It’s Official: Big White Weddings Are Out, And Elopement Is In

New data shows a rise in elopements

Sophie Turner and Joe Jonas

by Lucy Morris |

Two years ago, I went to a wedding that cost over £170,000.

The bride looked glorious, the groom handsome, the drinks flowed but I couldn’t help but wonder, was this 12-hour affair worth the equivalent of a (large) downpayment on a London flat, or indeed an entire flat elsewhere in the country?

Just like Sophie Turner and Joe Jonas, many couples are shying away from the traditional lavish white wedding a la Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, and eloping instead.

Here are some reasons why that might be the case...

The average cost of a wedding is HUGE

The ceremony I attended was exceptionally lavish, but even so, the average cost of a wedding in the UK is now £30,355!

To put that into context, that’s£1,678more than the median yearly salary. Let that sink in. Imagine not spending a penny for a single year and still needing to save to afford the average wedding.

Between Priyanka Chopra and Nick Jonas’ 18-event wedding and the two royal ceremonies last year, ultra expensive weddings have spurred the equivalent of a nuptial arms race.

Elopement is way cooler

Search trend data offers us some clues as to why people are moving away from huge weddings.

Pinterest reportsthat the big white wedding bubble might have burst as there has been a surge in searches for budget-friendly weddings and elopement photography.

According to the report, interest in intimate affairs has dramatically grown. There’s been a substantial uptake in people looking for back garden weddings (up by 441 per cent), small outdoor wedding ceremonies (up by 94 per cent) and small beach weddings (up by 511 per cent).

You can get married outside now

Thanks to changes to the law now allowing couples in the UK to tie-the-knot outdoors, Pinterest also found that more people are looking for outdoor venues and elopement pictures (up by 128 per cent), particularly those with extraordinary natural backdrops.

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Is the end of the extravagant reception? Unlikely but with the uncertainty of Brexit looming and austerity’s stranglehold on the average salary, perhaps brides and grooms-to-be are finally being more realistic about the excesses of the wedding complex.

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