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The true cost of getting engaged

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When we think about getting married, many of us immediately assume we need to save money for the wedding itself, but what about the engagement?

In recent years, engagements have become quite a big deal to some people and a factor to include in the overall wedding costs when deciding on your wedding budget.

It might surprise you to learn that a 2020 analysis discovered people are spending an average of £3000 in the UK to get engaged.

Pretty crazy huh?

So why are people in the UK spending so much on getting engaged?

Let’s take a look and see.

The engagement

With the rise of showing off on social media in elaborate ways, stunt filled proposals are becoming more commonplace.

More people are hiring photographers at around £125 per hour to capture the engagement itself, hidden in bushes and the like so as not to raise suspicion!

Fiona MacDougall, co-founder of The Shoot who compiled the analysis said: “Our research has shown that people are now spending more money than ever to make sure they have the perfect engagement and the photos to match.

“We have seen a definite increase in the number of bookings for surprise proposal photoshoots in London. With customers travelling near and far for that picture-perfect moment, it’s no surprise that the cost of an engagement is increasing as a result.”

And if you want a destination engagement, then factor in the cost of the flights, hotel, meals and spending money.

Looking for a budget engagement instead?  The engagement really doesn’t need to be all bells and whistles if you don’t have the money or the inclination.  A low key private engagement between the two of you is perfectly romantic.

The engagement ring

Of course if you really wanted to be frugal then you don’t have to spend anything on getting engaged at all.

There’s no law saying you must have an engagement ring, but many of us like to symbolise our engagement and commitment to one another with an engagement ring.

For my husband and I this was the only cost of our engagement - the ring itself.  We announced our engagement to our closest friends and family and that was that.

According to the analysis, an engagement ring costs an average of £1,459.  That’s quite something!

There are several ways to save money on engagement rings if this figure scares you!

Try these to start:

  • Use a family engagement ring that has been passed down through generations, if available to you
  • Opt for moissanite instead of diamond
  • Choose a ‘regular’ ring instead of an ‘engagement’ ring
  • Support an indie business
  • Use the engagement ring as the wedding ring also, to save buying two rings

So once the question has been popped how are people spending even more money on their engagement?

The engagement party of course!

An engagement party

Not satisfied with simply announcing an engagement to friends and family, many people are now throwing engagement parties in the UK to celebrate the news!

The engagement party is somewhat a mini wedding day in itself.  There’s venue hire, entertainment, food and drink to pay for coming in at an average of £1,520.75 for 50 guests.

Wowsers!  You can see how it’s all beginning to add up.

Of course this is not a necessity for an engagement so you can save money by not hosting an engagement party, or keep it more low key by only inviting your closest friends and family and hosting it at your home.

Or perhaps go out for a small celebratory meal with your best friends.

How much should you spend on getting engaged?

The answer is as much as you want.

There are no rules when it comes to getting engaged and married and how much you should or shouldn’t spend.  You can find lots of cost cutting techniques for the wedding itself in my blog post how can I make my wedding cheaper?

Who knows where the saying of spending three month’s salary on an engagement ring came from.  My guess is a marketing department for a jewellers!

It all depends on the budget you have available and what you are happy to spend on being engaged.

It can literally cost zero pounds to be engaged or as the analysis discovered it can run into the thousands!

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