Your money-making expert. Financial journalist, TV and radio personality.
Love them or loathe them, there’s a good chance you may be heading off to a wedding at some point in the next month or so. And, as you probably know from experience, each invite can really put a dent in your finances.
Earlier this year, American Express claimed it costs each wedding guest more than £1,000 to attend a do – although, I think that says more about the spending habits of Amex users than the average wedding guest.
Some of the figures were pretty outlandish; I certainly don’t know many people who would spend £217 on gifts for the happy couple.
Even the £160 we allegedly spend on “outfits and accessories” seemed a little steep, but I know a lot of women do buy new dresses for each wedding they go to – so maybe that’s not too far out.
Either way, there are some ways you can slash the cost of being a wedding guest. For instance, you could rent a new dress rather than buying one you’ll probably never get a second use out of.
HireStreetUK.com has a ‘wedding guest’ rental section, with maxi dresses starting from £20. Even John Lewis has a special ‘wedding guest’ rental section, with dress rentals costing about one sixth of the price that you’d pay to buy them outright.
You can also rent fascinators on John Lewis’s website. Or, if you like a challenge, make your own using a nice piece of fabric, some feathers and tuille, and an old hair slide. There are loads of tutorials (and even kits for sale) on the internet.
Guys can also jazz up their out-of-date suit by investing in some inexpensive, head-turning accessories.
You can get 35% off lapel pins, ties and pocket squares at online retailer Mr Lapel by entering my code Jasmine35 at the checkout. It gives you a third off everything, including sales items!
Other top money-saving tips, according to a survey by wedding supplier Ginger Ray, include driving to the ceremony to save money on late-night taxis (which is done by 20% of people) and not drinking at the reception to save on the bar bill (12% do this).
If you’re determined to drink, you could try pooling resources with friends and buying a group gift to save a few quid, instead. It will certainly looks ‘less cheap’ than whatever you could buy with your share of the money.
Alternatively, creating a heartfelt gift rather than buying off a registry could save you even more money and maybe even earn you some added ‘friendship points’ for the effort.