Having your cake and eat it!  Is it worth it to get married?

Article ⸻

Having your cake and eat it!  Is it worth it to get married?

Cake by Vanilla Pod Bakery – https://vanillapodbakery.com/

Image: Camilla Arnhold Photography – https://camillaarnholdphotography.com/

February is often known for being a month dedicated to love and commitment, with Propose Day (8th February) being a day to confess feelings and propose to one’s beloved and Valentine’s Day on 14th. As we are in a leap year legend has it that St. Brigid of Kildare complained to St. Patrick that maidens had to wait too long for their suitors to ask for their hand and so St. Patrick decreed that an extra day of leap year, women could propose to men.

February not only brings the celebration of Valentine’s Day but also serves as a timely reminder of the significance of marriage both in terms of supporting each other and the legal and financial benefits. In the UK, each year witnesses a multitude of couples embarking on the journey of marital bliss. That said, there has been a continuing decline in marriages. Within the UK, figures from the 2021 census showed the biggest fall came among people aged 25 to 35, with 1.2 million more people unmarried in that age bracket than there were in 2011 (ref: The Guardian).

According to the article, Family lawyers are concerned that couples in unformalised partnerships who split up risk losing out financially under current laws covering co-habitees, which are seen as “outdated and unfit for purpose”.


Is there a Common Law Marriage in the UK?

Firstly, it’s important to understand that there is no such thing as a Common Law Marriage and therefore some of the legal protections and tax saving considerations do not apply as they do for married couples. In particular, it’s important to know that unless you are married, your long-term partner will have no right to inherit your estate unless you leave a Will making provision for them and even then they may be subject to Inheritance Tax.

This highlights the importance of financial planning not only for co-habitees but for married couples as well.


Is it worth it to get married?

In short, this is both a moral and financial consideration.

Pro-marriage campaigners blamed the slump in marriages on factors ranging from welfare rules, which restrict payments for married and cohabiting couples, to a wedding industry that promotes expensive ceremonies, making the institution appear beyond reach for younger people already struggling with rent and rising living costs.

The Marriage Foundation is a charity that promotes marriage, said the social pressure to marry in the UK had “pretty much disappeared”, despite “the psychology of marriage remaining deeply compelling”.


So how much does it cost to legally get married in the UK?

The average cost of a wedding in the UK, according to a 2022 study commissioned by Hitched.co.uk, costs £18,400.


Here are a few of our top tips to help you plan towards tying the knot:

  1. Set a budget: Begin by determining how much you can realistically afford to spend on your big day. Considering the average cost of marriage, setting a budget will help guide your decisions and ensure you don’t overspend, setting the stage for a financially stable start to your married life.
  2. Saving Strategically: Start saving early to avoid unnecessary financial stress. Create a dedicated wedding fund and contribute regularly to build a substantial nest egg. Independent financial advice can prove invaluable during this phase, providing tailored guidance based on your unique financial situation.
  3. Tax Planning: Marriage can have significant implications for your tax status. Investigate the tax benefits and potential drawbacks. Seeking independent financial planning advice can help you make informed decisions that align with your financial goals.
  4. Wills and Estate Planning: Creating or updating your Will is a crucial step in making sure your assets pass to the beneficiaries of your choice.
  5. Pre-Nuptial agreements: Whilst this is not romantic, Pre Nups are worth consideration as approximately 41% of marriages end in divorce according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS).



As you prepare for the journey of marriage, it’s important to recognise the significance of financial planning. Our team specialises in providing comprehensive guidance for all aspects of your shared financial future, including addressing the possibility of unforeseen challenges or catastrophes. By incorporating strategic planning for potential transitions in life you can proactively safeguard your financial security and strengthen your partnership. Let us assist you in creating a solid foundation that ensures peace of mind, regardless of what the future may hold.

If you decide not to get married make sure that you consider your position as a co-habitee, seek advice and you can still eat cake!

Louise Oliver

Louise Oliver

Founding Partner
Piercefield Oliver