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Your invitation to the royal wedding may have gotten lost in the post, but you will likely have a wedding to look forward to this year anyway, as research from American Express shows that 32% of Brits will be attending at least one. Their figures further show that guests can expect an average spend of £303 per wedding.
So, if you're one of the few people that will be attending three weddings this year, you could be £909 out of pocket, which is more than the average cost of wedding rings (at £809, according to Brides magazine). The biggest expense is that all-important wedding gift, at an average of £57, followed by the cost of the hotel (£54), a snazzy outfit (£50), and travel and a hen/stag do (£42 each). Drinks (£36) and beauty costs (£22) complete the picture.
These expenses are down from last year, with guests spending £129 less compared to the average cost of £432 in 2017. Sixty-eight percent are planning to cut down on costs by wearing the same outfit, while 52% will be taking advantage of the sales and the same percentage are looking to score a deal on their hotel.
Bridesmaids and ushers in particular may want to think about ways to save, as their average costs are even higher. Perhaps surprisingly, ushers end up spending more than bridesmaids on their loved ones' big day, at a price of £553 compared to £462.
"There are few greater honours than being asked to celebrate a couple's wedding day, whether you're part of the bridal party or a guest," Maggie Boyle, director at American Express, said. "It's great to see that many wedding guests are being smart with their spending this year. However, the costs can still mount up, especially if the invitations are arriving thick and fast. That is why it's important to get your finances in shape so you can focus on enjoying yourself on the big day."
Their research also found that 15% of wedding guests put at least some of these expenses on a credit card. While this can't always be avoided, with not all weddings giving guests enough time to put build a suitable savings pot, it helps to be smart about it. This means either finding a card that pays no interest on your spending until the wedding season is over and your bank account has had time to recover, or using a cashback card to get something back.
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