How much does it cost to be a wedding guest?

The costs of engagement and tying the knot are heavily researched, commented on and thoroughly analysed. We should know, we write about the hottest topics to advise newly engaged couples as they progress on their journey to the altar. But attending a wedding as a guest comes with its costs too.

The latest research revealed that the cost of attending a wedding in the UK has risen by a third in 2019. Wedding guests now spend an astonishing £391 each to celebrate the nuptials of family and friends. Here, we take a closer look at the costs involved in attending a wedding and reveal how you can save money in these vital areas.

Accommodation and travel

An increasing number of couples are tying the knot outside of their local area. The search for the perfect wedding venue can take you anywhere in the country and even around the world, and guests are expected to foot the bill for their own travel and accommodation as a result.

There are many ways that you can cut costs on transport and lodgings. Working with your fellow wedding guests is the key. Hiring a coach or minibus and splitting the fee will ensure the cost of transport to and from the wedding venue is a fraction of the cost it would be when travelling solo.

Staying in the grounds of the wedding venue will also save money on transportation and aren’t too far away from the heart of the action. We offer accommodation at all our wedding venues to make getting to and from the ceremony and reception quick and easy.

Booking your accommodation ahead of time, i.e. as soon as you receive your save the date, is another great way to get a good deal.

Wedding day attire

Every guest faces the challenge of finding the right wedding attire for the occasion. Dressing to impress is the call of the day for many. The majority buy a new outfit for every wedding they attend, which means costs add up significantly if you’re going to a number of weddings. This isn’t true of every wedding guest however. Women tend to spend more kitting themselves out for weddings than men as journalist Lauren Bravo explained on a recent BBC Radio 4 Woman’s Hour episode:

“My boyfriend has two outfits that he wears to weddings, one is his kilt (he’s Scottish) and jacket that he had for his 21st birthday 11 years ago… and the other outfit is the suit that he wears to work every day. So out of the 20 weddings we’ve been to, the only expense he’s incurred is occasionally buying a new tie. There’s definitely a lot of inherent sexism I think in the outfit pressure.”

You don’t have to spend a fortune to look great at an upcoming wedding. Recycle an outfit that you’ve worn for a special occasion. You’ll be surprised by the new wedding look you can create by mixing up your choice of accessories and shoes.

A gift for the happy couple

Gifts are another expense that those attending a wedding face. Whether the bride and groom have asked for an item from their wedding registry or would like a cash gift that can be put towards their honeymoon, giving the perfect present can get expensive. How much cash you give is of course a personal preference but there are a few tips and tricks you can call upon to keep the cost of a wedding present low.

Shop the sales for a discounted present or opt for a group gift so you can give the couple something extra special without breaking the bank. Asking for the gift list early and purchasing your chosen present straightaway will also mean you can buy one of the less expensive items on their registry. If you have a talent that may be useful to the bride and groom on – or in the run up to their special day, gifting your services is a cost effective, and helpful alternative.

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