Planning a wedding? Read the small print so your big day isn't ruined

By Alex Neill, Which?

Did you have a tear in your eye when Prince Harry and Meghan Markle tied the knot? You'd have had to have a heart of stone not to be moved by their wedding ceremony, which broke so many rules in the traditional royal wedding ceremony book.

Of course for us at Which?, where we've always got an eye on value for money, it was hard not to wonder at just how much the whole thing cost. Givenchy wedding dresses and St George's Chapel don't come cheap!

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But then neither does the average UK wedding these days, at around £27,000 - though in London it's even more at £38,000. Small beer in royal wedding terms but a massive chunk of cash for any normal commoner.

There's the cost of the venue, the reception food and drink, the dress, flowers, rings'¦ and a litany of other so-called essentials to pay for. It's little wonder so many couples take out a loan to get hitched.

One thing which is therefore worth considering if you're spending so much money is making sure you're covered if things go wrong. After all if your venue goes bust, or your bridal shop closes down, it could ruin your big day completely.

Protect yourselves

Start by checking what protection you may have already - paying for anything more than £100 and up to £30,000 on a credit card means you can claim money back from your card provider if there is a problem with goods or services which breach your contract with the supplier.

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Your home insurance policy might also increase cover for one month before and one month after the wedding day to take account of gifts and other items bought for the wedding, so check the small print.

Then there is actual wedding insurance - worth thinking about depending on how much you're spending and how worried you are about things going wrong. But again make sure you know exactly what it will pay out for - some don't include wedding gift providers.

So while we love a bit of romance at Which? we also know to keep one foot on the ground when it comes to making sure the big day doesn't end in a financial jilting.

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Wedding insurance cover normally starts a set period before the wedding and ending a set period after. It normally covers you for deposits you can't recover or the cost of arranging alternatives if a supplier goes busts - though this could be covered by credit card insurance.

Another area it can cover is personal liability insurance for injury to third parties or loss or damage to another person's property. Some even covers the actions of wedding guests!