As the average cost to attend a wedding reaches historic highs, a national poll found that 43 percent of respondents have opted out of attending a wedding for financial reasons.
Boston, MA – July 23, 2013
Forty-three percent of Americans confess they have declined a wedding invitation for financial reasons, according to a recent online poll conducted by American Consumer Credit Counseling. The ACCC poll also found that more than 92 percent of respondents would turn down an invitation to other events as well due to financial constraints (infographic).
Of the 314 consumers surveyed in the recent ACCC web poll at ConsumerCredit.com, those between the ages of 35 and 54 were the most likely to decline a wedding invitation at 72 percent. Additionally, the survey found no real gender differences, with equal percentages of males and females willing to refuse an invitation to a wedding because of financial restrictions.
“With the average cost to attend a wedding reaching nearly $600, it’s no surprise that Americans are thinking long and hard before replying yes to an invitation,” said Steve Trumble, president and CEO of American Consumer Credit Counseling. “Although being invited to celebrate a couple’s big day is a generous and thoughtful gesture, it shouldn’t mean racking up a hefty credit card bill that could take months to pay off.”
Surprisingly, ACCC’s national survey found that 36 percent of respondents would willingly enter into debt to attend a wedding. Of those respondents, 43 percent were between the ages of 35 and 44.
“Many people often feel pressure to attend a wedding for a friend or family member even if they don’t have the financial means to do so,” added Trumble. “This is why it is absolutely critical to plan ahead and use budgeting and money management tactics to avoid relying on a credit card for unforeseen expenses, such as attending a wedding or other event.”
Of those respondents who have been asked to participate in a wedding party, 21 percent have declined because of financial reasons. According to an American Express survey released in May 2013, bridesmaids and groomsmen can expect to spend an average of $577 to be part of their friend or family member’s big day.
“Consumers need to understand that being a part of a wedding is a serious financial commitment, especially if you are in the wedding party,” said Trumble. “Before saying yes, individuals need to be honest about their financial situation, know what they are in for, and understand that it is ok to say no.”
According to ACCC, there are several steps leading up to the event that attendees and wedding participants can take to avoid debt.
Before you accept, determine what your financial commitment will be and be honest with yourself. If it’s a bridesmaid or groomsman, your financial commitment will be much larger than just attending the wedding.
- Don’t immediately agree to the dress or tux; do some research to see if you can find your outfit for less.
- Consider group gifts to save on expenses.
- Split any hotel costs by bunking up with friends.
- Hold the pre-wedding parties over the same weekend so that if you have to travel you are doing it all in one weekend and save yourself multiple trips.
- Set a savings goal specifically for this special event.
- Put that money into a separate savings account and draw as necessary.
“Weddings are expensive for everyone involved and not just the wedding party,” said Trumble. “However most weddings, bridesmaid and groomsman commitments you know far enough in advance that you have time to budget and plan without compromising your finances.”
The wedding invitation and finances poll is the latest in a series of ACCC web surveys for 2013 that focus on a variety of financial education, budgeting, and planning topics. The online survey can be found at /monthly-poll.aspx
American Consumer Credit Counseling’s certified and experienced counselors offer various financial education, counseling and debt management services to help consumers achieve long-term financial health and stability.
ACCC is a 501(c)3 organization, that provides free credit counseling, bankruptcy counseling, and housing counseling to consumers nationwide in need of financial literacy education and money management. For more information, contact ACCC:
- For credit counseling, call 800-769-3571
- For bankruptcy counseling. call 866-826-6924
- For housing counseling, call 866-826-7180
- For more information on financial education workshops in New England, call 800-769-3571 x1980
- Or visit us online at ConsumerCredit.com
About American Consumer Credit Counseling
American Consumer Credit Counseling (ACCC) is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to empowering consumers to achieve financial health through education, counseling, and debt management. ACCC provides individuals with practical solutions for solving financial problems and recognizes that consumers’ financial difficulties are often not the result of poor spending habits, but more frequently from extenuating circumstances beyond their control. As one of the nation’s leading providers of financial education and credit counseling services, ACCC works with consumers to help them with the best plan of action to reduce their debt and regain financial stability. ACCC is accredited by the Better Business Bureau and holds an A+ rating. It is also a member of the Association of Independent Consumer Credit Counseling Agencies. For more information or to access free financial education resources log on to ConsumerCredit.com or visit TalkingCentsBlog.com.