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Average cost of Irish wedding is €23,500

Couples making their own cakes and invitations but there is still an average 100 to 150 guests sitting down to the full meal at the traditional Irish wedding.

RECESSION BE DAMNED – the average Irish wedding still costs a reasonably hefty €23,500 to pull together.

That figure comes from a survey carried out by wedding directory among 1,200 couples who either got married or engaged in 2010 or early 2011 or will marry later this year.

However, it does appear that some concession is being made to the cash-strapped economy – around 10 per cent of engaged couples are willing to compromise on the quality of a product or venue in return for a more affordable price.

The happy couples also appear to have developed their DIY skills: 45 per cent were making their own invitations and 43 per cent were making up the favours for the dining tables, ie, little gifts for each guest. More brides would skimp on the flowers than their make-up, with more opting to sacrifice having a professional flower arranger than give up their hair and make-up person.

Sourcing all aspects of the big day online is part and parcel of Irish wedding arranging now – just under 80 per cent were going to wedding websites and bridal forums for recommendations.

However, the Irish wedding is still a big one – average guest numbers to the full sit-down meal was between 100 and 150 but more than one in five were inviting 200 guests to the full meal. Where that meal was held is moving away from the traditional hotel venue – marquees and standalone restaurants are becoming popular.

And here are two stats that may inform each other: only 1 per cent of future brides are having their family foot the bill for the whole wedding – and almost 50 per cent of couple would prefere cash and gift vouchers instead of bought wedding presents.

This is the price breakdown for the average wedding:

  • Ceremony Venue (including donations) €461
  • Reception Venue €9,751
  • Reception Band €1,762
  • Reception DJ €384
  • Photographer €1,632
  • Videographer €1,071
  • Wedding Planner / Coordinator €1,150
  • Wedding Dress €1,329
  • Bridal Party Attire €970
  • Wedding Jewellery €618
  • Beauty / Hair and Makeup €428
  • Florist / Décor €613
  • Invitations / Other Stationery €351
  • Wedding Cake €329
  • Ceremony Musicians / Singers €419
  • Wedding Day Transportation €427
  • Wedding Favours €210
  • Wedding Accessories / Candles €204
  • Miscellaneous Costs €1,320

Irish couples also spend an average of €5,506 on their honeymoon – if you count that in the overall wedding cost, it nudges the total up to around €29,000.

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