The wedding season is upon us once more. There are wedding fairs all over the country almost every weekend as couples look for inspiration, ideas, products and services. From cakes to caterers, drinks to dresses, hen and stag dos to honeymoons, stationery to shoes, everything you could ever need or want or desire can be found at wedding shows or fairs. You can even find out about getting married in the Church of England!
It seems that people are willing to spend vast amounts of money on a wedding. According to a survey carried out by hitched.co.uk the annual bill for weddings in the UK is a staggering £10 billion. From engagement through ceremony, celebration and honeymoon the average cost of a wedding in the UK is an astonishing £36,000. Yes, £36,000. That does include the clothes and gifts purchased by the guests but the cost to the bride and groom (or their parents if they are very fortunate) still amounts to over £12,000 for the wedding day and an additional £2,700 on a honeymoon.
The average couple spend £2,500 on food, £1,500 on venue hire, over £1,000 on clothes, nearly £400 on flowers and £300 on a cake. Getting married in church costs about £580 including an organist.
The church is really enthusiastic about marriage. Many couples who have lived together see it as the ‘gold standard’ or the final step in securing their relationship. It is God’s blueprint for a lifelong loving relationship and creates an environment in which families can flourish physically and emotionally. About 77,000 (a third of) weddings take place in churches each year and nearly every couple who do so say that it is because it makes the marriage special, it is a spiritual thing. Only 4% marry in church because of the pretty buildings.
The Church of England has a great website (www.yourchurchwedding.org) which allows couples to plan their ceremony, choose hymns and readings etc. It’s a great resource and one couple said this about it. “Just wanted to say what a fantastic website you have. There has obviously been a lot of thought and hard work put in to make it so helpful. Particularly liked the planner and the fact that you listen to the hymns to help you decide. I was going to get married in a country hotel but I have now changed my mind so I will be getting married in a church next year. I will definitely be using the online planner. Many thanks”