With the wedding season in full swing and more than a third of UK adults looking to attend one or more weddings this year, American Express have done a little bit of research…

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The hidden costs

It’s not just the cost of a new outfit that will be pulling on wedding guests‘ purse strings this year – guests are expecting to spend £640 per nuptial, up from £470 last year, which could amount to a collective UK wedding guest bill of £12 billion this year!

With more than half (57%) travelling over two hours to attend a wedding, it is no surprise that the biggest expense for wedding guests is accommodation with an average of £114. This is closely followed by gifts (£112) and purchasing a new outfit (£105).

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Savvy savings

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In order to lighten the burden, guests are finding savvy ways to help cut the costs. Around half of wedding guests use offers such as hotel deals (52%) or retail sales (48%) to make it easier on their wallet, while a quarter save up or dip into savings.

However, almost a third of guests will turn down invitations and miss out on seeing friends and family tie the knot this year as the cost is too steep! Noooo.

Married or engaged couples are also playing their part and keeping costs down through picking a local venue to reduce travel and accommodation expenditure (39% of them), planning an inexpensive hen or stag do (26%) or telling guests not to give them gifts (13%). However, more than a fifth (21%) admit they don’t consider the cost for guests when planning their nuptials.

A warning to future brides and grooms though – the majority of guests (63%) will turn down a wedding abroad due to cost alone!

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Nicholas Stefanovitz, Vice President of Consumer Cards UK, American Express, said: “Attending a wedding can be a costly affair and can quickly add up to a large sum of money. With the average cost amounting to £640, it’s important to plan ahead so that spending for the special day doesn’t become a financial headache.

With the American Express Platinum Cashback Credit Card, new Cardmembers who spend the average amount of £640 to attend a wedding in their first three months of membership would receive £32 in cashback, which could contribute towards the cost of a gift for the newlyweds.

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The most generous wedding guests

It looks like wedding guests from the East Midlands are the most generous gift buyers, spending an average of £255 – five times more than the South West with them spending £55.

The wedding guest bill for Londoners – including everything from the outfit to the actual day itself – has increased by 87% in the last 12 months alone to £1,048. Wow!

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Now that the money matters are out the way, what about those things wedding guests do but shouldn’t? Or what about the complaints they make?! (Yes, money they’ve spent IS included).