Attending a wedding is never cheap, but add high inflation and rising interest rates to the mix, and being a guest has gotten downright expensive.
That’s even if you aren’t the best man, maid of honor or in the bridal party. The average overall cost per person to attend a wedding is $611 this year, according to a recent Bankrate survey. Wedding guests intend to spend $456 on travel and lodging, $321 on gifts and $274 on attire and sprucing up for the event.
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“The costs of weddings are still at an all-time high, while inflation has softened vendors prices are normally planned and published a year out and vendors are still seeing increases in the costs of food and flowers,” says Tonya Hoopes, owner of Hoopes Events. “Everything from gifts to outfits to travel has seen a dramatic increase in cost over the past couple of years. Be it a local or destination wedding, guests are finding the all-time fuel costs are causing it to be more expensive to attend.”
When it comes to attending a wedding, you are on the hook for several outlays. The gift is a big one. According to Bankrate, guests typically spend about $321 on that alone. Then there are the travel costs. Even if the wedding is local, with gas prices high, that can be a budget buster. If you need a new suit, dress and/or shoes, it can set you back further, particularly with clothing prices up year over year. The good news is, short of saying no, there are ways to save on all the trappings associated with celebrating marital bliss.
1. Go in on the wedding gift
One way to save, courtesy of Sarah Hanlon, associate editor of The Knot, is to consider going in on a gift with a group of other guests. Check out the couple’s wedding registry online, select a high-ticket item and then split the cost with several people. “This is a great way to contribute to an awesome gift for the newlyweds while staying comfortably within your budget,” says Hanlon.