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The National Wedding Survey: The Average UK Wedding in 2023

We surveyed over 1,800 couples who married in 2023 to find out what the average wedding looked like, including how much people spent and which venue type was most popular...

Bride and groom at an average 2021 wedding
Unsplash/Jakob Owens

Bride and groom at an average 2021 wedding
Unsplash/Jakob Owens

2022 was the year of the wedding boom, and things kind of returned to 'normal' for weddings in 2023 (whatever 'normal' means!) - so what did the average UK wedding look like in 2023?

We surveyed over 1,800 couples* to find out more about the average UK wedding in 2023 - how does yours match up?

From the average cost of a wedding in the UK to the most popular wedding venue (spoiler - it’s barn wedding venues!), we’ve got everything you need to know about the average UK wedding. 

The Average UK Wedding in 2023

An infographic of the average UK wedding detailing most popular first dance song, number of vendors hired, percentage of couples who went over budget and most popular type of wedding venue

So let's break down the details of an average wedding in 2023 to see what was popular with couples, including any newly emerging wedding trends - but first, here's a snapshot of the average UK wedding:

  • Most Popular Wedding Date of 2024: Monday 23rd September
  • Most Popular Month to Get Engaged: December
  • Most Popular First Dance Song: Can't Help Falling in Love - Elvis Presley
  • Average Number of Wedding Vendors Hired: 10
  • Percentage of Couples That Went Over Budget: 59%
  • Most Popular Type of Wedding Venue: Barns

The Average Cost of a UK Wedding in 2023

According to our survey, the average cost of a wedding is £20,700. This is up 12.5% from 2022, when the average UK wedding cost £18,400.

Whilst guest lists and the number of wedding vendors hired has stayed the same, inflation has caused prices to rise. Essentials such as flowers and fresh ingredients have become more expensive as we navigate through a cost of living crisis, and this has driven an increase in wedding spend.

Wedding spend can also vary with factors such as number of guests in attendance, location and whether or not it's peak wedding season all having an impact on your wedding budget

This doesn’t however take into account the cost of the engagement ring, which costs £2,000 according to our data, and how much couples are planning to spend on their mini-moon or honeymoon (or in the cases of some lucky ducks, both!), which is £4,300. 

We’ve seen over two thirds (70%!) of couples receive money from family and/or friends to help pay for their big day - this is up 7% from the previous year as nearlyweds look for financial support to plan the day of their dreams.

Nearly 1 in 2 couples said the economy had an impact on their wedding budget - causing them to either cut back, or spend more than planned, with 30% increasing their budget at least once during planning.  

Close to two thirds of UK couples (65%) are now spending over £15,000 on their weddings - but it is still possible to get married for £10,000 or less if your wedding budget is tight.

The Average Wedding Planning Couple in 2023

The average age of women getting married in 2023 was 33 years old, whilst men were slightly older at 35.  

A third of couples who married in 2023 met online, with 30% meeting through dating apps and a further 3% meeting through social media. 

Couples are spending between 12-24 months planning their perfect wedding, with 1 in 2 nearlyweds starting their planning with more than a year to go. 63% are saving for a honeymoon alongside their wedding, and over a quarter (24%) are saving for a house, too. 

According to our survey, 62% of couples announced their engagement on social media - and who can blame them? It’s a guaranteed way to get those likes rolling in. Video calls such as FaceTime or Zoom grew in popularity in 2023, with 41% also choosing to break the news that way - up 8% vs. 2022.

As we move away from the pandemic, we've seen a decrease in the amount of couples who have children prior to getting married - this was down 10% to just 19% of couples in 2023. 

What Makes a Wedding in 2023: Traditions & Trends

Bride and groom holding hands during a wedding first look

Kaylee Chelsea Photography

Barns beat hotels to become the most popular type of wedding venue in 2023, with over a fifth of couples choosing to host their wedding reception at a barn or farm venue, showing the rustic wedding trend remains popular.

The American tradition of a wedding first look is growing in popularity, with 17% of couples opting to incorporate this into their big day - that's up 6% from 2022. Wedding websites are also on the up with over half (51%) of UK nearlyweds having them.

Sustainability is also a rising trend - over a quarter of couples made a conscious effort to give out eco-friendly wedding favours or opt for sustainable décor, which is up 7% vs. last year.

Only one in 10 couples committed to a bouquet toss. Another declining trend is also changing your name after marriage - only 60% of marriages in 2023 included a name change according to our data, which is down 19% compared to 2022. 

2023 also saw a new most popular wedding song! Elvis Presley's 'Can't Help Falling in Love' took the top spot from Ed Sheeran, after the King has had something of a major revival in mainstream media. 

Hungry for more data? We break down the average cost of a wedding here. 

*Survey taken of 1,808 U.K. individuals married in 2023. Survey distributed via email and Hitched social channels. Survey conducted throughout November and December 2023 and January 2024.