A year ago the Royal Wedding made us all hope that dreams may come true. But this year the UK is in ‘romantic recession’ as downturn impacts anniversary celebrations. £1.7 billion spent on wedding anniversaries annually. 13 per cent of women wish their man would ask them what they want before buying a gift.

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.

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.

Omnibus research was conducted by One Poll, 2000 adults aged between 18+ were surveyed online between 11 and 12 February 2012. 955 respondents were married / married with children and completed the survey questions featured in the press release.

The Labour Force Survey from Office for National Statistics states there were 12,018,000 married couples in the UK in 2011. This equates to 24,036,000 married individuals in the UK. The survey found an average of £71.92 is spent on wedding anniversaries per married UK adult. 24,036,000 x £71.92 = £1,728,669,120 (rounded to £1.7 billion).

Images are kindly donated by www.freeimages.co.uk

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