Planning a wedding is exciting, there’s so much to plan. The dream dress, the stunning venue, the three-course dinner, not to mention the guest list for your lavish affair.
With so much to think about it can be easy for couples to get carried away with the cost, and break their budget by a long shot.
But how much does the average UK couple spend on their wedding, and more importantly, where is that cash coming from?
A recent survey revealed that the average UK wedding now costs £30,355, and it’s not just the bride and groom expected to splash the cash…
How much are wedding guests expected to spend?
Wedding guests fork out on hen dos, post-wedding overnights stays and contributing to honeymoons, the research by Bridebook.co.uk found.
In total, the average wedding guests are spending up to £1,015 if invited to the whole event.
But there is a way to avoid spending so much money as a guest, and we’ve rounded up some top tips from financial experts to reveal the secret to saving cash.
Hen Do heaven or hell?
Gone are the days where a hen do is a fancy dinner and drinks. The 21st century Hen Do has expanded to weekends away, even weeks abroad to a tropical island or a lush villa. 2018 saw over £1 billion pounds spent on Hen Dos in the UK with the average cost at £507 per person.
One Hen who knows all about these exotic Hen Do’s is 32 year-old Michelle Parsons. She said: “I’ve been invited to four Hen Parties this year, each one costing around £800. My partner is furious and if I went to them all I’d have to sacrifice my family holiday.”
If you’re in the same situation, don’t be afraid to raise concerns with regards to how much the wedding related costs are amounting to.
If the bride and groom are working to a high budget, they might not realise how much pressure they’re putting their friends under, and would most likely reconsider things if they knew how it was affecting them.
Make it clear what you can afford and suggest thoughtful activities that align with your budget. Even if you can’t go – you can still arrange something special like an afternoon tea to show you care and support the marriage.
Gone are the days of getting the newlyweds a toaster as their wedding gift, as now, an increasing number of couples prefer to receive cash and will often state it on the invitation.
This can be difficult for guests; as how do you know how much to give?
Some couples make it easy by having a ‘money well’ on their wedding day, allowing guests to throw in their monetary gift without the pressure of being judged on how much they’re giving.
However, others will simply ask for money as a gift to be personally given to them on the day.
If the idea of gifting money makes you uncomfortable, do not feel like you have to give cash.
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, and they will no doubt be grateful of your heartfelt gesture.
The weekender weddings
When you’re invited to a wedding that’s miles away from home, you’re going have to think about accommodation. More often than not, the couple will be getting wed in a stately manor or castle, or even a venue with accommodation onsite.
The recommended hotel isn’t always the cheapest option – so bear that in mind before agreeing to stay there. Have a look on AirBnb or Hotels.com as you’ll probably be able to find somewhere close to the wedding venue for a fraction of the price.
If the wedding isn’t too far from 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.
If you don’t mind skipping the champagne, drive to the venue instead. This will also make the whole experience cheaper if it is not a free bar.