Weddings may have been put on hold for the past few months due to the coronavirus epidemic, but that hasn’t stopped couples getting engaged.
Ten years ago an engagement would have been just a proposal and a ring, but the pressures of social media and over-the-top celebrity celebrations have changed this, meaning expectations of brides and grooms are now a lot higher.
Local photography platform the Shoot has done some research to uncover the real expense of an engagement in the UK, before any costs for the actual wedding have even kicked in.
To do this they looked at a number of popular platforms and service providers for engagement rings, photographers and party venues - uncovering that the average cost of an engagement in the UK is £3,104.68.
The main focus of an engagement is of course, the ring. According to the research the average cost of an engagement ring is £1,458.83. ‘Three full months salary’ used to be the rule of thumb when it came to budgeting for a ring, however people have become more wary of splurging on a ring and the jewellery market has become more competitive, so price ranges have diversified.
A newer trend when it comes to engagements is photography. Whether it is someone hiding in a bush to snap the special moment, or a posed couples photoshoot after the proposal, it will cost an average of £125.10 per hour. Platforms like Instagram have played a significant role in the boom of engagement photoshoots, with couples now wanting to have access to professional-grade and high-quality shots to share on social media.
The growth in photo sharing platforms has also fed into the events industry too, with there now being extra demand for large parties to have the perfect instagrammable celebration.
Whilst some couples choose to keep engagement celebrations low key, there’s no doubt that social media has helped make engagement parties evolve into more extravagant affairs, with venue hire for 50 guests, catering equipment and alcohol costing an average of £1,520.75.
Fiona MacDougall, co-founder of the Shoot 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.“
Some people even go the extra mile when it comes to a proposal, literally. The research also looked at plane tickets for two people to 10 of the most popular proposal spots in the world. Topping the list as the most expensive is one of the Seven Wonders - The Grand Canyon in Arizona USA. On the other hand, one of the cheaper destinations was Paris. Either way, the average cost of a plane ticket to one of these most popular engagement destinations will set you back around £1,256.33, meaning the engagement will cost an average of £4,361.01 overall.