Can you cut costs by cutting wedding guests?

Written by

Stephanie Reid

Stephanie Reid is a financial services expert with over eight years of experience writing money-saving articles at Novuna Personal Finance. She has written hundreds of articles on a variety of topics including interior design, home improvements and weddings - with a keen eye for spotting money-saving opportunities and passing these tips onto readers. As a mum of two, Stephanie knows how important budgeting effectively is for parents and often incorporates family budgeting tips into her guides.

Friday 19th May 2023

Almost a fifth of couples (17%) are cutting back on plus one invitations to their wedding in a bid to save money on their big day.

But for wedding guests across the country, particularly those who are single, plus ones are a key factor when deciding whether to attend or not.

In this blog, we’re looking at why singletons face paying the price for flying solo this wedding season…

Are ‘plus one’ invitations becoming less popular?

According to our unique research, engaged couples are happy to remove plus ones to cut costs. This is particularly prevalent in the North-East, where a quarter of couples scrapped plus ones to save cash.

Most of us have felt the impact of the ongoing cost-of-living crisis, and weddings are no exception. With the average cost of catering coming in at £70 per guest, it’s no wonder engaged couples are prioritising inviting their nearest and dearest – and avoiding plus ones attending altogether.

The importance of a plus one

While it’s understandable those planning their big day will want to cut costs where possible, the idea of attending a wedding as a ‘lone guest’ puts off a lot of potential attendees.

In fact, 11% of single people have declined a wedding invitation due to not being offered a plus one. Here’s why:

  • It’s more expensive to attend an event on your own, with no one to share the costs of accommodation and gifts with
  • Solo guests want to avoid the dreaded ‘singles table’, with many feeling it’s too much pressure to attend a wedding on their own
  • An all-day wedding can be a lonely event if you don't know many other attendees - bringing someone with you guarantees you'll have someone to talk to throughout the day

That's right, nearly one in five single people would feel social pressure to bring a date with them to a wedding if they were given the option.

Furthermore, 13% of survey respondents said they'd be more compelled to go out and date more to find someone to bring with them to the wedding.

Of course, with dating comes further costs. The average single adult in the UK spends £1,652 going on 15 dates before meeting that someone special.

But the question is… if they do find the perfect partner, will they invite plus ones to their wedding?

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Methodology of our survey

The findings are the result of an Opinium omnibus research study conducted from 16 March to 20 March 2023. During this time, 1,000 UK adults, 750 who are single and 250 in a new relationship were surveyed.