Today has been another gorgeously sunny day, and if anyone chose this weekend to get married on, and I know of one couple in St Albans, then the weather will have been perfect. They won't have had need of Wedding Insurance, at least not because Rain Stopped Play. Or the tsunami did, if in Phuket.
A leaflet at the checkout at Waitrose caught my eye a few days ago. It was about this very kind of insurance. Offered by John Lewis, for the sort of people who go to their stores and shop at Waitrose. The policy covers:
# Cancellation or rearrangement costs
# Failure of suppliers
# The wedding attire, flowers, and cake
# The wedding ring
# The wedding gifts
# As an option, the marquee at the reception
# As an option, the risks of a wedding abroad
There are six levels of cover. You choose which you want. On the front of the leaflet it says 'Cover from just £58'. Really? I'm sure that anyone selecting a level 6 cover will be paying a lot more than that. Level 6 will pay out up to:
£100,000 for cancellation or rearrangement costs.
£50,000 if the suppliers let you down.
£50,000 for a ruined wedding dress, or the groom's suit, or the bridesmaid's outfits, or the wrong flowers, or a wrecked cake.
£15,000 for a lost or stolen wedding ring.
£15,000 for lost or stolen wedding gifts.
What struck me are the huge figures here. Do people really spend so much? Well, if serious insurance is being offered for amounts like these, then the answer must be yes. Personally, I'd say that a quiet local register office wedding clad in off-the-peg John Lewis togs, with a pub lunch in a private room for not more than twenty guests, and a half-decent week's honeymoon to follow, would surely cost no more than £2,000 if you were reasonably careful.
Of course, I don't rate weddings much. I'm not against them, and not 'doom and gloom' about them - I don't refer to them as 'funerals' for example, as some do - but I've seen enough to convince me that this is not money well spent. Nor do I come from a background where making a splash is expected. I certainly don't have Romantic Notions about the day of someone's marriage being The Most Special Day Of Their Life, worth any outlay, worth going into permanent debt for. It will almost surely not be a unique event in their life. (I've become so cynical)
And yet, if I'm honest, I do like to go as a guest! I haven't been to a wedding for over nine years. Come on, somebody! My wardrobe is stuffed with super outfits that have never yet been on parade, and would do nicely for a Big Event. (If they still fitted. Sigh.)