18% of Irish couples take out a loan to pay for their wedding, says results of weddingsonline survey



18% of Irish couples take out a loan to pay for their wedding

weddingsonline, the country’s most popular wedding website have just announced the findings of their latest survey, the largest Irish wedding survey of its kind.

The average total budget for a wedding including the honeymoon cost is €21,219 with 18% looking to take out a loan to help cover the cost and 21% sharing the costs with their parents. Civil ceremonies and humanist weddings are getting more and more popular with 26% of couples opting for a civil ceremony or humanist wedding over a church ceremony. (23% in 2014)

This year’s findings from the weddingsonline survey, based on over 2,330 participants in January 2015, capture the current attitudes towards weddings in Ireland.

  • The average total budget for a wedding including the honeymoon cost is €21,219 with 5% forking out over €30,000
  • 38% spend over €60 per guest on the meal while the average price per head is €60.03
  • 35% go over budget with 17% spending over €5,000 more than they had planned
  • On average couples invite 151 guests to their Big Day with 20% opting for a bigger wedding with over 200 guests
  • How did couples pay for the wedding? 18% took out a loan, 60% used their savings and 21% shared the costs with their parents
  • Non-Religious weddings are on the rise (up 13% on last year) – 17% opted for a civil ceremony , 9% for a humanist wedding while 74% opted for a church wedding
  • A significant 65% of all respondents still opted for the more traditional hotel wedding while 18% chose the popular country house and 8% a castle
  • On average, couples wait 19 months between their engagement and their wedding with 26% of couples waiting over 2 years
  • Saturday is still the most popular day of the week to get married (40%) closely followed by Friday (39%)
  • Couples favour the summer months to get wed with August being the top month (15%) closely followed by July (14.6%)
  • 37% of brides opted for 3 bridesmaids
  • The average age for brides tying the knot is 31 years of age while the groom’s average age is 32.5 years of age with 6% of the grooms waiting until they’re in their forties to get hitched
  • More couples are opting for a wedding in Ireland.  8% got married abroad while 11% considered a destination wedding but decided to stay at home
  • 90% of newlyweds will choose to honeymoon abroad
  • Top Honeymoon destinations include Italy, the United States and the Maldives
  • When asked what factors were most important when booking wedding suppliers, 50% of couples ranked quality as their top priority, 25% ranked reviews and recommendations as most important and 15% ranked price as their most important deciding factor
  • Social Media and online platforms have been a useful tool for the modern bride and groom with 53% using Facebook, 66% using Pinterest and 94% using weddingsonline to help them with their preparations. Instagram is also becoming increasingly popular with 12% of them using this platform to help plan their wedding (up 130% on last year). However the more traditional wedding fairs and bridal magazines are losing out with wedding fairs down 2% and wedding magazines down 10% on last year.
  • The average spend on each category was as follows:
Wedding Dress€1,612
Wedding band€1,658
Ceremony Music€353
Make Up Artist€271
Hair Stylist€241
Cake €278
Transport (Car/ Horse & carriage)€556
Bridesmaids Dresses€780
Hen/Stag party€365
Wedding celebrant€255

Some of the regrets expressed by the surveyed brides and grooms included letting family and friends interfere with plans, not starting saving earlier and not hiring a videographer.


Launched in 2000, weddingsonline has become Ireland’s busiest wedding community and recently expanded into the UAE and India. Over 80% of all engaged couples in Ireland use weddingsonline at some point in their wedding plans. weddingsonline is popular for its lively forums, online wedding directory, competitions, real weddings and daily tips and advice. Over 1000 wedding industry suppliers have made weddingsonline their marketing partner in Ireland.

For further media information please contact:

Sophie Pigott

Tel: 01 883 9292 / email: [email protected]

Image courtesy of Michelle Prunty Photography