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From the UK: The High Cost of Weddings and Some of The World’s Most Expensive Weddings

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shutterstock_265512389I recently went to an engagement party, and a fine affair it was.

The party was held in a nice room, and they had a very good DJ, and excellent food; the food was outstanding. Did I mention the food:)

As I was sitting there watching people dance, and the loving couple gazing intently at each other, my mind went, as it does, to the financial aspects of all this, the party, the wedding, etc.

Having been no stranger to marriages and weddings myself, yes, I use the plural weddings, I started to drift back in my mind as to the costs of my weddings and what they may cost today.

In thinking about it, if you have a wedding, regardless of the number of people or size, you still have the dress, rings, church or registrar’s office, flowers, food, drinks, hall to rent, cake, maybe a car, honeymoon or trip away, maybe a rehearsal dinner, etc.

It all can add up, and add up quickly.

So what does it cost these days to put on a wedding?   I read the average cost of a wedding in the UK these days is £11,000. That’s high, but I would have thought it to be more. Then in doing more research another study said the average cost was more like 20K! I guess it depends on what part of the country the study was held.

I would tend to lean towards the higher figure, only as the wedding planned to accompany the engagement party I was at, seems as though it will be more than 11K.

While I may have experience at weddings, it still has been a few years since I was last at one.

So 11K – 20K on an average.

I can see why any wedding planning web sites say a budget is a must.

You need to know exactly how much you have to work with, that is unless your parents are covering the costs and they have deep pockets.

So doing a bit of research and sitting down and putting pen to paper as to what is needed for the wedding and an average of what the expenses will be is a must.

But where does it get pricey and things start to unravel, the reception!

When you both get married you want your family and friends there, and some people have larger families than others. Plus, you cannot leave someone out, they will feel as though you have forgotten them.

So you sit down to make a list of who to invite, and the list grows and grows. You never realised you both knew so many people or had such large families.

And for each person you invite to the reception it will cost you. My research shows it can cost as much as £35 per head for a nice sit-down served meal to as little as £12 per head for a nice buffet.

So let’s just do a little math shall we: if you invite 100 people to a nice sit-down reception that will cost you £3500, and that is not including any alcohol such as a champagne toast or any wine at each table.

That is a big chunk of the wedding budget right there.

I think more and more people are going the buffet way and the food seems just as good to me.

Of course add to this the cost of a wedding gown, the rings (which if we are to believe the shops need to be a couple of times one’s annual wages) who was the person that thought up that farce???

My point is, it doesn’t take long for things to add up, and add up big.

shutterstock_305341370Some average wedding expenses: 

* Wedding venue: £2,200

* Reception venue: £4,100

* Catering: £3,000

* Photography; £1,300

* Flowers: £560

* Cake: £290

* Dress, shoes, veil: £1,500

* Engagement ring: £2,400

* Wedding rings: £640

And these expenses are not counting groom’s clothes, attendant’s clothes, mother-of-the-bride’s outfit, honeymoon, etc.

So far be from me to rain on somebody’s wedding (I had to get that in there) just be aware and do the math and budgeting before things get too out of control.

In a 20K wedding if it runs 10% over budget, that is 2K. Again, it adds up quickly.

So in looking at all this and the costs involved, it does make just going to the Registry Office look better and better for many people.

Editor of You and Your Wedding, Maxine Briggs has said, “Couples are taking their wedding day very seriously and want to throw the party of a lifetime. Less guests means more lavish spending on the ones that make the cut. There is definitely a move towards more one-upmanship and high profile weddings such as the recent Kardashian’s is setting the bar even higher. I think brides need to remember to keep the marriage as the focal point – sure splash out and have a great day but there are ways of keeping it real and keeping on budget. Friends and family will remember a day filled with love and laughter rather than the colour-coordinated chair backs!”

Some of The World’s Most Expensive Weddings

Catherine Zeta-Jones and Michael Douglas: In 2005 this wedding cost $1.5 million. The couple even had to defend the cost of the wedding. The bride’s tiara cost $300,000, and her dress cost $140,000.

01Katie Holmes and Tom Cruise: The Tomcat’s 2006 wedding cost an estimated $2 million. Some costs were $900,000 for airfare for guests and also accommodations, and $180,000 for 300 bottles of wine.

Elizabeth Hurley and Arun Nayar: In 2007 when this couple wed, the wedding costs were $2.5 million. Part of the expenses were $300,000 for private jets, and $100,000 for accommodations.

Sir Paul McCartney and Heather Mills: Going back to 2002, when Sir Paul wed Heather Mills, this wedding cost a cool $3 million. And that was in 2002. The wedding was Indian themed and some expenses were $145,000 for flowers, and $150,000 for fireworks. And the fireworks didn’t last too long as the couple split up and divorced after a few years.

In looking at these expensive weddings, you have to look at how many lasted??

3Liza Minnelli and David Gest: This wedding also in 2002, cost $3.5 million. The late singer Michael Jackson was the best man, and Elizabeth Taylor was the maid of honour. The couple spent $700,000 on flowers and $40,000 on cake.

I am seeing a pattern here, 2002 was not a good year to get married and have it work out. 

Wayne Rooney and Coleen McLoughlin: The football striker’s wedding in 2008 cost $8 million, or around £5 million. And we all complain about how much footballers are paid. So what does a £5 million wedding get you

* £1 million on pre-wedding celebrations. That’s before the actual vent.

* £400,000 to book the band Westlife.

* £200,000 on the wedding dress.

* £85,000 for trips to New York for dress fittings.

2Prince William and Kate Middleton: There are a few different figures thrown about as to the cost of this wedding, which was one of the most watched weddings in history. Some estimates are $35 million, and some are between £20 to £40 million. There were even estimates that the security alone could cost tens of millions. On the upside, the wedding was expected to bring in over £600 million due to tourism and merchandise. 

Prince Charles and Lady Diane Spencer: While we discussing royal weddings, the wedding of Prince Charles and Lady Di in 1981 cost $48 million.   That was a lot of money in those days, and would be around $70 million today. Di’s dress cost $13,000, and one large expense was security which cost $600,000.

In looking back over this list of expensive weddings, it appears that only two (2) of the couples are still together and married.

In total these eight (8) wedding cost over a staggering $1 billion, $1.3 billion to be exact!

We all want our day to be great, and when you compare what these celebrity weddings cost, our averaging £10,000 to £20,000 for a wedding seems rather on the low side of things.

,I recently went to an engagement party, and a fine affair it was. The party was held in a nice room, and they had a very good DJ, and excellent food; the food was outstanding. Did I mention the foo

This article by Jon Emge was syndicated by the Personal Finance Syndication Network.

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