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Research from Wealthify, the robo-investment service, has found that Britain still holds its traditional values dear, with almost one in five (19%) weddings paid for by the brides' parents, compared to only 3% funded by the groom's parents.
Two thirds of Brits believe their parents should pay at least something towards their wedding; 18 to 24-year-olds anticipate a family contribution of up to £12k towards their nuptials, with 25-34s looking for around £9.6k.
Almost one in five 18-24-year-olds say they will resort to borrowing in the form of loans or credit cards (17%) to pay for their big day. One in seven 18-24s dream of getting married but don't think they can afford it; while, 45% of parents and grandparents say they plan to dip into their pensions to fund their contributions and 16% are considering equity release or downsizing their property.
Expectations vs reality
Parents are clearly under pressure to contribute to their childrens' weddings, with a huge two thirds (65%) expecting either or both sets of parents to pay for at least part of their wedding day.
The reality is that only half (52%) of UK weddings are financed for the most part by the bride or groom's (or both) parents, with the remaining 47% being funded in full by the couples themselves, typically using their savings (67%) or salary/bonus (54%). With inflation creeping up, is it increasingly unlikely that couples will be able to afford getting married as time goes on? How are they paying for it? The research found that over half (52%) of 55+ year-olds were able to fund their wedding themselves, whereas only a third (34%) of 25-34-year-olds could do the same. Perhaps unsurprisingly, younger couples are finding it the most difficult to finance their weddings, with 18-24-year-olds the most likely to resort to borrowing in the form of loans or credit cards (17%), compared to only 5% of 55+ year-olds.
Overall, nearly one in 10 (9%) British couples would fund their nuptials by borrowing (loans and credit cards), as opposed to 3% opting to raise the additional funds via an extra income, 4% borrowing money from family and friends and another 4% in investments.
The majority of couples, however, turned to savings (67%) to pay for their part of the wedding or their regular salary/bonus (54%). Luckily, many parents and grandparents are feeling generous when it comes to the contribution they're expecting to handover to the happy couple (£11k on average). Of those that aim to give something, over half (55%) of parents and grandparents plan to dip into savings and investments.
However, a worrying 45% plan to provide this handout by dipping into their pensions. Given the well-publicised pensions crisis, this could seriously dent their long-term retirement income, and with people living longer, more could find themselves with insufficient income to support themselves in later life.
Others are more organised with their finances - almost one in five (17%) are saving specifically for their child or grandchild using products such as a Junior ISA or Trust Fund.