This Is How Much It Costs To Be A Wedding Guest

We’re nearing wedding season, so start saving! The bride, the groom and their parents know the bills are coming. But did you realize that even just attending a wedding as a guest these days can be considered an investment?

How much are you dishing out for your friend or relative’s happiness? MarketWatch says we spend an average of $703 just to be a guest at a wedding.  That’s up from $673 in 2015, and nearly double what guests paid back in 2012. Most people attend at least a trio of nuptials every year (usually just weeks apart). That’s a decent chunk of change!

So what exactly are we spending our money on?

  • Travel is the biggest cost at about $225.
  • A hotel room will cost about $170 on average.
  • Of course, you need a new getup, with new attire costing about $95.
  • Guests typically spend $100 on a gift.
  • You may give a $75 shower gift as well.

And millennials—who likely have less spending money—are actually more willing to cash in on weddings so they can also take part in the bachelor or bachelorette parties. And those trips can tack on an additional $800 to $1,000!


Though not everyone sees it that way. In many cases, the cost is enough for young people to skip the wedding altogether.

Fortunately, there are ways you can budget for a wedding that’s not your own:

  1. If you have to travel, try sharing a hotel room with a friend.
  2. Be thrifty! When you know a couple is getting married, plan on spending money you would have used for a vacation or trip.
  3. Know when to politely decline. It’s okay to skip a shower, bachelor party or even the wedding if it puts you in a financial jam.

Even though being a guest is expensive, take some comfort in knowing that others in the room likely spent way more than you. The average cost to plan a wedding is $31,213, with half of the budget spent on the reception. In a survey by GOBankingRates, serving as Best Man costs an average of $998, while the Maid of Honor will spend about $552.

Here’s to a lifetime of happiness!

About the Author

Emily Hanford-Ostmann

I have a background in newspaper and broadcast news writing. When I'm not informing others about what's happening in town...I enjoy running, a great workout class and finding my next favorite show on Netflix. I also find great joy in clearance shopping. More.

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