It’s no secret that weddings are expensive for every party involved. It's not just the couple and their respective families that spend a significant amount of money on each unforgettable celebration, though. Wedding party members and even guests will generally pay a hefty sum to attend. According to a new Bankrate survey, which was published on March 27, 2023, the average wedding guest can expect to pay $611 to attend a wedding in 2023. The findings suggest that guests plan on spending $456 on travel and accommodations, $321 on gifts, and $274 on attire and grooming this year. “People talk a lot about how expensive it is to organize a wedding, and it is, but sometimes the cost of attending is understand,” says Ted Rossman, senior analyst at Bankrate. “It can really add up, especially if you’re invited to multiple weddings in a given year.”
Inflation and higher interest rates make this year a particularly costly one, Rossman says. Based on the survey findings, 62 percent of 2023 wedding attendees have one or more financial concerns tied to these parties. About 21 percent say attending a wedding will interfere with their budgets, and the same percentage of survey responders say they will feel pressured to spend more money than they’re comfortable with. Meanwhile, 18 percent explain that they will need to take on credit card debt to attend the celebration.
The amount of money people will spend on a couple’s nuptials will vary by generation. In total, Gen Z will spend $1,211 on weddings, followed by millennials with $1,191, Gen X with $974, and baby boomers with $667. Gen Z will also spend the most amount of money on a single wedding ($646), while baby boomers will spend the least ($542) per wedding. Based on the results of the survey, millennials will allocate most of their wedding guest budget on gifts, with an average of $201 per wedding. Meanwhile, Gen Z will invest the most on attire and grooming, with an average of $214 per wedding.
Gender is another factor that affects the grand total for wedding guests in 2023. The survey responses indicate that men will spend $694 on a wedding, compared to women, who plan to spend $530. The same is true for location and socioeconomic status. According to the study, those who live in the Northeast will invest $774 on going to a wedding, while those in the West will spend the least: a total of $531. In terms of household incomes, individuals who make $100,000 or more will splurge on weddings ($912), while lower income levels of $50,000 or less will spend $463.
In 2022, COVID-19 restrictions started to lift, more people felt comfortable attending social events, and couples who postponed their nuptials during the pandemic decided to host their event, so it was a big year for weddings. According to The Wedding Report, 2.5 millions weddings happened last year. This year, the numbers will stagnate a bit. The survey found that about a quarter of U.S. adults will attend a wedding this year. Younger generations are getting more invitations to these affairs than other generations, and this group is also finding more difficulty meeting the financial demands required to attend.