In the last few decades the cost of getting married has skyrocketed and, along with it, the cost of being a guest at someone’s wedding.
In fact, the estimated cost to attend a wedding in 2015 is just under $700, almost double what was spent by the average wedding guest in 2012 according to a new survey from American Express.
If you’re an actual member of the wedding party it will cost you even more, bad news for the nearly 80 million Americans who will attend a wedding this year.
The majority of these costs go to 4 specific things; airfare, hotel accommodations, dining out and clothing. The first 3 have all gone up over 90% in just the last 12 months and the last, clothing, has gone up over 50%. Then of course there’s the cost of the wedding gift although, due to the higher costs of everything else, most people are actually paying less for the bride and groom’s gift this year, $142, which is a bit down from the 2014 cost of $150.
Ironically, while nearly 25% of all couple’s surveyed were planning on having a “destination wedding”, i.e. going somewhere other than their home town to get hitched (Bermuda, Bahamas, etc.), 72% of the people who responded to the survey said that destination weddings were too expensive or that they didn’t like being forced to take a vacation in order to attend a wedding.
Even when the wedding is held here, stateside, over 40% of the respondents said that they had, for financial reasons, declined to attend a wedding in the last two years. Unfortunately, due to the pressure that most people face from family members and friends to attend the wedding of a close friend or family member, nearly 40% said that they’ve gone into debt to be able to make it to someone’s nuptials.
Making things worse is that, as wedding guest lists get bigger, the guests have less time to actually spend with the friend or family member who’s getting married, meaning that they spend and awful lot of money to basically go to a dinner party, sometimes with total strangers.
Financially speaking, going into debt in order to attend a wedding is completely illogical, no matter who the person happens to be. Let’s be honest, if they’re a family member and they don’t understand, at least they will get over it (eventually) and, if they’re a friend and they don’t, they weren’t that good a friend to begin with.
Oh, and for those people planning on having a destination wedding, here’s a thought; don’t be so damned selfish.