For better, for worse
Justifying the cost of a wedding can sometimes be a challenge. In the Independent on Sunday today, Informed Choice chartered financial planner Martin Bamford shares his views on giving gifts at weddings and the practicalities of splashing out on expensive weddings when you are already strapped for cash.
Discussing the idea of giving cash or vouchers to the happy couple, instead of buying a gift, Martin said:
“But many people are still uncomfortable with the idea of just handing over money, in which case travel vouchers could be a good choice. If the guests are family, the cash could be given in terms of a savings account or investment fund, but friends setting up a third-party account would probably get far too complex.”
Mr Bamford also points out that such cash gifts are exempt from inheritance tax rules, as each parent can give up to £5,000 to a marrying child on or immediately after the day of the wedding, grandparents £2,500 and non-family £1,000, without it counting as part of the giver’s estate when the taxman calls, should the guest die within seven years of the big day. This is on top of the £3,000 a year that every individual is allowed to give for any reason.
Removing romance from the equation, Martin concluded his comments by saying:
“Taking love and romance out of the equation, weddings can be extremely expensive events,” he says. “If you’re struggling day to day and the housing ladder is a long way off, is it really worth spending what could be a deposit on a home on one day which will disappear in a flash, rather than create a solid foundation for your years together?”
You can read the article in full here.