UK Wedding Market
According to a report in The Guardian, a new survey indicates that almost one in four British couples who married in the past two years, headed out of the country to plight their troth, spending £1.8bn in the process. The figure suggests a sharp rise compared to the five years from 1996 to 2001, when just 9% of couples married abroad.
Around 300 000 British couples marry each year and, according to a report I read on moneyuk's website, the wedding market in the UK is worth in the region of £4.2 billion! With the average wedding today in the UK costing between £18 000 and £25 000, it is easy to see how they arrive at this enormous sum!
SA is amongst the top favourite wedding locations
Prime overseas locations (with a guarantee of both sun and romance) were listed in The Guardian as South Africa, St Lucia, Mauritius, Las Vegas and Antigua. And I fully agree with their reasoning, namely that 'you can see any of these would be more appealing than Catford or Carlisle on a wet November day!'
It was also interesting to note that more than a quarter admitted that they had fled to escape relatives who drove them round the bend - unfortunately for them, however, another report I read stated that if invited to a wedding abroad, 70% of the British population would attend!
A spokesman for Direct Line Home Insurance, which carried out the survey, was quoted as saying: "Affordable airfares, a sense of adventure and the drudgery of British weather mean that overseas weddings are more popular than they have ever been."
If you throw in the added bonuses of first-class service providers, plus beautiful weather (we have almost 3000 hours of sunshine per annum, compared to London's measly 1480hrs), and an exchange rate so much in their favour that they can have the wedding of their dreams at a fraction of the cost, you don't, as they say, need to be a rocket scientist to understand what makes South Africa such an irresistible choice!
It was exciting to see that according to this survey, the Top 10 Destinations were:
- South Africa 6%
- St Lucia 5%
- Mauritius 4%
- Las Vegas 4%
- Antigua 4%
- Republic of Ireland 4%
- Jamaica 4%
- Greek islands 3%
- Hawaii 3%
- Barbados 2%
Celebration House has, for more than 13 years, showcased over 130 of the top service providers in the Cape Town wedding industry - and in recent years, many of our venues and other exhibitors have reported that up to 50% of their wedding business is now coming from the overseas market.
Since September 2002, when we first noticed this trend, Celebration House has exhibited annually at wedding shows in London, and in October 2009 we will once again be jetting off to London to take part in the The National Wedding Show being held at Earls Court Exhibition Centre. For Celebration House this will be the eighth time we have taken part in the Show and are again attending as proud representatives of the Wedding & Honeymoon Association of South Africa (WAHASA).