Guests feel the pinch of wedding invites

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Weddings in Leeds are costly affairs - and not just for the couple getting hitched.

Research has revealed that the average wedding guest will spend £665.34 attending the nuptials of family and friends in 2016.

The study, by Travelodge, found that 45 per cent of adults in Leeds will be attending on average two weddings this year - which will mean not just two expensive gifts, but also new outfits, hair and beauty treatments, travels costs, accommodation and drinks at the reception.

While the brides and grooms-to-be might be bursting with excitement, wedding guests are more likely to be filled with dread, as they have to fork out on average £332.67 every time they watch a friend or relative say ‘I do’.

The survey also revealed that spending varies regionally with a difference of £363.18 in different areas across the UK. The biggest spenders are in London, Belfast, Manchester, Bristol and Cardiff, where guests are willing to spend the most on beauty treatments ahead of a wedding and are the most generous when it comes to gift giving.

Invitees in Leeds spend less than their London counterparts, who clock up £487.10 per wedding, but are more generous that those in Liverpool, who spend just £199.02 per event.

The cost - which amounts to the price of a good holiday - is putting many people off attending, with one quarter saying they had declined their invitation as they could not afford such a high amount of money.

A third turned down the invitation because they couldn’t afford an expensive bill to stay in the hotel where the ceremony and reception were taking place.

Travelodge, which has five hotels in the city, carried out the survey after experiencing a spike in wedding group room bookings.

Shakila Ahmed, Travelodge spokeswoman, said: “This year, to help the financial burden of attending a wedding, couples are booking large quantities of Travelodge rooms prior to sending their invitations out.

“Interestingly the initial call is made by the groom and then passed to the bride to sort out booking logistics for individual guests closer to the wedding date.

“In some cases, where wedding parties are travelling a long distance, couples are actually booking the whole hotel out for their wedding.”

“We are also seeing that more couples are turning their wedding into a weekend occasion providing guests with a mini-vacation.”

WHERE DOES THE MONEY GO?

The research showed that the average wedding guest in Leeds will spend £45.99 on a gift for the happy couple.

They will splash out an additional £68.36 on a new outfit, £26.65 for beauty treatments, £121.67 on getting to and from the wedding and staying overnight and £70 on miscellaneous costs such as drinks at the reception.

The average person is expecting to attend two events this year - leading to 25 per cent of wedding invitees sending a polite ‘no thanks’ RSVP.

Portugese custard tart. PIC: Tony Johnson.

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