Bride’s parents still expected to foot the bill for wedding, says Nationwide

08 May 2013

Planning a wedding is never easy and for many the biggest hurdle is FUNDING!

While Christine Bleakley, Frank Lampard and Jennifer Aniston and Justin Theroux have not put their weddings on hold due to cash flow issues(!) according to Nationwide research many people are considering putting their plans on hold or even not getting married at all due to the cost of funding their big day

According to Nationwide Building Society just under a third (29%) of couples rely or will rely on the bride’s parents to pay for their wedding, whilst 27% are considering or have considered not getting married at all due to the cost of the big day.

Those who do not rely on the bank of Mum and Dad which is just over two thirds (68%), will pay for the wedding themselves (62%), whilst 16% will rely on credit cards or loans.

With the average wedding costing £21,939* it is no surprise people are struggling to fund their big day and are having to make sacrifices and put plans on hold to be able to celebrate in style.

Some of the purchases people put off include:

  • 29% put off holidays and travel
  • 14% put off starting a family until a later date
  • 12% put off buying a house
  • 12% postpone buying a car

What are people looking at proactively doing to keep costs down? Those with an eye for a bargain are taking a DIY approach to their weddings to save money, for example:

  • Over a third (34%) use their own cars
  • 32% make their own table arrangements
  • Over a quarter (26%) arrange their own flowers
  • 29% buy their own alcohol
  • 27% make their own favours
  • Over a third (34%) arrange their own catering

Graham Pilkington, Divisional Director of Banking Insurance & investment at Nationwide said: “The cost of getting hitched can be huge, so much so that many people are making financial sacrifices elsewhere, others are planning to get wed on the cheap, whilst some are putting their big day on hold altogether.

“Relying on the bride’s parents to pay for your wedding is not possible for everyone, nor is it always practical to raid the piggy bank, especially when we are talking about thousands of pounds! Planning your finances for a wedding is akin to buying your house; work out how much you can afford, prepare your budget and consider your finance options – whether it’s starting to saving as soon as possible or looking at a loan or credit card

Cash reward and commission free purchases abroad

The Nationwide Select credit card is available to Main Current Account customers and comes with a range of benefits that could help couples with paying for a wedding.

For example a couple who pay for a wedding dress of £1,000, venue hire costs of £3,500 and a £2,000 honeymoon using their Select credit card, this would earn them £32.50 in cash reward. If they were to then purchase rings, photographer, suits and other wedding essentials using their Select card, the cash reward earned could really add up.  

While on their honeymoon, the newly weds would also benefit from commission free purchases abroad if using their Select card too. For foreign spend of £500 this could save them £14.75 (compared to a competitor rate of 2.95% charged by some providers).

For new Select card customers, we are also offering 0% interest on purchases for 12 months.

Personal loan finance example

If a customer takes out a Personal Loan of £21,939 over 60months with Nationwide, they could get a headline rate of 7.3%***.  This means their monthly repayments will be £435.11.  However, the market average APR for this tier is 11.5%**** which means, for the same loan, customers could be paying £2,441.40 more if they take out a loan with another provider.

*You and Your Wedding March 2013 research
**This savings figure indicates the interest saving over the stated 0% introductory period compared to 16.9% APR on a credit card elsewhere. The calculation assumes a constant account balance and interest charged from account opening
***This rate is available through
**** Source: CACI.  Average market APR for new loans of £15,000+ in February 2013, excluding Nationwide loans

About Nationwide Building Society
Nationwide is the world's largest building society as well as one of the largest savings providers and a top-three provider of mortgages in the UK. It is also a major provider of current accounts, credit cards, ISAs and personal loans. Nationwide has around 15 million members.

Customers can manage their finances in a branch, on the telephone, internet and post.  The Society has around 16,000 employees.  Nationwide's head office is in Swindon with administration centres based in Northampton, Bournemouth and Dunfermline.  The Society also has a number of call centres across the UK.

Please note: If you are a customer looking for information on our products and services, please visit the main website.