Home Leisure & Lifestyle This Is the Age You’ll Be Invited to the Most Weddings (And How to Save as a Guest)

This Is the Age You’ll Be Invited to the Most Weddings (And How to Save as a Guest)

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Your mid-thirties could very well become the prime season for wedding invitations flooding your mailbox, and there’s a statistical reason behind it.

In recent years, there’s been a noticeable shift in the age at which people tie the knot. It’s now much rarer to see couples race to the altar in their early twenties. Potentially due to the cost of living crisis or personal preference, people are now getting married later than ever.

NetVoucherCodes analysed ONS data and found that the average age of marriage for opposite-sex couples in 2020 was around 35.3 years for men and 33.2 for women. These numbers reflect a societal trend towards delaying marriage, with individuals prioritising other aspects of life such as education, career advancement, and personal development before settling down.

If your friends are in a similar age group to you, this means your mid-thirties are when you’re likely to experience the most weddings, which can be a costly endeavour with transport, hotels, outfits and food and adding up.

Jessica Alderson, co-founder and relationship expert at SoSyncd spoke on behalf of NetVoucherCodes and reveals why people are getting married in their mid-thirties more often:

“One of the most common reasons for delaying marriage is financial stability. With the increasing cost of living, many couples are choosing to wait until they have a stable income and savings before tying the knot. When it comes to financial priorities, saving for a house deposit, paying off student loans, and starting a retirement fund may take precedence over planning a wedding.

“On top of that, with the rise of social media, there is now more pressure than ever to have a lavish and Instagram-worthy wedding. This can add even more financial strain to the wedding process.

“We are also seeing a societal shift towards prioritising career advancement and personal growth over traditional milestones such as marriage and starting a family. Nowadays, it’s more accepted and even encouraged to self-actualise in different ways. For some, this can mean focusing on their career or travel goals before settling down and getting married while for others it may mean waiting until they feel ready and comfortable in their own skin before committing to a lifelong partnership.

“In the past, marriage was seen as a necessary step for societal acceptance and stability. However, with changing social norms and values, there is less pressure to conform to traditional ideas around marriage. People are now empowered to make their own choices about when or if they want to get married, so more are waiting until it feels right for them rather than when they “should” based on external pressure.”

Rebecca Bebbington, personal finance expert at NetVoucherCodes has curated some tips to help you navigate the financial commitments of being a wedding guest without breaking the bank:

1. Plan ahead

Mark the wedding date on your calendar as soon as you receive the invitation. This gives you ample time to budget and save for travel, accommodation, and any other expenses associated with attending the wedding. By planning ahead, you can also take advantage of early-bird discounts on flights, hotels, and rental cars. Additionally, you can request time off from work in advance, ensuring there are no last-minute surprises that could lead to higher costs or scheduling conflicts.

2. Set a budget

Determine how much you can comfortably afford to spend on the wedding, including gifts, attire, travel, and accommodation. Stick to this budget to avoid overspending. Creating a detailed budget helps you allocate funds efficiently and prioritise expenses. Break down the budget into categories such as transportation, lodging, attire, and gifts, and track your spending to ensure you stay within your limits.

3. Consider grouping up

If attending a destination wedding or travelling with friends or family, consider pooling resources to book group travel and accommodation. This can help reduce costs significantly. Group bookings often come with discounts on flights, hotel rooms, and car rentals. Sharing a rental house or apartment with other guests can also be more economical than booking individual hotel rooms. Additionally, sharing rides or renting a larger vehicle together can cut down on transportation expenses.

4. Look for discounts

Keep an eye out for deals and discounts on flights, hotels, and rental cars. Websites and apps like Skyscanner, Airbnb, and Kayak can help you find the best prices. Set fare alerts to track flight prices and book during sales or promotional periods. Also browse websites with coupon codes to see where you can save on transport, outfits and wedding gifts.

5. Shop smart for an outfit

Instead of buying a brand new outfit for each wedding, consider renting formal attire or shopping for gently used clothing at thrift stores or online marketplaces. You can also borrow attire from friends or family members. Renting allows you to wear high-end designer outfits at a fraction of the cost. Thrift stores and charity shops often have stylish options for formalwear while borrowing from someone with a similar size and style can be an excellent way to save money without compromising on your look.

6. Gift creatively

Get creative with your wedding gifts to save money. Consider giving homemade gifts, personalised items, or experiences instead of expensive material goods. Alternatively, you can contribute to a group gift with other guests to purchase a larger, more meaningful present, such as a high-end kitchen appliance or a luxury experience, without bearing the full cost alone. Homemade gifts and personalised items such as baked goods, crafts, or photo books add a personal touch.

7. Opt for DIY Travel

If possible, drive instead of flying to the wedding to save on transportation costs. Carpool with other guests or explore budget-friendly transportation options like buses or trains. Driving can be more economical, especially for shorter distances or when travelling with a group. Carpooling reduces the cost of gas and parking. For longer trips, consider taking a bus or train, which can be cheaper and less stressful than flying.

8. BYOB (bring your own booze)

If the wedding venue allows it, bring your own alcohol to the celebration to save money on expensive bar tabs. Just be sure to check with the couple or venue beforehand to ensure it’s permitted. Bringing your own alcohol can significantly reduce your expenses, especially at venues with high drink prices. Coordinate with other guests to share the cost of bulk purchases or to create a communal drink station.

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