With the royal newlyweds celebrating their first wedding anniversary this weekend research from American Express Platinum Cashback Credit Card has uncovered a ‘romantic Recession’ across the UK, with just one in three (37 per cent) married UK adults actively celebrating their wedding anniversary each year.
The research has revealed that more than a quarter (28 per cent) of married Britons acknowledge their anniversary but don’t give gifts or publicly celebrate, a further 17 per cent only mark the ‘big’ anniversaries (i.e. their first, silver, gold etc), while 18 per cent do not observe their wedding anniversary at all.
Finances have been a driving force behind this, with the research revealing that 25 per cent of couples are still clearing the cost of their wedding by the time they reach their ‘leather anniversary’ (three years of marriage).
The economic climate is also affecting wedding anniversary budgets this year with 30 per cent of married Britons say less disposable income and higher household costs is having an impact while a further 18 per cent say lower earnings will affect their budget this year. These difficult times will prompt 22 per cent to axe gift-giving all together and 20 per cent will set a price-cap.
But it’s not all bad news, 11 per cent of married couples say that they will throw caution to the wind, citing their anniversary as the one occasion they can treat themselves. Those keen to mark their anniversaries are spending average of £72 annually, to cover celebrations, gifts and outings - this equals a collective £1.7 billion being spent on wedding anniversaries across the UK this year.
However, one in five married adults have said that they have spent, or are planning to spend, less on their 2012 wedding anniversary compared to 2011.
Men are the most romantic on wedding anniversaries, with 42 per cent treating their partner to a surprise gift, such as flowers, chocolates or a spa day. Just 28 per cent of females do the same for the men in the life.
Men are also prepared to dig deeper in their wallets, spending an average of £85 on anniversaries, while women spend £62. However, the gesture is not always appreciated; 13 per cent of women wish their partner would ask them what they want before buying a gift.
Julie Hay, Head of Platinum Cashback Credit Card at American Express, said: "If Money were no option, I am sure that more couples would spend time celebrating their anniversary.
"However, there are times when most couples are required to tighten their purse string, but rather than forfeiting celebrations, couples could look for ways to make their Money work harder so that they are able to comfortably afford to celebrate."
The majority of the UK’s married couples pay for their wedding anniversary celebrations out of their monthly salary (37 per cent), a careful 31 per cent save up through the course of the year, and 9 per cent fund their celebrations and gift buying on their credit cards.