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Weddings are expensive, and so is being a guest

An analysis shows the average single wedding guest spends $461 per wedding, and $273 per wedding when attending with a partner.
A bride holds flowers as wedding guests watch from behind.
Posted at 10:24 AM, Jul 10, 2024

Most everyone knows having a wedding can be incredibly expensive. Catering, venue, photographers and DJs are among the many expenses a couple has to consider when planning a wedding.

But a new report shows that merely being a wedding attendee can also be quite costly.

According to an analysis compiled by CouponBirds, the average single wedding guest spends $461 per wedding, and $273 per wedding when attending with a partner.

One of the biggest expenses is attire. The analysis found that men will spend an average of $333 for their attire, while women will spend about $314 for theirs. Although men's attire costs slightly more, men generally can get five wears out of wedding attire while women will only average three.

RELATED STORY | Why do weddings cost so much to attend?

Gifts are another expense for guests. The average wedding gift came out to $150, the analysis said.

The analysis also found that guests spend an average of $145 per person on accommodations, and $80 per person on travel – such as gas.

And if you're attending a bachelor or bachelorette party, the costs skyrocket. The average attendee spends $1,676 for a bachelor or bachelorette party. The expense goes up to $2,137 for members of the bridal party who attend a bachelor or bachelorette party.

Elaine Swann, etiquette expert and founder of The Swann School of Protocol, told Scripps News in May that it is OK to decline an invitation to be in the wedding party because of cost.

RELATED STORY | Nearly $30,000 for a wedding? How to avoid sticker shock

"There's nothing wrong with saying to the person, 'Listen, thank you so much. I'm so honored to be asked in your wedding. Can I give it just a little bit of thought and get right back to you?' And then you can ask the questions to see what [expenses] are involved," Swann said.

Average wedding now costs $26,665

According to CouponBirds, the average couple spends $26,665 per wedding, with the venue typically requiring the largest expense. The average amount spent per wedding on a venue is $7,347. The next largest expense is catering at $5,480 per wedding.

Given that the average wedding has an average of 115 guests, CouponBirds estimates that a couple spends an average of $232 per attendee.