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HomeEntertainment NewsWhy taxpayers shouldn't have to fork out for entitled millennials' lavish weddings

Why taxpayers shouldn’t have to fork out for entitled millennials’ lavish weddings


How lovely it is to go to a wedding when you’ve known the bride or groom since they were babies.

Since many of my friends now have children in their 20s or 30s, invitations to such gatherings have been thudding on to the doormat with regularity.

For me, it’s the perfect summer treat. I love everything about weddings — the romance, the optimism, the spangly new frock I buy myself, the mum-dancing and, of course, the champagne cocktail or two.

But, above all, I love soaking up the thrill and emotion of adoring parents as they help give their children a day they’ll never forget.

The cost of getting hitched at a register office in 2024 has been estimated at £1,342. The average price of a wedding with all the extras is around £20,775

Of course, not all can afford to throw a sumptuous party. In fact, the cost of a wedding is often cited as a major reason for the fall in the number of people getting hitched, which today is at an all-time low.

That’s why leading think-tank the Centre for Social Justice (CSJ) last week suggested the taxpayer should cover some of the cost.

By subsidising the weddings of low-income couples to the tune of £550, the Government would encourage more to get married, the CSJ says, and thereby combat the epidemic of loneliness apparently sweeping the UK.

It suggests we help by discounting the legal and administrative fees you pay when you marry — room bookings and so on — but, to my mind, that’s just freeing up money for the party.

I am sorry to snap so suddenly out of my wedding fever, but this is a suggestion that makes me blaze with fury.

How on earth is it the business of Government — of us — to foot the bill for the nuptials of strangers? Heck, we’re already paying large amounts for childcare.

What next? A nationwide whip round for stag or hen parties and baby showers?

The UK’s current tax level burden stands at the highest rate on record — we can’t afford to put £550 behind the bar at weddings, too! Yes, getting married is an expensive business, but there are still plenty of parents who, through years of hard graft, prudent financial planning and savings policies, will find the money to give their child a wonderful wedding day.

My husband Martin and I have been blessed to experience the weddings of two of our four children and contributed lump sums to each of these occasions.

Both were sons, by the way — the idea that the bride’s parents should foot the whole bill is an outdated concept. And though we didn’t quite set the bar at Bridgerton, we didn’t begrudge a single hard-earned farthing either.

What I would begrudge is paying for strangers to tie the knot.

Having recently celebrated my 33rd wedding anniversary, I must stress that I firmly believe in marriage as the optimal structure for a committed relationship.

It’s a position underpinned by research which reveals that, on average, the children of married parents are more likely to experience happier, healthier and more successful lives.

So I’m all for encouraging more people to get married. I just don’t see why I should contribute.

What compounds the CSJ’s hapless policy idea is that its basic premise is built on sand. Namely that marriage is a panacea for loneliness.

CSJ researcher Josh Nicholson, says: ‘Loneliness is a rapidly growing problem, with more than 30 million people in the UK feeling lonely at least some of the time.

‘Our research confirms that family relationships, and particularly marriage, are the best defence against loneliness.’

Being lonely is a terrible thing for any person to endure. And it’s clearly a spiralling issue. Yet some of the loneliest people on the planet are those who experience bleak and crippling isolation within a marriage.

Only recently a friend said that one of the worst things about her relationship with her ex-husband was the catastrophic sense of aloneness she endured as a result of waning physical and emotional intimacy.

By comparison, divorce and navigating the single life was ‘liberating’, with more time for friends and a fresh start. Those whose pockets are squeezed may understandably believe that getting married is one expense too many.

The cost of getting hitched at a register office in 2024 has been estimated at £1,342. The average price of a wedding with all the extras is around £20,775.

But nowhere is it written that a successful marriage requires as its foundation the opulence of Brooklyn Beckham and Nicola Peltz’s £3 million bash. The two — two! — Valentino dresses worn by Ms Peltz did not come with the guarantee of a lifetime partnership between man and wife.

Kim Kardashian’s 2011 wedding to basketball star Kris Humphries cost $10 million (£8 million), but she filed for divorce after 72 days.

Meanwhile, writer Kay Mellor was just 16 when she became pregnant by boyfriend Anthony Mellor. They married with a special licence at Leeds Register Office and held the reception at the Co-op.

Wedding gifts included bedsheets and an ironing board. Despite the shotgun wedding, the couple went on to spend nearly 55 years together until her death in 2022.

Indeed, many people have tied the knot in the most challenging of circumstances — not least during the hardship and uncertainty of the World War Two.

The difficult times didn’t detract from a desire to scrape together enough to plight their troth.

And it is still possible to have a cheap-as-chips wedding.

Lancashire County Council for example, charges £94 if you’re willing to get married between 9.45am and noon on a Monday.

Couples who really want to get married, to tell the world ‘she said yes’ or ‘he picked me’, will find a way to make it happen — with or without a State handout.

True love has a far greater worth than anything plundered from the taxpayers’ pocket.



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