London, UK, 21November 2014: New research from global information services company Experian reveals a staggering 43% of cohabiting couples in the UK are postponing their wedding by an average of a year and two months – due to running into difficulties with their pre-wedding financial planning.

The research which is part of a wider Experian study into Relationships & Money, was commissioned to help people understand how financial considerations can impact on their relationship, from financial compatibility to joint finances, and how they work together to better understand and avoid some of the hurdles that many couples encounter as they plan their future together.

82% of survey respondents recognised they needed more time to save, while almost one in ten were turned down for credit or needed to seek further credit to spread the cost of their wedding. Of the married couples interviewed who had postponed their weddings in the past, 18% did so as a direct result of being turned down for credit - highlighting the importance in understanding and maintaining a good credit rating before applying for credit.

Overall, however, from a panel of 2,000 people recently or soon to be married, the research shows that the majority are quite prudent in how they plan to finance or have financed their weddings, with 69% drawing on savings. A fifth (20%)also rely on credit to pay for elements of their big day, with 9% drawing on credit cards, 4% taking out a loan and a further 7% arranging to pay off elements of their wedding through instalments.

Just over a quarter (27%) stated that they will rely on cash contributions from friends and family to help cover the costs; however, couples are warned to be cautious of relying too much on anticipated cash contributions - if they don’t materialise there may be a shortfall post-wedding resulting in possible missed repayments.

Julie Doleman, Managing Director, Experian Consumer, commented:
“Planning a wedding can be stressful but it should also be great fun. Understanding the potential hurdles you are likely to encounter before your big day can also help you and your partner avoid them. Putting some serious thought into your budget, not just how much you think you need to spend but how much you both agree you can afford to spend, could help avoid some arguments in the run up to the big day.

“After the wedding, when couples are returning from Cloud Nine, some can be met with a bit of a financial hangover if they have significantly overspent. Missed, or even late, payments on credit commitments can have a big impact on your credit score into the future. So try not to lose sight of your future goals, such as getting your first mortgage together or even your next holiday. Missed payments will stay on your credit report for six years, so take the time to understand and manage your credit rating as part of your financial planning. This will ensure you both are in the best position possible to plan for your future together.”

On average, married couples surveyed spent £3,998 on their wedding and the research also examined the average costs of the individual elements of British weddings:

  • The dress: £735
  • Hair and make-up: £605
  • Venue: £1,151
  • Reception: £1,420
  • Rings: £795
  • Groom’s clothes: £631
  • Honeymoon: £1,290

Here are five simple tips from Experian to help couples in the early stages of planning their wedding avoid the nightmare of having to postpone your big day.

1. Great Expectations: Openly discuss the expectations you both have of your big day being honest about what you want and being prepared to compromise. From there take some time to research how much the wedding is likely to cost - this will help you understand actual costs versus your budget.

2. Brilliant Budgeting: Look at your savings, monthly income and expenditure - including credit repayments – to understand what you can afford, and a realistic timeframe you can work to. Don’t lose sight of other financial goals you may have such as your next holiday, getting a new car or even buying your first home.

3. Credit Considerations: Talking about your financial history can be difficult for some but honesty is key. Reviewing your credit reports together will show how well you have both managed credit in the past. If you already have joint finances, this will mean that your credit ratings are now linked, and if one of you has a poor credit history, this could negatively impact on both getting credit in the future.

4. Borrow Wisely: If you do decide to take out credit to spread the cost of your big day, research the best products available to you based on your financial situation. Can you afford the repayments? How long you want to spend repaying? Are you borrowing in the most cost-effective way? Taking the time to understand and improve your Experian Credit Score now can help you access better credit deals at better interest rates which can save money in the long run.

5. Understanding Overspending: For many it can be the final weeks before the wedding when you are most likely to lose sight of your budget. Be conscious of seemingly-small costs here and there which can build up quickly, leaving you with a maxed-out credit card and an unpleasant wedding hangover.

ENDS

Notes to editors:
Research was carried out online by Canadean Consumer on behalf of Experian Consumer Services among a representative panel of 2,005 UK adults in July 2014.

For more information please contact:

Bell Pottinger
Anna Selby – 020 3772 2516 / aselby@bellpottinger.com
Michael Sheen – 020 3772 2461 / msheen@bellpottinger.com
Rebecca Lloyd Wright – 020 3772 2540 / rlloyd-wright@bellpottinger.com

Experian Consumer Services
Joanne Leahy, PR Manager - 020 3042 4089 / Joanne.leahy@uk.experian.com

About Experian
Experian is the leading global information services company, providing data and analytical tools to clients around the world. The Group helps businesses to manage credit risk, prevent fraud, target marketing offers and automate decision making. Experian also helps individuals to check their credit report and credit score, and protect against identity theft.

Experian plc is listed on the London Stock Exchange (EXPN) and is a constituent of the FTSE 100 index. Total revenue for the year ended 31 March 2014 was US$4.8 billion. Experian employs approximately 16,000 people in 39 countries and has its corporate headquarters in Dublin, Ireland, with operational headquarters in Nottingham, UK; California, US; and São Paulo, Brazil.

For more information, visit http://www.experianplc.com.

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