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The Wedding Price Index

With 2022 set to be a record year for weddings, the Wedding Price Index compares the cost of holding a wedding in popular destinations around the world.

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At Holidu, we’ve helped thousands of wedding-goers find accommodation for the big day, and we couldn’t be happier that weddings are returning in full force this year. Following two pandemic-disrupted years in which the industry suffered hugely around the world – it lost $124 billion in 2020 alone – 2022 is set to be a bumper year as the removal of travel restrictions puts destination weddings back on the cards. Yet high inflation and the cost of living crisis are putting greater emphasis on prices and expenditure, and with this in mind, we set out to help wedding-planning couples make more informed decisions by establishing where hosting a wedding costs the most and least. The study was carried out in partnership with Magmatic Research.

To conduct the study, we first reviewed hundreds of destinations from across the globe which are renowned for being the best places to say ‘I do’, before selecting over 100 of the most prominent wedding locations. Although the experience of joy is certainly not altered by the size of the wedding, we decided to base our calculations on a wedding with 100 guests to make prices in each destination comparable.

For each location, we sourced the price of hiring the most in-demand and typical venues before identifying the median price. It is important to note that because big cities have many venues, the median price is often lower than smaller locations with fewer options, despite big cities being home to many of the most expensive venues. For example, in remote Fogo Town, Canada, the median price for a venue is £10,641, while in London it is £6,960.

We then split the expenses of the wedding into two categories that largely encompass the cost of getting married: costs for the couple, incorporating the venue, decoration, photographer, food, cake, and drinks; and costs for guests, incorporating accommodation as well as travel costs from their home country to the wedding destination.

In addition to the representative cost of each item, we created a total cost for both categories to reveal how much couples and their guests can expect to fork out to host and attend a destination wedding in each location.

The final results reveal how much hosting a wedding in over 100 global destinations costs in 2022.

All columns in the tables below are sortable. The full methodology explaining how each factor was calculated can be found at the bottom of the page.

Click below to view The Wedding Price Index in:

The Wedding Price Index (GBP)

Costs for the couple (1) (1)

The Wedding Price Index (EUR)

English 2

The Wedding Price Index (USD)

English 2

Methodology

The Wedding Price Index analyses the typical cost of hosting and attending a destination wedding in 2022 in over 100 locations around the world. It was carried out in partnership with Magmatic Research. The study is split into two parts to make a distinction between costs that are generally paid by the couple getting married, and costs that are generally paid by wedding guests. The costs are allocated as follows:

Costs for the Couple:

  • Venue
  • Decoration
  • Photographer / Videographer
  • Food
  • Cake
  • Drinks

Costs for Guests:

  • Accommodation
  • Travel

City Selection

The locations were selected on account of being renowned for destination weddings. After an initial review of hundreds of prominent wedding locations, a final shortlist of over 100 cities was drawn up and analysed in detail.

Price Adjustments

To capture the price for each component in 2022, prices from 2019 were adjusted to reflect inflation in each location as well as currency exchange fluctuations. The Consumer Price Index growth rate from Q2 2019 to Q4 2021 was applied. The following categories were taken into account for each component when adjusting for inflation:

  1. Venue – Restaurants and hotels
  2. Decoration – Miscellaneous goods and services
  3. Photographer / Videographer – Miscellaneous goods and services
  4. Food – Food and non-alcoholic beverages
  5. Cake – Food and non-alcoholic beverages
  6. Drinks – Alcoholic Beverages, Tobacco, and Narcotics

Sources: Google Finance; IMF, Trading Economics.

Costs for the Couple:

All costs were compiled with 100 guests in mind. If a cost was quoted for more or less than 100 guests, it was normalised to ensure comparability across data points. Historical prices were collected for the periods 23.05.2019 – 27.05.2019 and/or 22.08.2019 – 26.08.2019. Where new data collection was necessary, prices were collected for the periods 21.07.2022 – 25.07.2022 and/or 25.08.2022 – 29.08.2022.

For each price component between one and six data points were collected and the median value was taken as representative of the typical price in each location. In locations where no data was available for a certain factor, country and/or regional-level estimates for each price component were calculated as an average of these data points. The data portrays raw prices/values.

1. Venue

The cost of hiring a wedding venue for one day in each location. Prices for different typical wedding venues were collected, including but not limited to hotels, private estates, event halls, ballrooms, beaches, restaurants, farms and gardens.

Venues were sourced by searching for the best or most popular wedding venues in each location. Price data was then collected by contacting the venues directly. If venues did not respond, data was collected from venue websites and/or wedding service websites, where available.

Venue hire prices were collected for the following components:

  • 100 guests;
  • Tables and chairs;
  • Arrangements for a seated dinner;
  • Entertainment.

Some venues quoted the price of each component separately, for example the price for hiring the event room only; others provided bundle prices which grouped multiple components together.

In cases where the venue offered overnight accommodation for guests as part of a bundle offer, accommodation prices for the city were averaged and subtracted from the venue price to avoid attributing the cost of guest accommodation to the couple.

Sources: email responses; venue websites; wedding service websites.

 

2. Decoration

The cost of basic decorations for the wedding venue, as quoted by the venue. Where prices were not provided by the venue, prices were sourced from decor vendors operating in each location.

In cases where the venue included decor as part of a bundle offer, decor prices for the city were averaged and subtracted from the venue price to avoid double counting.

Sources: email responses; venue and/or vendor websites; wedding service websites.

 

3. Photographer / Videographer

The cost of hiring a photographer or videographer on the wedding day for at least four hours, as quoted by the venue. Wedding photographers/videographers operating in the city were also contacted for price quotations.

In cases where the venue included photography as part of a bundle offer, photographer/videographer prices for the city were averaged and subtracted from the venue price to avoid double counting.

Sources: email responses; photographer websites; venue websites; wedding service websites.

 

4. Food

The cost of a three-course, sit-down meal for 100 guests, including starter, main and dessert, as quoted by the venue. Wedding caterers operating in the city were also contacted for price quotations.

In cases where the venue included food as part of a bundle offer, wedding catering prices for the city were averaged and subtracted from the venue price to avoid double counting.

Sources: email responses; caterer/venue websites; wedding service websites.

 

5. Cake

The cost of a three-tier classic white wedding cake for 100 guests. Price quotations for the cake were collected from the venues and/or from bakers in each location.

In cases where the venue included the cake as part of a bundle offer, cake prices for the city were averaged and subtracted from the venue price to avoid double counting.

Sources: email responses; baker/venue websites; wedding service websites.

 

6. Drinks

The cost of either one glass of champagne on arrival and half a bottle of wine (375ml) per person, or two small bottles of beer (2x 330ml bottles) per person, or an open bar price per hour, as well as soft drinks – for 100 guests, as quoted by the venue.

In cases where the venue included drinks as part of a bundle offer, drinks prices for the city were averaged and subtracted from the venue price to avoid double counting.

Sources: email responses; caterer/venue websites; wedding service websites.

Total Wedding Cost

The overall sum of the prices for the six wedding components – venue, decoration, photographer/videographer, food, cake, and drinks.

Costs for the Guests:

Accommodation

The accommodation price for a wedding guest couple to attend a wedding in each location, collected as a median price per night for the following time periods: 18.07.2022 – 24.07.2022 and/or 25.07.2022 – 31.07.2022. An average of the price data was calculated.

Gaps in proprietary data were filled using external sources. For this data collection, six accommodation samples were taken before the second cheapest offer matching the criteria was chosen.

Accommodation from external sources was selected according to the following criteria, with prices adjusted for inflation:

  1. Number of guests: 2
  2. Time frame: 5 days
  3. Dates of stay: 23.05.2019 – 27.05.2019 and/or 22.08.2019 – 26.08.2019
  4. Accommodation guest rating: minimum of 3.5/5
  5. Amenities: WiFi and air conditioning
  6. Accommodation quality: 3* – 5*

Sources: proprietary Holidu data; Google Hotels; venue websites.

 

Travel

The price of a return journey for a wedding guest couple to attend a wedding in each city.

Travel options were selected according to the following criteria:

  1. Number of passengers: 2
  2. Travel dates: 21.07.2022 – 25.07.2022 and/or 25.08.2022 – 29.08.2022
  3. Economy class
  4. Best flight options according to the combination of price and duration

Where no flights were available to the final destination, transfer prices from the airport to the final destination were sourced.

For connections where it did not make sense to take a flight, for example, domestic journeys, the best available route by land transport (bus or train) was used.

Sources: Google Flights; Omio; Rome2rio.

Attendance Cost

The overall sum of the Costs for Guests category, incorporating accommodation and travel costs.

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