Save the date? Start saving. Guests expect to shell out $611 per wedding

A new survey shows a majority of people are concerned with wedding costs, with guests paying more than $600 per wedding this year.
Published: Mar. 28, 2023 at 5:14 PM MST
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PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) - It’s getting more expensive to share in the joy of ‘I do’s,’ and the financial burden is putting financial stress on a majority of wedding guests. According to a new Bankrate survey, the average guest will spend $611 per wedding this year. That’s $287 for travel and accommodations, $180 for gifts, and $144 for things like clothing, hair, and makeup. “A lot of people attend more than one wedding, especially 20 and 30 somethings,” said Bankrate’s Ted Rossman. “We found that among Gen Z and Millennial wedding guests, the median is to attend two weddings this year, but for some people it can be far more than that.”

It all adds up, and for many wedding guests, it may be too much. More than 60% of people said they are worried that wedding season will strain their finances, and 18% say they’ll rack up credit card debt to be part of a wedding celebration.

“I don’t mean to put a damper on it. It’s certainly a happy event. But people are worried, honestly, about how they’re going to pay for it. They’re worried about the economy and inflation, recession worries,” Rossman said. “Most people just don’t have money specifically budgeted for weddings.” The survey shows Millennials will spend the most on gifts, with an average of $201 per wedding.

There are ways to trim costs. That’s easier to do if you know others who will also attend the wedding. “Maybe you could go in on a group gift and defray costs that way, rent your attire, or maybe go in with some friends on a rental house rather than everybody getting their own hotel rooms,” Rossman suggested.