Planning a Wedding?

Planning a Wedding – will you have enough to pay for it?

Planning a wedding

While it’s meant to be the happiest day of your life, it’s likely that your nuptials will also be the most expensive 24 hours you’ll ever have as the average cost of a UK wedding hit an all-time high last year.

According to a new survey of 2,000 recently married couples, the average cost of a UK wedding has dropped this year to £17,674 down 1.3% from last year.

The data collected by Bazaar wedding magazine demonstrates how ridiculously expensive nuptials are becoming with the biggest elements on average being venue hire (£6,539) and the food (£5,187). The cost of a honeymoon is on top at £4,875 on average.

Similarly, the average cost of an engagement ring now stands at £2,084, up 17.6 per cent from three years ago. London couples spend the most on theirs shelling out £3,133 while couples from the Midlands spent £1,810. According to research by online shopping destination Lyst, women are splashing out an average of £832 for their bridal gown, which is down 20 per cent from £1,112 last year.

It also turns out that contrary to tradition, parents are no longer the sole financial contributors for the big day as 51 per cent of couples pay for it with little help from family members, while 32 per cent find it entirely by themselves.

Parents can help pay for the wedding by making a gift for a wedding using the ‘annual exemption’ of £3,000 each. You can carry any unused annual exemption forward to the next year – but only for one year. Each tax year, you can also give away: wedding or civil ceremony gifts of up to £1,000 per person (£2,500 for a grandchild or great-grandchild and £5,000 for a child).

Traditionally, the parents of the groom take care of a few of the expenses including: the marriage license, officiant’s fee, corsages, boutonnieres, the bride’s bouquet, groomsmen gifts, liquor, and the reception DJ, band or other musical entertainment. And the bride’s parents pay for everything else.

Obtaining financial advice is key when considering the above costs as we assist allowances for example. Typically, we work with the whole family and also help the happy couple to start thinking about their own financial planning as they build a future together. Such as saving up a deposit to buy their first home.

Typically, saving to buy your first home involves saving money using, for example, the new Lifetime ISA and the Government will boost your savings by 25% up to a maximum of £1,000 per year. You must be 18 or over but under 40 to open a Lifetime ISA. You can put in up to £4,000 each year, until you’re 50. You can hold cash or stocks and shares in your Lifetime ISA, or have a combination of both.

When you turn 50, you will not be able to pay into your Lifetime ISA or earn the 25% bonus. Your account will stay open and your savings will still earn interest or investment returns.

We also provide mortgage and protection advice to help you secure the purchase of your home. The key point being that you should always obtain independent advice to ensure you get the best deal that’s right for you.

Usually, the initial meeting or conversation with a financial adviser will be to establish what your needs are and this is usually free. Richmond House Wealth Management has specialist knowledge and are always available to answer your questions.

This information is provided strictly for general consideration only. No action must be taken or refrained from based on its contents alone. Accordingly, no responsibility can be assumed for any loss occasioned about the content hereof and any such action or inaction. Professional advice is necessary for every case.

John Merrifield.

Dip PFS, Cert (CII) MP.