Keep an eye on the purse strings when it’s time to tie the knot

Wedding season is here, and while it’s an expensive time for couples getting hitched, 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 big day can leave a financial hangover for all concerned. Picture: PA

The rising costs associated with weddings can sometimes lead to tensions. One in five (19 per cent) guests say they sometimes resent the amount it costs to attend a wedding, while one in six (15 per cent) said the same about the cost of attending hen and stag dos, a study from AA Financial Services recently found.

So whether it’s your big day or you’re just along for the ride here’s some advice on keeping the spending within reason.

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5 tips for couples planning a wedding

Rachel Springall, a finance expert at Moneyfacts.co.uk, has the following money-saving advice for the bride and groom

 Save little and often with easy access accounts. 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 per cent 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 per cent, including a 12-month bonus of 0.50 per cent.

 Make a budget and be open to compromise. Relationships are all about give and take – 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. 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.

 Make the most of credit card perks. These include purchase protection and 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 services, according to Section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act.

 If your budget just won’t stretch, a low-cost loan could help. According to Moneyfacts’ research in June, consumers could potentially borrow £15,000 over five years for as low a rate as 2.9 per cent. Five years ago, the lowest rate for this type of deal was 4.2 per cent.

 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). 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.

 Plan your journey to the wedding. If you’re going by train, book tickets well in advance to get the best deals..

 Go halves on a gift. More than a third (34 per cent) of wedding guests admit they can feel pressured when it comes to gift-giving. Team up with a fellow guest and you can buy a more expensive present without over-stretching your budget.

 Get sales shopping. Nearly half (48 per cent) 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.

 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.

 Use points or rewards. Put any store or loyalty card points you’ve built up towards your travel or accommodation costs.