It’s a well-known fact that the summer months are peak wedding season, with thousands of couples taking advantage of the long nights and occasionally sunny days when they tie the knot.
Whilst weddings are traditionally a great expense for the bride and the groom, over recent years, they have also become increasingly expensive events for guests.
As well as causing financial strain for friends and family hoping to watch their loved ones tie the knot, the spiraling cost of weddings is also putting pressure on relationships, with couples fighting over the costs involved.
The latest survey from Experian suggests that almost one in four couples in the UK have argued with their partner about costs associated with attending a wedding.
What’s more, one in six people in a relationship (17%) have actually had to miss the wedding of a friend or loved one because they simply can’t afford to attend. In practical terms, that means one guest at each table has declined the invitation.
Of course, the costs don’t just apply to couples, but the percentage of single people having to decline wedding invitations on the basis of cost is much lower at 8%.
As well as highlighting the increasing costs of attending a wedding, the survey also demonstrates that the matter of how to split the cost of Wedding guest money can also cause problems.
While nearly eight in every ten (77%) couples always choose to split the cost, almost one in five (17%) foot the entire bill for both of them to attend the wedding of their own friends and family, whilst their partner does the same for their nearest and dearest.
In response to the findings, Experian has created a dedicated Money & Relationships Guide to help couples to ensure that their relationship is in good financial order, both in wedding season and all year round.
James Jones, Head of Consumer Affairs at Experian, said: “Attending the wedding of family and friends should be great fun. However, for many, wedding season has become a source of financial pressure and domestic strife.
“Sitting down with your partner to put some thought into your budget at the beginning of wedding season is advisable. Discussing not just how much you can afford, but also how you’re going to pay for it can help avoid arguments in the run up to the big day and make sure you come out the other end without a nasty financial hangover.”
The guide helps couples to navigate difficult areas that can frequently cause conflict, and also offers a number of dos and don’ts for financial harmony.
For example, it’s important to set financial ground rules within your relationship – consider whether or not you want joint bank accounts and what constitutes a joint expense.
However, the guide also points out that it is important that couples do not spend all of their time together talking about money and financial issues.