Has wedding season left you with a financial hangover?

The cost of weddings too expensive for many guests 2015

Your big day. You want it to be perfect, so you go a little crazy. Week-long stag do on the continent. Multi-activity hen party plus visit to a spa. Designer outfits for all. The finest champagne. Big wedding bash on the beach of a tropical island… The rising cost of weddings is making things difficult for a lot of British couples, and it’s not just the brides and/or grooms who are getting into a money mess.

It’s not all down to women who want the perfect day regardless of anything else, and going ‘the full bridezilla’. Recent research suggests many modern grooms and male guests are often so concerned about keeping up appearances and trying to look wealthy and successful to others that they’ll spend more than they can afford too. There’s also been a new survey carried out on behalf of Experian on the costs of attending a wedding, and here are a few of the findings.

A few statistics from the Experian study

  • Almost a quarter of Britons (22%) have argued with their partner about the cost of attending the wedding of a relative or friend.
  • Nearly one in six people (17%) who are in a relationship have missed the nuptials of loved ones this year because they couldn’t afford to attend.
  • More than one in ten people in relationships (11%) have spent over £800 each on attending weddings in the last few months, compared to just 6% of single people.
  • One in 20 (5%) guests have had to borrow money in order to attend a wedding. Of those, a huge 78% of people have formally borrowed funds, including credit cards and loans.
  • Almost one in three (31%) of those borrowing money to attend weddings have no clear plan to pay it back.

James Jones, head of consumer affairs at Experian, commented:
“Attending the wedding of family and friends should be great fun. However, for many ‘wedding season’ has become a source of financial pressure and domestic strife. The research suggests that at each UK wedding, there is an average of one person missing [at each table at the reception] because they cannot meet the spiralling cost of attending nuptials – an obvious disappointment for hosts and guests alike.

“While racking up debt has often been seen as the price to pay for holding the wedding of your dreams, it now seems that many guests are also suffering financial stress. Sitting down with your partner to put some thought into your budget at the beginning of ‘wedding season’ is advisable. Discussing not just how much you can afford, but also how
you’re going to pay for it can help avoid arguments in the run up to the big day and make sure you come out the other end without a nasty financial hangover.”

Experian also has a Money & Relationships article that contains some useful general advice.

How much have you spent attending weddings this year? Do you have any examples of weddings where it was too expensive to attend, or the couple getting married were very considerate to their guests and helped to keep the costs down?

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