Guests to spend £15 billion attending weddings in 2018

1 May, 2018

30 Apr 2018 With the 2018 wedding season upon us, new research from American Express reveals that approximately a third (32%) of Brits will attend at least one wedding this year, spending an average of £303 on each event.

These costs can soon stack up, and with UK adults planning to attend on average three weddings in 2018, this could result in a national wedding guest bill of £15 billion. In fact, the total cost of being a guest this season (£909) will amount to more than the average amount a couple spends on their wedding rings (£809).

The largest expense for guests this year will be the wedding gift (average spend of £57), followed by hotels (£54), outfits (£50) and travel (£42). More than two thirds of guests (68%) say they will wear the same outfit instead of buying new ones, while over half (52%) will shop for an outfit in the sales, and take advantage of hotel deals (52%).

However, the research shows that guests are reigning in their wedding spending this year, cutting back by £129 compared to 2017 when guests spent an average of £432 watching couples tie the knot.

Top wedding costs for guests in 2018:

Item Average spend per wedding
Gift £57
Hotel £54
Outfit £50
Travel £42
Hen/stag do £42
Drinks £36
Hair and beauty £22
TOTAL £303

Ushers spend more than bridesmaids across the board 
The study also reveals that bridesmaids and ushers will also be some of the biggest wedding spenders this year. Bridesmaids will spend over £450 for each wedding, with the hen do being the priciest outlay (£96). Ushers spend over £100 more than bridesmaids (£553) to attend each wedding, outlaying more on travel (£128 versus £75) and hotels (£101 versus £93).

Bridesmaid and usher spend per wedding:

Items Average spend – Usher Average spend – Bridesmaids
Travel £128 £75
Hotel £101 £93
Gifts £87 £74
Hen/stag do £83 £96
Pre-wedding celebrations £81 £68
Drinks £73 £57
TOTAL £553 £462