By Daniel Hunter

Britons are shunning big white weddings in a bid to get on the property ladder, new research from Barclays reveals.

52% of Britons — more than half the UK population — would choose to put their savings towards a deposit for a property — proving that home really is where the heart is.

Marriages are in the minority with just one in ten (12%) opting for wedding bells over their own doorbell. Perhaps most surprisingly, the wedding charge is led by men with almost twice as many men choosing marriage over bricks and mortar than women (16% vs 9%).

With the cost of a wedding averaging £20,000, the findings reveal that almost one in ten (9%) engaged couples have decided to downsize the scale of their nuptials or delay them altogether in an effort to save for a property purchase. So daunting is the prospect for many that a further 13% would consider asking guests for a monetary contribution towards the cost of their wedding instead of a traditional gift.

“With the average home deposit costing in the region of £16,000, it’s not surprising that couples are having to think twice about the way in which they tackle the dilemma of tying the knot and buying a property," Laoiseach Lynch, head of mortgage products at Barclays said.

"What we’ve seen, however, is that with a little lateral thinking and some sensible saving and budgeting they are finding increasingly savvy ways to have their wedding cake and eat it.”

As emotive and potentially thorny as the subject may be, it seems couples are bound not in matrimony but in agreement: just 5% admit to disagreeing on whether to get married or buy a home.

The study also revealed…

· The Northern Irish and Londoners are most likely to want to get married (18% and 16% respectively); the South and Wales are least likely (9% apiece)

· Almost two thirds (60%) of adults living in the South would rather focus on buying a home compared with just two in five of those in Northern Ireland (42%)

· Men are more likely to consider ‘pre-gifting’, with 16% saying they’d consider asking guests for help with the wedding beforehand, versus just one in ten women (10%)

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