If you have any weddings left to go to this year you may want to avoid catching the bouquet – unless you have a hefty pile of savings.
The average cost of a wedding has reached its highest-ever level, increasing 21 per cent in the last year to a record £25,090, as venue hire and "mini moons" rack up the bill for the big day.
In a survey of more than 3,000 brides, wedding website Hitched.co.uk found the single biggest expenditure was the venue, setting couples back £3,738 on average and constituting 14.8 per cent of the total cost.
This could be explained by the fact that finding a venue was also ranked as the top priority by brides, above the budget and deciding the guest list.
The second biggest outlay was the honeymoon, at an average cost of £3,366 (13.4 per cent of the budget), followed by food at £3,072 (12.2 per cent).
The rise of "mini-moons"
A burst in popularity for "mini-moons" – i.e. mini honeymoons – is one of the drivers behind the overall increase in wedding costs.
Couples now spend an average of £1,082 on a mini honeymoon in addition to their main newlywed holiday, with the most popular destination for the short trip being Scotland.
In a sign of the times, 60 per cent of brides now say changing their relationship status on Facebook is one of the first things they do after getting married, with six per cent going as far as changing it at the ceremony.
However, in a nod to tradition, almost half of couples still get financial help from their parents and six per cent let the bride's family fully fund the ceremony.