What’s the price of being a wedding guest in 2023?

Bride and groom smiling at their wedding guest
Weddings are expensive for all involved, whether you're a guest or the one getting hitched. (Getty Images)

It's no secret that getting married is an expensive occasion – and not just for the couple saying ‘I do’. Weddings can also be expensive for those in the bridal party and even simply to attend as a wedding guest.

A study from earlier this year found that guests can expect to spend around £1,000 on attending a wedding.

This is an 18% rise on 2022, where guests could expect to spend £883 on average, according to the data from American Express.

Read more: Wedding mistakes to avoid from forgetting hidden costs to overdosing on opinions - Yahoo Life UK, 6-min read

Weddings are pricey, but there are ways to save money. (Getty Images)
Weddings are pricey, but there are ways to save money. (Getty Images)

The largest expense was on a wedding gift for the happy couple, which could set guests back an average of £217.90, followed by accommodation as the second biggest outlay, costing £203.90 on average.

Guests could also expect to spend around £202.70 on childcare, and an extra £196.20 on travel expenses. Outfits and accessories often cost a further £160.30.

The biggest expenses for wedding guests

  • Wedding gift for the couple - £217.90

  • Accommodation - £203.90

  • Childcare - £202.70

  • Travel expenses - £196.20

  • Outfit and accessories - 160.30

The survey also found that many couples are choosing to hold their weddings abroad, with Spain and Ireland being the top destinations, and that average wedding guest numbers have risen from 66 in 2022 to 74 this year.

Another survey looked at the basic costs of being a bridesmaid (without even considering expensive weddings abroad). The research found that the average cost of being a bridesmaid in 2023 is a cool £400, which covers wedding-related things such as the dress, shoes, hen party and on-the-day expenses such as travel and accommodation.

A poll of 2,000 Bridesmaids from clothing brand QUIZ found that the couple getting married typically do cover some costs, including the wedding day hair and make-up, bouquets, and the transportation to and from the venue.

Read more: What to wear to a wedding (and what to leave at home) - Yahoo Life UK, 4-min read

How to save money as a wedding guest

So how can you save money if you’re not prepared to shell out £1,000 to attend a wedding? A separate study from wedding supplier Ginger Ray found that 42% of guests would wear something they already own rather than buying a new outfit, while 25% would not attend a hen or stag do to save costs.

Outdoor wedding
Do you begrudge forking out cash for friends' and relatives' weddings? (Getty Images)

A quarter (23%) of people would spend less on a wedding gift for the couple, while 22% would make it a priority to book cheap accommodation and 20% would drive to the venue to save money on a taxi.

Other things guests would do to save money include only attending the wedding ceremony (18%), declining the wedding invitation altogether (17%), only attending the wedding reception (16%), sharing travel or accommodation with other guests (15%) and not drinking at the reception (12%).

Read more: Olivia Wilde wears white to a wedding - is it ever OK to embrace the fashion faux pas? - Yahoo Life UK, 4-min read

If spending over £200 on a wedding present sounds ludicrous, you’ll be glad to know that you can save money in this area too as separate research says the average Brit spends around £65, and most people deem anything between £50 and £100 as reasonable.

While attending a wedding can be a costly venture, there are ways to cut down costs. After all, the whole point is to celebrate two people you love getting married.

Watch: Cheeky Bridesmaid and Groomsman Swap Outfits for Wedding Reception