We’ve been tracking thousands of wedding businesses and couples throughout 2022 and we’ve noticed some key consumer trends that you should be aware of in order to plan your 2023 wedding effectively.
Whether you are at the initial stage of searching for your wedding venue or now down to the finer details like decorations, you'll want to know what to expect while shopping for your wedding this year.
Wedding Date Trends
Throughout the pandemic, we saw the midweek wedding really have its day. While it is clear that some couples are still opting for a midweek date, we’ve seen a big resurgence post-pandemic in couples booking and enquiring for Saturday weddings.
The graph below shows the percentage of couples shopping for and booking weddings over different days of the week.
In 2019, half of the couples marrying opted for a Saturday wedding, whereas in 2022 this increased and 54% of Guides for Brides couples chose to marry on this weekend date.
We've also seen an increase in the number of couples able to book a Saturday during peak summer months, suggesting couples are choosing from a wider range of wedding venues than before, including pubs and restaurants, many of whom have opened up this avenue in a bid to recover money lost during covid closures.
This increase in choice means that couples are confident booking their venue later, which can often lead to discounted rates and special offers from wedding venues keen to sell remaining dates.
Pre-pandemic, the majority of couples planned their weddings over a 12 month period. In 2022, we saw many last minute shoppers who pulled their plans together within 6 months.
How much does a wedding venue cost in 2023?
It’s the first question on every couple’s lips. How much should I be paying for my wedding? Well, generally the venue and the catering costs will take up around 45% the wedding budget. With that in mind, we’ve taken the data we have of wedding venues in the UK and looked at their various costs to find the average.
Of course, the cost of your wedding venue and any packages will largely depend on where you are getting married (for example, a wedding in central London will likely cost more than a wedding in the North West), the number of guests you invite and the level of luxury you opt for. The prices displayed here are a national average.
Wedding Venues with Food and Drink packages
For venues where some of the food, drink and decor is included in the cost of hiring the space, you can expect the cost to be higher.
According to our data, the average cost to book this kind of wedding venue ranges from £4,696.96 for an off-peak, mid-week date to £12,385.99 for a Saturday in the summer. Venues that supplied their “typical” wedding prices charged an average of £7,621.86.
However, couples planning a wedding in a luxury wedding venue will benefit from the greatest savings, with off-peak Monday weddings often available at around £20,000 less than a peak Saturday date, representing a saving of around 33%.
Dry Hire Wedding Venues and Hire Fees
When you choose a dry hire wedding venue or are charged a hire fee, you are paying for the space and facilities only. So these costs will not include food, drink or decor.
According to our data, the peak season, Saturday hire cost for a dry hire wedding venue in the UK averages at £6,120.80. For off-peak, mid-week dates, you can expect to spend around £2,406.29.
If you are hiring a marquee for a wedding at home or a wedding in a rent-my-field location, the national average “typical” cost is £4,103.75.
Per Head Package Prices
Some wedding venues will charge couples based on a cost per head and typically include the venue hire fee, food, a drinks package and staffing.
On average, prices started from £81.29 and went up to £199.67.
This makes the average median £140.48 per head, or £11,238.40 for a wedding of 80 people.
How much is the average couple spending on their wedding?
In 2021, the average cost of a wedding in the UK was £17,500. Recent industry research shows that this average slightly increased to £18,400 in 2022. This is an increase of just over 5.1% year-on-year.
Considering the current economic climate and how that has significantly impacted the cost to run wedding venues, the cost of ingredients and other aspects of the day such as flowers, this is a very modest increase in comparison to the rate of food inflation, which the ONS shows was 16.8% in December 2022, and restaurants which was at 11.3% at the same point.
This shows that wedding venues and suppliers are honouring their agreed costs with couples, despite inflation having a negative impact on their business running costs.
What does this mean for 2023 couples
Despite the economic turmoil, venues are reporting above average enquiry and booking rates for 2023. There are more venues to service this demand, however key dates will still be snapped up more than a year in advance at the most popular venues.
Instead of shopping for discounts, couples are being smarter with how they spend their money, ensuring they are choosing the right suppliers by reading reviews and focusing on the wedding businesses that are delivering exceptional customer care and giving them great value for money, rather than money off.
From the experts
Couples with a very fixed idea of their wedding plans will need to book well in advance and be prepared to pay extra to guarantee a particular menu or flowers, while the industry manages soaring costs and post-Brexit limitations. However, those who can be a little flexible and work with their venue and suppliers, should receive the best value for money and enjoy a stress-free day.