AARP Eye Center
Attending a wedding is never cheap, but add inflation and supply chain delays 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. According to The Knot, a wedding planning website, the average overall cost per person of attending a wedding was $460 in 2021. If you had to travel out of town, it set you back on average $1,300. It’s even pricier this year with inflation running at 8.3 percent, a 40-year high.
AARP Membership — $12 for your first year when you sign up for Automatic Renewal
Get instant access to members-only products and hundreds of discounts, a free second membership, and a subscription to AARP the Magazine.
“As inflation is on the rise, most wedding guests are finding it more expensive than ever before to attend a wedding,” 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 The Knot, guests typically spend about $160 on that alone. Then there are the travel costs. Even if the wedding is local, with gas prices at record highs, 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.