Married life after the big day — what are the costs that lie ahead?

There’s a lot of hype in the run-up to a wedding day, it takes years and years of planning- I should know, we’ve been engaged for nearly six years! But what’s next when the vows are said and the day is done? Married life — and it can be costly! Together with Angelic Diamonds, retailers of engagement rings, lets take a look at the costs that you’ll face after the wedding day, from starting a family to moving to a bigger home.

Starting a family

Having children is usually the next big step after marriage. The average time a couple waits between getting married and having a baby is three years in the US and this can be costly. What can you expect to face after pregnancy?

Including nappies, clothing, nursery furniture, toys, and a pram, the cost of a baby can total £3,120 in the first year of their life alone. If you plan on attending activity classes with your new-born, such as sensory or swimming classes, you could face an additional annual cost of £465.50. I’ve never done too many classes when the kids were really small but it really does all add up. 

Feeding your baby will also cost – depending on what you use.. Add £165 to this yearly cost if you plan on breastfeeding, or a whopping £1,040 should you opt for bottle feeding. Expenses for childcare also need to be considered if you choose to go back to work after maternity leave. For a relatively well-off couple in the UK, the cost of childcare is the highest in the world. In Britain, the average cost of sending a child under two to part-time day nursery is £122.46 per week. For full-time care, this rises to £232.84. Obviously your location in the UK has an influence on how much you pay — part-time day nursery can cost around £42 more per week in London than the British average and full-time care increases by £73 in the capital.

When first born, heir first day at school can seem a long way off. But, if you are considering sending your child to a private school, you must consider the average annual outgoing of £14,102 – crazy prices!.  At the age of ten, it’s likely that they’ll be asking for their first smartphone like all their friends have! As you’ll most likely be the one to pay for this, you can expect to fork out around £27 per month — or £324 per year!

This is before you add the cost of an average holiday (£3,133 for a family of four) and those Christmas and birthday presents! Very costly indeed.

Upsizing into a bigger home

After the wedding, you might start to think about moving into a bigger home so you’ll face some extra costs when you do decide to make the move.

According to Compare My Move, the estimated cost of moving to a new house in 2018 in the UK is £8,885. This cost is based on the average UK property price which is currently at £226,071 and takes into considerations stamp duty at £2,021, estate agent expenses at £3,391. This overall cost also considers general moving costs, which can add up to £1,236.66. You also need to consider a few hidden costs if selling a house. One of these is an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) which can cost you between £60 and £120. It can often be worthwhile getting a professional survey of your new property before you buy it to check the condition of it to prevent you from losing out on money. These can cost from £400 to over £1,000 depending on the survey that you choose.

Getting a new car

Perhaps you now want to swap that convertible for a more family-appropriate car – it’s up to you how much you spend on a new car, but you should expect it to set you back a few pounds! In fact, the running costs of an average family car in the UK costs £1,000 more than in the USA and Australia, £1,825 more than Japan and £2,000 more than in China. Doesn’t this seem crazy? According to What Car? the top ten family used cars sit between £8,000 and £14,000. And, if you were to choose a top new car, you can expect a family-suitable vehicle to cost between £16,995 and £29,495.

If you’re unsure on how much to spend on a new car, MoneyUnder30 advise the following:

  • If you’re looking for a cheap car that gets you from A to B, you should budget around 10-15% of your annual income.
  • For a safer and reliable vehicle, budget between 20 and 25% of your annual income.
  • If you consider a car as a lifestyle item and not just as a form of transport, consider spending around 50% of your annual income on a car.

Even though strict saving might have temporarily paused when the wedding arrives, it’s likely you’ll have to dig deep again for the future! With starting a family, moving to a new house and buying a bigger car, married life can be expensive — but it’s so worth it!


What People Will Remember Most About Your Wedding

Planning a wedding means having to get so many details right, and it’s almost impossible to get everything done without forgetting about a few little things along the way. But maybe those little things don’t matter half as much as you think they do. After all, people will only remember a few key things about your wedding once it’s over, and surely they’re things that matter most? We’re going to talk about those key things now, and you can then shift your planning focus to those things ahead of the wedding.

The Surroundings

People always remember the place you got married in and what the room was like. It’s one of those things that always sticks in the mind, and it’s why you should spend time trying to get it right when you’re planning your wedding. It’s perhaps the biggest decision of all you have to make when you’re getting married, so tour a few of the options and see which are right for you.

The Atmosphere

The atmosphere in the room when your ceremony is happening should be very different to the atmosphere in the room when your reception is in full swing. It’s important to work hard at cultivating the atmosphere in both situations because it’s those intangible feelings that often convert to memories. People remember how they felt more than what they saw.

Drew Coffman

The People Who Are There

The company we keep always matters when it comes to organising a wedding. You want to be surrounded by the people you love as you share this happy moment. Everyone will remember the people they spent the day with and the conversations they held with people on your special day, so be careful to invite everyone important! You don’t want to miss anyone off the guest list.

The Long Evening Dancing and Having Fun

Most weddings culminate in people getting together and having a good time on the dance floor. That’s what it should be about, so you want to make sure that you have a band performing at your reception that’s capable of keeping everyone on their feet. Head to Bands if you need help with getting this right. And make sure that you keep the music going until everyone’s gone home.

What They Eat

Another thing that many people remember about a wedding is what the meal was like. And a bad meal tends to stick in the memory more than a good one. So when you’re choosing a caterer for your wedding, make sure you conduct a few sample taste test to make sure you’re definitely hiring people who know what they’re doing in the kitchen.

There are some things that people won’t notice at all, and that just proves to you that you don’t really need to sweat it over all of those tiny details when you’re planning your wedding. However, the things mentioned above will all be remembered for a long time by your guests, so get these right.


Three Honest Conversations To Have Before You Get Engaged

If you’re one of the thousands of people thinking about saying ‘I do’, then your thoughts are probably running more around table settings and flower arrangements than anything else. It’s so easy to get wrapped up in the fairytale of planning your big day, that sometimes you can forget that it’s not just about the wedding arrangements.

No, getting engaged is much more significant than that. You’re about to merge your life fully with that of your partner- and that requires a few major conversations that you’d be surprised just how many people don’t have before making the biggest commitment of their lives. Solid foundations are built on open communication, so make sure you discuss these important things before you go searching for Diamond Engagement Rings:

The Kid Question

Being on the same page with family plans is something that quite a few are reluctant to discuss before the ink is even dry on the wedding invites. But it’s essential to understand – not just, does your partner want kids and how many? But how do you plan on raising them? Where do you stand on issues such as discipline and education? Raising children together is a huge journey and it can be as challenging as it is joyful. Getting the fundamentals right and acknowledging that you will both have an equal say in your children’s future is a worthwhile discussion to have.

The Money Question

Let’s face it, talking money can be hard. There are complex feelings at stake, as our attitudes to money are a lot more emotional than most of us realise. Approach the topic gently, but recognise the importance of having an honest discussion. We all have attitudes and feelings around money and it’s worth knowing what your partner’s are. Finances are one of the main causes of marital conflict, often because so much is unspoken before tying the knot. Know what each of your expectations are, and you’ll help to avoid a lot of arguments.

The Career Question

Don’t assume that you know it all when it comes to your partner’s attitude to their career. Work eats up a lot of our time and occupies a lot of our headspace, so it’s worth sharing exactly what your career goals and aspirations are. What are you prepared to do to make them happen? Would you move cities or work away? How would this work with any family plans? What happens if you have a set back like redundancy? Who is the main breadwinner and how does this affect the division of labour at home? All useful information to navigate your future together. Our careers don’t just affect us but they also affect our spouse and family. Work can cause a lot of issues that get carried into or affect home life too.

You may not be able to predict all the ups and downs that your marriage will face, but knowing each other’s attitudes and values well at the outset can help you to step into your new Union with clear vision and avoid a lot of heartache in the future.


Choosing The Perfect Wedding Accessories

I’ve been thinking a lot recently about the little things when it comes to weddings – those little touches that make all the difference. We all know that the venue, the dress, the rings are such a big part of the day but so many people forget about those small things that also make the day – the wedding favours, the table decor and perhaps most importantly, the accessories. Accessories don’t just mean what the bride and groom are wearing either – they include the flower girl’s baskets and ring holders. But what I want to talk about is what the happy couple choose to wear.

Some people wear the most miniscule amount of accessories, instead choosing to focus on the dress and makeup itself. However a lot of people choose a few different accessories to really show off their dress and makeup – and why wouldn’t they? They are an important part of the day after all.

There are so many wedding accessories that you can choose from to complement your wedding day outfit. Some people choose a wedding dress that comes with a veil – others choose one without and then decide to opt for a veil later on – it is completely up to them after all and what they are most comfortable with. Some people don’t even want a veil and instead want a tiara or a jewelled headband for the ceremony. I’m not too sure what I would opt for – a tiara or headband may be quite difficult for me seeing as I have to wear glasses all the time – so perhaps a veil is the most practical idea for me?

Something that not every bride decides to wear is a garter, however it is an increasingly popular wedding accessory. I found out recently that not many people actually know why a bride would wear a wedding garter. Traditionally, the wedding garter is a key component of a bride’s wedding attire. It is hidden beneath her gown, waiting for the groom to retrieve it and toss it to all of the single men at the reception. It is much in the same vain as the bride throwing her wedding bouquet to all of the single women – just something for the men instead.

There are so many other accessories a bride can wear to make herself look absolutely beautiful – sometimes a jewellery set will do the trick. You don’t want to overdo it with something too flashy but a sleek, unoffensive necklace and earrings set – perhaps in the teardrop style (especially if your hair is up) is an elegant addition to your wedding day outfit.

I don’t actually have my ears pierced so I wouldn’t opt for any earrings but I would definitely wear a necklace of some description. I’ve actually discussed this with Steve and may wear the locket my Dad got me when I was younger so he is there with me on the day. The chain is perhaps a little too small now so I will need to perhaps get it lengthened but it would be a meaningful accessory for the big day and would mean the world to me since my Dad is no longer able to walk me down the aisle unfortunately. I need to make sure he is included in other ways.

I’m still debating exactly what accessories I will choose but I think my locket and a veil will definitely be included. But should I include a garter too? What do you think?


Will 2018 Be The Year?

We have now been engaged for 5+ years and seem no closer to saying ‘I Do’. The funds just don’t seem to be there. Don’t get me wrong, we’ve talked about booking the registry office for a cheap price and just taking the kids and our parents and get it done – with a party for our other family and friends afterwards to celebrate- but we are actually still no closer to arranging anything.

Could 2018 be the year? Well, finances don’t allow it right now but who is to know what 2018 could bring. I keep looking at venues – whether they be small registry offices locally or more larger venues such as Botleys Mansion (a place that completely epitomises everything we want from a wedding venue!). We’ve looked locally and we’ve looked further afield. We’ve looked at the lower price points and the higher price points – determined to work out what we would possibly be able to afford and what we want from our wedding.

There is nothing wrong with a long engagement but this was never our intention. We originally planned for 2014/2015 but we just couldn’t get a start on wedding savings then we planned to possibly get married soon after but we had two pregnancies in quick succession (one unsuccessful, the other resulting in Olivia) so the idea got pushed to the sidelines again.

Now Olivia has just turned one, it is something we are probably going to consider again. She’s starting to take little guided steps and she is now standing on her own two feet for a few seconds by herself. I don’t want to get married until she can walk down the aisle as my flower girl but I don’t see that being too long now and I am certain she will be walking by summer so this would be the perfect time for us to finally get married, don’t you think?

Obviously I would need to feel confident in myself – no one wants to look back on their big day with regrets – so hopefully by the time we get married, I will have achieved one of my 2018 goals by hitting my target weight. I want to feel good about myself so getting married before I have lost this extra weight is a total no-no.

There are so many things to consider when it comes to wedding – but sometimes I do feel ready to just jack in all the planning and head down to get a marriage certificate before getting wed at the local registry office. But I am not sure if that is what Steve and I truly want. We don’t want to be over the top, that isn’t our style – but I am pretty sure we both want the whole shebang that a wedding brings. A gorgeous venue such as a mansion or country house, the right dress, the right food, the right people. Our priorities have changed over the years – our families have changed, some friends have disappeared off of the scene – those people that were important in our lives back in 2012 may not be anymore.

Will 2018 be the year? I don’t know – perhaps. But that doesn’t stop me looking at venues and dresses and dreaming, does it? Where did you or will you get married?