Savoo has surveyed 504 Brits who have been part of a bridal party in the last two years to reveal the most common costs to be a wedding guest, the cities spending the most and how the price to attend can result in stress, debt, and even family rifts. We also look at how many hours bridesmaids spend planning pre-wedding events, as well as the wedding, to reveal how much you could earn if you were to hire out your services.
It might cost an arm and a leg to get married, but it’s also becoming increasingly expensive to attend a wedding. In a world where everything is getting more costly, 62% of Brits are feeling the pressure to spend more than they can afford when it comes to special occasions.
Brits are spending over £600 to attend a single wedding
The average wedding guest can expect to spend a staggering £604 to attend someone’s special day. A bridal party member comes in at slightly more at £691, which does not include any pre-wedding activity costs, which can add significantly more to the bill.
Accommodation is the most expensive part of attending a wedding, costing guests £81 on average and those part of the bridal party up to £98 for a weekend wedding. In terms of looking the part, bridesmaids and groomsmen are spending up to a combined £228 on their outfits, accessories, hair, and makeup, which accounts for more than a third of their overall spend. The standard wedding guest typically spends £29 less at £199.
Bridal party members going to the hen or stag party spend up to £768 on the pre-wedding events alone, over £100 more than the standard wedding guest (£644), which includes another round of expenses from fancy dress to risqué entertainment.
Overall, attending pre-wedding events (e.g. hen or stag party) and the actual wedding itself as a bridal party member can cost up to a whopping total of £1,459, £200 more than the average wedding guest (£1,248).
Brits say the cost to attend a wedding results in pressure, stress, and debt
While many of us love a wedding, the cost to attend them can be daunting, particularly with the cost of living rising. We asked people about the impact the expensive affair has on them:
Feel pressure to spend more than able to afford
Feel financial stress
Worry about being able to afford to attend
Have arguments with partner
Have arguments with family
While 47% of people have been worried about being able to attend a wedding due to the cost, more than one in three (34%) wedding guests have incurred debt due to attending a wedding they could not afford.
We all know money can be a contentious subject in relationships and the research has found the cost of attending a wedding has resulted in arguments with partners (44%), family (41%) and the bride/groom (34%).
Brits could earn £1,381 per wedding as a bridesmaid for hire
The survey found bridesmaids give up a total average of 89.8 hours in planning and taking part in wedding-related events.
Based on the average weekly salary of £615 (based on a 40-hour work week at £15.38 per hour), we found that bridesmaids can charge a healthy base fee of £1,381 to be a bridesmaid for hire per wedding.
Even if you were hired for six weddings a year, that’s an additional £8,286 which makes for a nice side-hustle.
Ed Fleming, managing director at Savoo, said: ‘The findings highlight just how much it costs to attend a single wedding, and with many individuals attending more than one wedding due to the backlog created by the pandemic, budgeting, and planning in advance is key.
‘Take a careful look at the breakdown of wedding guest expenses and prioritise what you need to spend your money on to attend the big day. If the cost is still too high, speak to the bride or groom, as they might be able to help support you.
‘Exploring money-saving techniques will help prepare you for big occasions like a wedding, from putting a small fraction of your income aside in the months leading up to the day to utilising voucher deals where possible to cut costs.’