I can’t – and won’t – fork out a thousand pounds to attend someone else’s wedding

Receiving an invite to a wedding these days only seems to bore a pit into one’s stomach – and one’s bank account. There’s no beating around the bush; you’re going to have to cough up copious amounts of cash for the privilege of witnessing someone else’s declarations of undying love at the altar. You may even be staring down the barrel of a £1k bill for each wedding you attend, invitations arriving like pretty, floral harbingers of financial doom. That’s according to new data by American Express, at least, with wedding gifts, travel expenses, accommodation, childcare costs and outfits named the top offenders for leaving guests out of pocket.

I don’t think I’m just being stingy. The very thought of spending anywhere near a grand to attend a wedding – not even as part of the wedding party – seems like utter insanity to me. If that’s the average cost of going to one wedding, what if you’ve been invited to two, three, maybe even four this year? My credit card balance is quaking in fear at the prospect. Rima Barakeh, wedding expert at, points to data that shows nearly half (40 per cent) of guests admit they will still attend a wedding despite not being able to afford it, but she adds: “If attending a wedding is costing someone upwards of £1k, most people won’t be able to sustain more than one of two a year, if that.”

I come from a DINK household – meaning “dual income, no kid” – which means I can split some of the costs of attending a wedding with my partner. But things are much worse on either side of us: parents having to splash out on painfully expensive childcare to the left of me, and single people forking out for full prices to the right. Yet halving the costs of accommodation and any gifts would still leave me at least £600 poorer every time I go to someone’s nuptials.

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