weddings

The real price of being a wedding guest? More than a present and a new frock.

Ah, weddings! The emotion, the excitement – and the expense.

You know what they say… money can’t buy you love, but it sure can buy you a fancy wedding. Yep, weddings are a time for overflowing love (and champagne) – but also a time for bills.

So many bills.

It seems the minute you say the word ‘wedding’, there’s a mark-up on everything from the photographer to the caterer. In fact, an average Aussie wedding now costs a cool $40,000. And that’s just for the happy – but very broke – couple.

Money can't buy you love - but it can buy you a fancy wedding.

What about you, the guest?

Turns out, weddings burn a hole in your pocket too. Daily Mail says that The Nationwide Building Society polled 2,000 British adults to see how much they spend on wedding celebrations. The study shows that cost of an average wedding in the UK sets each guest back by a whopping £377 - that's a crazy $790 for us.

Does that figure astound you? Just think back to the last wedding you attended. The obvious expense would come from buying the happy couple a nice pressie from their chosen gift registry. You don't want to come across as a penny pincher, so you go all out.

Then what about you? Surely such a fabulous occasion demands you splurge on an equally fabulous dress - and shoes, and hair, and make-up, and accessories, and - you get the drift.

Wedding guests, get ready to spill some cold hard cash.

Did this wedding have a whole stack of pre-wedding parties?

Hens’ Night (or Bucks’) and a kitchen tea, perhaps? In that case, be prepared to fork out an additional £157 (approx. $330). And if it’s a destination wedding, these costs escalate. Think travel, hotel accommodation, hire cars, etc.

Turns out, it’s the young ones who need to curb their wedding enthusiasm. The study found that wedding guests aged 18 - 24 years spend the most on pre-wedding celebrations at £215 ($450), whereas the oldies are tighter with their money and spend an average of £109 ($228). They rather part with their money on the actual wedding day itself, doling out around £280 ($586).

Shower the bride and groom with cash - not confetti.

Spend also varied regionally: guests in London spend £417 ($873), while in Wales the bill adds up to a much cheaper £341 ($714).

Back in 2014, Cleo reported, "American Express polled 1,500 people in its annual wedding spending survey and found that on average, we each spend $592 every time we watch a friend say “I do”."

Got any tips for spending smartly at weddings?

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