As someone who always has a wedding or three to attend, I find this news quite hard to believe. But when you consider that the average cost of a tying the knot is £20,000, it should come as no surprise to learn that credit-crunched couples are opting to put the idea of marriage on the back-burner, and are instead ploughing their hard-earned cash into other day-to-day essential, like food. And video games consoles!
Marriage rates in the UK are at their lowest since records began, having dropped by 34% since 1981. Reasons cited for the drop have included the abolition of tax breaks for married couples, and dwindling church congregations. But to me, it raises several questions about why people choose to get married in the first place — and suggest that for most of us it’s about far more than that true love and lifelong commitment stuff.
Revealingly, I think, the stats suggest that we really do want all the paraphernalia that comes with it: the dress, the food and an almighty party. And if we can’t have it – we don’t want to bother! Why go to all that effort if you’ll be compromising on what dress or honeymoon you want, and you know that you can’t afford the wedding you’ve always dreamed of?
But I say, don’t be put off, as far from being a sad and depressing affair, ‘budget’ weddings can be lovely, and I can certainly vouch for the fact that some of the most memorable ones I’ve attended have turned out to have cost the least. This is partly because expectations will always be set perilously high when you’ve over-spent, so a lower-key affair will often be a lot more enjoyable for all concerned. So if you want to get married now, there’s no need to wait until you can afford a pricier, more stressful and possibly even less personal wedding in a few years’ time. Check out our Budget Brides’ guide to surviving the credit crunch for some tips on how you can do it, and avoid becoming part of the downward wedding trend!