It doesn’t matter where you seem to turn these days, you can’t get away from that dreaded word… ‘BREXIT’. For the past 2 to 3 years its been the main topic of conversation at most dinner parties and social gatherings (or maybe I just have a very sad bunch of friends!). Turn on the radio or watch the news and Brexit is almost always the main topic of discussion. All for very good reasons of course!
Don’t worry… this isn’t another one of those ‘brexit good or bad’ blogs and I am certainly no political expert, although it doesn’t seem like the so-called experts even know what to do at the moment either! Rather the purpose of this blog is to look at the impact Brexit may have had on overseas weddings.
We looked at our wedding insurance data over the last 3 years and there is a very interesting trend appearing. The percentage of our customers getting married abroad has decreased by more than 15% over the last 2 years.
In 2017, just under 10% of the weddings we insured were overseas weddings. In 2018, this dropped to just under 8%, and in 2019 that figure is currently just 7.6%. So there is no doubt, when you look at the data it would suggest the number of couples getting married abroad has definitely dropped. It seems more couples are playing it safe and opting to get married here in the UK instead.
Is this trend purely down to Brexit? Or could there be other factors at play? Maybe its just coincidence? Well, what we do know is that many of our customers who are getting married abroad are worried about what implications Brexit could have. Particularly, if we leave with a ‘no deal’. We have seen an increase in the number of customer queries relating to Brexit with many concerned about how a ‘no deal’ could impact travel arrangements such as flights and visas etc.
The other factor is that Brexit has clearly had a major impact on the value of the pound. Prior to the referendum it was at least $1.50 USD and €1.30 EUR to the pound. Now, it’s just $1.29 USD and €1.11. As such, overseas weddings are much more expensive than they would have been a few years ago, so the higher cost will be a factor.
There is also no doubt that Brexit is having an impact on the general holiday market. Just over a weak ago, Thomas Cook announced a half year loss of £1.46bn. Their Chief executive, Peter Fankhauser said: "There is now little doubt that the Brexit process has led many UK customers to delay their holiday plans for the summer". So, Brexit uncertainty is clearly having an impact on UK consumers plans to travel abroad.
So, based on our wedding insurance data and the trends we are seeing, it seems obvious that Brexit is having a negative impact on the overseas wedding market. The fact is people do not like uncertainty, particularly when it comes to planning a wedding abroad. Whilst this country and our political parties continue to fight over Brexit and the way forward, uncertainty will continue to rule, and impact on many areas of our lives, including planning a wedding overseas.
Of course, there could be a silver lining in this cloud… If those put off getting married abroad due to the uncertainty are opting to get married here in the UK instead, then this should only help to benefit the UK wedding economy.