Wedding guest: how much does it cost?

Being a wedding guest should be great fun, but for some of us the ‘wedding season’ can be a source of financial pressure and domestic strife.

In this week’s news, one wedding guest said on the Mumsnet forum she was left ‘utterly gobsmacked’ after being asked to ‘adjust’ the £100 cheque she’d sent, the bride and groom emailing her with the suggestion her gift wasn’t generous enough. The post has so far got over 1,000 replies, the vast majority in support.

An Experian survey* in August 2015 suggested that the rising cost of weddings can rock the boat for many couples, and not just for the bride and groom.
Wedding guest infographic-600

Experian Expert James Jones told us: “Sitting down with your partner to put some thought into your budget at the beginning of ‘wedding season’ is advisable.

Discussing not just how much you can afford, but also how you’re going to pay for it can help avoid arguments in the run up to the big day and make sure you come out the other end without a nasty financial hangover.”

We’ve highlighted some dos and don’ts for financial harmony from our Money and Relationship Guide:

Do

•           Set the ground rules. Do you want a joint account for regular expenses and separate bank accounts for personal spending? Or do you want everything to go together?

•           Agree on short and long-term goals and how you’re going to achieve them, and review regularly together

•           Be honest about your past. If you have a less-than-perfect history of repaying money you owe, this could affect both of you in the long-term if your credit reports become linked.

•           Take time together to understand if you need to improve one or both of your credit reports. Do this well in advance of applying for credit together

Don’t

• Spend all your time together talking about money, especially not when you are angry.

• Keep secrets. Research from Experian shows that 29% of people in the UK discovered that their partner was keeping credit card debt from them

• Dig yourself into a hole. If you find yourself in debt, don’t borrow more in the hope of putting things right. Ask for help and be open about it with your partner

• Expect your partner to completely change. It’s unlikely an extravagant spender will do a complete about-turn and suddenly become frugal.

(original blog post 27 August 2015, updated with news item 12 May 2016)

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