How Much Does the Average Wedding Guest Really Spend?

Guests can expect to spend over $600 to attend a wedding in 2023

It’s no secret that weddings can be expensive, both for the couple getting married and for the guests who attend. MLive just wrote a pretty eye opening article about the average cost for a wedding guest to attend someones big day and guess what? The price has gone up!

According to a national survey by Bankrate, the average American plans to spend $611 per wedding this year. But it’s not just the cost that’s causing stress for many guests – it’s the feeling that they’re expected to spend a lot of money to celebrate someone else’s big day.

In fact, 62% of wedding guests across the country said they are feeling stressed about how much they’ll spend to celebrate the big day. This is a sentiment that many people in the metro Detroit area can likely relate to, as weddings here can be just as expensive as anywhere else in the country.

wedding reception dinner tables wedding guest

What exactly are wedding guests spending their money on?

According to the same Bankrate survey, travel and accommodations make up the largest piece of the bill, with gifts and attire close behind. This is something to keep in mind if you’re planning a wedding in the metro Detroit area – if many of your guests are coming from out of town, they may be feeling even more financial pressure.

Of course, this list can vary based on individual circumstances and preferences, but these are some of the most common expenses that wedding guests have to consider.

  1. Travel and accommodations: This can vary widely depending on how far the guest is traveling and what type of accommodations they choose. On average, guests can expect to spend anywhere from $150 to $500 or more on travel and accommodations for a wedding, according to a survey by WeddingWire.
  2. Gifts for the couple: The average amount spent on a wedding gift is around $100 to $150, according to the same survey by WeddingWire.
  3. Attire: Again, this can vary widely depending on what the guest chooses to wear. However, according to a survey by The Knot, guests typically spend around $150 on attire for a wedding.
  4. Transportation to and from the wedding venue: This can vary depending on the mode of transportation and the distance traveled. According to a survey by WeddingWire, guests typically spend around $50 on transportation for a wedding.
  5. Pre-wedding events: The cost of pre-wedding events can vary widely depending on what is planned. According to WeddingWire, guests typically spend around $50 to $150 on a gift for a bridal shower, and around $100 to $150 on a gift for a bachelorette/bachelor party.
  6. Wedding-related activities: This will depend on what activities are planned, but according to WeddingWire, guests can expect to spend around $100 to $200 on activities like spa treatments or golf outings if they choose to participate.

Ways to Cut Costs for Wedding Guests

But there are ways to make things easier on your guests (and yourself, for that matter!).

  • Consider hosting your wedding ceremony and reception in the same location to cut down on travel costs. You could also look into group rates for hotel rooms or even consider blocking off a certain number of rooms at a nearby hotel and offering a discount code to your guests.
  • Be mindful of the gifts you’re asking for. While it’s traditional to create a wedding registry, it’s important to remember that your guests may not be able to afford to buy you everything on your list. Consider including a range of price points and even non-traditional items like experiences or contributions to a honeymoon fund.
  • While it’s understandable that you want your guests to dress up for your big day, not everyone can afford to buy a brand new outfit for every wedding they attend. Consider giving your guests some options, such as suggesting a specific color scheme or allowing them to wear something they already own.

At the end of the day, what’s most important is that you’re surrounded by the people you love on your wedding day. While it’s easy to get caught up in the details and the expectations, it’s worth taking a step back and remembering why you’re getting married in the first place. And if you can make things a little bit easier on your guests along the way, even better.

The Wedding Boom Means You Should Consider Booking Vendors Early

But despite cost increases, the wedding industry is continuing to boom. After several years of postponed weddings, 2024 and 2025 dates are booking and booking fast, 35-45% faster, in fact regardless of price. We break down which wedding vendors couples should book and when here.

In a time when the price of, well, everything is on the rise, we offer our Exclusive Team Approach package to couples. Watch the video below and learn how to save money and time!


Getting Married in Metro Detroit?

Check to see if we have a photographer, videographer, and DJ available for your wedding!

Fun & Free Wedding Planning Tools For You
wedding planning tools

Our Official Guide for the ‘Just Engaged’

The Ultimate Detroit Wedding Photography Guide!
photography guide featured image
Getting Married in Metro Detroit?

Check to see if we have a photographer, videographer, and DJ available for your wedding!

7 Ways Couples Overspend
ways couples overspend