By Shelley Malton at Experian
There's nothing better than watching your loved ones tie the knot but sometimes it can feel like there's a wedding to attend every weekend. According to research from Experian, on average, Brits spend £438.21 every time they attend a wedding. Not only are we attending more weddings - they're becoming more extravagant as almost 9 million Brits will be invited to a wedding abroad in the next two years. Unfortunately only half will attend because of the cost.
To make sure you get to celebrate with the happy couple in style, without the money hangover that goes with it, check out these top tips:
Research comes before RSVP
We all would love to spend time in Tuscany but for most of us splashing that much money on a wedding is a big undertaking. Before agreeing to a loan or credit, ensure you have a clear plan for paying back any money you borrow. Borrowing money can have serious implications on your future. A poor history of managing credit and debt can have a negative effect on your chances of getting approved for credit or even a mortgage in the future. So before you send back that RSVP and buy the confetti, make sure you've weighed up all the costs.
Avoid the wedding hangover and borrow wisely
It may be the bride and groom shelling out for the big day but chances are, your bank balance will feel the pinch too. If you're looking to spread the cost with a credit card, take a little time to research the best products available to you based on your financial situation. Experian CreditMatcher can show you great financial deals based on your personal circumstances, and gives you an eligibility score showing the credit cards you are more likely to be accepted for.
Plan in advance and get kudos for being thoughtful
You're likely to have months before the big day or trip, which means you can plan ahead and set aside the cash you'll need to spend on each occasion. For special events it's often worth having a bank account set up so you have a pot to dip into - set yourself a target to save and then make sure you stick to your budget. It also gets you in the habit of planning gifts sooner than later as you're forward planning. Rather than giving money or panic buying the last item on the wedding list, you could make your own bespoke and thoughtful gift for the happy couple.
A savvy wedding guest is a happy wedding guest
Once you've said yes to the date, start making travel and accommodation arrangements rather than waiting. The best deals are often those booked well in advance. Check with the bride and groom to see if there's a discount code for guests. If a hotel isn't your thing, check to see what your friends and family are doing for accommodation (you could also consider cheaper options such as B&Bs or self-catering accommodation instead). Sharing accommodation with other guests, you're likely to get a better place to stay, for a more reasonable price if there is a group of you. Not only that but cabs will be cheaper on the way home after the reception.
You're not the one that has to say 'I do'
It may be a British trait or perhaps just a severe case of FOMO (fear of missing out) but we often say yes to something, even if we know that we can't realistically to do it. So don't be afraid to say no if you can't afford both the hen/stag do celebration and the wedding, don't torture yourself - just don't go. Your friends or family will understand.
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