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How much does a wedding truly cost?

How much does a wedding truly cost?

Wedding season is upon us and we enjoyed the inauguration in style, with the heavily publicised and very elaborate royal wedding between Prince Harry and Meghan Markle. From start to finish, the nuptials were akin to a fairy-tale, down to the venue and the dress. And, rumour has it that the royal wedding cost over £2 million, which is over 100 times as much as the national average, which is approximately £17,000. But, how much does a wedding truly cost and can you achieve the same look and feel for much less?

Chill Money created an infographic that looked at how much it would cost to emulate the stars on their dream wedding day. It’s all a bit of fun, but it’s interesting to see how far stars would go on their dream day to make a real statement. Check out the infographic below:

Matri money infographic


It’s nice if you have that much money to spend on your wedding, but if you don’t, you shouldn’t risk bankruptcy just for your special day.

So, in this article, I’m going to attempt to break up the cost and see whether we can replicate the look and feel of a celebrity wedding for the fraction of the money.

The venue

Once you have set your budget, the date and finding a venue go hand in hand shortly afterwards. You can’t find a venue if you don’t have a date set and you can’t set that date if the venue isn’t available on that day. So, I would suggest starting with the venue as the first major thing to cross off your list. Large castles and churches are quite popular amongst celebrities but can carry a hefty price tag. But, if you do your research you will be able to find venues that offer all-inclusive packages, that can cover the food and entertainment. Hotels offer wedding packages and even a DJ for an extra few pounds per head, so shop around and make sure you find a location that works for your most important guests and which can accommodate everyone. My husband and I got married at a hotel in Wimbledon and they catered too, so we managed to score a package deal and save money overall.

The attire

The attire at the wedding

The second important item to check off your list is the wedding gown and bridesmaids’ dresses, which require a few weeks in advance at the very least for fittings and measurements. Dita Von Teese went for a deep purple taffeta gown designed by Vivienne Westwood that cost €100,000 while Kate Middleton went for a custom-made lace gown by Sarah Burton for Alexander McQueen for a whopping €363,809. Wedding dresses do not have to cost that much these days. There are tons of independent stores that offer beautiful elegant gowns for up to £3,000. If you are struggling to afford a dress that is in the thousands, look for sample sales or small high street independent stores. You will be able to find a diamond in the rough for just a few hundred.

Hair, makeup and accessories

Hair, makeup and accessories - wedding

It’s important for the bride to feel like she looks her best on her special day, but sometimes this can become quite costly. It is speculated that Meghan Markle spent €11,400 to achieve her flawless look while Catherine Zeta-Jones donned a €300,000 diamond tiara for her wedding to Michael Douglas! There’s no need to spend six figures on a hairstyle, smokey eye or wedding accessory when you have perfectly good enough hair and makeup artists and independent stores that sell very lavish jewellery for much less. For wedding accessories, it helps to touch and feel them rather than order online, so you know what you’re buying. Try and get recommendations from previous brides in relation to hair and makeup and create a price comparison chart. Who provides more bang for their buck? You can save a lot of money if you do your research.

The honeymoon

The honeymoon - wedding

After the wedding, Kim and Kanye spent €25,000 a night at a luxury 5-star hotel in Ireland, but you don’t have to spend that much for a great honeymoon. There are tons of great honeymoon travel deals now on the net all you have to do is find them. I just did a search on Google and found a lavish 7-night stay in Mauritius for just £919 per person, which also includes a free upgrade to the deluxe room and the flights too! A far cry from €25,000!

It’s great to watch the elaborate overpriced celebrity weddings on TV, but in real life, if it’s not in your budget to splurge then it’s advisable to not remortgage your house for your special day. Do your research, get some recommendations and shop around, so you’re getting the best value for the best price. There’s no reason to skimp on quality just because it doesn’t cost a million pounds!

What tips do you have to save money on your wedding costs? Share your tips in the comments below or via social media using the hashtag #MatriMoney

How much does a wedding truly cost - motherhooddiaries
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Leyla Preston (525 Posts)

Leyla Preston is the owner and Editor of Motherhood Diaries global magazine for parents. Leyla is a busy mother of two even busier boys; Aron, 5, and Aidan, 4. When Leyla isn’t feeding, managing a gazillion tasks or cleaning the infinite mess at home, she is busy working on this magazine and a new cooking channel coming very soon – no rest for the wicked! You can follow Leyla on Twitter (@M_Diaries) or join the busy Motherhood Diaries Facebook group where all mums get together and share stories and solutions with one another: https://www.facebook.com//groups/motherhooddiaries/