My Big Fat Purple Wedding

Wedding industry surveys have always raised a quizzical eyebrow with me. I’m sharing this wedding report from Confetti because my eyebrows practically flipped over the top of my head when I read it. And I’m asking – do you believe these stats?! Will you be wearing purple, marrying a surgically-enhanced groom and having a Twilight themed big day? The report is an eye-opener, and offers a little insight into the wedding industry too – this survey is all about brides with barely a nod in the direction of grooms despite leading men’s wedding website I Am Staggered reporting this month that contrary to popular belief, Men Do Do Weddings!

My Big Fat Purple Wedding… really?!

  • The 2013 Wedding Report released by leading wedding website lifts the veil on what the perfect wedding day looks like for the nation’s brides.
  • Death of the traditional white church wedding as reality TV and the colour purple leads bridal trends.
  • Rise of the ‘super groom-ed’ – as a staggering number of men undergo pre-nuptial cosmetic improvements.

If you’re attending a wedding this year, chances are the bride and groom will be wearing purple and 2013’s fairytale wedding WON’T be in a church. What’s more, statistics suggest it will be the GROOM who will have a wedding makeover, as pre-nuptial cosmetic improvements for men increase in popularity.

As wedding season approaches, leading bridal website has unveiled its annual national wedding report, which has surveyed over 2,000 brides in the UK to show exactly what today’s blushing bride is looking for in her big day.

Commissioned to identify current trends in weddings, the report has revealed that the traditional white wedding is no more. In fact, the wedding you attend could be a big fat, gypsy one with the majority of brides (25%) stating that reality TV is their biggest inspiration when it comes to their big day. That’s right, don’t expect the Kate Middleton effect to have any impact on 2013’s bride with just 1.4% opting for a big white wedding. You’re more likely to be seeing purple, with the colour being adopted by one in five of today’s brides.

The themes that the modern bride is opting for have also seem to have been influenced by the nations’ telly habits. The likes of Downton Abbey and Kirstie’s Vintage Home appear to be inspiring women, as one in seven brides to be are opting for a vintage theme for their big day although bright, English Fete and even Carnival made the top five choices.

And although there are some 300,000 couples set to tie the knot this year, results have found that vicars needn’t get hot under the dog collar. It seems that church weddings are out of favour, with 60% of brides opting for a civil ceremony elsewhere. The rise in church prices could be attributed to the decline in church weddings, with close to one in ten brides considering that the traditional choice of venue is too expensive.

What’s more, in a further break from tradition, all eyes will be on the GROOM rather than the bride, with more men than women undergoing beauty and cosmetic procedures to improve their wedding day look. In fact, results suggest that while the wedding might not be white, the groom’s teeth definitely will be – with a whopping 90% choosing teeth whitening treatments or veneers to improve their pearly whites. A huge 50% will also ditch the beer and burgers, going on a diet in the run up to the big day. And it doesn’t just stop at the groom, 25% of best men will consider opting for botox treatments.

Kate Thompson, wedding expert and agony aunt at, said: “While some trends will never change, it seems the traditional white church wedding has made way for a new type of nuptials for 2013’s brides. Dita Von Teese got married in purple and it would appear that she is not alone in her break from convention!

“With purse strings a little tighter than they may have been in the past I think people are getting more inventive with their wedding plans, hence the trend towards vintage and the DIY look. And the rise in popularity of couples asking for contributions to the honeymoon simply allows more money to be spent on the big day itself, which personally, I think is a great idea!”

“It’s also interesting to see that the groom is taking the preparations for his big day just as seriously as the bride! With all eyes on every aspect of the big day, including the groom, metrosexual males can now make the most of the growing beauty treatments available to them with a wedding makeover.”

The Wedding Report looks at all areas of planning and organisation including time of year, honeymoons, ceremony, wedding favours and stationery and gifts. As a result, has compiled this picture of the perfect 2013 wedding day, according to brides surveyed.

  • Time – the majority of brides will get married on a Saturday (a whopping 60%) and the most popular day to tie the knot will be 3rd August.
  • Planning and cost – on average, the wedding will take one year and four months to plan and cost between £5,000 – £10,000 – half the average cost pre-recession in 2008.
  • Wedding party – we may have 319 Facebook friends, but the average wedding guest number is just 75.
  • Age and relationship length – the majority of happy couples, will both be aged 28 and will have been together for 3.5 years.
  • While the average bride is nearing her thirties, it seems she isn’t in a rush to realise her perfect day, only 15% feeling any sort of pressure to get married.
  • Future plans – the urgency to have babies certainly isn’t one reason to tie the knot, as one in four brides will already have their very own little bridesmaid or page boy to walk down the aisle with them.
  • With priorities changing and house prices rising year on year, the number of couples getting married over the age of thirty has risen 13% since 2012.
  • Unusual themes – the majority of brides may be influenced by reality TV, but popular film still gets a look in, with a blood-thirsty 5% of brides opting for a Twilight themed wedding! Other popular and more unusual venues include zoos, barns and a council house.
  • Gifts – the average bride expects her guests to spend just £30 on a wedding gift! Plus, although most brides will opt for the traditional wedding gift list, 1 in 4 couples will be requesting cold hard cash.
  • Celebrity Wedding Planner – with DIY details and vintage chic in high demand, craft queen Kirstie Allsopp tops the chart of celebs that brides would most like to plan their wedding, beating the likes of Pippa Middleton to top spot.
  • Honeymoon – Most couples will be jetting off to Europe, as the continent remains the favourite choice for 1 out of 5 newlyweds, with the average bride spending £1,000 – £2,000 on the trip.
  • Hen Party plans – Over one third of brides will enjoy a UK trip or spa break. However, a new trend for a more low key event is emerging as close to one third (31%) of brides will opt for a nice meal at a restaurant with friends.
  • Gift list – One in five brides will have a traditional gift list, but a more popular choice seems to be asking for cash or a contribution towards honeymoons savings. What’s more, the average bride only expects each of her guests to spend between £10 and £30 on her.
  • Wedding Party Gifts – 26 % of brides will buy their wedding party an item of jewellery to say thank you, with a further 26% opting for personalised thank you gifts.
  • Picture perfect – After the venue and the dress, photography is the most important aspect of the big day to today’s average bride.

The Wedding Report is available to view in full at

Claire Gould

Claire spends her days writing - either in beautiful calligraphy or online. She lives on the edge of the English Lake District only minutes away from the beach, where she loves to escape and unwind. Claire's calligraphy can be found at Claire launched the English Wedding Blog in November 2009 - it's been a top 10 UK wedding blog ever since, with a regional focus we hope you LOVE.



  • Bernadette
    7 years ago

    hmmm I think the trouble with surveys is they are only as good as the couples that completed said survey. i,e demographics plays a HUGE part on the end results.

    For example a survey done by Liene at Think Splendid noted that 49% of UK brides in 2012 had a budget of $11-$30k (approx.£7k – £19.7k)

    I have noticed a few of my clients are having smaller weddings this year (50-75 guests) but inviting a lot more in the evening (130-200), this has been a change from previous years where clients just invited the same number to the day & evening which was circa 130 guests.

    But dear god, please lets not go back to cadbury purple weddings like when I started 10 years ago 🙂

    • Claire Gould
      7 years ago

      Brilliant comment Bernadette, I agree completely about the stats – it’s the same if you look at the checklists in major wedding magazines – they all say something different when it comes to average budgets and suggested spend per item on your wedding day. I take it all with a hefty pinch of salt!

      There’s bound to be a huge variation by region as well.

      As for the purple… I remember it well. (Perhaps we spent too much time on Hitched forum in the good old yellow and purple days hey?!)

      Claire x

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