The Royal wedding has dominated the headlines since the announcement was made late last year. The thimbles, tankards and commemorative plates are now selling fast, the street parties have been signed off by the local councils, and for those of us who spotted it early enough a 10 day holiday is awaiting. If we are also led to believe the tabloids, then the invited guests include the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, the Sultan of Brunei, the Emperor of Japan, Kings of Malaysia, Tonga, and Thailand…and Kanye West. The Royal Wedding has been estimated to cost the UK economy around £5 billion as a result of the loss of revenue incurred by having consecutive four-day weekends. The cost of the wedding itself has been estimated at £50 – £100 million – but where exactly is this money being spent? This week Figure it Out takes looks at the make up of costs for an average wedding and compares this to the up and coming Royal Wedding (with tongue firmly in cheek!). We start off by looking at what the average cost of a UK based wedding might consist of. Thankfully the folk at have already created a table for us to look at this. For comparison, I have also used my own wedding costs for each category to show the percentage split. The table shows that in both cases the highest cost is attributed to the wedding reception (21.6% and 34.6%), followed by the honeymoon (18.4% and 11.5%).

Wedding Items Average Wedding Cost Average % Split Neal’s % Split
Attendants Outfits £575 3.1% 3.9%
Balloons & Decorations £460 2.5% 1.2%
Entertainment £850 4.6% 2.9%
Evening Reception (venue, food & drinks) £1,700 9.2% 6.9%
Flowers £685 3.7% 3.0%
Gifts £205 1.1% 1.2%
Hair and Beauty £170 0.9% 1.2%
Honeymoon & First night hotel £3,400 18.4% 11.5%
Insurance £110 0.6% 0.3%
Photography £905 4.9% 2.3%
Wedding Reception (venue, food & drinks) £4,000 21.6% 34.6%
Stag & Hen Nights £280 1.5% 3.7%
Stationery £465 2.5% 1.8%
The Bride’s Outfit £1,590 8.6% 2.9%
The Groom’s Outfit £200 1.1% 1.3%
The Service £520 2.8% 5.8%
The Wedding Cake £370 2.0% 1.0%
Transport £480 2.6% 2.1%
Videographer £905 4.9% 9.2%
Wedding Rings £630 3.4% 3.2%
TOTAL £18,500 100% 100%

An average wedding in the UK is shown to cost £18,500 and with my wife sitting next to me whilst I write this, it’s definitely money well spent! We can now use this table to estimate how the total spend for the Royal Wedding might be apportioned. The budget for the Royal Wedding will certainly stretch a little further than £18.5k thanks to the British taxpayer. We also know that conservative estimates made in recent weeks state a total bill of around £50 million. By applying the average split to this conservative £50 million estimate provides us with the following table.

According to the apportionment method used, the cake will cost £1m (think of the diamonds not the sponge) the brides outfit will cost over £4 million and the honeymoon just over 9 million! Well at least some of this money is being fed back into the economy via some very lucky suppliers! This is obviously just a very simple method of apportioning the cost for items that are generally applicable to most typical weddings. For the Royal Wedding the security bill alone has been estimated at around £20 million and street cleaning in Central London after such the event could also run into the millions! In these times of austerity it’s worth remembering that a marriage certificate costs around £10 with a ceremony in a register office about £200! Enjoy the weekend and remember, if you plan to buy yourself some memorabilia to mark the occasion, it might be worth a second glance before you make that purchase!

Spoof mug produced by Quandong Enterprises, the piece pictures Kate next to her future brother-in-law, although the inscription names him as her fiancé Prince William.