April 25 2014 Latest news:

The average amount of money spent on a wedding has dropped by more than £4,000 as couples get to grips with tightened belts, frozen earnings and inflation running at more than 4pc.

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The ordinary British couple is being savvier than ever with savings to be able to afford to tie the knot.

Driven by having access to less money and being ever more reluctant to borrow more than they regard as absolutely necessary, the average amount spent on the big day is £16,569, down by £4,331 from a year ago.

Couples have been coming up with increasingly creative ways of funding their wedding and nearly half of engaged couples have also maximised savings accounts and ISAs to be able to make the most out of their cash in the run up to the wedding.

According to a survey by Clydesdale and Yorkshire Banks, tactics employed to cut costs have included culling guest lists, asking men in the wedding party to wear their own suits rather than hiring traditional morning wear, buying wedding dresses on Ebay and cutting back on the pre-wedding beauty regime of haircuts and nail treatments.

Steve Reid, retail director for Clydesdale Bank, said: “It’s great to see that savvy savers are maximising savings accounts to make the most of their hard earned cash and that they understand how to make their savings work harder.

“An ISA should be part of everyone’s savings plan and the medium to long term planning that goes into organising a wedding makes it worth considering for the big day.”

Separate research by Tesco Bank suggests engaged couples plan to save £5,200 towards their wedding.

David McCreadie, managing director for banking at Tesco Bank, said: “Getting married may be the best day of your life but it can also be the most expensive.

“Our research suggests that, as couples take on greater financial responsibility for their wedding costs, they are also becoming more realistic with how they spend their money and taking time to save up enough cash.

“Even though over 80pc of married couples say that they were able to keep their wedding within budget, it is always worth setting aside a contingency of 10-15pc just to avoid any surprises.”

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