Attending a wedding can set you back £800

The cost of attending a wedding is going upThe cost of attending a wedding is going up
The cost of attending a wedding is going up
Couples face an average bill of £800 each time they attend a wedding, according to a survey on the wider costs associated with tying the knot.

The new Nationwide Current Accounts research, which polled 2000 adults who have attended a wedding, follows an inaugural survey in 2015.

It shows that the average cost per person of attending a wedding - from the stag and hen party, buying gifts and clothes, and attending the ceremony – is just over £400. This represents a modest £23 increase since the 2015 survey.

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But with many guests attending multiple ceremonies, saying yes could cost them much more.

The significant financial outlay is given as the reason why a quarter of people (25 per cent) have declined a wedding invitation, while around one in six (16 per cent) have become overdrawn or borrowed money to be able to attend.

The survey shows male wedding guests spend £21 more than female wedding guests, £411 compared to £391. However, women are catching up, having increased their overall spend by £38 since Nationwide’s 2015 survey, while men spend only £8 more.

The cost of attending a wedding can be broken down into two elements – pre-wedding celebrations and the ceremony itself.

Pre-wedding celebrations

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The poll shows those who take part in the stag or hen do spend an additional £153, with over a quarter (27 per cent) spending more than £200 per occasion.

However, stags still spend more than hens (£171 vs £134) partying, possibly as they tend to go further afield, with double the amount of men celebrating abroad compared to women (12 per cent vs 6 per ent).

Although, the traditional local night out on the town (41 per cent) remains the most popular choice.

Since 2015, those aged 25 to 34 have overtaken the 18 to 24 age group as spending the most, at £217 compared to £199 (£18 more), with the amount still steadily declining as people reach 55 and over, where it more than halves to an average of £104.

The wedding ceremony

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Nationwide’s research shows guests are spending an average of £249 on the wedding day itself - £28 more than in 2015.

This includes paying for new outfits, gifts, travel, hotel stays and drinks.

However, almost a quarter (22 per cent) spend over £300.

Since 2015, women have overtaken men as the biggest wedding day spenders, at £257 compared to £241 for men.

Younger guests - those aged 18 to 24 - still spend the least (£141), while those aged over 55 spend the most on attending the wedding ceremony (£301).

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When it comes to gifts, people in Northern Ireland are the most generous, spending £64, while people in Wales are the least generous spending £24 less (£40).

The younger age groups are also less generous, spending £30 less than those aged over 55 (£29 compared to £59).

The North East (£486 in 2017 vs £399 in 2015) overtakes Northern Ireland (£455 in 2017 vs £476 in 2015) as the biggest overall spenders, while the South West still spends the least (£356 in 2017 vs £308 in 2015).

This represents a £130 gap between the highest spending region and lowest.

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Phil Smith, Nationwide’s Head of Current Accounts, said: “Sharing a loved one’s special day is a wonderful experience.

“But buying a gift, finding something to wear, travelling to the wedding and staying overnight can add up, especially if you’re going as a couple, or to more than one wedding in a short period.

“There are plenty of ways to cut costs though, such as buying a wedding gift in the sales, recycling your outfit and sharing travel costs.

“Also, putting a small amount of money away each week can help manage the overall cost.”