United Kingdom

Wedding bills mean married life is out of reach for many couples, study shows 

The sky-high cost of weddings is putting married life out of reach for thousands of couples, a study has found.

Nine out of ten young people want to tie the knot but many have not done so because of pressure to spend huge sums on ceremonies, receptions and honeymoons, a survey for the think-tank Marriage Foundation found.

It also found that cost is partly responsible for the marriage class divide, which sees more than three-quarters of professional class couples marry while two-thirds of working class pairs don’t.

Nine out of ten young people want to tie the knot but many have not done so because of pressure to spend huge sums, a survey found

The think-tank said planner websites encourage wedding spending of about £32,000 – close to the average British salary of just under £30,000.

Its founder, Sir Paul Coleridge, said: ‘If there is one beneficial unintended consequence of the restrictions imposed by the pandemic, it is that an increasing stream of couples have realised that marriage is so much more than just a glitzy party.’

A survey carried out for the Foundation by One Poll among 2,000 UK adults said 29 per cent of young people aged between 18 and 30 said they would get married if the cost of a wedding was lower.

The think-tank said planner websites encourage wedding spending of about £32,000 – close to the average British salary of just under £30,000

It found that 87 per cent of young people said they wanted to marry. However, the ambition to marry was split on income lines, with 91 per cent of higher earners hoping to marry against 80 per cent of those in low-paid jobs.

Recent research has shown that 33 per cent of people classed as semi-skilled workers are married, against 76 per cent of senior managers, doctors, lawyers and head teachers.

The report called for couples to consider a ‘naked wedding’ - a smaller and simpler wedding ‘that dispenses with the need to put yourself into debt just to fund the reception.’

It said Covid restrictions have persuaded some couples to avoid big spending on weddings. From next week in England weddings can go ahead with gatherings of up to 30 people at ceremonies and receptions.

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