Cost of living crisis forcing wedding cutbacks

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A recent poll suggests that couples are scaling back their wedding plans because of the cost-of-living crisis.


The poll of 2,000 adults who are engaged, or have been recently married, revealed more than half (54%) thought the tough economic landscape was a reason to cut costs on their wedding day. Almost two-thirds (63%) of couples were planning smaller, more sustainable weddings to both protect the planet and their purse strings.

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An estimated 350,000 weddings are set to take place in 2022, with couples choosing pre-owned centrepieces (24%) and, jewellery (16%). One in five (20% ) brides-to-be planned to wear a second-hand gown for their big day.Listings data from selling site Gumtree suggests pre-owned gowns sell for an average of £380.25.

In another money-saving gambit, 25% of women planned to hire their wedding dresses in place of buying new. Some 51% of upcoming grooms plan to buy second-hand outfits or rent, as well as 41% of bridesmaids and groomsmen (52%).

Gumtree, which commissioned the research, said: “Our research shows it’s evident that not even weddings are immune to two of the biggest influences in society right now – climate change and the cost-of-living crisis.”

The survey found couples were saving cash by not hiring a wedding planner (44%), having a friend take photographs (28%) and doing their own hair and makeup (24%). Couples can make further savings by employing the services of a wedding celebrant who can personalise their wedding in a way that a registrar or a member of the clergy never could.

More than one-quarter (27%) planned to get married out of season and one in four (26%) said they would avoid a free bar. Meanwhile, more than 33% planned to make their own decorations,  invitations and 20% intended to bake their own wedding cake.

Wedding guests are also trying to save money. Some would rather avoid weddings at all costs, with 30% admitting they are planning on declining invites to upcoming events citing worries about the environmental impact (50%) or the cost of the occasion (58%).