From those buying gifts and new outfits to the ‘lucky’ stag and hen party attendees, Brits on average splash out an eye-watering £644 celebrating the best day of someone else’s life, a study by insurance broker Policy Expert reveals.
What does the damage?
Travelling to the wedding, staying somewhere and needing to buy an outfit for the big day does the most financial damage.
A smart outfit for the event costs guests an average of £150 while another £124 goes on staying overnight and £78 getting there. Add in £60 for grub, £70 for drinks and £44 for a gift, and you’re already up to £526.
And that’s without any stag or hen do attendance, on which a close friend or family member spends an average of £118.
This all adds up to a grand total of £644, or around one and a half week’s take home pay for the average Brit.
It wasn’t like this in the old days…
For better or worse, the pre-wedding booze up with your best buddy never used to be so common, the study shows.
Of those that got hitched in the 1950s, just over half, 55%, had no kind of stag or hen do at all. Of those that did, none went abroad and only 9% specifically chose to have a pre-wedding celebration. It was far more common to simply have a drinks or dinner the night before the wedding itself, with nearly one in five saying they did just that.
Stag and hen dos become more extravagant
Fast forward 60 years and of those that say they married in the 2010s nearly half went somewhere in the UK for stag or hen shenanigans while nearly one in ten went abroad. Only 1% say they went out the night before the wedding.
A large minority still clearly can’t bear all the fuss as just over one in five, 22%, held out and didn’t do anything at all.
Lazy but fairly generous gift givers
While the average spend on a gift for the happy couple is a reasonably generous £44, Brits aren’t very imaginative when it comes to what the gift is.
Almost two-thirds are happy to give cash or gift vouchers, while only one in ten say they either made something themselves or describe their gifts as ‘quirky or funny’ (i.e. meaning some thought has gone into it!).
The amount wedding attendees say they’d spend tends to depend on the blood relationship with those that are marrying.
Parents think they would spend an average of £715 if it came to it. There’s then a big drop to grandparents who’d fork out £245, siblings £144, aunts or uncles £78 and old friends £57.
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