Wedding guests looking to save money should turn to this veteran for advice on everything from outfits to accommodations and gifts for the bride and groom.
Bride and groom set aside money for their big day years in advance, but their guests often don’t think about the high costs associated with attend a wedding – not to mention the budget for eight weddings in one year!
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Leanne Woodward ended up spending £32,000 on weddings in 2018, and although her own nuptials were a big part of that cost, she still spent thousands watching her friends say ‘I do’. This is not surprising considering Sharper commissioned a survey of 2,000 UK adults and found that Britons spent an average of £649.50 to attend a wedding, including £128.20 for accommodation, £116.70 for a gift and £114.50 £ for a new outfit. Based on this estimate, Leanne would still have spent £5,200 in 2018.
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Instead of turning down an invitation and missing the celebrations to save money, like 26% of under 35s, or dipping into personal savings, which 26% admitted to doing, there are a number of money-saving hacks you can try. to save your precious pennies.
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Leanne shared her top tips, and after attending 16 weddings in three years, with six more planned with her husband Matt for this summer, the 33-year-old Lincoln-based wedding planner knows her stuff.
The couple are attending six more weddings this summer
“I love weddings and I’m at the age where my friends are all suddenly getting married,” Leanne said. “But that comes with a lot of pressure to wear nice clothes, get your hair and makeup done, give a generous gift and cover travel and a hotel too.
“Fortunately, Matt and I are financially secure, but in 2018 we attended eight weddings in addition to our own! keep going to so many weddings.
Budget in advance
From the moment she receives a save the date card, Leanne says she and Matt start budgeting, depositing £100 each into a designated wedding savings account on payday each month and seeking ways to reduce household bills (like switching to Plusnet broadband.)
She said: “I normally allocate £200 per wedding depending on what it has cost us before. It depends on how many invitations we get but from January each year we set aside 100 £ a month each on payday, so we have a pot of money to dip into when the wedding season kicks off.
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“Starting this process also reminds me to go through our bills and check that we’re getting the best deals. This year I switched from a contract to a SIM-only contract and changed our broadband plan to save 600 £ a year.. This will be enough to pay for 3 of the 6 weddings we attend this year.”
Travel and accommodation planning
Leanne recommends pooling resources with other customers
Travel and accommodation can be very expensive, especially at a destination wedding. So Leanne said she prioritizes finding deals as soon as possible.
“A lot of times we end up in the best hotel just because we booked early, and I like to know that we also have it at the best price. If you have the option to pay when you arrive, so if anything changes, you are not out of pocket,” she explained.
Leanne also suggested pooling resources with other guests. “I’m the first to message friends to see if we can travel together. It also means you can start the party earlier with your friends.”
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Savvy Wedding Guest Outfits
A lot of wedding guest dresses are very glamorous, and that means you won’t necessarily have much of a chance to recycle your outfit. There are several ways to save money and be more sustainable – by swapping dresses with your friends or renting your outfit from a rental site.
“I used to go to Oasis and spend £150 on a dress plus a new bag and shoes, but when you go to as many weddings as I do it became unbearable, but I still wanted to look beautiful and not appear in the same one or two outfits.
Leanne and her friends swap wedding guest outfits
“So my friends and I have a group to do swaps, so everyone has a new outfit to wear. Now I feel like I’m wearing a new outfit but it’s free,” he said. she declared.
If you’re looking for a designer look (for a fraction of the price), check out MyWardrobe HQ and HURR, where a £243 Ganni dress can be rented for £34 a day.
Personalized Wedding Gifts
Don’t be afraid to stray from the gift list! The wedding planner revealed that she often chooses personalized gifts from small online retailers through Etsy or Notonthehighstreet.
Leanne said: “I’ve told friends in the past that I don’t buy anything from their John Lewis gift list. My favorite option is to give something personalized. One of my favorites is a print with names and wedding date, then I gave it out several times and it always ended up hanging prominently above their bed.
“Another idea is champagne glasses which can be inexpensive but remind the couple of their wedding each time they get used to it.”
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