Do you know how much you’ve spent to attend a wedding?
It’s August, and we’re right in the middle of wedding season.
I recently learned that the average amount that a person spends on a wedding is $628.
Most people get invited to between 4-6 weddings per year.
So if you happen to get invited to four weddings this year, you’ll be spending well over $2,000!
Let’s break this number down. The costs factored in are:
- Travel associated to get there
- Hotel room
This number DOES not include if you want to buy a fancy new dress or shoes.
You then must factor in the wedding shower and the gift you give, or possibly even the cost of a big night out if you’re also invited to the bachelorette party.
And my favourite (which is a tradition I didn’t really grow up with) is the engagement party! If you’re invited to celebrate the big announcement, you are also usually expected to bring a gift.
So that’s four separate (costly) occasions, for the same couple!
Now so far we’ve only been talking about (relatively) local weddings.
But what if you get invited to a destination wedding?
It’s your decision if you’d like to attend, and in a way you’re really lucky to get invited to a destination wedding.
I remember getting invited to a destination wedding in Cabo that I really wanted to go to. But (you know me!) I decided to calculate the total amount it would cost and ended up realizing it would cost me $1,200.
For a 3-day weekend.
At that time, $1,200 was a lot for me, and being the savvy traveler I was, that amount would have been my budget for a ten-day overseas vacation.
It was a tough call to make, but I had to decline the invitation.
There was another special invite I got for a couple getting married in Yosemite National Park. The lodging was going to cost $500 a night. I managed to crunch some numbers with shared accomodation to get my total down to $900, but it was another one I decided I needed to forgo. There’s still a part of me that wishes I could have witnessed this novelty celebration, but as a fresh out-of-college grad, it was too much to swallow. I put that $900 towards my student loans, and I know that a big part of why I was able to pay my debt off in two years was making decisions like these.
I ask you: How much are you spending on weddings?
In my online course, a big topic we cover is budgets. Weddings are one of those things that so many people fail to include in their budgets. With all the different components spread out over categories (like transportation, gifts and clothes) many fail to realize why they are missing money.
It’s important to think about big ticket items and events that may derail your budget. Weddings are one of the most common ones that people often don’t think about!
Obviously, there are limitations when being choosy with weddings. It’s certain you will want to go and make your family’s weddings a priority. Although you should realize – being IN the wedding tacks on an additional $200 to that $628 figure. When it comes to weddings for friends, it’s important to be conscious of the high costs associated with attending. Especially if you are invited to a destination wedding, then you will have to seriously consider if it is worth it to you, and perhaps treat the event like your yearly vacation (as these weddings can be up to $2,000).
If one of your best friends is getting married it’s understandable you will want to share the day with them. My best friend actually lives in Sydney and I remember saving up AirMiles and money as I knew her wedding was going to be my big ticket item for the year. I kept trying to get her to guess the date so I could plan my big holiday and yearly budget! It was absolutely fantastic to make the mindful decision to go and celebrate with her!
I’m not sharing all this information with you to be a downer talking about the expenses for all these events. I’m here to be the reality check.
So many of my clients tell me about their struggles with money, like paying off credit card debt or lots of student loans. It might not be fun to say no to a wedding, but $628 towards your big financials goals is no small number. You need to think about the best use of your money.
A lot of people tell me things like “Kelly, you made the decision not to go…but I can’t do that with my friends!”. But really, it just becomes a personal decision. It has nothing to do with others, it has everything to do with how savvy you want to be when it comes to your own personal finances.
And if you do decide to attend a costly wedding, try to think of other ways you could save. Could you share a hotel room? Carpool? Borrow a dress from a friend instead of buying a new one?
Overall, the goal of sharing this information with you is to think about that big ticket item, being the wedding itself. Do you need it? Could you live without going? How close are you with the bride and groom? At the end of the day, the cost of the wedding as a whole is what will end up setting us back financially.
So the next time a wedding invitation arrives in the mailbox, I’m not asking you to give it a hard no. I will ask you to calculate the costs involved, evaluate if it is possible for you financially and make the mindful decision about your attendance.
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