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Swedish couples pay the price of marriage
Hockey star Mats Sundin weds Josephine Johansson, 2009

Swedish couples pay the price of marriage

Published: 07 Apr 2010 12:27 GMT+02:00
Updated: 07 Apr 2010 12:27 GMT+02:00

Some 48,000 Swedes tied the marital knot in 2009, with most couples footing the bill themselves, a new report from Synovate shows.

An average Swedish wedding runs up a bill of around 54,000 kronor ($7,500) with the reception and the rings being the most expensive items, the report commissioned by Swedbank indicates.

A large part of the cost is met by the couple themselves although parents are known to contribute, especially the bride's.

Ten percent of couples splash out more than 100,000 kronor on their nuptials with those living in larger cities overrepresented.

"The more expensive weddings are not in the majority, but in the bigger cities every fifth wedding costs more than 100,000 kronor," said Ylva Yngveson at Swedbank in statement.

The more budget conscious are well represented in the statistics however, with over 20 percent of couples spending less than 10,000 kronor on their weddings.

According to the report, the reception costs an average of 35,000 kronor while the rings come in at around 10,000 kronor.

Swedes invite an average of 67 guests, with larger parties held by those marrying for the first time and those younger than 35-years-old.

An addition to the wedding costs is the price of a honeymoon, taken by around half of newly weds who run up an average of 22,000 kronor extra.

Very few Swedes borrow money to finance their special day, with only five percent partying with the help of credit, and only one percent financed entirely with loans.

Many save for more than two or three years to pay for their weddings, with the average savings time of one and a half years.

Wedding debutants, 73 percent of the couples, tend to receive the most help from parents. While 90 percent of second weddings are funded entirely by the couples themselves, only 46 percent of first-timers foot the full tab.

The Synovate report shows that the wedding dress is an item that typically falls within the realm of the bride's parents' responsibilities to fund, while the rings are the item most commonly bought by the couple themselves.

The survey also indicates that love reigns supreme when it comes to reasons for tying the knot, with a public confirmation of partnership and legal reasons coming a distant second and third.

Despite Sweden habitually being described as one of the most secular societies in the world, church weddings remain popular, with two-thirds undergoing a religious ceremony.

A reflection of Sweden's modernity is represented however by the fact that 94 percent of couples have lived together prior to declaring their betrothal.

The Synovate survey was conducted by telephone in February 2010 and involved interviews with 1,079 people who had married in the previous 12 months.

Peter Vinthagen Simpson (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

14:29 April 7, 2010 by peropaco
That's the way its supposed to be. People getting married should flip the bill themselves as opposed to getting a free ride from the tax payers; which is the case of the ugly couple (Victoria and Daniel). Still, it is absurd how much people invest in the ceremony since we know it will end in divorce a year or two down the road. ;-)
23:21 April 7, 2010 by Greg in Canada
My experience was that the cost of a wedding is quite cheap compared to the divorce. :-)
21:45 April 13, 2010 by amirhosein
Thank you so much for the very useful detailed information,

I, as a young foreigner learning about Swedish behavior and etiquette, very much appreciate it.
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