It's a pricey day for a white wedding

Stat of the day: Love may be free but getting hitched certainly isn't. The cost of of a church wedding has shot up to £1,000 as the Church of England raises fees across the board.

by Rebecca Burn-Callander
Last Updated: 09 Oct 2013

As of next year, the happy couple will have to pay £415 for the ceremony itself, an increase of 40% on the current rates. But, in a Ryanair-style 'extras' system, the cost of heating the church, and fees for the verger, organist (£100-150, double if the wedding is filmed), choir (£100) and bellringers all add up. Total spend for a modest wedding: £1,000.

The price rises have been introduced as more and more couples spurn the church for a civil ceremony. The fees system contributes around £35m to church coffers each year. But the white wedding isn't on its last legs quite yet. To drum up more interest, new rules have been introduced to allow couples to marry in a church of their choice rather than being confined to their local parish building. As a result, church weddings went up by 4%.

Weddings aren't the only services to be hit by hikes. Funeral fees have also rocketed. Next year, a funeral service will go up from £102 to £160, and a funeral including burial in the churchyard from £298 to £420. Even in death, we are not free from inflationary pressures...

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