Wedding Bells ‘ring Up’

04 October 2016

Wedding bells ‘ring up’

  • True wedding cost is almost four-fold(1) the reported cost when guests’ costs are added in
  • Guests can expect to spend north of £400(2) on celebrating the happy couple’s day, more than £500 if they also attend the stag or hen do

Research from Sainsbury’s Bank into the cost of a wedding has revealed that couples who have married in the past five years claim to have spent on average £13,200(2) on their wedding, and those younger hitchers aged between 18-34, who are more likely to be first-timers are spending an average of £21,109.

Analysis of Sainsbury’s Bank’s loans data shows that the average amount borrowed for a wedding, according to borrowers is £8,936.(3)

However, the true cost of the wedding is closer to £52,000(1), when all the expenses – including those incurred by the guests are added together.

On average, guests can spend up to £423(2) on attending a wedding – when all the following expenses are calculated.

Expense Cost (£)
Wedding gift £91
Outfit £91
Accommodation £89
Transport to / from the wedding £50
Shoes £39
Hair / beauty treatments £37
Babysitter £26
Total 423

For those who attend the stag or hen do, an average of £92 can be added to this total, bringing the full wedding-guest experience to over £500.

With the average number of wedding guests now put at around 92(4), this could mean that the true cost of a wedding is well over £52,000 – not including any stag or hen festivities. This is almost four-fold the reported average wedding cost.

Simon Ranson, Head of Banking, Sainsbury’s Bank says: “Our research shows that weddings are expensive for guests as well as the hosts, so planning ahead and budgeting is a must for anyone planning or attending one.

”Loans are a popular way to fund a wedding but credit cards provide another option. For example, there are cards available offering no interest on purchases – including ours which offers 27 months(5).  If you take out one of our cards, make sure you pay the balance off in the promotional period to avoid paying any interest.”

The research(2) showed that paying off a wedding takes on average, four months, rising to a mean of 10 months for 18-34 year-olds. However, 4% of those who had married took one-two years to pay of their wedding, and 3% took two to three years.

Sadly, 6% of those who got married became divorced or separated whilst they were still paying off their wedding, though for 29% who got married then split up, at least the wedding had been paid off by this time. Happily, most respondents were still together.

To find out more about Sainsbury’s Bank loans and credit cards visit


This press release is information for journalists only and is not intended to be a promotion to be acted upon by consumers. Rates and information correct as at 04 October 2016.

Notes to Editors

(1) Average of 92 guests @ £423 = £38,916 + £13,200 (average cost of a wedding in past five years according to our survey).

  1. 92 guests – source  You and Your Wedding  see ref. (4) below
  2. Average wedding costs – source Opinium Research see ref (2) below

(2) Sainsbury’s Bank commissioned Opinium Research to survey 2,001 nationally representative UK adults aged 18+ between 20th – 24th May 2016. Opinium Research is a member of the British Polling Council and abides by its rules

(3) Sainsbury’s Bank loans book data from 1 July 2015 – 31 July 2016; average amount advanced when ‘wedding’ cited in application

(4)  Information from You and Your Wedding January 2015

(5) Sainsbury’s Nectar Purchase Credit Card: 0% interest on purchases for the first 27 months and 0% interest on balance transfers for the first 18 months. 3% balance transfer fee applies. Minimum £3 at all times.  At the end of the promotional period the rate of interest will be 18.9% p.a. variable. Representative example

Purchase rate is With a representative Assumed credit limit
18.95% p.a. variable 18.9% APR variable £1,200


Customers’ interest rate and credit limit will vary depending on their individual circumstances. To keep their promotional rate, customers must pay at least the minimum payment by the due date and stay within their credit limit.

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