Wedding costs force couples to postponeSome in survey also say cost puts them off idea

14 March 2008

If you want a beach wedding at sunset, ensure you pick a west coast location

If you want a beach wedding at sunset, ensure you pick a west coast location

The spiralling cost of getting married is forcing thousands of couples to postpone their wedding or even abandon it altogether, a survey showed today.

One in five people who recently tied the knot said they were forced to delay their big day, with more than half of these couples putting it off for financial reasons, according to savings provider ING Direct.

A further 15% of couples said they did not think they would ever get married, with the majority claiming this was because of the huge cost involved.

Delay wedding

People are more than twice as likely to delay their wedding today than couples were 20 years ago, when just 10% put off getting married.

The average cost of a wedding has soared more than four-fold during this period, jumping from an average of £4,300 to £18,500 today, a rise of more than five times the rate of inflation.

The huge rise in costs is being driven by couples throwing money at their big day, with many people opting for fireworks, string quartets and ice sculptures, most of which were not a feature of the celebrations two decades ago.

Marrying abroad

Other couples spend even more by hiring a private manor or castle for the day or getting married in an exotic location abroad.

A quarter of people in the survey - of 2,088 people in January - said they wanted the perfect wedding no matter what the cost was, while 41% admitted they had gone over budget, overspending by an average of £3,700.

Around 14% of people said spending on their big day had been driven by one-upmanship with family and friends, while 25% said they felt pressurised by pictures in the media.

One in six grooms also said their fiancee had got 'completely carried away'.

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