My husband and I have eight weddings to attend within a four-month timeframe this year—and I’m in three of them. About the time that the fifth invite arrived in the mail, I started to think … this is probably going to cost us a lot of money.
As it turns out, “a lot of money” is an understatement. According to a new American Express study, the average cost of attending a wedding has gone up 75% from two years ago — to a whopping $701.
What the heck are we spending so much on? Most of that wedding-guest price tag appears to go toward travel and accommodation ($308), clothing and accessories ($164) and the gift ($109—that amount nearly doubles if the betrothed is close family).
Of course, the price of attending a wedding goes up again if you’re actually in the wedding. 78% of bridesmaids said they would buy a new dress (though only 26% thought they’d ever wear said dress again), and of course there’s the bachelorette party, shower gifts, and other costs that accompany being a member of the bridal party.
“Weddings can be expensive, whether you’re tying the knot or attending as a guest,” David Rabkin, senior vice president of Consumer Lending Products for American Express, told NBC News. “While careful spending continues to be the trend for 2014, consumers on both sides of the equation will shell out more.”
Now excuse me while I go find a part-time job to cover our wedding guest costs.