We’re just a bunch of old romantics* at Eureka! HQ so when an old client of ours asked us to update their knowledge of the UK wedding market we just jumped at the chance. The average cost now stands somewhere between £15,000 (Source: Confetti Wedding Statistics 2017) to £25,090 (Hitched Wedding Survey 2016m, which includes cost of the honeymoon).
Our exclusive Eureka! survey, comprising a representative sample of 200 UK adults aged 25 years and over, adds a different perspective to existing research in this sector which tends to be undertaken with only recent brides and grooms. Our broader project with the adult population identified that just under half of this population identify as being married or in a civil partnership and we then focussed in on this audience in more detail.
Our research also identified that around 44% of couples opted for a religious venue of some description, which is around the same proportion that got married at a registry office. That leaves 1 in 7 couples opting for other types of approved venue – which is clearly a growing trend. The Confetti statistics indicates that the most popular of these are (in descending order): hotels, a country house/ manor house, a barn or a castle. The same authors also identify 1 in 10 couples choosing ‘alternative wedding locations’ which includes the garden of a relative or friend, local zoo, railway station or iconic building.
Anecdotally, stakeholders in this sector have told us that couples are extending their wedding venue searches geographically too. This trend has been exacerbated by the Church of England now allowing couples to marry in churches they have little association with as long as they can establish a ‘qualifying connection’ with that parish. This potentially allows more people to pursue more idyllic churches which perhaps feature in films or have been used by celebrities. Perfect Facebook material!
Our exclusive research however reveals that married couples opt for a venue which is on average just 11 miles away from their home. Indeed, 15% of people got married very locally, just 1 mile away from their home. Interestingly, our findings also reveal that the habit for staying relatively local is particularly the case for alternative venues, such as hotels and country houses, with an average distance of just 7 miles. In our sample, just 7% of couples got married abroad although we know this is now a growing trend (ONS estimates provide an approximate figure of around 15% per annum).
Although our data included both recent and older marriages, the results suggest that a considerable number of couples opt for a wedding relatively close to their home. We can surmise that this makes travel and practical arrangements easier and also allows couples to search, visit and then choose venue that they are already more familiar with. More detailed ‘customer journey’ work would be needed to unpick the steps that engaged couples go through when making that all important venue choice.
*Unverified by our wives