Red7 , February 1, 2018
2018 will see not one, but two royal weddings (Princess Eugenie also recently announced her engagement to nightclub manager, Jack Brooksbank). But what about the other couples saying, ‘I do’? Here at Red7, we’ve crunched the numbers to predict how many people will get married this year, how much money they’ll spend doing it, and what else it takes to get them down the aisle.
We’ve estimated that there will be 221,169 weddings taking place in England and Wales. The Office of National Statistics has charted a downward trend in the number of marriages happening yearly, so it’s likely the trend will continue into 2018.
On May 19th, the day Harry and Meghan get married, 2,916 other weddings will take place. Looking at marriages on the third Saturday in May between 1995-2014, we found it to be a particularly popular day for a ceremony. Probably because of the lush Spring weather.
Harry and Meghan will make their vows in front of around 800 people in St. George’s Chapel, Windsor. If all the couples getting married in 2018 took a seat in the chapel, they could fill it over 553 times!
Meghan is just one of 221,169 brides in 2018.
On average, a bride chooses three of her closest friends to be bridesmaids, making 663,507 of them this year. Each bridal party will need 4 pairs of shoes, meaning 884,676 pairs will be worn by all the brides and bridesmaids of 2018.
And the average cost of a wedding dress is lower than you might think. With high-street brands focusing on wedding ranges, brides are spending around £832 on their dream dress, according to Lyst, bringing the estimated yearly total to £26,739,332.
“On average, the bride and her party will spend 187.5 minutes having their hair and make-up done”
Whether they like them or not, bridesmaids are spending an average of £208 on their dress. And with three bridesmaids per wedding, friends of the bride will spend a huge combined cost of £138,230,625 on their outfits this year.
It’s not just money that bridesmaids need to give-up for their friend’s wedding. A lot of time is put into getting ready for the big day.
We found, on average, the bride and her party will spend 187.5 minutes having their hair and make-up done. Add up the time of all the bridal parties who need to get ready in 2018, and it would come to 79 years.
We all know weddings can be expensive, but it’s not just the married couple who have to fork out for the big day.
Hen dos are a rite of passage and according to our Red7 data, an average of 12 hens attend each party. They’ll spend around £180 each for activities and accommodation, plus an additional £291 on extras like a new outfit, travel, and food and alcohol.
“For all the money spent by grooms on engagement rings this year, you could buy just 1,949 of Meghan's diamond ring.”
That makes hen parties the biggest wedding expenditure - a total of £1,250,047,188 will be spent on them in 2018!
Engagement rings are another big expense, but generally one is bought per wedding. We found that the average spend on an engagement ring is £1,080 so around £238,862,520 has been spent for all the weddings this year.
It’s estimated that Meghan Markle’s ring cost £122,500, well above average, so for all the money spent by grooms on engagement rings, you could only buy 1,949 of Meghan’s diamond ring.
On the wedding day, an average of 104 guests will attend. And they don’t turn up empty-handed. We reckon £530,805,600 will be spent on wedding gifts in 2018, with the average cost of a couple’s wish list being £2,400.
To toast the bride and groom, each wedding will open 25 bottles of champagne, so everyone there has a glass. For all the weddings happening this year, over 5 million bottles will be popped to wish good luck to the newlyweds.
"The average cost of a post-wedding getaway comes in at £3,360."
Photographers snap about 400 pictures per wedding, meaning a total of 88,467,600 wedding photos will be taken. If you printed them out and lay them side-by-side, they’d stretch 9,974 miles. All the way from Windsor to Australia.
Finally, to top off the celebrations, the couple will jet off on a honeymoon.
With the average post-wedding getaway coming in at £3,360, according to Hitched, we've calculated a total of £802,834,470 spent on honeymoons in 2018. If space travel is more your style, you could spend that money on 4,519 tickets on a space flight instead.
These figures really show the shift in trends for weddings. We’re seeing as much time and thought put into pre-wedding activities as the day itself. With hen parties being one of the biggest expenditures, we’re sure brides will want to plan something really special.
Founder of Red7
We’re searching for Britain’s Best Bridesmaid 2018
Brides from across the UK have been busy nominating their best bridesmaid as part of our annual search.
And we now have our 14 regional finalists!
To celebrate those BFFs who go above and beyond, the lucky winner will get an exclusive 'BridesmaidsMoon' 4 day cruise visiting Bruges and Amsterdam.
Check out all our finalists and their stories below.
All these figures represent an average for couples getting married in England and Wales in 2018. For data sources and calculations click here.