How much does a wedding with 50 guests cost in the UK in 2022?

Intro and Contents

In the UK, most weddings with 50 guests cost between £10,000 and £18,000, with an average price tag of around £14,000. This amount will vary depending on the wedding site's location, cuisine, drink options available, and other factors. Metropolitan areas such as London tend to be more expensive, and the prices could be up to 15% higher than the average price.

Do you need a budget breakdown for a wedding of 50 guests? You'll find an overview of all the major expenditures and an example wedding budget for 50 people on this page.

Table of Contents

  1. Breakdown Wedding Budget 
  2. Wedding Ceremony
  3. Wedding Reception 
  4. Music and Entertainment
  5. Wedding Cake
  6. Photography
  7. Flowers
  8. Miscellaneous 
  9. Example Wedding Budget

Related pages

  1. 100 Person Wedding 
  2. 150 Person Wedding
  3. A Wedding Budget Calculator
  4. How to Breakdown a Wedding Budget

A budget breakdown for a wedding with 50 guests

A wedding budget breakdown is a well-organized list of everything you'll have to pay for if you have a wedding. This includes the ceremony, the reception, the music and entertainment, the cake, and the photography. It also includes other things like flowers and decorations.

Here is a typical budget breakdown for a 50 person wedding in the UK in 2022:

Infographic showing how much a 50 person wedding cost in the UK

Table with a budget breakdown of a wedding with 50 guests

1 - Wedding Ceremony
4% - 7%£600 - £1,000
2 - Wedding Reception
40% - 80%
£6,000 - £11,000
3 - Music / Entertainment
5% - 10%
£700 - £1,400
4 - Wedding Cake
2% - 3%
£250 - £450
5 - Photography
5% - 12%
£700 - £1,700
6 - Flowers
2% - 5%
£250 - £700
9 - Miscellaneous
10% - 15%
£1,400 - £2,100

£10,000 - £18.000

Click on an item for more info

1 - A wedding ceremony with 50 guests

Costs: £600 - £1,000 (4% - 7% of all costs)

A wedding ceremony is the traditional part of a wedding in which two people are legally married by an officiant. Here's a rundown of the most typical wedding ceremony expenses.

1.1 - Officiant fee

An officiant is an individual with the legal authority and, when performing a wedding ceremony in a church, also the religious power to conduct a wedding ceremony. Most officiants must be licensed by their state before legally marrying couples.

Costs: £100 - £400

1.2 - Marriage license

A marriage license is a document that authorizes a couple to get married. In most cases, you must obtain a marriage license from the county where you will be married before your wedding ceremony.

Costs: £120 and £600

1.3 - Church donation for ceremony with 50 people

If it is not necessary to make a monetary donation, you may still contribute voluntarily to the church. The amount you choose to contribute is entirely up to you. Just don't forget to also include this amount in your wedding budget.

Costs: £400 and £600 - optional

If it is not necessary to make a monetary donation, you may still give a voluntary contribution to the church. The amount you choose to contribute is entirely up to you. Just don't forget to also include this amount in your wedding budget.

1.4 - Venue for the wedding ceremony for 50 persons

You may choose to have your wedding ceremony at the same location as your wedding reception. Alternatively, you might select a unique site just for the wedding ceremony.

Costs: £500 to £800 - optional

1.5 - Live music at the wedding ceremony

Live music during a wedding ceremony often will enhance the ambience significantly. Some great options are string quartets, harpists, guitarists, choirs, and other musical groups.

Costs: £150 to £350 per hour - optional

Fees for bands vary considerably, depending on the number of musicians, the type of music they play, and to a significant degree, their fame.

1.6 - Decorations for the wedding ceremony

Decorations for a wedding ceremony can be as simple or elaborate as you like. You can choose from flowers, candles, drapes, balloons, and other decorating ideas.

Costs: £100 to £1.000 - optional

2 - A wedding reception with 50 guests

Costs: £6,000 - £11,000 (40% - 80% of all costs)

A wedding reception is held after the wedding ceremony to celebrate the newly married couple. Invited guests attend this ceremony to personally congratulate the newly married couple and give presents.

The wedding reception usually begins with a champagne toast for the bride and groom, followed by serving appetizers. After that, there may be a seated plated dinner or a wedding buffet. This dining typically evolves into a dance party. Alcoholic beverages are served, and/or guests may get their drinks from a bar.

Here's a list of the most common wedding reception costs.

2.1 - Rental fee for a venue for the wedding reception with 50 guests

A hotel, restaurant, golf resort, country club, party centre, or wine yard are among the most popular places for a wedding reception. The wedding ceremony can be held in the same location as the reception or at a different place.

Costs: £1.400 to £2.100

Some venues do not charge a fee for using the facility. Instead, the rent is included in the food and beverage expenses. This is generally the case when you have your wedding reception at a restaurant with a seated plated dinner.

Similarly, some venues include services like waiters and bartenders in the rental fee while others charge separately for them.

2.2 - Champagne toast and appetizers for 50 persons

Toasting with the bride and groom is a popular custom at weddings. This is also a time when appetizers are served. Such as bite-sized shrimp cocktails, cheese platter, sushi rolls, quesadillas, and chicken wings.

Costs: £700 - £1,400 (£14 to £28 per person) - optional

2.3 - Wedding catering / breakfast for 50 persons

The term "wedding catering" refers to the service of providing a buffet or seated plated dinner at a wedding event. Alcoholic and nonalcoholic beverages are available. Wine is frequently served at dinner tables at seated plated meals.

This meal is in the UK also called a wedding breakfast. Instead of being a "breakfast", it is the main meal on the wedding day and symbolizes the start of a life together as a married couple. It takes place after the wedding ceremony. 

The catering costs are primarily determined by the selected food, drinks, and service options. Buffet meals are usually less expensive than plated dinners. The cost of a plated dinner depends on the number of dishes served and the wines offered.

Costs: £2,000 - £5,000 (£40 to £100 per person)

A buffet will be available at the lower end of the pricing spectrum. In contrast, a plated dinner with table service will cost more.

2.4 - Party snacks and drinks for 50 persons

The wedding reception typically evolves into a dance party where guests are served party snacks and drinks. These can include potato chips, pretzels, peanuts, candy bars, soft drinks, beer, wine, and mixed drinks.

Costs: £1,400 - £2,800 (£28 to £56 per person) - optional

If you want to save some costs, you may opt for a paid bar instead of an open bar. When guests are offered an open bar, they may consume whatever beverages they choose whenever they want.

When the wedding guests are served a paid bar, they are limited to pre-chosen and purchased alcoholic beverages. Visitors have to pay for the drinks themselves when they go over your limits..

2.5 - Catering rentals for 50 persons

You may need to rent catering equipment such as tables, tablecloths, chairs, dishes, plates, cups, and cutlery if you're serving a food buffet. You can either have the catering company provide the equipment or rent it from a rental company.

Wedding venues that serve a seated plated dinner generally supply all these materials without additional charges.

Costs: £300 and £750 (£6 and £15 per person) - optional

You may also have to pay some transportation fees for the delivery and pick up of the rentals.

2.6 - Waiters and bartenders for 50 persons

Waiters and bartenders may or may not be included if you hire someone to cater your wedding reception, depending on the terms of your contract.

Costs: £200 - £600 (£30 and £60 per hour per worker) - optional

2.7 - Decorations for the wedding reception

Balloons, ribbons, candles, and lights are only a few of the items you might utilize to decorate your wedding reception. However, the essential centrepieces are usually flowers. You can either choose to have your florist decorate the spaces or ask your family and friends to do so.

Costs: £50 and £500 - optional

3 - Music / Entertainment at the wedding with 50 guests

Costs: £700 - £1,400 (5% - 10% of all costs)

Hiring a DJ, professional musicians, and/or a live band for your wedding is a great way to add ambiance and keep the wedding party going.

3.1 - DJ

You may hire a DJ to only play music at your dance party. In addition, you can also request that the DJ provide suitable music for hours leading up to that event, such as ambience music during the champagne toast and buffet or plated dinner.

Costs: £350 and £800 - optional

3.2 - Live acoustic musicians

Acoustic artists are more personal and ideal at the start of your wedding reception when guests arrive and the married couple makes their entrance. Typically, two or three individuals make up a small ensemble. They generally perform light jazz, classical music, or popular covers.

Costs: £300 and £700 - optional

3.3 - A live cover band (semi-pro)

Live cover bands are pretty popular at weddings. They simply play well-known songs from the past. Most people dance to the music. A two-hour live performance with a pause in the middle is typical. The DJ has a perfect opportunity to step in during the break and keep your party going.

Costs: £800 to £2.000 - optional

3.4 - Sound and lights equipment rental

If you're planning live performances and/or dancing, you may need to rent sound and light equipment for the stage and/or dance floor.

Such gear is sometimes included in the rental fees for the venue. It is also not uncommon for the DJ or music band to bring their sound and lighting equipment along.

Costs: £200 and £500 - optional

If you only require some presentation material (mic, speakers, beamer), expect a lower price range end. You may need more extensive sound and lights equipment for a big dance party. For which the price will be at the higher end.

4 - A Wedding Cake for 50 persons

Costs: £250 - £450 (2% - 3% of all costs)

The wedding cake ceremony is a moment during the wedding when the bride and groom cut the wedding cake together. The married couple usually cuts the wedding cake after the wedding ceremony, when all guests have arrived for the wedding reception. Or later in the day at the start of the dessert portion of the reception dinner or buffet.

Costs: £250 - £450 (£5 - £9 per person) - optional

5 - Wedding photography

Costs: £700 - £1,700 (5% - 12% of all costs)

Most couples hire a wedding photographer to capture their special day. The photographs tell the wedding day's story in pictures. Couples may also consider hiring a videographer to capture the most memorable moments in motion and sound.

The wedding photographer

If you have many family and friends taking pictures, you'll undoubtedly have some fantastic ones. This saves you the money it would cost to hire a wedding photographer.

However, suppose you want to have a complete and cohesive set of photographs that capture the atmosphere, the emotions, the timeline, and all the important moments of your wedding day. In that case, it is best to hire a professional photographer.

Costs: £700 - £1,800 - optional

The wedding videographer

A wedding videographer records the wedding day's events as they unfold, creating a valuable video documentary of your wedding day to enjoy for years to come.

Nowadays, you may also obtain a few short wedding videos from the videographer besides a video documentary. These are delivered to you quickly on your wedding day or the day after to immediately share them on social media.

Costs: £500 - £1,500 - optional

6 - Flowers for the wedding with 50 guests

Costs: £250 - £700 (2% - 5% of all costs)

Flowers are an essential part of the wedding day. They are used for the bride's bouquet, the groom's boutonniere, and the corsages. In addition, flowers are usually used to decorate the ceremony and reception spaces, the wedding car, and the procession.

6.1 - Wedding bouquet for the bride

The bride's wedding bouquet is a lovely arrangement of flowers that she will hold during her wedding ceremony and reception. The bouquet might include any flower. However, roses, lilies, and orchids are popular choices.

Costs: £50 to £150

6.2 - Boutonniere for the groom

The boutonniere is usually a single flower or a small arrangement of flowers that the groom wears on the left lapel of his jacket. It complements the bride's bouquet and dress and the groom's outfit. The boutonniere is generally supplied by a florist together with the bridal bouquet.

Costs: £5 to £15

6.3. Wedding bouquets for the bridesmaids

The bridesmaids usually carry smaller versions of the bride's wedding bouquet. These are often made of the same flowers as the bride's bouquet but have a more straightforward design and fewer flowers.

Costs: £25 - £50 per bridesmaid - optional

6.4. Wedding corsages for the family members and closest friends

Corsages are small bouquets that relatives and closest friends of the bride and groom wear on their clothing on the wedding day.

Corsages are usually made from the same flowers as the bride's and groom's bouquets. They may include a ribbon to tie around the wrist or safety pins to attach to the lapel of the clothing.

Costs: £3 - £7 per person - optional

6.5. - Decorating the wedding locations with flowers

Flowers can be used to decorate both the wedding ceremony and reception areas. At the wedding ceremony, lovely floral arrangements might be used to decorate the marriage altar and aisle. Flowers can be used to decorate the wedding cake table, bride's table, podium, and any other areas where the married couple will enter, stand and sit down. 

Costs: £60 and £750 - optional

6.6 - Wedding car decoration

Flowers, ribbons, and bows may all be used to decorate the wedding cars. Sometimes, the same kinds of flowers used in the bride's bouquet or other wedding flower arrangements are also used to decorate the cars.

The bride and groom are seated in the first car. This car will be the most decorated. The cars with the family members and closest friends are the next in line and are usually also decorated. The wedding guests may be given (white) ribbons to tie to their vehicle's mirrors or aerials.

Costs: £25 and £150 - optional

7 - Miscellaneous for a wedding with 50 guests

Costs: £1,400 - £2,100 (10% - 15% of all costs)

This section lists other expenses that may apply to a wedding, such as transportation, hiring a wedding planner, favours, invitation cards, transportation, gifts, a guest book, and insurance.

7.1 - Transportation

You'll most likely need transportation on your wedding day to get you and your party from and to the various wedding events.

Here are some examples:

  • Wedding limousine
  • Wedding bus
  • Classic car or sports car
  • Taxi or Uber

Costs: £50 - £1,000 (£50 - £750 per hour per vehicle) - optional

7.2 - Wedding planner

A wedding planner is a person who works in the wedding industry and whose job is to help you with your wedding planning. Hiring a wedding planner may save you money in the long run if you have a big wedding. This person will likely negotiate a lower cost for a wedding site, meals, music, and other services.

Costs: £500 to £1,500 - optional

Prices may be higher if there is a high demand for wedding planners in your region. Typical examples of such areas are London, Oxford, Brighton and Cambridge.

7.3 - Wedding favours

Wedding favours are small gifts that people receive at a wedding. For example, a small bag of candy. These gifts are typically handed out at the end of the wedding reception and usually have the bride and groom's names on them. The wedding guest may keep them as souvenirs.

Costs: £1 to £5 per favor / family - optional

7.4 - Wedding invitation cards

Traditionally, wedding invitations are sent to formally invite guests to the wedding ceremony and/or the wedding reception. The invitation usually includes all the event details, such as date, time, location, and dress code. If you include an RSVP card, it is customary to also pay for the postage for sending back this card.

Costs: £2.50 - £10.00 per card / family - optional

7.5 - Gifts for people who helped out

Many couples choose to give gifts to the people who helped make their wedding day special. This could include the parents, relatives, friends, your wedding planner, and others who went above and beyond to help out.

Costs: £20 to £100 per gift - optional

7.6 - Guest book

A wedding guest book is a great way to capture the memories of your wedding day. Guests can sign the book and leave a short message for the bride and groom. 

Costs: £10 - £50 - optional

7.7 - Wedding insurance

Protecting yourself by purchasing insurance for your wedding day can be a good idea. This insurance isn't particularly pricey, but it can cover significant expenditures or claims.

Some of the things that are typically covered by wedding insurance include:

  • Cancellation or postpone the wedding due to a medical emergency. For example, injury or illness to the bride or groom or death in the family.
  • Weather-related emergencies prevent the wedding from taking place.
  • Supplier-related troubles prevent the wedding from happening, such as a last-minute bankruptcy of an essential supplier.
  • Jewellery, gifts, and other items that are lost or stolen.
  • Property damage at the wedding venue.
  • If you are held liable for severe injuries to your guest that occurred at your wedding.

Costs: £50 - £200 - optional

7.8 - Unexpected costs / cost overruns

Wedding costs can sometimes be more than you expect. Unexpected wedding costs can be things like overtime fees for the staff and photographer, last-minute travel expenses, or a sudden change in the menu making it a bit more expensive per person.

It is usually a good idea to build in some flexibility for unexpected costs. 

Costs: £500 - £1,000 - optional

Example budget for a person wedding with 50 guests

This couple invited 50 people. The wedding ceremony took place in a church, followed by a wedding reception at a luxury hotel. The ceremony began with a champagne toast, followed by a dinner that was served at tables. Live acoustic musicians helped setting the right ambience. After the main course, there was a cake-cutting event. The celebration continued with an evening party with a DJ. 

Click here to download the spreadsheet with the costs for a 50 person wedding.


TOTAL £1,000.00

Officiant fee


Marriage license


Church donation



TOTAL £8,100.00

Venue rent


Champagne Toast (£20 per person)


Wedding Catering (£70 per person)

£ 3,500.00

Beverages + Snacks (£40 per person)



TOTAL £1,000.00

Live acoustic musicians





TOTAL £300.00

Wedding Cake (£6 per person)



TOTAL £1,700.00






TOTAL £470.00

Bouquet for the Bride


Boutonniere for the Groom


Bouquets for the 2 Bridesmaids


Wedding Corsages


Decorations (locations and cars)


TOTAL £1,430.00



Favors (£4 per person)


Gifts for People who helped you


Wedding Insurance


Guest Book


Unexpected costs




Download Excel spreadsheet for costs of a wedding with 50 guests

Click here to download the spreadsheet for this example budget for a wedding with 50 guests invited.

Not included in this template

The purpose of this budget template is to provide a comprehensive list of expenses for the wedding day itself. You will most likely have more costs when you are getting married, such as:

  • Wedding attire for the bride and groom
  • The wedding ring or band
  • Hairdresser, make-up, manicure
  • Wedding rehearsal dinner
  • Pre-wedding parties such as an engagement party, a bridal shower, and stag and hen parties
  • Honeymoon


So, how much does a 50 person wedding cost in the UK in 2022? Most weddings with 50 guests cost between £10,000 and £18,000, but this will vary depending on the area you are in. You can expect to spend more if you have your wedding in more expensive places such as London, Oxford, Brighton and Cambridge.

When budgeting for your wedding, be sure to account for all of the costs associated with the big day as listed on this page. By doing so, you can be sure that your wedding day will be everything you've ever dreamed of without breaking the bank.

Here you will find Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) about Wedding Budget Breakdowns.

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