Attending a wedding may be a joyous occasion but it is also costing Brits more than ever, research shows.
Wedding guests are each spending an eye-watering average of £649.50 to celebrate their friends' marriage.
The costs include around £128.20 on overnight accommodation, £116.70 on a gift for the couple and £114.50 on a new outfit.
It comes as wedding venues brace themselves for a record number of weddings after Covid forced many couples to postpone their celebrations. An estimated 350,000 weddings are expected to take place in the UK this year – 26% more than the yearly average before Covid restrictions began.
With so many postponed weddings taking place this year, wedding guests may be left with mounting bills from unexpected costs or the prospect of missing out.
The Plusnet research also reveals more than a quarter (26%) of under-35s say they have had to dip into personal savings so they could attend a wedding while 26% have declined invites because of cost and almost a third (31%) said they’d sought out other ways to earn extra cash such as a side hustle.
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Accountant and finance expert Yarka Krajickova says it is easy to fall into the trap of overspending on a wedding. She advises setting a budget for the event and sticking to it, factoring in what you might spend on the day as well as what you spend beforehand.
"Food is usually provided, and weddings sometimes come with an open bar but don’t rely on it. Ask!" she says.
Money saving expert Emma Bradley of www.mumssavvysavings.com says there are many ways to save money to stop celebrating your friends' nuptials from breaking the bank.
"Vinted or Charity shops are perfect for wedding outfits for the family," she explains. "Many people only wear a ‘fancy’ outfit once so grab a bargain and save some money wearing pre-loved. Or why not have a clothes swap with a friend if they have a nice outfit you like. New accessories like a bag and shoes can update an old favourite easily. Shop at outlet stores to grab a designer bargain.
"If you need to travel for the wedding, rather than staying at the expensive hotels the wedding is in, look for local guest houses or Air BnB – you could even share a property with other guests. This can save money and if you do stay at the venue do ask if they are reducing rates for wedding guests.
"Getting a manicure or fresh hair colour is expensive – check out your local college who often will do it for free or greatly reduced with a trainee. I regularly have waxing, nails and massages this way.
"When buying the wedding gift, instead of presents do you have a skill you could offer, such as floristry or design skills? I had a friend make a beautiful flower display instead of a physical gift and this went from the church to the venue with us. I loved the personal touch."