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Shock results as Brits choose mortgages over marriage

According to new research from Direct Line Life Insurance, 6.3 million Brits would choose marriage over a mortgage. The research also reveals that the average cost of a wedding and first-time buyer (FTB) deposit exceeds £80,000, so it is not surprising that people are saying ‘I don’t’ to marriages in favour of securing a mortgage. The study’s findings also show that couples would need to save 10% of their salary for 15 years to fund their wedding and a mortgage. 

What are Britons prioritising now? 

Approximately 76% of Brits think buying a property is an important life goal but 64% of Brits view marriage the same way. Across gender lines, 77% of men think marriage and buying a home are important life goals and 76% of women feel the same. Getting married is slightly more important to women (68%) than to men (61%). 


In the UK, around 5% of people who have been married prioritised buying a property over having a wedding, while around 3% delayed buying a property so they could get married. 

How can Brits afford a wedding and a mortgage? 

The average age of getting married in the UK is 37 when the typical salary is £32,700. The average cost of a wedding in the UK is £32,000, while the average first-time buyer deposit is £48,500. For couples to afford a wedding and mortgage on this salary, they would need to save 10% of their salary for 15 years. 

Do Britons regret prioritising a wedding over a mortgage? 

In the age of social media and the pressure to have a picture-perfect wedding day, it’s unsurprising that the average cost of a wedding in the UK is currently £32,000. Around 1.7 million adults (6%) regret spending the amount they did on their wedding day and also admit to going over their budget. 

Because of the unplanned additional wedding costs, 2 million people (23%) dipped into their savings to buy a property, while 2.2 million (25%) received help from family members. Overall, £122 billion has been given to couples by family and friends to help with wedding costs across the UK. 

Vincent Guadagnino, communications manager at Direct Line Life Insurance, said: “Before the pandemic, the cost of getting married was extremely high and our research shows that this looks set to continue, especially when large celebrations are allowed again later this year.” 

“With the cost of a wedding and a deposit both extremely high, it’s no wonder so many couples have to choose between their perfect day and their dream of owning a home. Both are really important milestones and we understand it must be a difficult decision to make. Whether getting married or buying a property, both involve long term commitments so it’s important to consider your protection needs to ensure you have the right cover in place should anything happen.” 

Where are the cheapest and most expensive regions for weddings and FTB deposits? 

When it comes to regions, those getting married in the South West will get more for their money as the cost of a wedding in this area is £28,000.

When it comes to marriages and mortgages, London maintains its reputation as a costly city with weddings costing nearly £40,000 and an average first-time buyer deposit nearing £100,000. The North East is the cheapest area to have it all, with the combined cost of a wedding and deposit of £59,000 

The table below shows the average cost of wedding vs first time buyer deposit regionally in the UK:


Average cost of wedding 

Average first-time buyer deposit 

Combined cost 





South East 




East of England 




South West 




West Midlands 




East Midlands 




Yorkshire and Humberside 








North West 




Northern Ireland 








North East 




United Kingdom 





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