2021 Hitched Wedding Survey
Hitched recently held a survey of 2021 weddings on their website to look at what the 2021 wedding industry looked like and of course the effect the ‘C-word’ had made on how people got married.
Let’s take a look at their findings together and explore how this could help you plan your wedding by looking back at what happened last year.
- How People Met ➢
- Engagements ➢
- Wedding Costs ➢
- Main Expences ➢
- What’s Important ➢
- Popular Apps/Social Media ➢
- What’s Important in a Wedding Venue ➢
- When Weddings Happened ➢
- What Vendors Were Hired ➢
- What Traditions Were Observed ➢
- Who Went on a Honeymoon ➢
- Where Wedding Took Place ➢
- Your Experiance ➢
First I have to say that the survey took place on the Hitched website so some of the figures will be slightly skewed to their audience. That said, I believe Hitched is the top UK wedding planning website and the data is a good representation of the general wedding market.
That is why they are the only online wedding directory I pay to advertise with, I think I should be open and forward about that too.
How People Met.
Not a big surprise and more people are meeting online these days, with our busy lifestyles meeting somebody isn’t always easy and if we’re not introduced by a mutual friend or fall for somebody we work with online or dating apps just make sense.
December has always been the big month for couples getting engaged, Christmas and New Year make up the bulk of these. Generally the next big spike is unsurprisingly the middle of February with Valentine’s day coming in as the third biggest day to pop the question.
The quickest and easiest way to tell the world and your friends & family that you “said yes” is to post it on social media and early in the year Instagram is filled with pictures of newly engaged women showing the world their wedding ring and smiling from ear to ear.
The time between getting engaged and your wedding day was a little skewed over the past two years but if you take out the weddings that had to be postponed the average was still around 20 months. I did notice quite a few more people having a much shorter engagement and last year I had a few couples who booked me for their wedding with less than 2 months’ notice.
The average wedding cost for 2021 not including rings and the honeymoon was £17,300
Nearly half of all couples said they went over budget on their wedding.
61% of the total wedding costs were paid for by the parents of the couple.
Main Wedding Expences.
This is where some of the figures I see from a wider range of newlyweds are a little different. Hitched figures show the average wedding costing a little over £17,300 but some of the bigger surveys have the figure closer to £30,000. Hitched have not included the honeymoon or the rings, these can easily add another £7,000 to the budget.
The main difference maybe because most of the couples in the survey used Hitched to plan their wedding and has access to some good deals from the vendors advertising on the platform. In general, I see offers of around 10% across the site so that makes up a big chunk of the difference.
I’d say that the people surveyed are paying quite a bit less for their wedding photography, other sources report the average wedding photography package being closer to £2,500 and as a rule of thumb suggests couples should expect to pay around 10% of their wedding budget on a good quality photographer.
£65 per head for the catering sounds pretty much right but bear in mind there are other costs related to each wedding guest and budget around £100 per person on your guest list.
What couples said was important to them.
When couples were questioned about the most important considerations they had when planning their wedding most said that keeping their guests happy was one of their biggest priorities.
I am delighted to see that a large number of couples make it a priority to make the wedding day personal and a reflection of them as a couple and maybe put less emphasis on some of the outdated traditions.
I’m not sure how they’ve calculated these figures, for example, the graph on the left shows that 53% of couples said the price was their top concern but the note on the right says it was 69%.
Either way, the cost is always going to be a big factor and there will always be a balancing act to do between creating your dream wedding and what your budget will allow, This is probably why an unsurprising 48% of the couples surveyed said they went over budget.
It’s interesting to see the continued rise in the use of wedding websites to plan a wedding and I’ve known couples who said they have managed pretty much every aspect of their wedding on sites like Hitched.
Platforms like Whatsapp have made creating group conversations to plan the wedding day so much easier. as well as having a group for all the wedding guests to keep them updated on the wedding plans (and if the ‘C-word was going to affect the day. It is also possible to have smaller group chats to arrange so of the more organisational aspects of the wedding day.
Popular Wedding Apps/Social Platforms.
You need to have in mind that this survey information has come from couples who have registered and used the Hitched website to plan their wedding so I would expect the highest percentage to say they used Hitched, I’m only surprised that the data does not show 100%.
I love Pinterest and it is a great way to get ideas and inspiration when planning a wedding. My own Pinterest account gets quite a bit of activity with couples saving my pictures into boards that are wedding planning related. Some months I get +8.5million views. I am not surprised Pinterest outperforms platforms like Instagram and Facebook when it comes to wedding planning.
Etsy is filled with ideas, especially for couples either planning a wedding on a budget or looking for rustic or handmade elements for their wedding day.
What couples look for in a venue:
Unsurprisingly cost and style of the wedding venue are right up there and I’d say the figures don’t illustrate the importance of these two and how much they impact if a venue makes the final shortlist of the 2-3 venues that the couple end up visiting before making their final decision.
Although only 55% of couples found their wedding vendors online, even those who found vendors at wedding shows or through recommendations from other vendors or friends and family will have checked out the wedding vendors’ website and social media accounts before contacting them and certainly before booking them.
Our online presence is increasingly important and having a good portfolio and excellent customer reviews has a big impact on the decision to even be contacted let alone asked to quote.
When people had their weddings in 2021.
The first few months of 2021 were still being affected by ***** but these are generally always very quiet months for weddings. April – June were significantly quieter than normal years with the uncertainty around and restrictions. The 4 months from July to October made up for the slower start I the years and around 70% of the years weddings took place at this time even with a lower than average September.
This chart and data from Hitched pretty much match my 2021 wedding season.
A very small amount of couples opted for a fully virtual wedding service, only 0.5% held a virtual wedding service that had guests joining in via some form of live streaming service. most opted to wait until they could share the wedding day with their friends and family.
The average wedding size was down on previous years with the 2021 average wedding having only 72 guests and 63% of couples opted for a civil ceremony with only 25% choosing a religious service.
Wedding Services Hired.
People did cut down on some of the vendors they hired in 2021 and decided to focus more on the services that they felt were most important. On average couples only booked 8 of the normal main wedding vendors, in past years I would expect this to be more in the 12-15 range.
It is reassuring to see that wedding photography is still considered an important element to the wedding day with 91% of the couples surveyed booking a professional wedding photographer.
It is a little surprising to see that only 38% of couples did not buy a wedding dress for their big day. Without knowing the details behind these figures it’s difficult to say what they wore but maybe some couples used a dress from within the family (possibly the bride wearing her mother’s dress). Homemade creations, the male LGBTQ group will have had some impact on this too but I doubt that would explain anything close to 62%
Maybe many couples decided to make the wedding day a truly unique day that reflected them and turned up in jeans and t-shirts, I don’t know but it’s an interesting stat from 2021.
I also think that because many people were are home for a great deal of time during 2020 and 2021 there may have been a lot more DIYing involved in many of the wedding details.
Sticking to Traditions?
With all that has happened over the 2020/2021 period, it’s not surprising that some couples decided to ditch some of the traditional wedding ideas and focus more on getting married and making it a fun and memorable occasion.
The traditional first dance and the wedding cake remained key parts of the wedding day but the bride tossing the bouquet took a bit of a hit, to be honest, this tradition has been disappearing for many years, in part because the bouquets are pretty pricy items but also I’ve found that many brides are having their bouquets preserved and made into a beautiful centrepiece.
The last few years have seen a rise in couples having a ‘first look’ this is very popular in America and has started to make its way over the pond quite a bit over the last +5 years.
Who went on a Honeymoon?
With some of the travel restrictions that have been in place, it is good to see that 90% of couples said they either took or would take a honeymoon in the near future.
Where in the UK weddings took place.
Not a huge surprise here, London leads the poll here and the South West isn’t far behind. I work a lot in the South West and there are some amazing wedding venues especially in and around the Cotswolds. It’s good to see the North West is sitting well in joint 3rd too.
What was your experience?
I’d love to know what your experience has been, if you’ve planned your wedding in the last few years or if you’re planning it now I would love to hear from you and if you agree with the information Hitched have compiled.
I’ll keep the comments open on this page but I will need to moderate them to stop my site from being spammed.
Also, if you are currently planning your wedding take a look at Hitched.co.uk, they have tons of useful information and as I have said earlier many of the vendors offer discounts exclusive to Hitched members, and as a couple planning your wedding it is all completely free to use and benefit from.