Money Wellness
Image of a bride and groom linking arms with confetti being thrown
category iconmanaging your money
calendar icon11 Jul 2023

Weigh up the costs of that wedding invite before saying ‘I do’

The amount your spend attending a wedding can vary considerably, depending on factors such as whether the ceremony is at home or abroad. But a recent survey found on average a couple spends a whopping £500.

So where is this money going?

Travel and accommodation

If the wedding is held in a different city or country, you may need to factor in travel costs such as flights, train tickets, or fuel for the journey. Additionally, you’ll need to pay for accommodation if you're staying overnight or even longer. Reduce the cost by sharing an Airbnb with a group of friends or staying with relatives.


Looking your best

Weddings are a great excuse to dress up. But the cost of new outfits, shoes, accessories, or alterations can add up, especially if you have more than one wedding to attend.

Keep the cost of looking glam down by renting your outfits. Try companies like Hire Street. Hurr or Girl Meets Dress for a cheaper and more sustainable alternative to buying new. Even high street and online retailers, such as ASOS, John Lewis and Selfridges now have sections where you can hire outfits.

For men’s suit hire, try Moss Bros, Suit Direct Hire or Best Man.


Wedding gifts

It’s common practice to buy the happy couple a gift. The amount of money you spend is likely to depend on your relationship with the couple.

It’s now popular for brides and grooms to ask for vouchers or donations towards their honeymoon.

Never get yourself into financial difficulty by overspending on a gift. Most brides and grooms will be overjoyed that you’re at their special day and won’t be offended if you don’t contribute.

Alternatively, opt for something that’s affordable, perhaps with sentimental value. You could even make a gift e.g. a personalised photobook or handwritten poem. It’s the thought that counts on these occasions.

Hen and stag dos

In recent years, hen and stag dos have got bigger, brighter, and more brash. Many are now abroad, making the cost of attending eyewatering.

It’s not mandatory to go but if you choose to attend, it could be costly with travel, accommodation, entertainment, activities, food, and drink to pay for.

Perhaps it’s worth making the decision of whether to attend based on how affordable it is and how close you are to the bride/groom.

 Wedding-related activities

Weddings have increasingly become drawn out, with it now being common for couples to have pre-wedding events like welcome dinners, post-wedding brunches or group outings. Again, attending these will result in more costs for additional outfits and accommodation, as well as food and drinks (not guaranteed to be included).

 Time off work

Depending on the timing and location of the wedding, you might need to take time of work to attend. This can result in lost wages if you’re not entitled to paid time off.

 Transportation on the wedding day

If the wedding venue is not easily accessible, or transport to and from the church to the venue is not provided, you might have to arrange and pay for travel. Keep the cost to a minimum by sharing with other guests where you can.

Other expenses

There can be various other unforeseen expenses, such as parking fees or tips for waiters and service providers. There’s even more potential for extra out-of-pocket expense if you’re a bridesmaid or groomsman.


It's important to budget and plan accordingly to make sure you're prepared for the potential hidden costs associated with being a wedding guest.

If you’re worried about how much it’ll cost or you simply can’t afford all the extras, speak to the happy couple, set expectations, and where possible look for less expensive options.

Then you can relax and really enjoy the celebrations without the financial hangover.

Avatar of Caroline Chell

Caroline Chell

Caroline has worked in financial communications for more than 10 years, writing content on subjects such as pensions, mortgages, loans and credit cards, as well as stockbroking and investment advice.

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