fight that one out…

License/Registrar Fee

How much do wedding licenses cost?

  • Average cost: £500
  • Lowest cost: £50

Oops! That was close… Don’t forget that unfortunately, you have to pay a small fee to actually get married. The cheapest option is a registry office, but most people will opt for a church which costs a bit more. But it’s somewhat fundamental to the idea of a wedding, y’know, the getting married bit…

Flowers and Decorations

How much do wedding flowers cost?

  • Average cost: £1500
  • Lowest cost: £250

Regardless of how much you spend on your venue, flowers and decorations are a timeless way to (literally) spruce up your wedding. Lots of venues may have their own decorations that you can hire, or will have recommendations on where to get things at a good price. DIY decorations is of course great value and a FUN way to get excited about your wedding before the big day.

It’s often a good idea to go with in-season flowers both for cost and because they will often suit the vibe of the event. A frosty winter wedding with bright daffodils everywhere might feel a little bit off…


Verity and Thyme are one of the UK’s top suppliers of wedding flowers

Wedding Cake

How much do wedding cakes cost?

  • Average cost: £500
  • Lowest cost: £150

Everyone loves cake. At Encore, one of our core values is cake. Only kidding (slightly)… Your wedding cake can be a great way to celebrate the occasion. But make sure you consider the practicalities of cake making. If you want to have a professionally made cake, consider flavours and varieties and whether they will have to be made on the day.

One obvious cheaper alternative is to ask family or friends to bake your cake as their wedding gift to you. You might be able to have a few more guests that way!


How much does wedding transport cost?

  • Average cost: £500-£1000
  • Lowest cost: £0 (with a favour from a friend)

Hot air balloons, fighter jets, F1 cars, aircraft carriers… the sky is the limit… ish! Arriving and leaving your wedding is the one time in your life you can really justify travelling in style. So make sure to explore all the (realistic) options you can.

Old fashioned cars, horse and carriage, tandem bikes, tractors (why not?), all of these are exciting fun ways to travel. And if you want to save some money why not ask around for a favour from that friend that rebuilds old cars in his garage. Remember the one that always smells of oil!


How much does wedding stationery cost?

  • Average cost: £500
  • Lowest cost: £50

Stationery is a fancy way of saying all parts of the wedding that are printed: invites, save-the-dates, orders of service, place cards, and thank you cards to name a few… This confused us too… why do I need staplers and a hole punch at my wedding? But fear not, it can be much simpler than you think. Many companies do bespoke designs just for you. Marketplaces like Etsy are also great places to explore the options out there. Or get creative a make your own! Naturally, all these options mean the cost can vary a lot. So it’s up to you how fancy you want to be… But don’t forget to buy loads of stamps!


Etsy or artsy friends are a great way to go for your wedding stationery

Favours and Gifts

How much do wedding favours cost?

  • Average cost: £500
  • Lowest cost: £50

It can be a nice idea to give all your guests a little token of your thanks for them being a great brother, friend, teammate, colleague, or human! This can vary from a little packet of a unique mix of flower seeds for your guests to take home and plant in memory of your wedding day, or something a bit more substantial (or edible). Just remember that every gust is going to need one, so don’t get too carried away!

Download our Free Ultimate Wedding Planning Checklist [PDF]

We’ve condensed everything you need to know about wedding planning into one guide. And now we’re giving it away for free.

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Matt Venvell

Matt is a recent Music Graduate of Oxford University. He now splits his time between being a freelance drummer/percussionist and a content writer. In between these, Matt loves to learn about how the world works, enjoys the outdoors, and is always looking for more music recommendations.

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