Durham is the wedding capital of the UK says “Hitched”
As the wedding industry continues to bounce back from two years of impacted weddings, Hitched.co.uk delved deep into its online vendor data, and analysed the more than 15,500 listings to reveal which regions and cities across the UK offer the most options for nearlyweds when it comes to planning their big days.
The Wedding Capitals of the UK
The online data revealed that Durham in the country’s north east is undoubtedly the UK’s Wedding Capital, with an average of 260.72 wedding suppliers per 100,000 people listed in the region. This is three times as many as the runner-up region, Greater Manchester, which lists 83.87 wedding suppliers per 100,000 people.
Durham is actually home to 139 listed wedding suppliers, of which the biggest vendor category is photographers and videographers. There are 35 photography-related suppliers listed in Durham, and the region’s next biggest category is entertainment, with 23 options to choose from, as well as 18 wedding venues.
Davy Belle of Durham-based Belle Studio says: "Durham is a special place, a place of historical beauty and stunning country views. There are so many perfect and unique wedding venues in Durham, where else could you choose between grand cathedrals, museums, pump houses, castles, manor houses and farms?
"The people are also at the forefront and lead the way in creating this amazing county. Across the wedding industry, from wedding coordinators, to florists, to singers and cake makers, people go above and beyond to create memorable experiences for couples, make each wedding unique, so couples talk about their day forever."
Rounding out the top three Wedding Capitals is Surrey with 82.77 wedding vendors per 100,000 people listed on Hitched.co.uk. Both Wales and Scotland also have regions that feature in the top ten, thanks to the 69.33 suppliers per 100,000 people in Monmouthshire and the 56.84 suppliers per 100,000 people in Perthshire.
Top Wedding Supplier Categories
When looking at the main categories used to determine a supplier, it is clear that photographers and videographers are the most prevalent supplier type. With more than 3,600 to choose from, almost a quarter (23.51%) of all suppliers on Hitched.co.uk are listed as content creators of some sort. In 2021, photography was the third biggest spend by couples planning a wedding, with an average of £1,200 spent capturing their big day.
The second most popular category is wedding venues, with more than 2,200 to choose from across the country. According to the latest Hitched Annual Wedding Survey, the average cost of a wedding in the UK was £17,300, and the venue accounted for the biggest chunk of that at an average cost of £7,600. The right venue was so important in fact, that couples spent 40% more on this area than before the pandemic, suggesting that the right setting was much more important to couples since lockdown.
Rounding out the top five were decoration experts (including florists), entertainment vendors, and the all important catering and drinks suppliers. This includes wedding cakes, mobile bars, and pre-dinner nibbles, and accounts for more than 12% of all the suppliers listed on site. In 2021, spend on catering was also much higher than pre-pandemic, despite the much smaller guest lists. On average, couples spent £4,680 for their 72 guests - a 20% increase on 2019 when the average spend on catering was £3,887.
Top Cities Across the UK
Hitched also looked at city-level data to see which cities across the UK had the most options for nearlyweds planning their wedding. This analysis revealed that Cobham, in Surrey, is the city with the most wedding suppliers on offer, with 494 in total, 166 of which are catering and drinks suppliers, as well as 63 photographers and videographers to choose from. The third-most common category in Cobham is entertainment, with 57 different suppliers listed.
Birmingham is the city with the second-most options, with 252 different suppliers to choose from. Here, photographers and videographers are the most common, with 51 listed in Birmingham, followed by hair and beauty specialists (33), and entertainment vendors (32). Following this is Manchester, with 212 wedding suppliers on offer.
Rounding out the top five cities with the most variety is Nottingham with 152 suppliers, and Edinburgh with 123 wedding vendors to decide between.
Zoe Burke, editor of Hitched.co.uk says: “When it comes to planning the wedding of your dreams, there’s no such thing as ‘too much choice’. It’s great to see such a wealth of vendors available to nearlyweds across the UK, especially after such a challenging few years.
“The wedding industry is so unlike any other wedding industry in the UK - the relationship couples build with their chosen suppliers and venue is so personal and special, so it’s heartening to see that there are plenty to choose from across the UK, especially for northern and Scottish couples.
“We’ve been saying for some time that the wedding industry has come back with a bang, and this data proves it!”
For the full report on the Wedding Capitals of the UK, please visit: https://www.hitched.co.uk/wedding-planning/news/uk-wedding-capitals/