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Everything you need to know about saving for a wedding

Understanding wedding costs and how to save for a wedding can help shape your plans for your special day. On this page, you’ll find out how much you might need to save for your wedding, and get tips to help you save and understand different types of wedding savings accounts.

Saving for a weddingSaving for a weddingSaving for a wedding

Key things to know when saving for a wedding

  • The average cost of a wedding can vary dramatically and will depend on what you want from your day. It may also depend on where you live and the type of wedding you’re planning.
  • A lot of couples budget too little for their wedding or have already spent more than initially planned.
  • Research and comparison shopping is one of the best ways to keep track of wedding costs and save more.
  • If you open a dedicated wedding savings account, it might be worth choosing one that offers flexibility so you can easily access your money if you need to pay for something urgently.

 

How much do I need to save for a wedding?

The total amount you need to save for your wedding will vary. An average UK wedding costs about £17,000 (excluding your honeymoon), including the average costs for wedding cakes, wedding and engagement rings, rehearsal dinners, reception, décor, professional photography etc.

Of course, you can choose to spend more or less than this depending on the type of wedding you want, how many guests you invite and your priorities for your special day.

Four ways to save for a wedding

The longer you have to save for your wedding, the more money you’ll have for your special day, and the easier it will be to budget. These four tips might also help you save more effectively.

1.Set a realistic wedding budget

Planning what you want for your wedding day is pretty easy, but having the budget to make those dreams a reality is the hard part. Having a budget can help you keep track of your spending and choices. It’s easy for wedding costs to add up, and it’s important to know what you’ve spent and how much you’ve still got left to spend. Start by making a list of everything you want and putting a cost against it, before refining it into a budget that’s realistic for you. It’s a good idea to have clear estimates for everything you want, and compare costs as well.

2.Calculate your monthly income

Once you have an idea of what your target budget is for your wedding, you can calculate how much you’ll need to save each month. It’s important to be realistic about what you can achieve and how you can manage your money to achieve it.

3.Start saving for your wedding as soon as you can

The earlier you can start saving for your wedding, the easier it will be for you to manage the costs. Opening a savings account is one of the best ways to set money aside while earning interest. 

Comparing different types of savings accounts will help you get one that suits you and your wedding savings goals. If you want the flexibility of accessing your savings at any time, an easy access account might be right for you. You could also consider a notice account, which provides the flexibility of easy access with the more competitive interest rates of a fixed rate bond. Fixed rate bonds may be best if you already have a lump sum that you can lock away for a set amount of time and aren’t getting married for a while, as you’ll typically earn a higher interest rate.

4.Monitor your wedding savings

Keeping track of your money as you save for your wedding will help you keep on top of your budget and costs. It’s important to shop around and compare wedding savings accounts, so you get the best interest rate for the type of savings account that suits you. 

How can I save for a wedding quickly?

If you’re planning to get married soon after getting engaged, you could look at adjusting your monthly expenses and see where you can save by reducing your expenditure. Opening a competitive variable rate notice account may also help increase your savings in the short term.

How do I open savings accounts at raisin.co.uk?

Quickly and easily open a savings account for your wedding with competitive interest rates from a range of UK banks by registering for a Raisin UK Account and logging in to apply. It’s free to open an account, and once you’ve been approved, you just need to transfer your deposit and watch your wedding savings grow.

The fictional wedding calculator

We look at the costs of weddings from TV and film, and see how long the characters would need to save up to afford their big days.

Fictional wedding fortunes - invitationsFictional wedding fortunes - invitationsFictional wedding fortunes - invitations

They’re the moments that made us smile, sigh, or even brought tears to our eyes. Weddings on TV and film show the happiest moments for some of our favourite characters, and are often what the whole plot has been leading up to. They can take hours, months or even years to happen, and if we’ve been following the romance from the start, it almost feels like we’re one of the guests.

Of course, weddings in real-life can take months or years of planning and saving, which is why thinking ahead and setting up a savings account specifically for your big day is a great idea. Whether you opt for a high interest fixed rate bond or a flexible easy access account, you stand a better chance of affording your dream wedding.

But back to the small and silver screen – just how much do these fantasy weddings cost, and could the bride and groom really afford them on their wages? We put all the soppy, romantic stuff to one side and got to the heart of the issue.

Fictional wedding fortunes - cost infographicFictional wedding fortunes - cost infographicFictional wedding fortunes - cost infographic

The big spenders

Some of the most lavish on-screen weddings have seen hundreds of thousands splashed out on extravagant venues, food and entertainment. However, the most expensive of all was that of Colin and Araminta from Crazy Rich Asians. As the title suggests, they certainly were crazy rich, with huge sums of family fortune helping them spend a whopping £6.45 million on their romantic bash.

Given that Araminta is heir to a hotel chain’s wealth, this amount of money would have been small change for such an occasion. We don’t imagine they needed to save at all.

Other high risers were Matthew and Mary from Downton Abbey, whose wedding set them back £159,021. Not a small sum of money by any means, but when your dad is the Earl of Grantham (worth an estimated £800 million in today’s money) we reckon this wedding didn’t break the bank.

Carrie and Big come in third place, with the Sex and the City pair splashing out £114,484 for their long-awaited celebration. As Big was a financier and a fairly prolific investor, he was rumoured to earn millions. Meanwhile, Carrie was a freelance writer charging Vogue 50 cents per word, so she was doing alright too.

The fourth most expensive wedding is that of Lillian in Bridesmaids. Costing around £97,848, the ceremony was primarily funded by her dad, which always comes in handy if you’re lucky enough.

Wrapping up our top five is Annie and Bryan’s wedding from Father of the Bride. In the film, Bryan’s parents live in a Bel-Air mansion, so it’s safe to suggest where they might have found the £67,822 needed for their ceremony.

Carrie and BigCarrie and BigCarrie and Big

Image source: Carrie & Big from Sex and the City splashed out more than £100,000 for their aborted Manhattan nuptials

The around averages

The average UK wedding costs £31,974, putting the next five fictional lovers wedding costs around the middle of the road, making them much more reasonable to save for if you’re in a well-paying job.

With a long-term romantic interest in ‘Bridget Jones’s Baby’, Bridget Jones and Mark Darcy’s wedding is at the top of the list. At £58,000, this wedding price tag might have been a little out of reach on Bridget’s publishing salary, but as Mark is a successful barrister, he could easily afford it.

Next up is one of the most famous weddings of all time. When Cinderella married her Prince Charming, it became a dream for many young girls across the world. The prince’s wealth undoubtedly helped, as their big day cost £57,398 to put together, with a little help from the Fairy Godmother coming as a wedding gift.

Could it be any more romantic? When Chandler finally tied the knot with Monica, Friends fans worldwide let out a small cry. At £43,620, we’d imagine the married couple did too. However, given how much money they were saving on their rent-controlled apartment, it could well have been affordable.

Bella and Edward’s wedding came in at just under average, costing the vampire and his wife around £26,516. Saving up for a wedding is definitely easier if you get to live forever, and as Edward’s adopted father was a doctor, his salary no doubt helped too.

At £22,795, the wedding of Schitt’s Creek’s David and Patrick might have been a little much after the Rose family lost their fortune. But given how the couple ran a store, the father’s motel business was taking off, and their friends helped with the bulk of the occasion, the couple were thrifty when it came to their planning.

David and PatrickDavid and PatrickDavid and Patrick

Image source: David and Patrick’s nuptials from Schitt’s Creek were a focal point of the series finale

The budget brides

You don’t have to spend big on a special occasion. In fact, some of the big screen’s most famous marriages have come in way under budget and still packed a punch right in the feelings.

In How I Met Your Mother, Lily and Marshall put on their outdoor wedding for only £13,890, using nature to set the scene for their long-awaited party.

Another of TV’s famous couples, Mitch and Cam from Modern Family, spent even less. Their wedding cost only £11,000, which given Mitch’s work as a lawyer should have been easy enough to save up for.

Shrek and Princess Fiona slashed costs on their big day in a land long ago, forking out only £9,920 to tie the knot. Admittedly, Fiona’s royal background may well have helped her save up the funds, although we’re not sure how they afford Donkey’s wild after-party.

At the bottom end of our wedding scale, Mamma Mia’s Sophie and Sky only spent £9,373 on their big day, which is fair enough, given how Sophie’s mum stole the spotlight and we never actually see the two walk down the aisle. We’ll leave what happened next up to your imagination.

The cheapest wedding from film or TV goes to Homer and Marge for their Vegas wedding in The Simpsons. Homer and Marge’s romance has lasted more than thirty years for us, and is widely debated how much time that transpires too on-screen. Featured in the third season episode ‘I Married Marge’, by getting married in a Vegas chapel, they cut huge venue costs, spending only £197 on the whole occasion.

Recently celebrating thirty year on-screen, we’re sure Marge and Homer would’ve had ample time to save for the meagre cost of their wedding.

Planning a wedding of your own?

Along with buying a house, your wedding day could easily become the most expensive thing you ever do. How big you go is up to you, but whatever you decide to do, our marketplace is home to savings accounts to help you grow your money and make every pound towards your wedding count.

It only takes a few minutes to register for a Raisin UK Account, then you can click to apply for savings accounts from a range of specialist banks.

Methodology:

Each wedding cost calculation includes a combination of canon information, cost of real-life venue hire or approximates based upon fictional location and average costs for things like dresses, flowers, transportation and entertainment, and consolidated by Katie, a wedding planner from Albion Parties.

Image sources:

David & Patrick: https://pyxis.nymag.com/v1/imgs/4e9/33b/ff1ead8267c27676e70a03c65a9c11c240-schitts-creek-recap-2.jpg

Carrie & Big: https://cdn.theatlantic.com/thumbor/kOAuh6QXEx9uAVKqQIIInOgNIkU=/0x62:1200×737/720×405/media/img/mt/2014/10/carriebig/original.jpg

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