If weddings are putting a strain on your budget this summer, here’s how everyone can claw back some money.
Wedding season is here, and while it’s an expensive time for couples tying the knot, guests can also feel the strain on their wallet. According to American Express, guests can expect to spend £391 each on average to attend a wedding this year – that’s £88 more than in 2018.
The rising costs associated with weddings can sometimes lead to tensions. One in five (19%) guests say they sometimes resent the amount it costs to attend a wedding, while one in six (15%) said the same about the cost of attending hen and stag dos, a study from AA Financial Services recently found.
Whether you’re planning or attending a wedding it’s bound to be a special day, however fancy and expensive the details are. Nobody should feel pressured to blow the budget or put themselves in serious debt – and with some careful consideration and planning, there’s usually a happy compromise.
5 tips for couples planning a wedding
Rachel Springall, a finance expert at Moneyfacts.co.uk, shares the following money-saving tips for keeping that wedding budget on track…
1. Save little and often with easy access accounts
Saving little and often is the key to building up a decent amount of cash to cover the cost of the big day. Putting money away can also be fuss-free when opting for an easy access account, thanks to their straightforward structure.
The top deals have improved over the past year too. Savers can earn 1.50% on Virgin Money’s Double Take E-Saver, which allows two withdrawals per calendar year. And Cynergy Bank’s Online Easy Access Account pays 1.50%, including a 12-month bonus of 0.50%.
2. Make a budget and be open to compromise
Relationships are all about compromise – and that’s no different when money’s involved. Making some tweaks to your plans can help you save cash, such as choosing a buffet over a sit-down meal.
A wedding should be budgeted for well ahead so there aren’t any nasty surprises. Hiring a wedding venue, catering and entertaining guests are usually the biggest costs of the day, so plan guest numbers well in advance.
Make the most of money apps to get on top of your outgoings.
3. Make the most of credit card perks
Credit cards can give you added protections on purchases if something goes wrong, as well as interest-free periods to help your budgeting. There are many 0% introductory purchase credit cards that could be used to cover any unforeseen costs. Barclaycard has been offering a 27-month interest-free deal on purchases, for example. If something goes wrong with a credit card purchase, consumers can claim reimbursement if they spent between £100 and £30,000 on the goods or service, according to Section 75 if the Consumer Credit Act.
4. If your budget just won’t stretch, a low-cost loan could help
It’s best to avoid debts where possible. But if you must go into the red, some personal loan rates are offering relatively low rates. According to Moneyfacts’ research in June, consumers could potentially borrow £15,000 over five years for as low a rate as 2.9%. Five years ago, the lowest rate for this type of deal was 4.2%.
5. Find some cash
Many current account providers are offering cash to switch to them.
If you think you could be better off elsewhere, try switching using the seven-day current account switch service (Cass). But think about how much better off you’d be in the longer term with a particular provider, rather than just focusing on who’s offering the most up-front cash. To ease your budget, you may also want to consider asking guests for contributions towards the cost of the honeymoon, rather than individual gifts.
5 tips for wedding guests
And here are five budgeting tips for those attending a wedding, from American Express…
1. Plan your journey to the wedding
If you’re going by train, consider booking tickets in advance to get the best deals and ensure you are allocated a seat for a long journey.
2. Go halves on a gift
More than a third (34%) of wedding guests admit they can feel pressured when it comes to gift-giving. Team up with a fellow guest when buying a present to buy the happy couple a more expensive gift without over-stretching your budget.
3. Get sales shopping
Nearly half (48%) of wedding guests buy their outfit in the sales. Lots of stores are having sales now. If you have a wedding later on in the year, sign up for sales notifications now so you can bag a bargain on your outfit.
4. If you are concerned about the high cost of attending pre-wedding celebrations, perhaps choose just some activities to take part in
You can still show your support while making sure you can afford to take part in the fun.
5. Use points or rewards
Put any store or loyalty card points you’ve built up towards your travel or accommodation costs.