Gripes over gifts: wedding guests pay more to attend
3rd June 2010
- 77% of people say they feel pressured to spend money on weddings and hen/stag parties
- 17% of invitees are prepared to lie to the wedding couple if they can not attend due to cash shortage
- Wedding guests spend an average of £294 each on preparations and gifts for each wedding they attend
Direct Line's annual wedding cost survey* has found that this wedding season will be even more expensive than last year, with costs rising as the invitations drop onto the mat. Wedding guests plan to spend £215 getting ready for each wedding, including attire, travel, and accommodation, childcare, drinks at the reception and other costs of attending – and all of those costs come before they spend an average of nearly £80 on a gift for the betrothed couple. A wedding with 75 guests paying a total of £294 each would mean a massive £22,050 was spent by those invited, which might be much more than the amount spent by the couple getting married.
Some wedding guests are prepared to make financial sacrifices to celebrate the nuptials of their friends or family members. More than half (52%) said they would still attend the wedding but would consider not buying a new hat or outfit if they were short of cash, while 44% of cash-strapped guests would consider spending less on the gift than they otherwise would. Some guests wouldn’t attend at all if money was an issue, with 17% saying they would make up an excuse if money was the real reason they declined a wedding invitation, and 12% saying they would admit to the happy couple that they couldn’t attend due to financial issues. A small proportion of those surveyed (7%) weren’t afraid to look like cheapskates, saying they would still go for the knees-up but wouldn’t bring a gift at all.
The extra costs for wedding guests add up to a big gift haul for the newlyweds: 50 gifts at an average of £79 each would make for nearly £4000 worth of extra contents crossing the threshold with them, and a bigger crowd or more generous guests could easily drive that figure much higher.
Andrew Morrell, Home Insurance expert at Direct Line, says:
"Newlyweds and their parents know how expensive it is to put on a wedding, but they will hopefully only ever do it once, whereas guests facing a season full of invitations have to pay over and over again. The newlyweds should relax and enjoy their wedding and honeymoon, but when they get back they need to face the pile of presents and try to estimate the value to make sure they have enough contents insurance to cover everything they’ve been given."
The survey showed a big difference in gift spending between men and women and between the regions of the country. Men proved to be the most generous, saying they plan to spend an average of £85 per wedding gift, while women look after the pennies a little more closely, spending just £73.
The East of England came in as the most miserly lot when buying wedding gifts, saying they will spend just £46 on average. Northern Irish people are the most generous by comparison, saying they will splash out £158 on each wedding gift they buy. Londoners were the second biggest spenders at £109 per gift, closely followed by Scottish people at £100 per gift.
|UK Region||Amount spent per gift (average)|
|East of England||£46.11|
|Yorkshire and Humberside||£75.64|
Andrew Morrell, Head of Home Insurance at Direct Line, continues:
"A lot of money is spent on wedding gifts, even in the midst of a recession, although some parts of the country seem to be more willing to give generously than others. The results of our survey might give couples planning a wedding something to think about when making a final guest list."
Direct Line raises its contents cover automatically for the four weeks before and after the wedding of the policy holder or their family member. This is by 5% of the contents sum insured with a Home Insurance policy, and by 20% of the contents sum insured with a Home Insurance Plus policy.
For further details on home insurance from Direct Line, visit www.directline.com
For more information contact:
Direct Line Press Office
0208 313 5830
Notes to editors
*Opinim Research carried out an online poll of 2,017 British adults from 30 April to 4 May 2010. Results have been weighted to nationally representative criteria. [OP1524] www.opinium.co.uk
Started in 1985, Direct Line became the first UK insurance company to use the telephone as its main channel of communication. It provides car, home, travel and pet insurance cover direct to customers by phone or on-line.
Direct Line general insurance policies are underwritten by U K Insurance Limited, Registered office: The Wharf, Neville Street, Leeds LS1 4AZ. Registered in England No 1179980. U K Insurance Limited is authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority.
Direct Line and UK Insurance limited are both part of Direct Line Insurance Group plc. Customers can find out more about Direct Line products or get a quote by calling 0845 246 3761 or visiting www.directline.com