In the space of a year, I’m due to attend four wedding ceremonies of various friends and family. Now, I love a wedding as much as the next person, but my wallet is starting to feel the strain…
It’s not difficult to see how the cost of attending weddings can add up. You need to get the lucky couple a gift, perhaps buy a new outfit to wear, cover travel costs to the venue, buy drinks at the bar, attend a stag or hen party prior to the event… the list goes on.
But new research from travel insurer LV= has found that being a wedding guest is more expensive than ever, as more and more couples choose to get married abroad.
A costly trip to Cornwall
The research found that the average guest to an overseas wedding has to shell out £2,000 – four times as much as they would to attend a wedding in Britain. And this is increasingly affecting wedding guests, as one in six British wedding ceremonies now takes place overseas.
Some of you may be thinking – how does a person spend £500 just to attend a wedding in the UK? Not long ago, I would have asked the same question. But I’ve managed to spend in excess of that amount to attend a good friend’s wedding planned for early 2014.
The happy couple has decided to get married in Cornwall, 300 miles from the town where we live, in a beautiful hotel overlooking the sea. As it will take me at least six hours to drive to the venue, it’s only sensible that I book a hotel for the evening. And, being so far away, it only makes sense to make a weekend of it (although not essential, of course!)
It’s going to be surfing season in Cornwall, and as such, hotels aren’t cheap. Add this to the cost of fuel for my trip, a gift for the couple, and even the cost of attending the stag and hen dos, and we’ve topped £500 already.
Get married abroad and save £10k
Although it can be costly to attend your friends’ weddings – particularly abroad – it could save the bride and groom an average of £10,000 when compared to a British wedding. That’s a good incentive to head overseas if ever I heard one!
I don’t hold it against my friends when they get married abroad or in faraway places. I can always choose not to attend if it’s truly too costly, and they should feel free to choose the perfect place for their wedding. However, I know I’d be truly disappointed (as would my friends) if I couldn’t afford to attend. In addition, couples can run the risk of alienating guests by putting a high price on attending their ceremonies.
Have you ever had to shell out to attend a wedding abroad or in a far-off location? Did the bride and groom help finance your trip, or did you fund it yourself?