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Over half of couples are scaling back wedding plans due to cost-of-living crisis

Nearly two-thirds of couples are planning smaller, more sustainable weddings – including buying second-hand or renting wedding gowns and suits

Around 350,000 nuptials will take place in 2022

Image: Kaveh Kazemi/Getty Images)

Couples are scaling back their wedding plans due to the cost-of-living crisis – and even opting for second-hand gowns and suits, a study has found.

The poll of 2,000 adults who are engaged, or have been married in the last decade, revealed more than half (54%) cite the tough economic landscape as a reason to cut corners on their big day.

And almost two-thirds (63%) of couples are planning smaller, more sustainable weddings, to protect both the planet – and their purse strings.

An estimated 350,000 nuptials are set to take place in 2022, with couples choosing preloved centrepieces (24%), jewelery (16%) and even wedding dresses (20%).

The study revealed a further one in five (20%) soon-to-be brides plan to wear a second-hand gown for their big day.

But over half of couples will look to cut costs on their big day, including by making their own decorations


Kevin Sullivan/Digital First Media/Getty Images)

Listings data from circular economy platform Gumtree has shown those who choose pre-loved wedding dresses could snap them up for an average of £380.25.

It also emerged a quarter of brides-to-be (24%) are taking a page out of Carrie Johnson’s book, and renting their wedding dresses in place of buying new.

And it’s not just brides, as over half (51%) of upcoming grooms plan to buy pre-loved outfits or rent – ​​as do 41% of bridesmaids, and 52% of groomsmen.

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Hannah Rouch, chief customer officer at Gumtree, who commissioned the research, said: “Our research shows it’s evident that not even weddings are immune to two of the biggest influences in society right now – climate change, and the cost-of-living crisis .

“I’d encourage anyone with an upcoming wedding to immerse themselves in second-hand sites as an easy way to find inspiration and some pre-loved alternatives.”

The study found that other ways spouses-to-be are saving the pennies include ditching the wedding planner (44%), having a friend as the photographer (28%), and doing their own hair and makeup (24%).

More than a quarter (27%) plan to get married out of season, and 26% will forget about a free bar in an effort to keep the costs down.

And more than a third (34%) are getting creative and plan on making their own decorations – with a fifth even making their own wedding cake (19%).

Wedding guests are also making decisions to save their wallet, and the planet.

With the average person expected to attend three weddings over the next 12 months, it’s estimated they will spend a whopping £367 per wedding – not to mention traveling over 200 miles to get there.

One in five even plan to make their own wedding cake


Leon Neal/Getty Images)

To lessen the burden, more than a third (36%) of guests plan to share the car, recycle a pre-owned outfit (34%), or buy their outfit second-hand (21%).

And a fifth (21%) of those polled, via OnePoll, plan on giving a donation to charity in lieu of a new, expensive gift from a registry.

However, some would rather avoid weddings at all costs – with 30% admitting they are planning on declining invites to upcoming events, citing worries about the environmental impact (50%) or the cost of the occasion (58%).

For couples that have already tied the knot, over a quarter (27%) would encourage those getting married today to consider the environmental aspects of their big day, while 23% wish they had had a smaller, more intimate wedding.

A further 25% say they would rather have spent their funds on travelling, a house deposit (23%), and paying off the mortgage (22%) or bills (20%).

Hannah Rouch, from Gumtree, added: “It’s wonderful to see that, as a result of this, couples are coming into their own creatively.

“This could be by getting hands-on and making their own cakes and decorations, or being savvy and choosing options that will be kind to the environment and their budget.”

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