Oh Brother

Everyone’s favourite Big Brother-couple-until-the-next-one Ziggy and Chanelle have expressed a desire to get hitched following a tumultuous week for the pair.

A cynic idly Googling their names might be left with the impression the lovebirds will do anything to feed the tiny dimming flame of their publicity as the cascading headlines scream "Chanelle pregnant?", "Ziggy and Chanelle engaged?", "Chanelle wants larger bust" and the stomach-churningly awful "BB lovers’ wild sex romps".

Nice day for a photo-shoot wedding

They want a classy wedding, of course, just like the one the Beckhams inflicted upon the readers of Hello. "I would love thrones like the Beckhams had, and would like to have it take place in an Irish castle," gushed Chanelle.

If you want it, poppet, you go for it. Just stop talking about it.

Castle in the clouds

The point is Irish Castles and his ‘n’ hers thrones do not come cheap and it takes a lot of nearly-nude photo shoots to pay for the kind of wedding we have come to expect from our zzzz-list.

Starlets aside, the average cost of a wedding in Britain is going up and up as women everywhere seize their one chance to dress like Princess Barbie in front of all their family and friends. However, the charity Credit Action warns bridal parties that the average cost of a wedding is now around £20,000.

It used to be that Mum and Dad would fondly produce their cheque book for such a solemn occasion as giving away a daughter, but now such archaic practices are increasingly being ignored in favour of the young couple doing it themselves. Independence sucks.

For richer or poorer

As most couples do not have a spare 20 grand lying about, this can often involve borrowing a fairly large chunk of money. Celebrity weddings keep getting bigger, bolder, pinker and more sparkly, and it can be tempting to max out credit cards and take on huge loans to emulate their big day bling.

However, one commentator recently warned couples that taking on big debt to pay for their big day may not be the best way to start a life together.

Esther Rantzen recently offered a smug opinion on British weddings in the Daily Mail, in which she appeared to ascribe her successful married life to wearing a functional blue dress and eschewing champagne at the ceremony.

An expensive marriage could be the quickest route to the divorce court, she loftily opined, adding: "If putting on the biggest, grandest, glitziest weddings were an Olympic sport, we’d take the gold medal every time."

F&C Investments recently warned those planning a wedding that the cost can quickly spiral and urged them to save as early as possible. Jason Hollands, director and head of group communications for the firm said: "Spurred on by high profile celebrity weddings, the pressure on couples today to impress their guests with a lavish bash and a honeymoon in an exotic far-away location has seen the cost of the average UK wedding rise.

Keep it simple, stupid

Online wedding resource NewlyWeds-UK warns that starting married life with mega debt could lead to stress, which could cause the marriage to be over before it has even been paid for. Commentator Jan Harney says a "keep it simple, stupid" attitude works best when planning a wedding. "If you get married in church it’ll set you back about £300 for the ceremony and legal paperwork. That’s the real cost of your wedding. The rest is just gravy," she states.

Despite these wise words, Peter Andre – the only person living who looks less real than his Madam Tussauds model – gave his Jordan a wedding ring made with 35 princess-cut diamonds on a bridge of pink gold and encrusted with pink diamonds. That is a lot of diamonds. His ring was far more masculine, 20 princess-cut diamonds mounted in platinum.

Final thought

Research by Alliance & Leicester revealed six in ten Britons believe in love at first sight and nearly one million would propose immediately if they discovered "the one". It discovered that Britons spend around £23 billion a year on getting married and one in five couples borrows to pay for the big day.

What next?

  • Compare savings accounts and start saving for your big day
  • Compare Personal Loans and borrow to pay for your big day
  • Look at 0% Balance Transfer Credit Cards and reduce your credit card costs

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