rising costs, shrinking budgets – how amazing micro weddings help!

rising costs, shrinking budgets - how amazing micro weddings help!

A change in the wedding landscape

Over the past few years, the landscape of weddings has undergone something of a transformation. Many couples opt for less traditional wedding styles, and smaller ‘micro’ weddings and elopements remain as popular as ever. At Cote How, we specialise in small weddings, and have done for years, long before they became as fashionable as they are today. We passionately believe they have something to offer every style and budget!

In this blog, we delve into a few facts and figures that may help explain how couples can tackle rising wedding costs by shrinking their guest list.

Outdoor Barn Wedding Ceremony
Outdoor Barn Wedding Ceremony

The Rising Cost of Living...and Wedding Planning

A survey conducted by Hitch in 2023 revealed that ‘Nearly 1 in 2 couples said the economy had an impact on their wedding budget’ and ‘the average cost of a wedding is £20,700′ (1)

With the rising cost of living affecting us all, it’s not surprising that couples are considering carefully what they are comfortable spending on their wedding, including how many guests to invite.

Last year, Bridebook surveyed over 4000 couples and their research put the average cost of a wedding for less than 50 guests over 12.5k. (2) ‘When planning your wedding, don’t forget that your guest list plays a starring role in the venue selection process. Think of it like casting a play – the more people you invite, the bigger the stage you’ll need to set and the higher the cost.’ (3)

Small Wedding Venue with small wedding barn - Jo Greenfield
Small Barn Weddings - Wedding Table set up at Cote How's rustic Lake District Wedding Barn
A groom gives as speech at his wedding in a lakeland barn

Food for thought… cost effective catering

Catering for your guests takes a big chunk of your wedding budget, so the smaller your guest list, the greater the savings. With this in mind, couples can explore wedding styles with more informal food options. More relaxed food styles may be more cost-effective than a traditional 3-course wedding breakfast with an evening buffet. The same is true of transport. Larger parties mean steeper costs for travel to and from a venue, when couples need to provide coach transfers for example.

real wedding review of Cote How in the Lake District Wedding Venue - March 2024
A wedding party play outdoor games as the sun begins to set

Guests for less – plan a post-wedding party

Couples planning a wedding often consider how the wider financial climate impacts their guests. The Independent put the cost of attending a wedding for the average guest last year at just over £1000 (4) Inviting guests to a wedding that involves staying away from home can be a big ask financially.

Incorporating their wedding into a luxury destination mini-break means the couple combines marrying with a ‘mini-moon’. Friends and wider family are spared the expense of traveling to witness the wedding vows. Instead, they can celebrate with the couple on their return, with a simple, post-wedding party.

Bride and Groom in the meadow behind Cote How after their small wedding
Bride and groom exiting their barn wedding with confetti after their summer lake district wedding at cote how

A Micro Wedding can meal less is more

Choosing a smaller celebration could be a practical solution for couples who need to prioritise to keep costs manageable. A survey of 2,000 UK adults in 2023 on how the cost of living crisis impacted wedding planning found that ‘94% of couples will be cutting back on their wedding costs to save money, and the first thing to go are the guests. ‘Almost half (45%) of those surveyed stated they would cut down on their guestlist in an effort to save money.’ (5)

Bride and Grom dancing on the wedding terrace at Cote How after their summer wedding
Bride and Groom dancing on the terrace at Cote How after their summer wedding

Making budgets go further by staying small

Choosing a smaller wedding isn’t always about saving money. But it can making money budgets go further, stretching to a location or luxury wedding style that isn’t affordable if more guests are invited. Simply put, a micro wedding can mean less is more. More intimate micros can be a conscious choice for a more relaxed and less stressful wedding too. Weekday weddings remain very popular as couples look for better value than the traditionally more expensive Saturday wedding day.

A wedding doesn't have to cost the earth

A ‘non-wedding wedding’ is a phrase we hear more frequently in 2024, as couples allocate their budget differently than the more traditional wedding formula. Intimate ceremonies with a separate party to follow are increasingly popular. The same is true of smaller bridal parties. Couples are also much more mindful of sustainability. Fewer guests are more likely to reduce environmental impact; a wedding that doesn’t cost the earth quite literally.

When the average cost of a UK wedding has more than doubled over the past decade, according to Compare Wedding Insurance, the trend towards eloping or smaller, more intimate micro weddings looks here to stay. (6)

Outdoor barn wedding ceremony in the heart of the Lake District
Outdoor barn wedding ceremony in the heart of the Lake District

Thank you to...

If you are a regular wedding supplier here at Cote How and would like to contribute to our wonderful wedding blog, please get in touch. Huge thanks to our talented recommended photographers for sharing their images with us, specifically Jo Greenfield Photo and Film, Stephen Rhodes Photography, Tom Mc NallyPhotography, Jo Bradbury Photography, Rachel Joyce Photography, StanburyPhotography, Delicious Photography. 

If you would like to know more about our Micro weddings, check out our Micro Wedding styles on our website. To find out more about marrying in our area, contact Kendal Registry Office

Articles referenced:

(1) The National Wedding Survey: The Average UK Wedding in 2023 Updated February 7th 2024;   (2) How Much Does a Wedding Cost? The 2023 UK Average, 7th Feb 2024    (3) Guides for Brides Wedding Expert – https://guidesforbrides.co.uk/wedding-ideas/how-much-do-wedding-venues-cost                      (4) Can’t buy me love? The staggering spend of wedding guests revealed Tuesday 23 May 2023      (5) https://www.fhinds.co.uk/blog/Cost-Of-Living-Crisis-How-Wedding-Plans-Are-Changing      (6) https://www.compareweddinginsurance.org.uk/blog/average-cost-uk-wedding.php


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Further Reading:

A man in a blue suit is playing jenga and it is falling while wedding guests look on laughing - Rising wedding costs and Shrinking Wedding Budgets

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