By Cecilia Rydberg
Along with being one of the happiest days of your life, a wedding is an occasion for moral dilemmas, financial woes and two or ten tantrums. When a marriage was a matter of economic opportunity and yes, also often a matter of love, it was standard that the family of the bride pay a dowry to the groom and his family – a payment of sorts for the bride’s future habitation with the man in question.
However, in more contemporary times, the dowry has evolved to a responsibility shift in the form of the parents of the bride paying for the wedding and all the costs that go along with it. Yet, why should the parents of the bride dole out the cash? Well surprisingly, this tradition is no longer in the majority in the UK.
Pass the Buck
In the UK it is found that roughly 52% of couples nowadays pay for the expense of their wedding festivities, and this change, head of commercial at John Lewis Insurance says “may have come about because weddings are getting more expensive, meaning people are less willing to burden the bride’s parents with the whole cost. It might also be that the increasing age of marrying couples has given them greater financial independence.”
Average Cost of a Wedding
According to the popular go-to website weddingguideuk.com, the average cost of a wedding lands on around £11,000. “My husband and I paid for the wedding ourselves and I’d say the average cost is between 5000 to 7000 for a ‘normal’ wedding,” says Wiveka Eklund, a native of Sweden. “But in Sweden I think the trend is much the same as in England, it is about financial stability and whether you have the means to fund your own wedding or if you fall back on tradition, and let the parents of the bride (or groom) pay for the party.”
Splurge or Spend
For the couple that do not or cannot rely on their parents to dip into saving for financing their wedding some necessary steps need to be taken to come to a conclusion on how best to save, what to prioritise in terms of dress, venue, catering and so on, and when to spend!
Ways to save can be asking yourself the question of what can you do yourself; is it an option to make the invitations by hand, with a little home-made creative flair, is that something you would as a couple be able to take on in order to save a few hundred pounds? Do you need a traditional 7-tiered white cake? “My bridesmaids paid for their own dresses, I do not know if this is unorthodox, but it is something they offered to do and my wallet was grateful,” says Chatz Fernando who had a beach wedding in Sri Lanka.
Priorities vary from couple to couple, the venue and dress may be the most important to some and therefore couples might be more willing to cut back on the material expenses in order to snag their dream location. Having a good plan of action for the wedding, might as unromantic as it sounds, help make the transition into the marriage smoother.