Weddings can be an expensive business, both for the happy couple and the guests themselves! If you’re attending a wedding this year, read on to find out how you can keep on top of all those wedding guest costs…
A recent survey by Bridebook.co.uk revealed that the average UK wedding now costs £30,355. But it seems it’s not just the bride and groom spending a small fortune – according to Provident, the average wedding guests spends up to £1, 015!
After sending your congratulations to the newly engaged couple and liking several social media posts, it’s not long before you find yourself paying for an overseas hen party, searching for the perfect wedding guest outfit, and contributing to an extravagant honeymoon.
Here, the financial advisory service Scottish Trust Deed give their 5 tips on how to avoid delving into wedding guest debt.
Hen Do dilemma
Gone are the days where a hen party was a fancy dinner and drinks. The rise of social media and influences from across the pond, has seen the 21st century Hen Do span across several days with numerous activities at an additional cost. The occasion can spark ideas of travelling abroad with the presumption of using precious annual leave. 2018 saw over one billion pound spent on Hen parties in the UK, with an average cost of £507 per person!
David Baddeley, CEO at Scottish Trust Deed, says: ‘we have definitely seen a rise in enquiries from clients who have used credit to fund the requests of the bride and groom. Guests can knowingly but reluctantly immerse themselves in debt through fear of upsetting their close friends, causing confrontation or being the victim of idle gossip. Often, what they don’t realise is that several guests hold similar fears and worries, which only come to light after the wedding.
Don’t be afraid to raise concerns with regards to how much the wedding-related costs are amounting to. Occasionally, the bride and groom are spending a large amount on their wedding and don’t realise that their guests are also receiving a high bill, which is putting then under pressure. Make it clear what you can afford and suggest thoughtful activities that align with your budget’.
‘If you want to send some money our way, it would really make our day’
It’s becoming increasingly common for couples to ask for cash instead of tangible gifts. This can be problematic as the appropriate gifting amount is a grey area. Some couples are incredibly open with regards to asking for money as they opt to include a poem within their invitations or highlight the request in their RSVP. Others simply choose not to include a gift list and presume that the guests will assume.
If the idea of gifting money makes you uncomfortable, don’t feel forced into it. A thoughtful gift can truly portray your support and love for the couple more than money can. A photo of the wedding in an attractive frame or a photo book of the couples’ romantic journey can prove to be a thoughtful forever keepsake.
A common oversight is accommodation after the wedding. With wedding preparations underway, the need to find accommodation can be forgotten. If the wedding is miles away from home, then explore nearby hotels and perform a price comparison, rather than just sticking to the couples’ accommodation suggestions.
If the wedding is close to home, compare the price of hotels with the costs of a cab. If choosing a cab is cheaper then book it in advance and establish a price before the big day. Alternatively, drive to the venue and stay clear of alcohol. This will also make the whole experience cheaper if there’s no free bar!
Something old or something new?
We all reach an age where every friend, cousin and acquaintance is getting married. Social media showcasing every aspect of the wedding, including your outfit, can make dressing for the occasion problematic. Combined with the attendance of several mutual friends, wearing the same outfit twice can seem impossible.
If recycling outfit choices is not an option and you can’t rely on old favourites, buying new clothes is not your only option. Several websites now offer a ‘rent a dress service’, meaning that you don’t have to commit to a permanent purchase. Alternatively, purchase ‘separates’ instead of a dress. This means that you can mix and match your outfits for each wedding, which in turn, reduces costs.
Don’t over commit
‘It’s increasingly common for festivities to include engagement parties, bridal showers, a destination and staycation Hen Do along with the wedding itself’ says Baddeley. ‘We receive several calls with tales of several thousand pounds worth of credit card debt due to friends throwing multiple wedding events. The solution here is simple, set out a budget and only commit to what you can afford. Be honest from the start on what you can and cannot commit to in order to not over-promise. Don’t neglect doing something separately with your friend if you’re unable to attend the official events’.