Average spend for UK weddings reached an all-time high in 2018 at a staggering £30,355. That’s a whopping 12% rise on the previous year. With the huge investment couples make in their big day, it’s safe to say the pressure is high and perfection expected.
Despite the huge costs, our recent survey of over 1000 married couples revealed that 59% of Brits regret how their wedding played out, with 1 in 3 Brits going as far as to say they hated theirs. With this finding in mind, we set out to discover what the most stressful things are about weddings and the best advice for ensuring your ‘I do’s are smooth sailing.
The Nation’s Biggest Wedding Day Stresses
If our survey responses are anything to go by, tying the knot isn’t always all it’s cracked up to be. And without wanting these to be our famous last words, we wanted to know: what could go wrong?
Our research revealed that one in ten (11%) of people were let down by the weather, ten percent were so stressed they couldn’t enjoy themselves and seven percent just ended up being too drunk. Our respondents were brutally honest with us, with 6% stating their big day was boring, and the same number saying the that the speeches and the food were just awful.
One in 20 even said they wished they’d chosen a better person to become their husband or wife!
Guests also seemed to be a huge stress point. From getting drunk (14%) to rows at the reception (6%), there’s no surprise that one in ten respondents wished they’d just eloped instead.
Here’s the full rundown of wedding stressors as revealed by our survey:
- Managing budgets (37 percent)
- Table plans (19 percent)
- Choosing the dress (18 percent)
- Dealing with your parents (16 percent)
- Dealing with your partner’s parents (16 percent)
- Booking the venue (16 percent)
- Creating the wedding collateral - order of service, invites, table plan, place cards etc. (15 percent)
- Confirming the wedding party - best man, maid of honour etc. (14 percent)
- Writing the speeches (14 percent)
- Chasing the RSVPs (13 percent)
- Working around the weather (12 percent)
- Catering for different dietary requirements (10 percent)
- Choosing a hair and make-up artist (10 percent)
- Wedding gift list (9 percent)
- First song (9 percent)
- Getting your partner to agree to everything (9 percent)
- Worrying about being left at the altar (7 percent)
What Are the Bride and Groom’s Biggest Concerns?
Perhaps unsurprisingly for those who have already celebrated their wedding, the bride and groom aren’t on the same page when it comes to wedding woes. 21% of women worried about their dress, whereas an eighth fretted over their hair and makeup.
For the groom, a quarter of men worried most about writing their speeches. And if you were expecting help from the best man, think again – 15% of respondents said they’d have changed their bridesmaids and groomsmen if given the chance second time around!
Thankfully, these nightmares were short lived; 76% said their wedding day went by in a flash.
Is Planning the Problem?
It’s a well-known fact that planning a wedding can be stressful. Our results supported this as 1 in 3 respondents admitted to arguing with their betrothed about the ceremony or reception.
The financial side of the big day appeared to be the main cause of this marriage mayhem, with 37% stating managing budgets was their top planning problem. This was followed by table plans (19%) and choosing the perfect dress (18%).
We also found that 16% said they hated dealing with their partner’s parents, the same amount struggled to settle on a venue and a pessimistic 7% were worried about their partner getting cold feet at the last minute.
How to Have a Stress-Free Wedding (from the People Who’ve Been There)
There’s no need to panic if you’re reading this as a newly engaged couple; the best part about listening to what went wrong for others means you know what to expect and how to avoid trouble.
In our survey, we also wanted to know what advice married Brits would give to those about to tie the knot. 39% said they would tell future brides and grooms to remember that they can’t please everyone and more than a third (35%) added that it only matters what you and your future husband want.
They say you can’t pick your family – and our survey responses advise you don’t invite the people you don’t want to come (30%). And don’t let the guests you do invite dictate whether or not you have a free bar; 17% say it’s okay not to have one!
If you’re guilty of enviously scrolling through Facebook and Instagram, 16% of respondents recommend ignoring it.
27% would like to remind brides and grooms to be that there are always things you can’t control, and to expect the unexpected (17%).
Is It Worth It?
So, for better or for worse, is getting married really worth it? Only 7% said they would recommend not getting married at all. A whopping 87% are glad they went through with it and 64% said they’d do it all again if they had the chance!
Despite the stresses and concerns we may have about our wedding day, it’s important to remember that there are some things that are just out of our control. It can be difficult to plan a day that lives up to everyone’s (including your own) expectations, but as long as you and your future partner are happy, that’s all that matters – it’s your day after all!
There are certain things you can do to reduce these stress points – namely, planning. We’ve created a 14-month wedding plan to help you make sure you know what you need for your big day and when you need to get it. From picking out your rings to ordering wedding invitations, we’ve got you covered.
We’re also dedicated to offering a stress-free printing service, where anyone can order custom wedding stationery no matter their experience. We’ve recently introduced a brand new wedding range, so you’ve got everything you need to make your big day special without the huge cost.
No design experience? Check out our free wedding design templates here. You can create and customise print online using our free tool today.