How to wed without breaking the bank

Published: Saturday 20th June 2015 by The News Editor

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The wedding season is in full swing, and while couples up and down the country are looking forward to tying the knot, some may also be fretting over how to rein in their budget.

While everyone wants their big day to be perfect, tying the knot can be an expensive business.

Indeed, a survey of 2,000 people who were married or in a civil partnership has found that couples spent £7,500 on average on the celebrations.

And for more than one in four (22%) couples, the bill came to more than £10,000, according to the research from Nationwide Building Society.

People aged between 25 and 34 years old were found to have spent more money than other age groups, at £11,204 on average.

But the research also suggests that many people end up blowing the budget when it comes to their wedding plans.

One in four (25%) people surveyed had raided their current account to cover the costs, while 14% had racked up debts on their credit card.

:: So if it’s a choice between panic-plundering your current account and cutting corners, what are the most popular options for reducing wedding costs?

While it may well require some tact and diplomacy, the research suggests that cutting the wedding guest list is a popular option.

Some 37% of people surveyed favoured this option, when asked what features of the wedding they were willing to cut down on in order to have their big day.

This is the same proportion of people who said they were willing to reduce the number of cars put on for the day or downgrade them.

And while many women may have their heart set on their dream dress for the day, they may well find themselves needing find a cheaper version if the budget gets too strained, the research suggests.

One in three people (33%) surveyed favoured downgrading the wedding dress as a cost-saving measure for their big day, while the same proportion also said they were willing to cut down on free drinks for guests from the paid bar.

Meanwhile, 27% of those surveyed were also prepared to cut food costs as part of their cost-saving measures.

:: So what wedding must-haves are least likely to get the chop?

Flowers are the least likely feature of a wedding to be reduced or downgraded, according to the research.

The wedding cake, gifts to take home from the party, suits and rings were among the other items that people were least likely to make compromises on.

:: The happy couple aren’t the only ones facing big costs on their wedding day.

Separate new research from American Express suggests that around one in three UK adults are planning to attend at least one wedding this year as a guest.

And it’s not just the cost of choosing a new outfit that will be pulling on the purse strings of wedding guests, the survey among 2,000 people finds.

More than half (57%) of those attending a wedding say they’ll be travelling for more than two hours to get there.

For many people this will mean spending money on overnight accommodation, with the typical cost of this put at £114 by the research.

Guests expect to spend £112 on average on a wedding gift, with a new outfit also costing them around £105.

Like the happy couple, guests were also prepared to make cutbacks in order to keep their costs down.

In order to lighten their burden, around half (52%) of guests say they use offers such as hotel deals or store sales to ease the burden on their wallet.

One in four (25%) guests save up before attending the nuptials of loved ones.

It may also pay for guests to club together. If you know a few other people who are attending the same wedding, sharing transport to the venue or booking hotel rooms in bulk could help to cut costs.

Rather sadly – and perhaps serving as a warning to couples who are planning an expensive day – the research also found that 30% of invited guests would miss out on seeing friends and family tie the knot this year as the costs were too steep.

Copyright Press Association 2015

Published: Saturday 20th June 2015 by The News Editor

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