A survey revealed that the average UK wedding now costs £30,355, with wedding guests spending up to £1,015.
Wedding guests fork out on hen dos, post-wedding overnights stays and contributing to honeymoons, the research by Bridebook.co.uk found.
With wedding season just around the corner, financial advisory service, Scottish Trust Deed gives five tips on how to avoid delving into wedding guest debt.
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Hen Do Hell
Gone are the days where a hen do is a fancy dinner and drinks. The rise of social media and influences from across the pond has seen that 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 annual leave. 2018 saw over £1 billion pounds spent on Hen Dos in the UK with the average cost at £507 per person.
David Baddeley, CEO at Scottish Trust Deed said: “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 do not realise is that several guests hold similar fears and worries which only come to light after the wedding.
Do not 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 high amount on their wedding and do not 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.”
It is 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, do not feel that excepting the invitation makes you contractually obliged to meet the couples present requests. 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.
Stay with us
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. Do not feel that you need to stick 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 it is not a free bar.
It is common that we 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 cannot rely on old favourites, buying new clothes is not your only option. Several websites now offer a ‘rent a dress service’, meaning that you do not 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.
Five Parties, One Reason
“It is getting increasingly common for festivities to include engagement parties, bridal showers, a destination and staycation Hen Do along with the wedding itself,” said 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 overpromise. Do not neglect doing something separately with your friend if you are unable to attend the official events.”