Anyone who has planned or is planning a wedding knows…they’re not cheap. Between the dress, the tux, transport, venue hire, catering, alcohol, photography, music, bonbonnieres, accommodation, honeymoons, celebrants, florists, and all the rest, it’s not uncommon for weddings to be in excess of $30,000. In fact, the average cost of a wedding in Australia, according to Money Guide was just under $50,000 in 2009. Everyone knows it is expensive to pay for a wedding (not always, and doesn’t have to be, but to go all out, it is), but what about expenses for guests?
I got thinking about this recently, because this past weekend, we attended a wedding. Here were our costs associated with doing so:
Hen’s Night: $135
Hen’s Night Outfit: $70
Wedding Gift: $100 (and I felt cheap, really wanted to give more)
Shirt/Tie/Belt for husband: $110
Dress (that I didn’t end up wearing) $60
That includes going a bit cheap on the wishing well donation, and my husband not attending the bucks night. I was blown away when I realised how much we had spent. My husband said, “Don’t think of it as spending money to go to a wedding, think of it as an expensive date night out for us.”
We had a great time. The wedding was perfect, Bride and Groom stunning and glowing, weather was fantastic, company enjoyable. The food was delicious, the wine was flowing. And while I didn’t dwell on costs on the night, it has been in the back of my mind ever since I realised. I’ve just done some research, and came across this from the Huffington Post:
It’s an eye-opener. And with another wedding coming up in just 4 months, it’s time to start saving again! In the mean time, here are some tips to cut costs of attending a wedding:
Dress – borrow from a friend or family member, check thrift shops, or recycle something from your wardrobe.
Accommodation – pick a designated driver and drive home, if possible. Otherwise, look at alternative accommodation – caravan parks or backpackers in the area (definitely not for everyone, but desperate times call for desperate measures!).
Gift – I don’t really recommend skimping, here. Keep in mind your hosts have most likely paid up to (or in excess of) $100 per person for you to be there. The gift should reflect that amount if possible.
Politely Decline – save the money for the wedding, and
make an excuse politely decline the hen’s/buck’s nights. This could easily save $200 give or take.
Babysitting – ask a family member or friend to have your little one/s for the night in exchange for doing the same in return another night.
And at the end of the day, forget what you have spent, let your hair down and have a fantastic night! Weddings are so joyous and special, it would be a shame to miss out on them because the cost has blown out of reach.
When was the last time you attended a wedding? How much did you spend to be a guest?