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Average cost to attend a wedding £380

6th May 2010 Print

With the wedding season fast approaching, new research by Santander Cards reveals that the bride and groom aren't the only ones splashing out on the big day, with the average guest spending an astonishing £380 in the run up to and during the day, equating to a national spend of £10.45 billion.

The biggest outlay that wedding guests face is travel and accommodation (£210), followed by a wedding present (£131), outfit and accessories for the day (£123) and the cost of attending the hen or stag do (£114). But incidentals such as other meals and styling come at a price too.

When it comes to funding the cost of attending a wedding, 65 per cent of Britons use their salary, 27 per cent rely on savings and 14 per cent use a credit card. However, four per cent have had to resort to other means of borrowing to fund the expense of being a wedding guest, with three per cent borrowing from family or friends, and one per cent using a personal loan. 

With the average age for first marriages in England and Wales currently standing at 32 for men and 29 for women, it's no surprise that those aged 27 to 34 are most likely to be attending a wedding this year, with nearly half (47 per cent) of this peer group attending at least one wedding. For the five per cent who are attending three to four weddings, the average total cost can work out at £1520.

Emma Roberts, Director of Santander Cards, commented: "It's easy to overlook the cost involved in being a wedding guest but the outlay can be significant, both before and during the big day. The last thing people want to be thinking about when preparing for a loved one's wedding is the expense involved but costs can quickly mount up, especially for those who have several weddings to attend in the same year.

"To avoid suffering a financial hangover long after the wedding festivities have come to an end, those who have put spending on a credit card should make sure they transfer their balance to a 0 per cent deal to manage their money as effectively as possible. The Santander Credit Card, available through branches or over the telephone, offers 0 per cent on balance transfers for 13 months and has no balance transfer fee for any of our existing customers with a mortgage, current account or investment product with us."  

According to the research, over a quarter of Britons (26 per cent) have reduced the amount they spend when attending a wedding as a result of the economic climate, compared to 70 per cent who say they have maintained their spending.

The research also found that Britons spend more than twice as much on a wedding present for a best friend if they have been asked to be the best man/bridesmaid at an average of £165, compared to £67 when they haven't. The average amount Britons spend on a wedding present for a friend is £48, and £27 for a colleague. 

Wedding guest Amy Davies said: "I have five weddings to attend this summer and although I can't wait and am really looking forward to them, I feel totally overwhelmed by the cost. Even with saving and careful budgeting it is going to be a push. I have sacrificed my own annual holiday in order to afford them and am still looking for ways to minimise and spread the cost."