With the wedding season rapidly approaching, it seems guests should be preparing more than their wardrobes as new research reveals their wallets will also be taking a big blow.
The cost of having a dream wedding can reach extortionate heights, but the financial pain is usually assumed by the couple, or the father of the bride, rather than the guests. But the average cost of merely attending a wedding is now £480, and likely to be much more should the hen or stag do be a flight away. Considering how many of us are bound to have two or three weddings a year, you can imagine just how much this racks up to.
The costs begin to mount up well before the big day itself, especially for women who confess they feel pressured to buy a brand new outfit for each wedding, including shoes, hat, handbag and everything else that goes with it. Costly preparation also includes haircut, manicures, pedicures, tanning, accessories and the list (and cost) truly goes on and on.
And as for the location, gone are the days of a quick drive to the church followed by a short walk to a local venue where the wedding breakfast will be served. Today, this is likely to be replaced by weddings abroad, nationwide guest lists and of course everything that comes with making a long distance trip.
Of course, leaving home requires accommodation and dining near the wedding venue, as well as caring for those left at home. Paying for childcare or putting a furry friend with the dog walker, even just for a single night, can be a substantial cost to add to the wedding guests' bill.
Add to all of this the cost of the wedding gift, which, depending on where the couple has ‘registered’ their gift list could end up being in the hundreds. If you are then lucky enough to be picked as a best man, bridesmaid or maid of honour, the cost goes up again.
Although having a role to play in the marriage of your friends is an honour that potentially comes round once in a lifetime, the extra costs associated with such a task can add hundreds to your total spend.
Events such as attending a stag or hen do then bring a whole new list of expenses to the final bill; especially as a night down the local pub no longer cuts the stag or hen party mustard. Instead, you’re likely to find yourself embarking on a trip somewhere glamorous such as Ibiza or St Tropez, or if you are ‘lucky’, to ‘local’ Bournemouth.
With this in mind it comes as no surprise that many people have no other choice than to decline invites due to stratospheric costs that now come hand in hand with any wedding. However, as most of us would hate to miss out on such a special occasion, research by The Money Platform revealed that over two thirds of Brits said they’d be happy to rely on a loan if that’s what it takes to see a loved one say ‘I do’.
However, the best thing anyone could do is to plan ahead so that spending for the special day doesn’t become a financial headache. Unfortunately the research highlights the real money struggles of the British public.
If you don’t have enough to cover all expenses associated with attending a wedding, think before you borrow money. If you know you may struggle to repay any loans in full, and could potentially get caught in a debt spiral, it may even be worth turning down some of those invites. And don’t feel bad about it!
Let the couple know at the earliest opportunity that you regretfully won’t be able to join them on their special day and send them a congratulatory card with a thoughtful gift. This way you can show your loved ones you are thinking of them on their special day, without having to commit to the hefty price tag that comes attached to many wedding invitations nowadays!
By Charles Balcombe, co-founder of The Money Platform