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Whopping wedding bills – take three years to pay off

We don’t expect William and Kate to have this problem, but the average couple will take nearly three years to pay off their big day. According to research by R3, the insolvency trade body, newlyweds take an average 33 months to pay off their wedding bills. 

Young couples are most likely to spend the most, with one in five (20%) 18-24 year olds revealing they spent over £10,000 on their wedding. Of those in the 25-34, 35-44, and 55-64 age range just 9% spent more than £10,000. Only 7% of 45-54 year olds exceeded £10,000, meanwhile none of the over 65 newlyweds polled spent more than £2,500 on their wedding.

To pay for the wedding, many couples borrow from family or take out additional credit cards or loans. 36% of respondents borrow money from family and friends to pay for their big day, with nearly half (45%) of 18-24 year olds saying the borrowed money from loved ones to cover the costs of their nuptials.
The average amount borrowed is five thousand pounds, although seventeen percent of respondents who took out a loan to pay for their wedding borrowed more than ten thousand pounds. One couple polled revealed they were sold a loan with a policy that would run the length of their mortgage. Saying it was the only way they would be able to afford the repayments. They were happy with their decision because they wanted the ‘best’ day.

France Coulson comments:
“At the moment consumers are tightening their purse strings, but it seems that weddings are the one event where people don’t rein in their spending. As we’ve seen with the atmosphere surrounding the royal wedding, the British love wedding celebrations, it seems regardless of the costs. William and Kate have left nothing out of their ceremony, with special details and arrangements and so do other couples up and down the country. Many people say they want the best day money can buy, but unfortunately most don’t have the money and can’t afford it.

“The length of time it will take for many couples to pay off their wedding bills is alarming as it means these newly-weds enter married life saddled with large debt that last longer than the wedding cake - leaving them unable to plan for their future. Regrettably, many couples feel pressured by family and society into spending more on their wedding than they can easily afford. It is important to remember that your wedding day should be about making a life-long commitment to your partner, not creditors.”

For further information please contact:
Charlotte Towerton, R3 External Communications Officer
t: 020 7566 4203  m: 07918 161 291 e:
Addy Frederick, R3 Communications Officer
t: 020 7566 4217  m: 07825 679 462 e:

R3 Press Office

Notes to editors:

  • R3 is the trade body for Insolvency Professionals and represents the UK’s Insolvency Practitioners.

  • R3 comments on a wide variety of personal and corporate insolvency issues. Contact the press office, or see for further information.

  • R3 promotes best practice for professionals working with financially troubled individuals and businesses; all R3 members are regulated by recognised professional bodies
  • R3 stands for 'Rescue, Recovery, and Renewal' and is also known as the Association of Business Recovery Professionals.