The Vow

It costs more than your rent! Can you believe this is how much we spend at an Irish wedding?

Weddings in Ireland are big business.

With the national average coming in at over €21k for your special day, it’s not surprising even guests are feeling the pressure.

We are in the thick of wedding season and as a woman in my late twenties, I am noticing the increasing number ahead where we will be guests. In essence, it's actually a really lovely time that happens as we get older, signifying that our friends and loved ones have settled down and found their match.


Personally, I refuse to undo our financial future when saying I do, but as we navigate through our options while planning our own union, it struck me as a guest to many an Irish wedding- I’ve definitely spent a small fortune celebrating for friends and family.

Don’t get me wrong, I love a good wedding and would never begrudge attending one as a main guest, or as my partner’s plus one. However, some forward planning and budgeting is important as I can lose the run of myself, particularly when treating others.

We asked 100 Irish women and men just how much it costs to attend the nuptials of their nearest and dearest and if they felt the pressure that comes with committing to that RSVP…

You’d be forgiven for momentarily spiralling when that fated envelope, complete with an ‘An Post wedding stamp’ appears in your letter box, as 65% of you worry about the cost of attending weddings.

We can inherit friends, cousins and distant relatives of our partners or going as a plus one for a pal; while it’s always great to witness a day filled with love, reality can bite when you’re dipping into savings and annual leave.

Where weddings are held, saw a divided stance, with a very slight majority of 52% agreeing that destination weddings are fair to guests. It seems that tying the knot abroad may be polarising to those you invite, but you can’t please everyone. It’s worth noting, that many choosing to marry away, often are doing so to keep their guest list down.

The average spend per guest, when travel, accommodation, glam and gifts are taken into account, came in at €540 per person. 96% of you said you would purchase a new outfit for the wedding of a friend of family member, the average spend on your new rigout ringing in at €300.

Spend on beauty came in with over half [57%] would get their nails done, while 28% revealed they wouldn’t bother paying for professional hair and make-up as a guest.

Finally, exactly 50% of us admitted to feeling pressure not just financially, but to lose weight before attending the wedding of a friend or family member.

Here's three other things that are cheaper than attending an Irish wedding:

  • This apartment in Rathmines:

  • These Christian Louboutin heels:

  • This iPad



Source 100 people via Survey Monkey. Respondents: 78% Female 28% Male.