Guests to spend £15 billion attending weddings in 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:


Average spend per wedding









Hen/stag do




Hair and beauty




Spending at weddings


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).

Average that Bridesmaids and ushers spend at weddings:


Average spend - Usher

Average spend - Bridesmaids

Travel £128 £75
Hotel £101 £93
Gifts £87 £74
Hen/Stag £83 £96
Pre-wedding celebrations £81 £68
Drinks  £72 £57
Total £553 £462


Maggie Boyle, Director at American Express said: “There are few greater honours than being asked to celebrate a couple’s wedding day, whether you’re part of the bridal party or a guest. It’s great to see that many wedding guests are being smart with their spending this year. However the costs can still mount up, especially if the invitations are arriving thick and fast. That is why it’s important to get your finances in shape so you can focus on enjoying yourself on the big day. Our research has found that 15% of wedding guests put related expenditure on a credit card. Using one that offers cashback or rewards ensures guests can get something back for themselves once the confetti has settled.”

For more information on spending at weddings visit here. 


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