Wedding guests ‘thinking creatively’ about ways to save on costs

Nearly a quarter of people surveyed said they could not afford to accept all of their wedding invitations.

Three in 10 people said they had declined an invite to a wedding, stag or hen do due to the cost-of-living crisis (Anthony Devlin/PA)
Three in 10 people said they had declined an invite to a wedding, stag or hen do due to the cost-of-living crisis (Anthony Devlin/PA)

Staying up all night, travelling on public transport and wearing the same outfit on multiple occasions were among the ways people planned to save on weddings this year, a survey has found.

Nearly a quarter (24%) of people said they could not afford to accept all of their wedding invitations, according to research from credit checking company Experian.

Three in 10 (31%) people surveyed said they had declined an invite to a wedding, stag or hen do due to the cost-of-living crisis.

With soaring day-to-day living costs adding pressure to household budgets, many invitees are thinking carefully, and sometimes creatively, about how they can manage the cost of joining in the fun

James Jones, Experian

The research indicated that the average cost of attending a wedding was now £567 per head, with around £116 typically spent on accommodation.

To keep costs down, people said they were exploring new ways to save, with some saying they planned to stay up all night so they did not have to pay for a room and some saying they would only attend if the wedding did not require an overnight stay.

Some people surveyed said they only planned to attend weddings that they could travel to on public transport.

Other popular ways invitees were planning to cut costs included wearing the same outfit to multiple weddings and cutting back on other outgoings such as eating out, to save up for the big day.

Many wedding guests surveyed also felt sympathetic about the costs the happy couple would incur.

More than half (57%) of wedding guests agreed that it had become more acceptable to pay for drinks and food at the reception as costs had rocketed.

Our research found that over a quarter of people attending an upcoming stag, hen or wedding party plan to use credit to help spread the cost. People should obviously be careful to never borrow more than they can comfortably afford to repay

James Jones, Experian

More than half (52%) also agreed that society put pressure on couples to offer a free bar, which they believed was unfair.

Some people put wedding plans on hold due to coronavirus restrictions, which meant some guests had a backlog of previously postponed events to attend.

James Jones, head of consumer affairs at Experian, said: “We all look forward to celebrating the union of friends or family, but it can be an expensive occasion for guests as well as the lucky couple.

“With soaring day-to-day living costs adding pressure to household budgets, many invitees are thinking carefully, and sometimes creatively, about how they can manage the cost of joining in the fun.

“Our research found that over a quarter (26%) of people attending an upcoming stag, hen or wedding party plan to use credit to help spread the cost.

People should obviously be careful to never borrow more than they can comfortably afford to repay and have a clear plan in place on how they’ll clear any debt.

“Anyone with outstanding balances on credit should also consider searching for and switching to better deals, such as a 0% balance transfer card, which could help cut costs and speed up the repayment.”

Researchers Opinium surveyed 1,000 UK adults in May who were attending a wedding this year or had attended a wedding in the past year.

Here were the top ways that wedding guests planned to save money, according to Experian:

1. Wear the same outfit to multiple weddings.

2. Cut back on luxuries like holidays and meals out to save money.

3. Share a hotel room with someone to halve costs.

4. Only attend weddings that do not require an overnight stay.

5. Make a wedding present rather than buy a couple a gift.

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