Bridebook.co.uk, the UK’s leading wedding planning website and app, has broken down the costs of the most hotly anticipated wedding of 2017. Whilst the average UK wedding costs £16,842 in 2017, Pippa Middleton’s wedding will cost almost 15 times as much at £246,949 ($320,113 USD, €292,699 EUR). There will be 4,333 other weddings happening in the UK on Saturday 20th May, but Pippa and James’ will certainly be the most talked about, and likely to be the most expensive.
Venue/Marquee – £65,000: Being hosted at the Middleton’s family home, with over 350 guests expected, a super-sized luxury marquee is needed as the venue. A luxury 350-person marquee will start at £25,000 but can easily go much higher. With the unreliable British weather in May, a wet weather solution for the drinks reception will also be needed, requiring another marquee, plus a fully-equipped catering tent boosting the price. The average UK wedding venue cost is just £5,819 in comparison.
Catering – £70,000: The top luxury London caterers will charge over £170 per guest for catering including all food, chefs and staffing, glassware and crockery hire, and linen hire. A marquee wedding requires an extra level of staffing compared to a permanent venue, which will increase Pippa’s catering costs to around £200 per guest, and will comprise the largest cost of the wedding. Luxury wedding caterers, The Admirable Crichton, who hold the Royal Warrant for HRH The Prince of Wales for catering excellence, are likely to be the caterers for the wedding. With over 2,000 canapes and at least 15 chefs required, it will be a busy day for them.
Dress – £10,000: Giles Deacon is rumoured to be the designer of Pippa’s bespoke designer dress. Giles previously designed Abbey Clancy’s stunning wedding dress for her marriage to England footballer Peter Crouch which cost £10,000.
Floristry – £16,000: Marquees always require a lot more floristry and decoration than a venue, so luxury florists Lavender Green, the florists for the day, will have their work cut out. On top of this, the wedding florist will include the flowers for the church, plus the bouquet and more. With the wedding hosted in the Middleton’s rustic garden, with wild flower meadows and in-bloom purple rhododendrons, expect tall overflowing centrepieces fusing the marquee with the garden. Elaborate table-centres can cost £300 each alone, so with 35 round tables for the guests, the cost can easily stack up.
Drinks – £17,720: We expect around 233 bottles of champagne alone will be drunk to keep the guests topped up during the drinks reception and speeches. This champagne will cost around £9,320, on top of which will be fine wines for the wedding breakfast and open-bar cocktails for the evening.
Photography – £3,500: Hiring one of the top wedding photographers, including a gorgeous album, will cost around £3,500. Dorset-based Millie Pilkington, the private wedding photographer for William and Kate’s wedding, is most likely to be the person behind the lens.
Videography – £4,000: Without the world’s media filming every moment like her sister’s wedding, Pippa will likely have a videographer there to capture the day’s special moments. Luxury videographers have teams of cameramen to capture all angles, plus usually a drone or two.
Cake – £2,600: A stunningly-decorated cake from a top cake maker will start from £2,600 and need to be six-tiers to give a slice to each of the 350 guests. The cakemaker is thought to be luxury London-based Domino Purchas or local-Berkshire based top baker Rosalind Miller.
Stationery – £5,125: The wedding will require a number of stationery elements including save-the-dates, the invitation, the Order of Service, the menus, and the stamps! Invitations from a top stationer will cost around £11 each before the other items are included. Mount Street Printers are said to be the chosen stationer.
Music – £6,750: From bell ringers and the organist and choirs in the church, to relaxed acoustic musicians for the drinks reception and a top wedding band and DJ for the party, music will be the centre of the entertainment. A top London 6-piece wedding band will cost over £4,250 with everyone else on top.
Wedding Rings – £19,900: Rumoured best man Spencer Matthews better not make the expensive mistake of forgetting the rings. With their wedding rings said to be from Cartier, a diamond encrusted wedding ring for Pippa will cost £15,500 whilst a platinum band for James would be £1440.
Bridesmaids Outfits – £2,250: Whilst the bridesmaid’s dress Pippa shone in at the Royal wedding cost over £2,000, the average cost of a designer bridesmaids dress is £750. The average number of bridesmaids a bride in the UK has is 3.4, so we are assuming Pippa will have 3 bridesmaids.
Flower Girls and Page Boys Outfits – £1,698: With Prince George and Princess Charlotte due to be centre stage as flower girls and page boys, Nicki Macfarlane, who provided the flower girl outfits for the Royal wedding, will likely be back on hand. A page boy outfit will cost around £226 each, and flower girl dresses £340.
Church Fees – £456: Pippa and James will need to pay the church their marriage fees, but whilst this is the most important part of the marriage, it has one of the smallest price tags.
Decoration and Production – £6,000: For spectacular lighting and production throughout the grounds surrounding the marquee and inside the marquee itself, a top London agency will likely be taking on the job of adding the absolute wow-factor. From bar hire to amazing dance floors, production is key to transforming the blank-canvas of a marquee into something truly jaw-dropping.
Groomswear – £6,050: Dashing groom-to-be James Matthews is likely to be wearing a bespoke tailor made tailcoat, waistcoat and trousers from one of London’s top Saville Row tailors. A bespoke tailcoat from a top tailor will cost around £4400 alone.
Hair and Makeup – £1,700: No doubt a top team will be on hand to ensure Pippa and the whole bridal party will be looking absolutely radiant. Hannah Martin of Bobbi Brown and Richard Ward, who also did Kate’s wedding makeup and hair for the Royal Wedding, are the top choices.
Veil – £2,000: Celebrity milliner Stephen Jones is rumoured to be the designer of Pippa’s bespoke veil, which will doubtlessly have incredible attention to detail.
Entertainers – £1,500: Whilst guests taking photos is expected to not be allowed at the wedding, a photobooth will be an ideal opportunity to capture the guests at their best. Luxury children’s entertainers, like London’s based Sharky+George who did the Royal wedding, are expected to be on hand to give parents, like William and Kate, the night off.
Music – £6,750: From bell ringers and the organist and choirs in the church, to relaxed acoustic musicians for the drinks reception and a top wedding band and DJ for the party, music will be the centre of the entertainment. “The Rumours” led by Pips Taylor, who are regulars on the society festival scene, are said to be DJ’ing the event. A top London 6-piece wedding band will cost over £4,250 with everyone else on top.
Wedding Favours – £700: These lovely little gifts for every wedding guest should not break the bank. We expect something low-key and personal, such as a small jar of local honey considering the wild flower meadows that fill the Middletons’ garden.
Transport – Free: With James being a previous racing driver, we are confident he has a few friends who can lend him a stunning car to drive himself and Pippa, as a happily married couple for the first time, from the church to the reception, just like Prince William did.
‘Luxury Facilities’ – £4,000: Don’t forget the toilets! With this marquee wedding the luxury toilets that will need to be on hand are unlikely to be the plastic boxes we are used to seeing at festivals. Imagine luxurious bathrooms with gorgeous soaps and fresh linen hand towels. For 350 guests, top end mobile toilets will cost £4000.
The above figures have been calculated following an analysis of over 170,000 weddings via ‘s wedding planning tools and , and a review of over 70,000 wedding industry suppliers’ price estimates listed on Bridebook.co.uk’s wedding venue and supplier directory. Bridebook.co.uk is currently being used by 1 in 5 UK couples planning their wedding, and therefore has an unparalleled understanding of the wedding planning process, as well as relationships with brides and wedding industry suppliers across the country.
Hamish Shephard, founder of Bridebook.co.uk, says: “The whole world will be watching Pippa and James tie the knot on 20th May. The international media will turn their attention to the British wedding industry, which is exciting for all suppliers at every level. We believe Pippa has purposefully chosen to work with a number of superb British brands for her big day, helping to support them and showcase how brilliantly the English ‘do weddings’, with so many talented people working in our industry.”
“Weddings have become increasingly lavish over recent years mainly due to couples getting married when they are older, and hence being able to spend more, and social media raising everyone’s expectations of a wedding. Couples don’t need to spend hundreds of thousands to have an incredible day, today’s savvy couples find ways to save on average £10,147 on their big day so get very happily married without breaking the bank. With the month of May being outside the expensive peak summer wedding months, even Pippa and James will have likely had some discounts from their suppliers. ”
“Traditionally the bride’s parents would pay for the whole wedding, however this is only the case in 23% of weddings now, so it is likely both the couple themselves and the groom’s parents are contributing, so Carole and Michael Middleton can breathe easy.”
“It’s not only the couple who are spending, the guests will likely be spending a total of £67,485 to attend too. According to our latest Bridebook.co.uk survey, the average cost of a couple attending a wedding this summer is £385.63 (including gifts, accommodation, transport and fashion) and with Royal guests it is likely to be far higher for this wedding too.”
Although the Middleton wedding exceeds six figures, the other 4333 brides tying the knot that same day are likely to be spending substantially less. In comparison, found the average costs for a UK wedding to be as follows:
Venue Hire: £5,819, Marquee: £4,413, Catering: £4,787, Wedding Dress & Accessories: £1,329, Photography: £1,211, Rings: £1,058, Videography: £1,056, Music Entertainment: £941, Flowers: £777, Venue ‘Dressing’: £723, Other Wedding Outfits e.g. bridesmaids: £625, Menswear: £577, Non-Music Entertainment: £520, Transport: £470, Hair & Make-Up: £337, Wedding Cake: £318, Stationery: £290 and Other: £1,779.
For more details of this year’s wedding trends and spending habits analysed by Bridebook.co.uk, view the Bridebook.co.uk Wedding Report 2017.
For further information, interviews and images please contact
Harriet or Sarah-Jane at Harriet Hunt Communications
T: 0208 871 2246 M: 07886 96908
Notes To Editor:
Bridebook.co.uk is the UK’s leading wedding planning platform with over 40,000 couples currently planning their weddings on the website and app.
Launched in 2016, Bridebook.co.uk‘s state-of-the-art wedding planning toolkit with personalised Wedding Checklist, Wedding Budgeter and Wedding Guestlist Manager, enables couples to plan their entire wedding from any device, anytime, anywhere, all in one place…for free. With over 70,000 wedding venues and suppliers in its directory, Bridebook.co.uk increases the digital presence of industry professionals and connects them directly with local couples. Bridebook.co.uk has also partnered with leading experts such as Mary Berry, Bobbi Brown and Jimmy Choo to provide genuine expert advice and inspiration to its couples. Bridebook.co.uk was founded by Hamish Shephard, an industry professional and recently married groom who used Bridebook.co.uk to plan his own May 2016 wedding. Visit Bridebook.co.uk online and the Bridebook.co.uk App on the iTunes App Store and Google Play Store.