You’re not alone: how couples are planning their weddings in the cost of living crisis

Published by Claire Gould on

An interesting survey landed in our inbox a little while ago, and we wanted to share it with you. It’s ok not to be ok when the world around us is crumbling – and if you’re worried about planning your wedding and how much it will all cost, you’re absolutely not alone.

Weddings are expensive. But as we’ve said many times on English Wedding, we don’t believe the ‘average wedding budget‘ figures you’ll see in so many wedding publications.

Every couple is different. The Covid pandemic showed us how resilient we can be! We’ve learned it’s ok to scale back weddings in times of crisis. It’s ok to celebrate small, or to marry now and party later. And it’s ok to be in love without being married at all. There are so many options for weddings and marriage in 2022 – a ‘big wedding’ isn’t the only choice you have.

A study sent in by Smile Direct Club claims 44% of British couples will cut their wedding budget due to the cost of living crisis. Here’s an extract from their press release:

“7th September 2022, London: Wedding season is in full swing, and marriages are on the rise again after the pandemic*, but a new study into British couples planning to get married in the next three years can reveal that half (44%) of newlyweds-to-be have drastically reduced their wedding budget due to the current cost of living crisis.

“When asked what their biggest concern is for the big day itself, having to be in lots of photos came up top, with 73% worrying about how their pictures will turn out. Perhaps unsurprisingly, 32% of people said that the photography is the most important item they will spend their budget on.”

If you’re worried about the cost of your wedding:

  • Try not to borrow money
  • Talk, as a couple, and share your worries
  • Scale back on numbers
  • Think about changing your date
  • Have a break from the wedding media (magazines, blogs, tv)
  • Consider a micro wedding
  • Know that elopements are a pretty awesome alternative to big weddings
  • Look forwards: weddings are optional! Being married is why you’re doing this
  • Talk to your suppliers and be honest and open about your budget, especially if it changes
  • Ask friends and family to help you make decor items
  • Borrow plants, plates, even outfits – embrace the thrifty wedding trend!


The study from SmileDirectClub, the oral care company with the first medtech platform for teeth straightening, shows that people are making big savings by culling guest numbers (34%), cancelling/delaying their honeymoon (27%), offering a buffet rather than a sit down three-course meal (19%) or even asking guests to bring a bottle to the evening reception (10%).

However, not only have wedding day wallets taken a hit, so has the confidence levels of future brides and grooms, with two in five survey respondents admitting they feel self-conscious about their looks ahead of the big day, so much so that one in five start fretting about their wedding day appearance the day they get engaged. Weight topped the poll with 50% saying this was their main worry, followed closely by teeth (36%) and smile (30%).”

Respondents to this particular survey were planning to spend a huge amount of money on their personal appearance. As with any bit of research, we always consider the context of people’s responses. We don’t know if Smile Direct Club only asked their own potential customers, or if they reached out to a wider group for their research.

We’ve written about weddings, wedding stress and mental health here before. Planning a wedding at any time can be stressful; with added pressures there can be an impact on mental health, and we’d urge you to seek professional help if you’re struggling. Spending a vast amount of money on your appearance can often be a symptom of something deeper; and it’s rarely the solution. Having a positive body image doesn’t come from splashing out on ‘fixing’ how you look; it comes from accepting and appreciating who you are.

Header image by Sofia Hernandez on Unsplash

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.


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