Tuesday 26 September 2017

Wedding bill soars to €800 - and that's just for the guests

Gift box with money on color wooden background
Gift box with money on color wooden background
Aideen Sheehan

Aideen Sheehan

Saying "I do" to a wedding invitation will set you back €800.

That's the typical cost of being a guest once clothes, a gift, accommodation and the hen or stag party are factored in, a survey by Bank of Ireland found.

And if you're in your 20s or 30s the costs mount, as most people in this age group expect to attend two weddings this year, with one in five attending four or more.

The biggest cost is the wedding gift, with most attendees spending around €200, according to the survey of 500 people aged 18-44.

Cash won out for most, with nine out of 10 respondents saying they'd prefer to give or get money.

Most people expected to spend €100 on a wedding outfit, €150 on accommodation, €50 on travel and €100 on wedding day expenses.

Guests also factored in another €200 for the stag or hen party, many of which involve trips away.

Despite the high sums involved, some 62pc of people said they would never say no to a friend's wedding because of the cost.

However, only 30pc save for these events and just 4pc rely on an overdraft or credit card to get them through. And while couples might spend months planning tiny details of the event, catching up with close friends and relatives is the thing most guests look forward to about the big day.

And despite all the stress they cause, just 11pc cited the speeches as the highlight of the day.

While half of those attending plan to spend between €100 and €150 on a wedding outfit, the other half make do with previously worn clothes.

Marriage is very much in fashion, with more than 22,000 couples tying the knot in Ireland last year - up over 40pc since the mid-1990s, Central Statistics Office figures show.

Two-thirds of these were religious ceremonies, including some 819 performed by the Spiritualist Union of Ireland.

There was also a particular increase in humanist ceremonies, with 895 such weddings last year, accounting for 4pc of the total.

If the marriage referendum passes on Friday, the number of weddings taking place is likely to get a boost, as many gay couples who previously settled for civil partnership are expected to tie the knot.

How costs can add up

Wedding outfit - €100

Travel to and from wedding - €50

Accommodation - €150

Hen/Stag party - €200

Wedding day costs - €100

n Wedding present - €200

Total costs: €800

Irish Independent

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