Surviving the wedding season

Tomorrow is our wedding anniversary. Was it really six years ago that my arms and hands were covered in mehndi, my lengha hanging in the cupboard, ready for a walk down a country church aisle? I barely slept that night or many of the ones before it. I remembered this when we wondered how one of Laurence’s cousins might be feeling in the lead up to her own wedding earlier this summer.

Looking back, I doubt I’d change anything about our wedding day. Perhaps we could have spent less money but then we saved in many areas with creativity (friends brought cupcakes, our families made Jamaican and Tribagonian food). We splashed out on a few bigger things which were carefully considered (the stretch marquee and reggae band spring to mind). It was a relatively thrifty wedding but putting it together forever changed the way I’ve viewed weddings since. I’ve become far more appreciative of the time, effort and money that goes into them as well as the privilege it is to celebrate with the happy couple.

Surviving the wedding season-6

Yet in all this talk about the cost of weddings, we rarely note that being a guest can be pricey too. Experian estimates that nearly 11% of people in a relationship have spent £800 on attending weddings. That blows my mind but by the time you account for hen and stag parties (especially stags – can anyone explain why they’re so often far more expensive?!), clothes, transport, accommodation, possibly childcare and a gift, I suppose it’s not that surprising, once you’ve been to a few. Many of my friends married young and I genuinely felt the squeeze attending weddings as a student and new graduate.

So it’s unsurprising to hear that Experian found that one in four people have argued with their partner about the cost of attending a wedding. In their Money & Relationships guide, they’ve included lots of helpful tips for couples seeking financial harmony such as:

  • Set ground rules for whether you’ll combine or separate accounts for spending
  • Agree on short and long-term goals
  • Don’t spend all your time together
  • Don’t talk about money issues when you are angry (I firmly second this one!)
  • Take time together to understand if you need to improve one or both of your credit reports

Last week, I played wedding guest at London’s Duck and Waffle, invited by Experian to dine with a small group of bloggers and chat weddings. With a couple of them engaged and my own anniversary looming, it was a fun topic to take apart over Chef Daniel Doherty’s signature sharing menu. The meal featured playful delights such as bacon wrapped dates, roasted octopus and, of course, duck and waffle.

Surviving the wedding season-2

Surviving the wedding season-3

The restaurant is forty floors up, giving an enviable view of London. I must admit I struggled a bit with the glass elevator on the way up! Lunch there made me put it on my wishlist for my 30th birthday next year. We’re talking about possibly having a weekend away in London if one of our family babysitters is up for it, depending on what Ophelia is like at night by then. Failing that, maybe we’ll celebrate our seventh anniversary there. Seven. Now that sounds like a big deal.

Surviving the wedding season-4

Surviving the wedding season

Experian have put together the infographic below, detailing their survey’s findings on how much people are spending on attending weddings and how they’re coping with the cost. Is any of this familiar to you? Have you been to many weddings this year?

Wedding-guest-infographic-600

Do take at look at Experian’s blog for tips on how to prevent finances from becoming a pressure point in your relationship.

Thanks to Experian for working with me on this post

Photo credit (top two images): Courtenay Photographic


20 Comments

  1. September 5, 2015 / 7:43 am

    It’s such an expensive time for everyone. i think part of the problem though is that companies hear the word wedding and add a nought or something as prices do seem to be inflated.
    Erica Price recently posted..Minecraft Wearable Gameband

  2. September 5, 2015 / 12:21 pm

    It’s amazing how much people spend isn’t it? My wedding was a super simple and cheap day for us but over 200 miles away from where we live (we got married at Gretna Green) so even though we only had close family and friends it won’t have been cheap for any of them x

  3. September 5, 2015 / 4:07 pm

    It’s amazing how expensive weddings are these days. x

  4. September 5, 2015 / 6:32 pm

    I love the picture of the band and your arms look amazing! Happy Anniversary to you
    Gemma recently posted..Baby Moments App

  5. September 6, 2015 / 9:53 am

    Oh my gosh Adele, your wedding sounds incredible! Here it’s the custom to give money as a gift, usually the amount of money that you think the couple have spent on inviting you – makes sense I think! 🙂

  6. September 7, 2015 / 7:11 am

    The only shred of guilt I have about our wedding is that 80% of the guests had to travel and stay, so we made the booze free to compensate. It’s fair to say that went down well. Write more about your wedding, I want to see it ALL!!!!
    Eleanor (The Bristol Parent) recently posted..Adventuring outside, the Bristol way

  7. September 7, 2015 / 10:25 am

    The whole wedding industry is just crazy and I think it’s ridiculous that people are in the situation of not being able to afford to go to the weddings of loved ones! I hope that frugal weddings will become cool soon!
    Mums do travel recently posted..How you can help Syrian refugees

  8. September 7, 2015 / 1:00 pm

    We celebrated our 10th anniversary this year and did our wedding on a budget. I am always shocked by how much some people spend
    Kara recently posted..An Emotional Day

  9. September 7, 2015 / 1:14 pm

    Great advice. Planning a wedding was great fun, but I must admit – I don’t think I could do it as a job!

  10. September 7, 2015 / 7:10 pm

    Oh wow you mehndi was beautiful, I would love to have it done on myself.
    I have been married for 13 years now and we managed to do our wedding on a small budget. I find it scary how much people are spending on weddings today.

  11. September 8, 2015 / 9:29 am

    Oh wow, your hands in that first shot – so beautiful! This reminds me of the summer that I attended 10 weddings, yes 10! I spent at least £2000 that summer attending and more for some of the hens and I have to say it has put us off getting married (although I’ll never say never). Love the Duck and Waffle restaurant, too; food looks amazing x

  12. September 8, 2015 / 10:32 am

    I’m quite envious of your meal at the Duck and Waffle! I’ve been for coffee there and the views are incredible! I do think it’s a bit out of order when people expect their friends to pay for trips abroad or weekends away for hen or stag do’s and your right it always seems to be the stags! Tom went to a three day one before where they were supposed to pay for activities each day too. Madness! x
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