Weddings are very expensive affairs, with the cost of venue hire, catering, wedding dresses, flowers and rings blowing out the budget of the average Australian wedding to more than $50,000. Did you know, though, that it’s also becoming more expensive to attend weddings? Transport, accommodation and added extras, such as gifts for the bride and groom, mean that at the peak of wedding season, guest budgets might be stretched thin.
Unlike a birthday party or get together with friends, it’s hard to skip a wedding - it’s a once in a lifetime event after all. As such, people feel more pressured to attend and to make the financial commitment that’s involved. Research by ING found that 23% of people feel obliged to attend a destination wedding despite the cost, while SpareRoom in the UK found that 31% of guests fall into debt from the cost of attending weddings. Attending a bucks or hens night is expensive too, with the average guest in the USA spending $786 per event.
While most couples offer guests around a year’s notice to prepare for a wedding, it can still be hard to cover all the costs involved. If you’ve got a wedding to attend, make use of these handy tips:
Be realistic with what you can afford
Even if you are a member of the wedding party, you aren’t required to attend every single event. If money is tight, choose not to attend the bachelor or bachelorette party to save enough money to ensure you can attend the ceremony and reception.
Look for alternative accommodation
Instead of booking a room at an expensive hotel, look for alternatives, such as renting out a house, that’ll allow you to stay with friends or family, reducing the overall cost.
Reduce your transport costs
Instead of paying for taxis and Ubers, look for any available public transport options that might be able to help you save a few dollars here and there. If you need to travel further, consider carpooling with friends or family and split the cost of petrol.
Put down the credit card
It can be easy to charge new clothing, accommodation and transport to your credit card, but, as always, it’s best to prepare yourself financially. Consider applying for a personal loan or take the time to carefully manage your budget.
Shop your wardrobe
While it’s nice to buy a new outfit for an event if you’ve got several weddings to attend, buying a new outfit for each can really add up. Instead of heading to the shops, try shopping your own wardrobe for something that’ll suit the event.
Only give what you can afford
Although cash has now become the go-to gift for the bride and groom, you should only give what you can actually afford. If funds are low, consider pooling money with friends for a combined gift.