Weddings are special not just for the couple getting married, but also for their family and invited guests who were chosen to share in their most important day. After the sentimentality of the ceremony come the celebrations, which can often continue well into the early hours of the next morning! Before all that, the bride and groom will likely hold their respective bachelorette and bachelor parties as one last blowout for single life. All these festivities come at a cost, though – literally.
Gear Jewellers (http://www.gearjewellers.ie/), a wedding ring store in Ireland, put together an interesting infographic on the typical costs of attending a wedding in neighboring UK, based on a survey by financial agency Nationwide. The study concluded that, for one person attending the pre-wedding celebrations and the full day of the wedding, their pockets will be lightened to the tune of approximately £500, which equates to just under $700.
Let’s look firstly at the pre-wedding celebrations and what they typically entail. Bachelor parties often incorporate activities such as paintballing, a theme park visit or attending a sporting event. Bachelorette parties can also include special events, albeit of a more feminine nature. Either way, these are most likely to take place a good distance from the bride or groom’s home, so travel costs will be involved. The Nationwide survey revealed that bachelor parties are twice as likely to involve foreign travel as bachelorette parties (in the US, this could equate to crossing several states). However, as British people generally don’t have as much disposable income now compared to 10 or 15 years ago, the craze for overseas pre-wedding excursions has lightened in recent times. A shorter 2-3 hours’ trip to a popular city is, for many, the preferred option now.
When you compare the respective costs of bachelor and bachelorette parties, there is one notable difference is on the typical spend on alcohol. Men spend an average of £52 ($72) on pre-wedding celebration booze, almost 33% more than the typical female spend on the same item. This can be somewhat attributed to the common theme of bachelor parties being planned around all-day drinking – not the soundest recommendation but one that clearly proves popular!
When we look at the costs associated with the wedding day, the male and female average spend is very similar. This is usually because couples will split their costs evenly on expenses such as travel, transportation and accommodation. The standout differences in male and female wedding day costs pertain to drink and outfits; men will usually buy more drinks, but women will spend more on dresses than their partners would on suits.
Add everything up and you’ll quickly realize that wedding attendance does not come cheap. That doesn’t mean you can’t compromise on having a couple of fantastic days, though. There are several ways in which you can reduce your wedding costs without being overly frugal. A big help is to strike early in terms of the gift registry and your own bookings. The cheapest items on the registry will naturally be bought first, so if you act early, you can leave the major purchases to someone else. Also, booking your travel and accommodation several months in advance will save you quite a few dollars for enjoying the festivities.
You shouldn’t feel the need to row back on enjoying a friend’s or family member’s wedding just because of the costs involved, so see if you can strike a couple of bargains and remember to have fun!