At a casual wedding, guests may incur fewer expenses than they would if they attended a more formal wedding.
Millions of people will attend one or more weddings this year. For every couple ready to say, "I do," there is a sea of people excited about celebrating the event. Getting invited to a wedding is an honor many people are happy to accept. Some do so before they give ample thought to the cost involved in participating in a wedding. Wedding guests can be informed of the costs they should expect upon mailing back their wedding response card.
A lot of attention is often placed on just how much couples spend to have the wedding of their dreams. Little focus is put on the expenses wedding guests will accrue to attend such an affair. According to the latest American Express Spending & Saving Tracker, guests can anticipate a cost of nearly $540 per wedding. If a person will be in the wedding party, he or she can expect to pay another $30 to $40 more.
The majority of the money spent when attending a wedding goes toward the gift for the couple. While many people will select an item from the bride and groom's registry, many opt to give cash. American Express says wedding guests will spend an average of $108 on gifts. Factors such as whether the couple is a relative or a close friend will impact how much of a gift is given. If the wedding reception will be held in an opulent location, where it is anticipated the per-head cost for attendees is lofty, guests may opt to gift a little more.
After gifts, wardrobe and travel are other major expenses that wedding guests will need to consider. If the wedding is close by, transportation costs may be minimal. However, if the wedding is across the country or at an international destination, travel expenses will include accommodations, dining out and airline tickets.
Wardrobe will be based on the type of wedding, whether it is a formal occasion or a casual affair. Women can expect to pay $50 and up for a cocktail dress. Jewelry, accessories and shoes may run another $100 more. Gentleman who already own a suit may just need to have it dry cleaned and purchase a new tie. A new suit can cost a few hundred dollars, depending on the designer.
Individuals who are in the wedding can expect to pay around $100 for their gown or tuxedo rental. Women may be responsible for their own hair styling and makeup application. Participation in a bachelor or bachelorette party can cost bridal party members $60 and up, depending on the venue. Elaborate parties may include travel and cost even more.
Parents of children who are not invited to the wedding will have to pay for childcare. Some babysitters charge anywhere from $10 to $15 per hour to watch children. The average wedding reception can run anywhere from four to five hours. That means parents need to budget an additional $50 to $75 in babysitting fees and even more for incidentals to pay for entertainment and meals.
While the couple exchanging vows pays the heftiest price for a wedding, that doesn't mean wedding guests are without expenses. There are a number of costs wedding guests must consider before deciding to attend.