Are Your Friends' Weddings Plunging You Into Debt?

It’s no secret that us Brits love a good wedding. The thing is, these occasions can be costly affairs. The UK wedding industry is worth an estimated £10 billion, while the cost of the average wedding is a touch over £36,000.

However, it’s not just couples facing an expensive time planning their wedding, it’s their guests too.

More weddings, more money

Some people hit a point in their lives when wedding invitations start arriving in abundance. It’s not unusual to spend most of your summer weekends either at an engagement party, a stag/hen party or at a wedding.

Over the course of a year, the cost runs into thousands, which can not only eat into your savings but even plunge you into debt. Is there a price for having too many friends? It seems as though there finally could be.

Where does the money go?

Reportedly, the average wedding guest spends almost £400 on the event. That’s a decent bit of money, potentially covering the cost of a holiday, a pair of designer shoes, or even – for some people – a rent payment.

So, what does £400 get you in terms of weddings? This is how the breakdown works:

  • £72 on accommodation
  • £68 on an outfit
  • £66 on a gift
  • £58 on a stag/hen party
  • £57 on travel
  • £45 on drinks
  • £25 on hair and beauty

These costs will be higher in some cases and lower in others. Current wedding trends include hen and stag dos which last several days, often in overseas locations. Many couples are also opting for multiple days of celebrations, meaning multiple days of expenditure for guests.

Overseas and overdrawn

Then, of course, there’s the destination wedding. While destination weddings offer several benefits to brides and grooms, including being more affordable, (and often with a better chance of good weather) guests are having to weigh up if their finances can stretch to a destination wedding.

It’s fine if you’ve got some understanding friends and family, but many can take it as a slight when someone explains that they can’t make their big day.

Cutting the costs down

While the amount the average guest spends to attend a wedding is rising, there are things you can do to keep your costs down. Some useful hints include:

  • Booking travel in advance and travelling in groups to save on costs such as petrol.
  • Taking advantage of the end of summer sales, you can find great deals on outfits for next year’s crop of weddings.
  • Splitting the cost of a gift with others.
  • Only committing to what you can afford. If you can’t afford the full cost of an overseas hen or stag, try to arrange another celebration with them at home.
  • Budgeting in advance for weddings to help you spread the costs over a year.

Weddings are a wonderful time to celebrate with your nearest and dearest, but don’t let it eat too much into your finances. After all, we’re sure the bride and groom would be mortified if you got into debt on their account!