Weddings could be the next victim of the credit crunch as tighter budgets become unavoidable and cause many couples to postpone the big day.
The current economic climate is affecting people across the UK in various different ways as mortgage
rates soar, food, transport and energy prices rise, the value of the pound falls and credit is increasingly hard to come by.
Indeed, classified ads website Gumtree.com claims that more than one-third of engaged couples in the UK (35%) are having to scrimp in order to afford marriage costs, while 10 per cent are putting off wedding plans altogether because of the credit crisis.
Almost one in five engaged couples (18 per cent) said it would not be possible to afford their ideal wedding because of financial restraints, while 87 per cent said they did not even know how much a traditional white wedding would set them back.
In the instances where the wedding is not postponed, those considering marriage are being forced to consider serious money-saving methods. The study revealed that the scarcity of disposable income is forcing almost half (43 per cent) of engaged couples to set their maximum wedding expenditure at £5,000 – quarter of the average wedding spend in 2007.
The study showed that honeymoons and wedding dresses topped the most important wedding items list, while photographers and free drinks slipped to the bottom of the pile. Gumtree.com spokesperson Sophy Silver says: "Just because there’s a credit crunch doesn’t mean that people need to compromise on their big day, or worse, give it up completely.
"Couples just need to get a bit savvier about how they go about organising their wedding, both before and after." Ms Silver suggests that wedding-related costs can be reduced by shopping around for items such as wedding apparel, decoration, catering, beauty procedures and photography. Wedding insurance
can also offer some protection from the potential financial catastrophes that can befall weddings, such as venues being cancelled at the last minute, photographers not showing up, or the dress being ruined before it's trip down the aisle.