Financial barriers preventing marriage, study reveals

More adults would marry if the costs of tying the knot weren’t so high, a major study has revealed.

The research, published by the Marriage Foundation, highlights the financial challenges and barriers facing cohabiting couples today.

While marriage is important in maintaining the longevity of relationships, it also provides spouses and civil partners with a spectrum of legal protections in divorce or if one partner were to pass away.

For example, spouses and civil partners are automatically entitled to their partner’s pension and estate in the event of death, while cohabiting partners are not.

But the Marriage Foundation study shows that financial barriers are preventing couples from tying the knot.

For example, the survey of 2,000 young adults reveals that nearly one in three (29 per cent) would be “more likely to marry” if the costs of nuptials were more affordable.

According to the latest research, the average UK wedding now costs an “eye-watering” £31,974. This includes stag and hen dos, the venue, catering, suits and dresses, and the honeymoon.

Commenting on the study, Harry Benson, of the Marriage Foundation, said: “Getting married is really important for commitment and stability. So if the poorest, who arguably need the added stability most of all, aren’t marrying because they think you have to spend a fortune on a party, then something is badly wrong.”

For help and advice with family and relationship matters, please get in touch with Alison Green, Head of our Family and Relationship Team at Mackrell.Solicitors on +44 (0) 20 7240 0521 or at


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Alison Green
Alison joined Mackrell.Solicitors in 1989 and qualified as a solicitor in 1991, becoming a partner in the firm in 2010. Her expertise covers matrimonial work, including divorce and the associated financial and children issues; pre and post-nuptial agreements; co-habitation disputes; civil partnership agreements and the breakdown of civil partnerships.