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How much does it really cost to be a wedding guest?

When it comes to weddings, the bride and groom are usually considered the ones who spend the most. And that’s totally understandable – long gone are the days when the happy couple could count on receiving support from parents and more and more American soon-to-be newlyweds self-fund their weddings. According to a recent survey, in 2016, more than half of Americans (53%) are going to pay for their own wedding and only 35% will get their wedding funded by the bride and/or groom’s parents.

What about the wedding guests? Did you know that the average expected spend of a wedding guest in 2016 is $703? Per wedding! $743 if you’re in the wedding party…

With 3 weddings to attend in 2016 (on average), each wedding guest is expected to spend more than $2000 on big days this year! And that’s the general population. Millennials will spend 27% more ($893 per wedding as a regular wedding guest; $928 will be spent if the millennial is in the bridal party).

Let’s see what the major costs of a wedding guest are:

The wedding gift

No wedding passes without the wedding gift part has taken place. If you are attending a family member’s wedding, you’re likely to spend an average of $127 on wedding gifts in 2016. If the wedding you’re attending is a friend’s “Big day”, the average sum is $99, which is only about a third less than what you’d spend if the wedding gift was for a relative.

The travel costs

Whether you are invited to a destination wedding or the ceremony will take place in the same city you live in (the latter is highly doubtful), there will be traveling costs to cover. In most cases, they are $200+ per wedding guest (depending on the wedding’s location).

The accommodation costs

Unless the bride and groom are saying “I do” in your back yard, you will have to pay for a hotel. While most couples do their best to negotiate better prices to accommodate their wedding guests, the accommodation costs of the average wedding guest are still between $150 and $200.

The outfit costs

Buying a new outfit for a friend or relative’s big day is a great way to refresh your wardrobe. It will cost you about $100 on average, but when it comes to shopping, the sky is literally the limit, so please consider all the rest of the wedding guest costs before treating yourself with a shopping spree you’ll later regret!

The party costs

Bachelorette parties, stag parties, bridal showers and the like are some of the funniest pre-wedding times when you get to have a couple of cocktails, laugh and tell jokes about the soon-to-be bride and groom and spend a night to remember. But partying has a price tag to it and you should be prepared to say goodbye to up to $100 (and beyond) on pre-wedding partying.

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