Here’s How Much the Average Wedding Guest and Attendant Spend

Our 2018 Guest Study is breaking it down.
by Sophie Ross

It’s no surprise that being a wedding guest can get expensive—with gifts, travel and attire, the cost adds up. But by just how much?

For The Knot 2018 Wedding Guest Study, we surveyed over 1,300 people who’ve been a wedding guest or attendant in the past, and the findings are fascinating. We found that on average, members of the wedding party spend $295 in total on wedding gifts for the bachelor and bachelorette parties, wedding shower and the wedding day itself, while other wedding guests spend a similar $289.

For the wedding day gift alone, the average guest spends $88, while members of the wedding party spend $107. Thirty-four percent of guests purchase a gift off the couple’s registry, 29 percent gift cash or a check in a wedding card or envelope, and 10 percent give gift cards.

Unsurprisingly, the priciest weddings are out-of-town ones. We found that guests traveling for a wedding spend an average of $901 per wedding (which includes costs for travel, accommodations, gifts, attire and accessories), while members of the wedding party spend an average of $928. To break it down further, the average wedding attendant will spend around the same amount of money on travel ($308) and accommodations ($212) as the average wedding guest, who will spend $303 and $234 on each, respectively.

In terms of wedding day attire, wedding guests spend an average of $98 on clothing and an additional $53 on accessories such as shoes, ties and handbags. Members of the wedding party will spend 63 percent more—$160 on attire and $64 on accessories. (Find out how to save your wedding guests money here.)

What about the other wedding festivities? It’s an honor to take part in a bachelor or bachelorette party—but an expensive one. Partygoers spend an average of $537 to attend, inclusive of the costs of travel, accommodations and gifts.

Net-net, attending a wedding as a guest, groomsmen, bridesmaid, groomswoman or bridesman isn’t cheap, but it’s safe to say the couple will do their best to make sure the experience is worth it.

Up Next
The Knot 2018 Real Weddings Study: top wedding statistics and trends
The National Average Cost of a Wedding Is $33,931
Don’t let this number scare you—it’s an average! Read The Knot’s full breakdown of how couples plan and budget for deeply personalized celebrations, and pull out all the stops to reinvent beloved wedding traditions.
by Maggie Seaver3 min read