The Cost of Attending Weddings (Not Your Own) Soars

No wonder nearly half of people surveyed have said "thanks, but no thanks" to a wedding invitation in the past year because of the cost.

The Cost of Attending Weddings (Not Your Own) Soars Photo (cc) by mikepetrucci

It’s no secret that weddings are expensive and the costs continue to go up for a couple looking to say “I do.” But the cost to people who witness the nuptials is also soaring.

Wedding guests will spend a whopping $673 on average to attend a wedding in 2015, a 14 percent increase from 2014, and nearly twice the amount spent by guests in 2012. That’s according to the latest American Express Spending and Saving Tracker. Members of the wedding party spend even more ($701).

MarketWatch broke down the costs associated with watching a couple say “I do:”

  • Airfare: $225 per person (up 125 percent from 2014).
  • Hotel: $170 (up 86 percent).
  • Eating out: $116 (up 90 percent).
  • Clothing for the big day: $95 (up 53 percent).
  • Wedding gift: $106 (down from $109 in 2014).

It’s estimated that 79 million Americans will attend a wedding this year.

A 2013 survey by American Consumer Credit Counseling found that nearly 45 percent of Americans turned down a wedding invitation based on costs.

“Although being invited to celebrate a couple’s big day is a generous and thoughtful gesture, it shouldn’t mean racking up a hefty credit card bill that could take months to pay off,” said ACCC president and CEO Steve Trumble.

Still, a shocking 36 percent of respondents said they would go into debt to attend a wedding. Ouch.

Check out “30 Wedding Gifts That Keep On Giving.”

I have two brothers getting married this summer (just a week apart). Thankfully, they’re both getting married in Montana, so we don’t have to purchase plane tickets. Still, the costs are high, especially for the wedding where my whole family of four is part of the wedding party.

How much do you typically spend to attend a wedding? Have you ever declined a wedding invite based on its expense? Share your comments below or on our Facebook page.

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