From Wedding Guest to Groomsman: How Much Will Attending a Wedding Cost?

Posted on 06/15/2012

According to a recent report from Reuters the average cost of a wedding is about $27,000, not including the honeymoon expenses. In New York City the average price jumps to $65,824. Couples aren’t the only ones spending more—wedding guests are too. Here’s what you can expect to pay whether you’re a guest or a groomsman.

Cost of a Wedding Guest A survey from American Express found that the average person spends $490 when they attend a wedding. Dressing up costs $64, an average night in a hotel is $106, transportation is $96 and dining out costs another $70. Of course, this doesn’t include the cost of the wedding gift.

Cost of a Bridesmaid or Groomsman
Always a bridesmaid, never a bride? That’s an expensive spot to be stuck in considering the cost of being a bridesmaid or a groomsman for that matter. The same survey from American Express found that the average cost of being a bridesmaid is currently at $539. Most of that expense involves wedding attire.

Cost of a Family Member
Family members of the bride and groom tend to spend more than the couple’s friends. According to, family members spend about $120 more when attending a wedding than friends of the happy couple. Family members can expect to budget an average of $686 to attend a wedding.

Cost of the Wedding Gift
The cost of a wedding gift greatly depends on how close you are to the bride and groom. Typically experts say consumers spend far more on gifts for close family members. On average those close family members buy $196 worth of gifts. But according to a survey from and, no guests should spend less than $50. Friends of the bride and groom are expected to spend about $70 on the gift. Bottom line, whether you’re a guest or a member of the wedding party, simply attending a wedding is going to be a significant expense.

By Alison Storm

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