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The most common calamity to befall couples tying the knot is the collapse of companies providing vital wedding services.

More than one in three claims on wedding insurance policies is because of businesses going bust before the big day, according to new figures from Debenhams Wedding Insurance.

Such financial failures have left unlucky wedding parties with no caterers, entertainment, or even a venue, in some cases.

Over a one year period the latest figures show that losses resulting from wedding services companies going bust were the most common cause of claims on Wedding Insurance, making up 33% of all claims.

The latest analysis shows the second highest cause of claims is complete cancellation/rearrangement of weddings due to illness of the bride and groom, or close family covered under the policy. These make up 29% of claims, which is up 8% from last year.

Director of Debenhams Personal Finance, Mike Hazell, said: “Couples planning their wedding are now much more aware that problems can arise before their big day and realise the importance of financial protection. Weddings are becoming more costly and even with meticulous planning there are things outside of our control that can wrong. Taking out specialist insurance provides that little extra peace of mind.”

The number of weddings across the UK has risen by 7% since 2009, according to figures from the Office for National Statistics*, as have the disasters that can wreck even the most carefully laid plans.  

Damage or theft of wedding outfits, including the bride’s dress, was the reason for 12% of claims and  the ‘non-appearance’ or reprinting of damaged wedding photographs and videos caused 10% of claims. 7% had to contact their insurers due to the theft or damage of their wedding gifts.

The loss of flowers and rings, damage to the cake and problems with wedding transport, all featured in the top ten reasons for claims.

As the cost of the average marriage currently hovers around the £18,000 mark, Debenhams Wedding insurance is encouraging people to protect the financial investment of their big day as soon as they can.

Hazell added: “Many couples have to book and confirm their venue and other suppliers a long way in advance of their wedding. It is important to take out an insurance policy as soon as possible to ensure deposits paid early on are covered.”

Top ten reasons for wedding insurance claims (by frequency of claim):**

    Failure of Suppliers – financial failure- 33%
    Cancellation/Rearrangement – illness – 29%
    Ceremonial Attire/damage/theft – 12%
    Photographs & Video/non-appearance/reprint – 10%
    Wedding Gifts/damage/theft – 7%
    Rings – loss – 3%
    Public Liability/accidental loss/damage– 2%
    Cars & Transport problems – 2%
    Flowers – loss – 1%
    Wedding Cake – damage – 1%


Notes to Editors:

* Latest marriage figures released by the Office for National Statistics are for 2012

They showed that in England and Wales there were 262,240 weddings, up 5.3 per cent from the 249,133 the previous year, and more than 30,000 up on the historic low for marriage recorded in 2009.

** Debenhams Weddings Insurance Claims 2014


Please visit for more information on Debenhams Wedding Insurance. 



About Us
Debenhams is a leading international, multi-channel brand with a proud British heritage which trades out of over 240 stores across 27 countries. Debenhams gives its customers around the world a unique, differentiated and exclusive mix of own brands, international brands and concessions.

Debenhams has been investing in design for over 20 years through its exclusive Designers at Debenhams portfolio of brands. Current designers include Abigail Ahern, Jeff Banks, Jasper Conran, Sadie Frost and Jemima French, Patrick Grant, Henry Holland, Betty Jackson, Stephen Jones, Ben de Lisi, Todd Lynn, Julien Macdonald, Jenny Packham, Ren Pearce and Andrew Fionda, Aliza Reger, John Rocha, Ashley Thomas, Justin Thornton, Thea Bregazzi, Eric Van Peterson and Matthew Williamson. 



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Alice Cottingham: 0203 549 6423 /
Debenhams Press Office: 020 3549 6420 /

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