Wedding Guests Spend $490 Average

April 18, 2011

american-express-costs-of-wedding-attendence-apr11.gifA guest to a wedding spends an average of $490, according to the April 2011 American Express Spending & Saving Tracker. For a participant that figure rises to $539, due to higher average spending on apparel.

Hotel, Transport Highest Average Wedding Expenses

The highest average guest expense for a wedding is hotel, costing $106. Transportation follows closely with a $96 average cost, with dining out running an average $70 tab. Dressing up costs the average guest $64, although this figure jumps to a leading $113 if that guest is a member of the wedding party.

Tracker data shows that Americans attend an average of two weddings per year and are spending nearly $1,000 on attire, transportation and other expenses, not including gifts.

Guests Spend Most on Close Family

On average, consumers splurge the most on weddings gifts for close family members, spending an average of $196. Those living in the Northeast and West are the most generous, spending an average of $233 and $228, respectively, followed by Southerners, who spend $211 on average per gift. Comparatively, those in the North Central region are the least generous, spending an average of $126 per gift.

All You Need is Cash

More than 50% of Americans said they would prefer to receive cash as a wedding gift, followed by gifts purchased from gift registries (23%). But while most consumers said they would prefer to receive cash, not as many prefer to give cash (32%). Instead, more Americans (38%) said that when giving a wedding gift, they would prefer to give a gift from the couples’ registry.

Couples Often Discuss, Fight about Money

The survey found that more than 50% of people in a relationship discuss money at least once a week. For the majority (61%) of married couples and those living together, these financial discussions often lead to arguments, an increase of almost 36% from 45% of respondents who were asked the same question in June 2010. The top three causes of these disagreements are: spending on kids (15%), deciding on large purchases (14%) and setting household budgets (14%).

3 in 4 Couples Want to Change Fiscal Habits

Almost three in four (73%) of those in a relationship said they would do something different to better manage their financial situations, up almost 50% from 50% in June 2010. Many wish they put more in savings and investments (48%), followed by spending more responsibly (30%) and discussing financial goals/expectations with their spouse or significant other (24%).

Airfare Rises, Hotel Rates Stay Flat

Domestic and international airfare both jumped 7% in 2010 compared to 2009, according to previously released data from American Express Global Business Travel. Meanwhile, domestic hotel rates stayed flat and international hotel rates slightly decreased.

About the Data: American Express Spending & Saving Tracker research was completed online among a random sample of 2,020 consumers aged 18 and up. Interviewing was conducted by Echo Research between March 24 and March 28, 2011.

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